We all know the importance of location – especially when it comes to mobile. However, as with many things in our industry, the full potential of location remains stunted amid a lack of transparency, understanding, and guidance. This year, we’ve worked on addressing these issues in order to help marketers make sense of the current state of location data. Below are some of the chief concerns we’ve heard and what we’re doing to address them.
One of the most frequent requests we receive from marketers is the need to know when to use which strategy, technology, or vendor. As we are the trade organization for the digital advertising industry, members and marketers come to us for guidance on best practices frequently. On this front we’ve published buyer’s guides and whitepapers illustrating successful uses of location data, guidance on the most appropriate tactics and technologies, and this summer we’re going one step further: we’re taking our show on the road.
It’s no secret that marketers are getting savvier about location data, and are hungry for more transparency in the industry as they evaluate their options of partners, vendors, and technologies. To address these and other issues, last year the Mobile Center created our Mobile Location Data Working Group to help increase education, transparency, and budgets for location data. The group recently released its first buyer’s guide, providing marketers and buyers a way to have an informed discussion with potential partners about location data – and a set of questions which can be used when comparing offerings.
Last, but certainly not least, is the issue of privacy and regulation. While this is a big concern for digital advertising overall, the issue of location data has accelerated the conversation in regards to mobile marketing. Some brands are even choosing not to benefit from location data overall, still seeing this as a privacy “gray area.”
While caution and concern for the consumer should be at the fore of everything we do as marketers, we should also be careful not to cut off our nose to spite our faces. There are smart ways to help deliver more relevant and valuable consumer experiences through the use of location data while also fully respecting privacy and choice.
Although there is still work to be done, location data is a critical part of the mobile marketing puzzle and it is vital that we have a firm grasp of how to best benefit and balance priorities when it comes to this valuable aspect of mobile. Getting “place” right is just as important as “timing” in the mobile mix and it is important that location now takes center stage when it comes to industry conversation – and the IAB is ready, firing up the spotlight.