Part one in a three-part blog series that will deep dive into the inner workings of location intelligence to bust myths, reveal truths and unveil how your brand can benefit from tapping into the ever-expanding pool of location-based data.



What is location intelligence and how accurate is it really?
The explosion of consumer data has made marketing efforts better in many ways, but it’s also brought a new set of challenges to the table. Data can take marketers to new heights, and catapult them into the age of 1:1 marketing – but the whole is only as good as the sum of its parts. Fraud, scale and data accuracy concerns are enough to make anyone’s head spin.

Location intelligence is no stranger to these common data pitfalls. As one of the pioneers in the space, PlaceIQ has spent nearly six years fine-tuning the science of location technology, and have seen first-hand:

— What is and isn’t possible when deciphering location data
— How to find the right balance between accuracy and scale
— How to perfect the variables within a marketer’s control


What is location data and how is it applicable to marketers?
Let’s address the elephant in the room before we dive into the logistics; what exactly is location data, and why should marketers care? Location data refers to information about the location of mobile devices through the form of latitude/ longitude coordinates. This data is valuable, as it anonymously indicates where consumer audiences are moving and visiting throughout their day. The places they go are solid indicators of who they are as consumer groups. If they go to the gym four times a week, they are highly likely to be interested in fitness products. If they’ve visited multiple auto dealerships in the past week, they are probably in-market for a new car. These simple actions show bottom funnel intent in the form of foot traffic. Through anonymous data sources and technology partners, marketers are tapping into this massive set of data to understand consumer movement, and activate robust, location-intelligent audiences.


How accurate is location data really?
Location intelligence is a powerful way to inform and advance your marketing campaign. To help marketers master the unwavering power of high-quality location intelligence, PlaceIQ conducted a study to dive beneath the surface, and unveil the facts about location technology. This study explored which factors make location data more or less accurate, and some of the common methodologies to combat accuracy issues.

The fact is, all location companies are ingesting location data from similar sources. This means all providers are combatting the same issues when it comes to accuracy and fraud. In our independent study, we found that the average variance of how far a device was away from its reported location was 93 feet. You might be thinking, “this does not sound very accurate!” The good news is, location intelligent marketing can be extremely accurate. The key is to find the right balance between scale and accuracy for specific campaign goals through a combination of data sources and methodologies.


Why does location accuracy matter?
Knowing what’s possible when it comes to location accuracy can make a huge difference when structuring a marketing campaign and measuring success. For example, knowing if someone is “here and not near” is instrumental for retailers looking to reach brand loyalists. There is a large difference between the consumer who simply drives by the supermarket and one who visits on a weekly basis. Certain location technology methodologies will account for this variable better than others. Knowing the real capabilities of a location-based technology and how they account for accuracy variables is important when choosing a location partner to work with. In our next blog post in this series, we will expand on what factors affect location data accuracy.


In the interim, download our whitepaper to get the full scoop and gain further insights on the topic of data accuracy and our independent study.