Report: Location Targeting Ecosystem Suffers from Inaccuracy

As much as 65% of location targeting ad spend is wasted due to poor-quality location signals and imprecise targeting, a study by the location intelligence firm Location Sciences found.

Location Sciences analyzed 500 million digital location-targeted impressions in the US and UK in the first half of 2019. It concluded that for every $100,000 spent on location targeting, $29,000 fuels targeting outside the desired geographic range, and $36,000 in targeting does not produce strong enough signals to ensure accuracy.

Yet the inaccuracy, while pervasive, does not appear to plague every location targeting firm in the industry. In fact, Location Sciences found that 40% of the firms in its study targeted with nearly 100% accuracy, and 35% of firms produced signals that ensure accuracy nearly 100% of the time.

Clearly, the firm on which brands rely can have a major impact on return on investment in location, and this is without even considering mounting concerns over the compliance of data-based targeting with rising privacy standards.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018 and compiled the daily newsletter since 2016. Joe is a journalist who has written widely about technology, business, and politics. You can contact him at