In light of recent location news, such as Snap's $200m acquisition of Placed and now Placecast’s launch of a product to verify location data, it’s clear the tide has started to turn on location data. Marketers and brands are wising up to its limitations, as well as the need to dig deeper to make genuine use of it, whilst astute businessmen are spotting a money-making opportunity.

Whilst verification is integral to successful mobile marketing campaigns, and it is a great thing it is now gaining more importance, marketers and brands need to be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing. 

Here I explore the key things to consider, to ensure we as an industry make location data, and its verification, useful for brands:

- Verification should only be done with the right and best technology. For example, most cellular data is only accurate up to 100 metres, and simply should not be used for location verification. We at Rippll use background location data accurate to 15 metres, with an SDK plugged into over 400 apps, and more than 2 million users in the UK. That is how we ensure clients get real ROI.

- Mobile marketing needs to clean its act up – there are too many mobile businesses claiming they can do things they cannot. As an industry, we need to stop making empty claims, build trust and integrity, and deliver what we say we will. If we don't, brands simply won't trust Location enough to increase spend and reap the rewards.

- Marketers and brands must demand transparency. To really get to grips with and maximise mobile ad spends, marketers need to work very closely with their agency and demand transparency at every corner. Agencies like MEC and MediaCom are leading the way with Location Accuracy studies, but many others aren't pushing past the smokescreens and brands end up losing out. We need to see more questions and digging to raise standards across the board.

- Mobile marketing needs to create an industry-wide standardised currency so that agencies & DSPs can achieve a like-for-like comparison of the quality of data from all providers. This can then be applied across all location-based campaigns to provide a currency that will help with targeting, audience building and footfall attribution efforts. 

We are now seeing players entering the data verification market after spotting a way to create additional revenue streams, highlighting just how powerful a tool verification can be and its growing importance in the marketing mix. Now really is the time to pull out the weeds, push for transparency and using the most cutting-edge technology, develop intelligent and creative location-based data campaigns that surprise and delight customers. That is the ultimate aim after all.



By Doug Chisholm, founder of Rippll

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