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Introducing the IAB Mobile Location Playbook for Retail Marketers

Introducing the IAB Mobile Location Playbook for Retail Marketers

Location data has come a long way – increasing in value, complexity, and application. Where marketers were once limited primarily to zip code geo-targeting based on IP and registration information, they are now able to utilize location data in new and ever-evolving ways thanks to mobile adoption and advances in mobile technology.

In response to this new location landscape, the IAB Mobile Location Data Working Group, comprised of members from all parts of the mobile advertising ecosystem, was formed to elucidate mobile location data best practices, standards, innovation, and other topics specific to the use of location data. Due to retail’s specific needs and applications for location data, the working group, of which I was part, has developed the IAB Mobile Location Playbook for Retail Marketers. This playbook can be used to guide location decisions and help retailers best understand the application for location data throughout the consumer journey – from consideration to purchase and loyalty.

Location Behavior Provides an Advantage to Retailers

As consumers, our mobile devices are always with us – and as a result they can reveal powerful information about how and where we spend our time in the real world. Through their location behavior, consumers indicate their interests, their needs, and even their personality attributes…

For retailers, this data is particularly valuable. First-party location data can help a marketer build a 360 profile of a consumer based on their real-world journeys. This location intelligence should be used to inform strategy as well as marketing efforts, but especially as a way to build more meaningful connections with consumers. Historical location intelligence coupled with real-time location data can strengthen marketing effectiveness by incorporating additional data sets such as weather, to anticipate consumer emotion and predict action. At a time when the retail environment is increasingly competitive and consumer loyalty is at a premium, mobile location data can provide retailers with an advantage in the marketplace.

Prioritization of Mobile Location Initiatives

Location-targeted mobile ad spending is forecasted to grow from $9.8 billion in 2015 to $29.5 billion in 2020. Given the important role that brick and mortar retailers play in the lives of consumers, along with the growing value of the resulting behavioral data, retailers should represent a disproportionate and ever-increasing share of that investment pie. They should also be confident in the return on that investment by including attribution such as lift in foot traffic in every initiative, but also by applying a critical eye to how that attribution is determined – from control to exposure, and 1st party data vs panel-based models.

Quality, Accuracy and Transparency Are Key

When it comes to location data – quality, accuracy and transparency are crucial. Retailers should ensure that their location solution providers are not only transparent with them regarding how solutions are built and executed, but that they are also open with consumers about how their information is collected and used. Not all location data is equal, nor are the potential location-based solutions. The location data that retailers rely on from partners needs to be both accurate and actionable.

Ocean Fine, VP of Agencies and Strategic Partners from Factual, and the working group-co-chair, articulated the motivation for – and benefits of – the IAB Mobile Location Playbook for Retail Marketers:

“Now more than ever, retailers need to understand their consumers and engage them at the right time, in unique targeted ways, across all channels. The IAB’s Location-Based Marketing Playbook for Retailers is an excellent guide for companies to learn how different applications of Mobile Location data can be used to better understand, target, engage and delight their customers, as well as measure the effectiveness of their marketing.”​

Read the Playbook


Adrienne Beck