Location data “Inaccuracy”

The mobile advertising world have recently been talking about the issue of location data “inaccuracy” – the term used to describe inaccurate, fraudulent and incomplete location data which is often supplied by publishers to increase the value of an impression and quite rightly too. However, verifying the quality of data should be standard practice in any business dealing with huge volumes of data and not some massive revelation.

Missing a crucial point. Removing data also removes audience scale, which is required to make the proposition work for advertisers. So the question is: How do you remove bad data while maintaining a scalable audience?

At Mobiclicks, we have location retargeting technology, which combines historical location behaviour with real-time location and demographic data, enabling brands to build rich audience targeting segments.This technology uses proprietary Infinity+ platform, data analytics and location algorithms to influence future behaviour by targeting consumers based on where they have physically been, but with relevance to where they are now. By distinguishing where a consumer is, versus where they have been and overlaying location context to targeting decisions, an ad can be delivered when a consumer is most likely to engage with it, improving brand engagement and performance.

This technology was developed to overcome the problem of targeting the right audience, at the right location, but at the wrong time. For example it may be too late to target a consumer with an airline ad if the user is already at the airport waiting to board the flight, but it is very useful to know that the consumer is a frequent business class traveller to target them at home or in the office.
Brand partners all saw impressive campaign performance, with average clickthrough rates more than 60 per cent higher than the next best performing in the industry, additionally, the average post click engagement and value of purchase outperformed all other elements of the campaign.

Mobiclicks, argues that advertisers need audience scale as well as accurate location data for their campaigns to be successful.
We agree that if location advertising is done badly it wastes advertisers’ money because their ads are not sent to the right location. The industry is trying to address this issue and while location-targeting verification does filter out bad location data, it can remove as much as 85 percent of the original audience. Using data mining, data analysis and data extraction techniques come as standard across the location advertising industry and our partners Blis, have been doing this for years. The companies operating in this space are using different technologies to tackle this issue, but we are all in agreement there is a lot of bad data.

Breaking bad location data
If location advertising is done badly it wastes advertisers money because their ads are not sent to the right location. The industry is trying to address this issue and while location-targeting verification does filter out bad location data, it can remove as much as 85 percent.
Even good location data needs filtering to ensure it is ‘brand safe’ for an advertiser. Location data provided by certain dating apps, for example, might have accurate lat long GPS coordinates but it may not be an appropriate ad placement for an advertiser and could lead to negative brand association.
If your location provider has built the right proprietary tools to understand where the lat long data is coming from, it can remove the wrong impressions for your brand. Again, this kind of filtering should be standard across the industry. Less than 15 percent of the data coming into the our platform from publishers can be verified as ‘good data’ and matched to our customers’ campaigns.

Putting digital advertising in the right context
But with all this filtering removing location data, how do you build audience scale for an advertiser? Lat/long does provide good proximity, but it doesn’t provide real scale. If a location-specific ad is to generate successful engagement, a brand needs a bigger audience. This is where we believe we can bring something else to the table.

We have the ability to build audience scale in location-targeting by understanding the relationship between IP addresses and specific buildings where there are all kinds of devices connected – mobiles, tablets and laptops. The platform constantly matches IP addresses to locations globally at a rate of 3m IP addresses to building locations per day. The data is refreshed every 24 hours to ensure its accuracy and context. This is on top of the 330,000 global points of interest built into our database. It ensures we can always build considerable audience in any location by the addition of more connected devices and their screens.

There is bad location data everywhere and it’s available to everyone. Filtering it out solves this problem but without adding other content, demographic and third party data, advertisers will always be faced with reducing scale.