Location data: marketers ‘wasting two-thirds of budget on poorly targeted ads’


As digital advertising progresses, brands are recognising the importance and value that location advertising provides. Yet nearly two-thirds of spend is being wasted on poor-quality and mis-targeted location data, according to a new study by Location Sciences.


The analysis of 500 million digital location-targeted impressions revealed that, of every $100K spent on targeted location advertising, $29K (£23.7K) delivers impressions outside of the targeted area. A further $36K (£29.4K) is wasted due to insufficient quality location signals.

The analysis of 500 million digital location targeted impressions delivered in the UK and US from January to June 2019, also revealed that 36% of the top GPS enabled apps were found to display location fraud.

Additional findings from the research included:

• On average 29% of impressions currently miss the target specified by the client
• On average 36% of impressions were not of the quality needed to deliver to the specific targeting area required for location campaigns
• 36% of the top GPS enabled apps were found to display location fraud
• A 40% increase in location signal quality and a 10% increase in accuracy could be realised by enhancing transparency into data

The company found that of every $100K spent on targeted location advertising, $29K (£23.7K) was delivering impressions outside of the targeted area while up to $36K (29.4K) was possibly being wasted due to location signals of quality insufficient to deliver the targeting requirements.
Mark Slade, CEO, Location Sciences, comments: "While some location data suppliers are doing an excellent job – in our analysis 40% of suppliers showed nearly 100% accuracy in location and 35% near 100% accuracy in signal quality – there is still a large percentage of suppliers who are significantly underperforming. For location to be used effectively in digital advertising, brands should ensure that they understand exactly what they have purchased and how this is being deployed. This will help to drive significant improvements in accuracy and campaign performance."

The research was conducted using data collected via a tag embedded in digital creative. Data was collected directly from suppliers when the ad is served and measured Latitude and Longitude, device ID, publisher ID and the IP address of where the ad was served and connected to the internet.

To download a copy of the research, click here.

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