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June 25, 2018
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Targeting and Tracking Using Location Data

Why location data is among the hottest topics in digital media

“Location data is powering ad targeting, customer insights, user engagement and campaign measurement and has established equal footing with traditional assets like purchase histories, digital interactions and email response rates. Marketers need to keenly focus on leveraging location data or miss out on crucial opportunities to engage customers and acquire new ones.”

The above passage is from a piece written for an April issue of Ad Week and it perfectly reflects a sentiment that is shared by MayoSeitz Media. Location based data can be utilized in many creative ways for both for targeting and attribution. So, what does that mean for advertisers?

 

Targeting

Digital media targeting has evolved through the years, from aligning with websites that index high against a certain demographic, to targeting individuals based on online behavior. Now, location data is allowing advertisers to identify and digitally target a relevant consumer, based on where they have physically been.

An example would be a restaurant trying to sell gift cards for the holiday season. Historically, they would choose to align with the food section on a major news publisher’s websites or they would target individuals who read lists of the best restaurants in town or search for lists of the best restaurants in town. If you use location data, you can now identify who has physically visited the restaurant and target them with ads for the gift cards. Who is more likely to buy a gift card to the restaurant as a gift than someone who already eats at and enjoys the restaurant?

Not only can a location data targeting strategy be used to identify current consumers/brand loyalists, it can also be used as a competitor targeting strategy. A great example of this would be for a car dealer. Consumers who visit competitor car dealers in the same geography can be identified and targeted. In this instance, you would be identifying someone in the market for a new car, as evidenced by his or her visit to a car dealership, and encouraging them to buy from your dealership rather than the competitor.

 

Attribution

As discussed in the previous section, location data can be used to identify consumers a brand should target, but it can also be used to identify the effectiveness of a campaign. Traditionally, the effectiveness of a digital media campaign is measured by how many people take a desired action online (this is still true), but what if you want your target to take physical action?

A hypothetical example of attribution would concern a building supplies company. While generating sales is the ultimate goal, it is difficult to order building supplies online, which typically requires a consumer to go to Lowes or Home Depot to purchase the products. With location data, it can be determined when an individual is served an ad from the building supplies company and then physically goes to a Home Depot or Lowes. Similarly, location data can be used to gauge success for college institutions. If a university is marketing an open house, location data can help identify how many people were served an ad and then stepped foot on campus the day of the open house.

 

Challenges

The concept of location data is one of the hottest topics in digital media today. As the technology has increased, the effectiveness and uses of it have multiplied. Nevertheless, the technology will continue to advance.

The major challenge currently plaguing location data is the absence of technology that accounts for elevation. Current GPS technology is hyper-accurate to a flat area but has no idea where in relation to the ground you are. Essentially if you are looking to identify people who went to a free standing building then current location data technology is incredibly accurate at identifying people who literally stepped foot inside. However, if you are trying to identify individuals who stepped inside a store on the 23rd floor of the Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia you will also be capturing the people who were on the other 57 floors at the same moment.

 

Conclusion

Location data is extremely important to marketers and targeting/attribution based off this data needs be considered prior to all digital media campaigns. According to research done by BIA/Kelsey, location-based ad spending in the United States will grow to $38.7 billion in 2022, up from $1.7 billion in 2017 .

As both the technology and its practical uses have become stronger, MayoSeitz Media has steadily increased its use of location data targeting and attribution. If you have any questions regarding the uses of this technology or if you feel that there is a strong use of this technology for your brand please reach out to your MayoSeitz Media contact and we are happy discuss the best implementation for your business!