Busting Myths In Location-based Mobile Advertising: Perceptions, Paradoxes And Possibilities

Advertisers are trying to stay increasingly relevant; the rise of mobile has helped them stay alert to trends and consumer habits. Location-based marketing is the latest aspect of mobile to hit the market in a revolutionary way.

Location is an important building block in shaping consumer context at any moment. Mobile is deeply personal and location data is a big part of it. From 2012 to 2014 mobile advertising campaigns using mobile location data for grew from $1.2B to an estimated $3.9B help prove this point, notes IAB.

As the above statistic suggests, location-based mobile advertising has created excitement and chatter among the advertising community. While this noise is positive, marketers need to make sure they differentiate myths from facts and fully understand the fundamentals before jumping in.


Myth 1: Data is data

Let’s face it - there’s good location data and there’s bad location data. Not all data is worth basing your marketing strategy upon. The next time you want a location element in your mobile campaign, make sure your vendor has strict quality control checks in place.

For example, if large volumes of location signals are coming from regions with sparse population as a trend, the data quality becomes questionable as it no longer reflects natural human behavior. Hyperlocality, clusterability, resonance, precision, accuracy and level of control on location are elements you need to keep in mind.

One does not rank higher than another in terms of importance, rather they work together to help ensure your assessing all data equally.

Myth 2: Leveraging location signals involves trespassing on user privacy

While there is certainly interest and hype among marketers to use location data, there are still valid concerns around user privacy. Luckily, there are ecosystem players who only utilize opt-in location signals, putting worries around privacy at ease.


Myth 3: Sometimes the scale of mobile traffic is not in line with actual population scare of the area. How is this possible? In location-based at tech flawed?

More often than not, we fail to factor in natural human behavior when making a correlation between traffic volume and number of real-world users. If we take a step back and factor in the natural drop-offs from (a) the number of people at a specific location to (b) the number of people actually being on apps that capture and send location data (which of course must be user opt-in), and then (c) finally filtering out a significant volume of signals on account of poor data quality, the observation starts making sense.


Myth 4: “Location-based advertising” and “Geo-targeting” are the same  thing.

It is a fairly common perception that geo-targeting is the only way digital marketers can leverage location signals. While it is true that geo-targeting is a common application of location data, this is not the only option. Location-powered audience segments are being used more to leverage users’ footprints to make inferences about their psychographics and general behavior.

Aside from those obvious applications – creative strategies and offline attributions are also important. Weather, pollution levels – these are the changing location based applications that allow for creativity and spontaneity in campaigns.

In summary, there is no doubt that mobile advertising has a leg up on the traditional models. The use of location is becoming increasingly essential to successful campaigns. In order for marketers to create meaningful and impactful results, they need to ensure they understand the technology and ask the right questions.



2 comments about "Busting Myths In Location-based Mobile Advertising: Perceptions, Paradoxes And Possibilities".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. mike boland from BIA/Kelsey, August 17, 2015 at 12:39 p.m.
  2. Devika Girish from MobStac, August 23, 2015 at 11:47 p.m.

    Great read, Piyush. Thanks for sharing. I toally agree with you on how location based onmi-channal marketing helps retail brands optimize customer journey across all channels of interaction. And one of the technologies that plays a criticla role in this is beacons. However, in their haste to catch up, a number of retailers even today, end up making unsuccessful beacon deployments. We have put together a list of eight such common mistakes and how to overcome them here:


Next story loading loading..