Location data has become a kind of Swiss Army Knife for digital marketing. It can be used for audience targeting and segmentation, for offline attribution and for customer journey and competitive insights.
But the data needs to be accurate for these purposes — especially when it comes to store visitation and attribution. For those brands and agencies working with location data and various location data providers, accuracy is emerging as an issue not unlike viewability.
Ultimately, there will probably need to be similar third-party verification. And while the Media Rating Council recently issued Location-Based Advertising Measurement Guidelines that are intended to establish standards and help practitioners, they haven’t yet kicked in.
The debate about the relative accuracy and value of location data derived from the exchange bid-stream and that derived from first-party apps has been raging for about three years, with partisans on each side. First-party data is more accurate but less plentiful; third-party location data is much more available but often very polluted or inaccurate.
The latest missive in this debate comes from Placed, a location analytics company recently acquired by Snap. The company just issued a report (registration required) on location accuracy.