Commentary

Location-Targeting Guidelines Will Help Bring More Discipline To Mobile Marketing

Last week the Media Rating Council (MRC) finalized location-based ad measurement guidelines. Location has become an increasingly important factor in helping marketers target consumers in the moment while they are out and about. Ad-tech executives weighed in on the location guidelines with MediaPost via email.

“Location is proving to be an incredibly valuable signal to drive relevance and engagement. At the same time, there’s a wide spectrum of accuracy and precision based on a company's product approach and technology. Standards are a fantastic way to help marketers better understand these differences, ultimately drive adoption, and better user experiences,” said Bill Michaels, SVP product and partnerships at Factual.

AdColony’s Ryan Griffin, SVP, strategy, said the guidelines — along with improvements in measurement and attribution — will help location-targeting progress. In addition, as more marketers seek independent, third-party verification of the data they use to focus simultaneously on in-store visits and real-world results, the standards represent “an important step in ensuring that there’s consistent methodological rigor across all solutions providers in the space,” Griffin said.

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"The MRC guideline is important because it leans more heavily on the theme of "precision" more than other metrics in the ad-tech industry — precision around the boundary location parameters, and in the audience measurement,” said Ray Kingman, founder and CEO at Semcasting. Precision and audience measurement, he said, are key in taking advantage of mobile vs. using cookie segments and other ID tactics that have not been reviewed. “Most attribution options are reduced to sampling and model scoring, which are frequently .... against statistical samples that are too small to be within any believable margin of error,” according to Kingman.

“Attribution requires that precision be coupled with scale and unique user reach, but in the deterministic sense. The MRC guidelines underline this trend toward bringing precision in all things digital,” Kingman added.

Factual participates on the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) location committees. AdColony does not offer location measurement, but works with NinthDecimal’s LCI (Location Conversion Index) measurement product as its preferred location measurement provider. The company said NinthDecimal plans to pursue MRC accreditation. At a minimum, Semcasting said it will consult the new guidelines and may consider seeking accreditation in the future.

This column was previously published in RT Blog on April 5, 2017.

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