Foursquare Location Data Finds New Uses In Advertising Based On Performance

Major obstacles still exist when it comes to using location data in advertising campaigns, but marketers also have found new uses.

Some 43% of marketers cite privacy concerns as one of the major obstacles at 37%, followed by accuracy and quality at 32%, availability of real-time data at 27%; cost at 25%; ability to apply and integrate at 25%; ability to define and measure return on investments at 20%; lack of vendor differentiation in marketplace at 19%; segmentation at 19%; limited scale at 18%; and lack of transparency and complexity and lack of understanding in how to use it, both at at 17%.

“Companies are finding they can use location data in many different ways,” said Jim Watson, SVP of Client Solutions at Foursquare, which began as a check-in tool and morphed into a location data company.

It seems marketers acknowledge that location data delivers on performance, whether they measure attribution, purchase or brand lift, or seek deeper customer insights, according to the findings.

Some 62% of marketers said location data delivered excellent performance when it comes to digital campaign attribution, while 55% cited advanced metrics, 53% cited retail layout, and 50% cited key performance indicator forecasting.

"The ROI in measurement is a key point," he said. "It's about how many incremental people have been driven into a store or restaurant." 

Location attribution applied particularly well to TV works when it comes to performance, with 55% of those surveyed saying it provides value.

Some 51% of the 150 brands participating in the survey sponsored by Foursquare said location data will increase in importance as businesses attempt to recover from the pandemic. Forty-seven percent said location data will become as critical as before.

The March 2020 study was conducted by an Advertiser Perceptions analysis of the marketing lifecycle. It aims to help marketers understand advertising performance and effectiveness and how brands use location data.

Marketers participating in the study collectively drive more than $5 million in annual digital advertising spending across categories such as Apparel, Automotive, CPG, Media & Entertainment, Restaurants and Retail.

When asked to cite the company department responsible for location data -- meaning who drives partner decisions and determines how location data is used and ultimately how it performs -- 60% pointed to the marketing organization. Many other parts of the company are involved in it. For example, 47% pointed to data science and analytics, while 43% cited product marketing and 42% cited consumer insights. More interestingly, 38% pointed to media departments, while 37% cited programmatic and ad tech,and 21% cited finance and procurement.

Marketers also were asked to rate the importance of various types of customer data for achieving goals. Some 69% said they have full and direct access to demographic data, while 68% cited purchase history, 66% have access to location data, 65% cited behavioral data, and 51% cited attitudinal data.

Some 73% said they use location data to identify new consumer markets, while 71% use it to serve location-based advertising, 65% use it to measure and quantify return on investments, 65% use it to offer personalized experiences, 64% use it to enhance customer analytics, 57% generate competitive intelligence, 55% use it to build out customer profiles, and 53% use it to derive deeper store insights.

Marketers were also asked how important location data is in achieving marketing goals through the funnel. Some 67% said location data is critical for creating awareness, while 29% said it is critical for consideration and lead generation, and 32% said it is critical for sales and conversions.   

The top three benefits include improved engagement at 48%, improved ROI at 48%, and ability to create relevant content at 37%.  

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