Tackling location data roadblocks: Insights from The Drum’s marketing breakfast event

Location data provides marketers with ample opportunities to target consumers more effectively. But according to Forrester’s latest findings, 34% of US marketers find inaccurate location data challenging, while 33% struggle with understanding how to use location to deliver relevant messaging. So what is causing these roadblocks and what can marketers do to maximise location data’s capabilities?

Panelists Dan Read, head of platform solutions at TabMo, Nigel Fung, UK industry manager at Google Waze, and Ed Keohane, director of audio at Bauer Media, attempted to answer these questions at The Drum’s location-based marketing breakfast event last month.

While the panel agreed that location data helps to eliminate wastage, deliver on business objectives and personalise creative, the multitude of location data sources, repurposing data in a useful way, and respecting consumer privacy are challenges not so easy to overcome.

Keohane of Bauer Media referred to the differences between “inaccurate and poor location data sources” – something that marketers are easily confused by.

“There are lots of different ways you can get location from a device to varying degrees of accuracy,” he explained. "It's not just a question of inaccurate data; it's more: is the data appropriate for how you want to use it? It is difficult to set these things up and often, it’s not a case of the data being inaccurate but more that it is a poor data source for your campaign.”

Read of TabMo agreed, adding that while it is easy to “set up a geo-fence around McDonalds” to target people that come within 500 meters of it, it is still hard to tell whether it’s a McDonalds or a coffee shop. “It's not just about setting up the fence. There are so many different elements that go into checking whether the campaign is effective,” he added.

Meanwhile, Fung of Waze spoke about the satellite navigation’s app partnership with Transport for London (TFL) on using data to warn travellers to fill their cars up with petrol before entering a tunnel that became notorious for cars getting stuck and halting traffic.

He argued: “We've all got these bits of data, but it's how we repurpose it and deliver it in a meaningful manner to consumers wherever they are. How do we collaborate and share data? People are spending more time collating rather than analysing and listening to others to work it out.”

For deeper insights from the event, watch the full video above. To sign up to or take a look at The Drum's upcoming events, check out this link.