Location Data Fine-Tuned To Aid Advertisers

Location data is a golden goose for mobile marketers, but one of the biggest challenges developers and advertisers face is getting people to actually turn location services on for certain apps.

Some apps, like maps or travel apps, make sense for location to be turned on. Others don’t clearly communicate to their users why they need the data, and how the data will make the user experience better.

Mobile ad spend is slated to increase to $100 billion worldwide in 2016, according to eMarketer, and much of that will be spent on location. David Bairstow, VP of product at Skyhook, thinks that as location tech becomes more accurate and precise, much of that ad spend will include location and lend itself to innovative marketing practices.

“A lot of it is how you get finer and finer in the resolution — what kind of moments you want to deliver to a customer nearby versus one that’s inside the building,” says Bairstow. That level of accuracy isn’t quite there yet for location tech providers, but many predict that 2016 will bring them closer to that goal.



However, as long as advertisers use data from derived IP addresses, the issues with inaccurate location data will still be present in the space.

Beacons are expected to figure prominently in 2016 as well. Many retailers adopted the technology through pilot programs to see if it would work, but there are several stumbling blocks to remove before beacons become more widespread, especially for retailers.

“The challenge with beacons is how you run something at scale: The hardware will continue to get cheaper with better batteries, but you need to map and place them,” says Bairstow. Scaling the technology only adds complexity, as companies like Target need to figure out the ROI of a beacon network at an enterprise level.

CPG companies also need to buy into the tech and develop ad campaigns specifically targeted at in-store beacon users. But Bairstow notes: “It would be the big CPG brand dream to communicate with a person when they’re standing right in front of one of their products.”

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