How to choose a location data provider
This is the first installment of my new Search Engine Land column, “On Location.” It will focus on local SEO, location-based marketing, location intelligence, relevant consumer behavior trends and online-to-offline analytics. I’m also interested in hearing from you about what topics and issues you’d like to see covered.
Mobile location data has become a critical and versatile tool for marketers. It can act as a kind of real-world cookie substitute (device IDs), identify audience segments, provide competitive insights and measure the impact of digital and traditional media on store visits and sales.
There are more than 20 companies that offer “location intelligence” in one form or another in the U.S. market. But not all location-data providers offer identical data coverage or quality. Indeed, there’s evidence to suggest that a majority of programmatic bid stream location data, which some providers use as their primary source, is either fraudulent or of questionable quality.
Brands, retailers and agencies working on their behalf should take advantage of location-based insights and attribution capabilities. Those that aren’t doing so are missing a significant opportunity. But choosing the right provider matters. What are the attributes or capabilities to look for?
To answer these questions I invited several companies in the segment (PlaceIQ, NinthDecimal, Placed and Foursquare) to offer their insights and recommendations. Many of their responses overlapped (i.e., around data sourcing and accuracy) but there were also differences in emphasis and unique answers — below.
Understanding where data comes from
The overarching recommendation from everyone was to gain a clear understanding of data sources and the ratio of first-party to third-party data. What percentage of the dataset is comprised of bid-stream data? Most companies will use both first and third party data, but do they have a process for expunging inaccurate data?
It’s important to note that data accuracy requirements can vary based on the intended use. For example, ad-targeting accuracy may need less precision than attribution use cases (did the campaign send people into stores?).
Other recommendations include assessing the sophistication of the company’s methodology, understanding whether the provider’s data has been validated by independent parties and how rich and complete the company’s dataset is.
Here are the specific questions and recommendations:
Together all these questions form the basis of a very strong RFP and should accelerate your vendor evaluation process.
About The Author
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog,Screenwerk
, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him onTwitter
or find him atGoogle+
via Search Engine Land https://selnd.com/1BDlNnc
February 11, 2019 at 07:08AM