Commentary

Advertisers Challenged In Using Location Data

One of the major promises of the Internet of Things has to do with location.

Identifying where a consumer is at any given moment and creating relevant messaging delivered in context has been a marketing goal since forever.

Beacons started to help a little in stores over the last few years and, along with Wi-Fi location and the old GPS standby, knowing where a person is has somewhat improved.

Companies like InMarket and Philips Lighting have figured ways to link the location of shoppers with specific products near them in stores, creating proper incentives to drive the sales of some of those products. InMarket taps beacons while Philips uses connected lights.

The promise of Internet-connected technologies is that the billions of sensors that will be deployed will continually supply a wealth of much more precise consumer location data.

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However, that is then and this is now.

At the moment, advertisers are challenged in working with location data due to the varied levels of mobile marketing maturity combined with the complexity associated with the large number of sources and technologies that comprise the location landscape, according to a new study.

The study comprised a survey of 200 marketing decision makers in organizations that spend $250 million or more annually on advertising in North America. It was conducted by Forrester Consulting for Verve.

Many organization are challenged in using location date, for a host of reasons. Here are the challenges they face, according to the study:

  • 34% -- Inaccurate location data
  • 33% -- Understanding how to use location to deliver relevant messaging
  • 30% -- Lack of clarity on what third-party vendors or providers exist
  • 29% -- Perception within the company that existing social media marketing efforts overlap
  • 28% -- Difficulty defining the targeting to apply
  • 28% -- Difficulty combining mobile location with other customer data
  • 27% -- Lack of transparency in location data collection
  • 27% -- Difficulty passing exposure data back into a data management platform
  • 27% -- Achieving scale of reach
  • 25% -- Lack of clarity on the sources of location data

The Internet of Things won’t cure all of this, but it will help identify where a consumer is located.

2 comments about "Advertisers Challenged In Using Location Data".
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  1. Ben Isaacson from Part-Time Privacy, July 20, 2017 at 1:31 p.m.

    Perhaps I'm biased, but I would've thought Forrester would identify privacy as a key risk/barrier to entry, especially since there's no (easy) way for users to manage their location preferences or opt-out.  

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, July 20, 2017 at 1:41 p.m.

    Great point, Ben. The study did mention that 52% of younger digital natives are comfortable with sharing their location when it makes sense. Only 17% of those older are.

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