#SFSW16: Identifying the Location ‘Currency of Local’

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Neil Sweeney, CEO, Juice and FreckleloT, presents “2016

Locations and brands that aren’t doing everything they can to capture the IDFA (Identifier for Advertising) or the identifiers from mobile users are falling behind, warned Freckle IoT CEO Neil Sweeney in a presentation at Street Fight Summit West 2016 on Tuesday. The IDFA is the cookie in mobile, and Sweeney said firms that fail to layer it into their individual data sets are missing the mark.

“The way we categorize data is that it’s probabilistic,” Sweeney said. “If you are acquiring or buying location from bid stream data, your location is inferred and inherently flawed.”

One of the “dirty secrets” in mobile around location and attribution is that data accuracy is inadequate more often than not, particularly when consumers go indoors.

“People want more transparency, they want more accountability, they want to get closer to the till,” he said, referring to marketers.

Unpacking the problems with location data means talking through beacons and attribution, and focusing on identifiers and IDFA, which Sweeney said is the “currency of local.”

Beacon implementation is more widespread than the public realizes, but it often lacks scale and brands fail to realize that they’re creating a negative experience for their customers, he said. A national retailer could have a million beacons placed around its stores, but its program would be useless if customers didn’t have software on their phones, he noted. Customers also need to have Bluetooth on, and they need to have location services on in order to receive beacon-triggered notifications. With such a small pool of people receiving their messages, Sweeney cautioned that brands have to stop thinking about the hardware or the notifications and start thinking more about the data.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Photo Credit: Shana Wittenwyler

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Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.