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How to choose a location data provider

That is the primary installment of my new Seek Engine Land column, “On Location.” It’ll center of attention on native search engine optimization, location-based advertising and marketing, location intelligence, related shopper habits traits and online-to-offline analytics. I’m additionally inquisitive about listening to from you about what subjects and problems you’d like to peer coated.

Cellular location information has turn into a vital and flexible software for entrepreneurs. It could act as a type of real-world cookie change (software IDs), determine target market segments, supply aggressive insights and measure the affect of virtual and conventional media on retailer visits and gross sales.

There are greater than 20 firms that provide “location intelligence” in a single shape or any other within the U.S. marketplace. However now not all location-data suppliers be offering similar information protection or high quality. Certainly, there’s proof to indicate majority of programmatic bid circulation location information, which some suppliers use as their number one supply, is both fraudulent or of questionable high quality.

Manufacturers, shops and companies operating on their behalf will have to benefit from location-based insights and attribution features. Those who aren’t doing so are lacking an important alternative. However choosing the proper supplier issues. What are the attributes or features to search for?

To reply to those questions I invited a number of firms within the section (PlaceIQ, NinthDecimal, Positioned and Foursquare) to provide their insights and proposals. Many in their responses overlapped (i.e., round information sourcing and accuracy) however there have been additionally variations in emphasis and distinctive solutions — underneath.

Figuring out the place information comes from

The overarching advice from everybody used to be to realize a transparent figuring out of knowledge assets and the ratio of first-party to third-party information. What proportion of the dataset is constructed from bid-stream information? Maximum firms will use each first and 1/3 social gathering information, however do they’ve a procedure for expunging erroneous information?

It’s necessary to notice that information accuracy necessities can range in accordance with the meant use. For instance, ad-targeting accuracy might want much less precision than attribution use instances (did the marketing campaign ship other folks into retail outlets?).

Different suggestions come with assessing the sophistication of the corporate’s technique, figuring out whether or not the supplier’s information has been validated by means of unbiased events and the way wealthy and whole the corporate’s dataset is.

Listed here are the particular questions and proposals:


  • Protection: How lots of the overall venues/visits are represented? How detailed is the metadata a few given set of venues?
  • Accuracy: A mixture of indicators and sensors (i.e., GPS and cellular tower indicators, SSIDs, Bluetooth or beacon signatures) can assist when distinguishing between puts in densely populated city spaces. Entrepreneurs will have to search for multi-sensor inputs.
  • Recency: How incessantly is the information up to date? What’s the technique for making sure that any fluctuations at industry places are logged and verified in a well timed means?
  • Resources: Datasets can also be labeled into 3 teams: first-party assets, third-party information aggregations and a mix of the 2. Foursquare throws out greater than 80 p.c of third-party information that doesn’t meet information high quality requirements. Resources are necessary as a result of there is also greater privateness and regulatory implications in sure areas.
  • Contextual metadata: Contextual metadata signifies how a lot more information is supplied for a given location past probably the most elementary attributes of brand name and cope with. This can also be helpful in offering a extra whole figuring out of a spot, why other folks cross there, or what’s distinctive about it.


  • Figuring out assets of location information: How do you supply location information? What’s the breakdown of first-party information and third-party information? What proportion is bid circulation vs non-bid circulation?
  • Ensuring you’re the usage of information with sturdy density: Do you could have a vast achieve of shoppers mixed with a prime frequency of seeing the ones shoppers?
  • Opting for a supplier whose information has been third-party verified: Has a reputable, unbiased third-party verified your information? Does that verification quilt location information accuracy, location resolution methodologies, information hygiene and privateness answers?
  • The use of a supplier with a vast scope of packages: How do you observe location information throughout advertising and marketing answers? Do you fortify a variety of products and services throughout target market introduction, marketplace analysis, size or media answers?
  • Having most omnichannel flexibility: Can your choices cross throughout greater than cell to be efficient for all advertising and marketing channels? Is your information ready-made and do you could have integrations in position to plug into the prevailing advertising and marketing stack (i.e., DSPs, DMPs, social platforms, TV platforms)?
  • Unlocking the facility of your first social gathering CRM information: Are you able to map location information with first-party CRM information to create a extra tough figuring out of the buyer?


  • Staff: What proportion of the corporate’s workers are engineers and information scientists?
  • Knowledge sourcing: The place does it supply location information?  What’s the opt-in procedure?  Can I obtain an inventory of apps to take a look at and obtain?
  • Verification: How do you test the accuracy of the positioning information you’re acquiring?  What procedure do you could have for filtering the information for accuracy?  How a lot information do you throw out because of inaccuracies?
  • First vs. third-party information: What do you imagine first-party as opposed to third-party information?
  • Validating visits: How do you validate the visits you’re reporting?
  • Marketplace proportion: What’s your marketplace proportion throughout companions, media channels, and advertisers?
  • Trade type: Do you promote media or focusing on or are you pure-play attribution and analytics?


  • Basemap: Does the supplier have a foundational figuring out of the bodily international or have they just authorized a POI database?
  • Motion information: Does the supplier have a scalable and nationally consultant portfolio of customers?
  • Generation experience: Does the information supplier have proprietary studying, cleaning, clustering, and many others. to neatly fuse motion information and mapping information?
  • Transparency: Does the supplier proportion detailed, event-level information with shoppers and companions without delay? Do they supply self belief ratings for his or her visitation detection?
  • Validation: Does the supplier have a third-party market valuation for his or her visitation information? Are they succesful and prepared to design or take part in valuation towards reality units?

In combination a lot of these questions shape the root of an overly sturdy RFP and will have to boost up your supplier analysis procedure.


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