Insights and future trends from IAB’s Mobile Location Seminar

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Insights and future trends from IAB’s Mobile Location Seminar
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IAB_Mobile_Location_Seminar

Last week, we joined forces with other industry leaders such as Trinity Mirror and Mindshare to discuss what sets mobile apart from other forms of media, and the significance of location data within it.

Why bother with mobile location?

The seminar couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. With our mobile phones no longer being the second screen but, in fact the first , they are quickly becoming the biggest ally of marketers. In recent weeks in particular we’ve witnessed mobile and location date really come to the fore thanks to the Pokémon Go phenomenon. The app reached 7.5m downloads in the US in less than a month, asking marketers the question about how they can leverage this data to achieve engaging and effective results.

According to recent research Blis conducted on the influence of location on cross-screen advertising, at least 14 percent of the UK population is engaging with a brand as a direct result of location-derived advertising over mobile devices. This accounts for more than 9 million consumers making the location market essential to keep track of and tap into.

Defining and targeting audiences

Marketers need to essentially think of different locations as pieces of a puzzle that maps together a full picture of human behaviour and of mobile as the glue that binds cross-platform campaigns together. Quite simply, we are all creatures of habit and our real life behaviour is a true indicator for who we are and what we do in our daily lives.

Location adds a contextual layer which further enhances advertising across multiple devices; and when it is combined with data gathered from multiple real-time data sources, it can provide powerful insights. This data can be active (i.e. when it is accessed frequently and updates are expected on an app) or passive mobile data (data not used frequently and neither updated nor read) and behavioural data from apps and websites can reveal valuable insights about consumer patterns, purchase intent and much more.

These insights allow for the timing, messaging, format and platform of adverts to be matched to an audience, helping to execute an omnipresent targeting strategy which can drive real world behaviour and results, such as footfall and sales. What’s more, this data can also be used to advise better business decisions i.e. based on actual consumer movement.

Accuracy is king

When it comes to defining a mobile location strategy, marketers should be selective when choosing the right partner for campaigns. They need to check the data source, its scalability, the methodology used to collect it and how transparent it is, its accuracy (ideally with 5 metre precision), and any data verification processes.

In the land of location, accuracy is king and ignoring its importance can be costly. A real-life example outlined at the seminar, and which clearly highlights the true cost of inaccurate location data, is the case of 82-year old Joyce Taylor from Kansas. Joyce has been subject to FBI visits, threats and online exposure which was as a result of a company collecting as many unique computer or smartphone IP addresses as they could with a view to selling them to advertisers. This company also had a system that automatically assigned undefined location information to a place roughly at the center of the US, which happened to also be located at Joyce’s farm. This resulted in thousands of online activities being attributed personally to Joyce.

Joyce’s story teaches us not only the significance of accurate location data, but also the need to ensure consumers’ interest is always at the forefront of each campaign. Marketers also need to ensure that consumers give their consent to receive adds by making content relevant and by providing consumers with clear control and transparency over the data that is collected on them.

Ultimately, by adding content, location and real world behaviour to the marketing mix, marketers are finally able to reach ‘real’ people, not just users. It’s up to all of us in the marketing business to take a step back, listen to their individual preferences and make this the year of the satisfied consumer.

By Annie Lemaire-Brooks and Katie Batchelor

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