Study: Marketers struggle with personalized location-based ads
- Personalizing mobile ads using location data is a key struggle for marketers due to apprehensions about the quality of the data, Digiday reported, citing a March survey from Forrester Research. Ninety-four percent of senior marketers had difficulties working with location data, ranging from inaccurate location information to not knowing what third-party data providers exist.
- Advertiser misgivings about location data are preventing them from spending more money to target audiences with the tech. Major brands like Coca-Cola, Unilever, Heineken and Burger King have tried location-based ad campaigns in the past two years, but those tests haven't influenced attribution or consumer insight marketing, according to location data company Blis, which was cited by Digiday.
- To improve the accuracy of their location information, some data vendors are building partnerships with transaction processing firms like MasterCard to help establish a connection between online ads and offline sales.
Location-based ads were once described as the "holy grail of marketing" by WPP CEO Martin Sorrell, but as the Forrester study shows, marketers are concerned about unverified geolocation data and lack of third-party provider knowledge. Even sophisticated users of data like Unilever and Heineken face difficulties in blending their own data with second- and third-party sources to define targeted audience segments, Digiday reported. Despite the concerns about location data, geotargeted ad sales are predicted to grow from $12.4 billion last year to $32.4 billion by 2021, according to researcher BIA/Kelsey.
While personalization remains elusive, marketers are embracing the most accessible form of location-based advertising with the sharper targeting that comes with mobile geofencing. One of the downsides, however, is that geofenced campaigns don't track online-to-offline conversions.
Still, adoption of location-based strategies will grow as social media platforms incorporate more geographic data into their ad products. In May, Facebook added a tool to help marketers learn more about how ad campaigns generate sales leads in offline settings like a store, phone call or in-person meeting. The tool let marketers connect their customer relationship management, point-of-sale or call center systems to Facebook's new Offline Conversion feature to help monitor ads, the company said in a blog post. Snapchat is also working on a Snap to Store offline attribution product.