With Covid Insights Tracker, GroundTruth Looks to Democratize Location Data

GroundTruth’s new Covid-19 Insights tracker gives brands a way to track foot traffic down to the zip code level. The tracker is updated weekly, with the ability to search for daily foot traffic across a number of categories, like auto dealers, banks, restaurants, and retail.

Data comes from the 30 billion annual global visits GroundTruth observes on its platform. The company uses indexed foot traffic to demonstrate the relative increase or decrease in visits to different places of interest, with weekly and daily charts depicting foot traffic indexed against average weekly/daily visits starting from December 30, 2019.

Heard on the Street, Episode 51: Adding a Third Dimension to Location Data

Bringing new dimension (literally) to location data is the field of “3D location.” This essentially takes typical lat/long coordinates and adds a Z-axis. It brings new meaning in the form of elevation, which comes in handy in places like high-rise buildings and shopping malls.

This is where Polaris Wireless hangs its hat. The company uses several inputs like barometric pressure to pinpoint mobile device locations using all three dimensions. This can have many use cases such as helping emergency responders show up to the correct floor of a building.

Location Data Companies Rise to the Challenge of Covid-19

The location data market has responded to many external pressures in recent years. Guided by new privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA as well as operating system updates by Apple and Android, the industry has put the consumer back at the center. The old days of capturing data and selling to ad tech firms without permission are over.

These shifts are good news for society. But they are also good news for the location industry, which has pivoted to thrive in this new world where squeezed supply impacts the quality of location data.

Now, Covid-19 has presented a new challenge, with movement data restricted to unprecedented levels. So, how are location data companies responding to the crisis?

Adapting to Covid-19 Using Location Data

My personal experience getting sick during the pandemic also got me thinking about how easy it is to spread the virus just by moving around and how important it is to abide by government guidance to stay at home or at least limit your movements. As someone who works in the location data industry, I have an appreciation for the mass movement of people, and staying at home and limiting contact with other people is the right thing to do right now.

I also had the chance to think about how location data could be used to help hospitals, governments, and businesses combat the spread of the virus. 

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Accurate Location Data Can Save Hassles and Even Lives

Updating your location data management information to reflect new hours, store closures, different contact information or special announcements is important for business success in general. In the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, maintaining accurate location data can actually have vital consequences for public health.

Yet a BrandMuscle study found that less than 60% of local business owners had even claimed their online business listings, which can lead to confusion about whether businesses are open or not. 

Location Weekly: Using Location Data to Track Covid-19

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Turkish firm Elektral developing vending machine for masks, wipes, and disinfectants; UNL raising $2M for smart address system; Wuhan bringing its famous Cherry Blossoms online; and Israeli startup Noveto bringing “smart audio bubbles” to digital signage. The episode also features a special discussion on using location data to track the virus.

4 Mobile and Location Trends for Brands to Keep an Eye On

Believe it or not, this is the smartphone’s third decade. When it comes to mobile apps and location-based marketing, so much has changed since the advent of the iPhone in 2007.

While it’s hard to predict what will become of mobile and location-based media in the next 10 years, it’s fair to prognosticate what we can expect for the rest of this year and beyond. Here are four mobile and location trends brand marketers need to watch.

Freckle, AdSquare Team Up on Privacy-Compliant Geo-Contextual Advertising

For years, geo-contextual advertising focused on targeting consumers for specific products or services at specific locations. The strategy has delivered impressive results for many brands and agencies. But with privacy restrictions on the rise, the time has come to start reimagining geo-contextual advertising in a way that brings brands together with on-the-go consumers in a privacy-safe way.

While many vendors are looking at how to expand into privacy-safe geo-targeting, Freckle and AdSquare are getting out ahead of the pack. Just this morning, Freckle and AdSquare announced a collaborative effort to improve geo-targeting capabilities for brands and agencies across North America. Through the collaboration, Freckle will layer its privacy-safe visitation data into AdSquare’s platform.

Three Ways to Solve for Foot Traffic Attribution

What most ad platforms cannot tell you is how your ads drove foot traffic to stores and other physical locations you care about. If driving foot traffic to retail locations is your job, Google Ads and other digital ad dashboards can’t help you. When in-store foot traffic attribution is crucial, how do you solve for it? 

In this article, we cover three ways to solve for attribution, ranging in difficulty from easy to hard. We look into easy options that are inexpensive but tend to be unreliable. We evaluate a medium option that has a moderate cost but is highly reliable and bypasses human error. And lastly, we look at a hard option that incorporates several tools and, while highly reliable, comes at a high cost and is difficult to scale.  

Location Weekly: FCC Fines Location Data Purveyors; Adidas Taps WhatsApp for Mobile Marketing

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers the FCC proposing hefty fines on mobile operators for selling location data, Apple turning your photo into a car key, Adidas tapping WhatsApp to reach consumers, KFC Canada integrating Google Maps and Assistant, Uber offering car-top signage for new driver revenue, and JCDecaux leveraging facial recognition for Yoplait in Australia.

Survey: What Marketers Want from Location Data

Marketers surveyed showed an especially keen interest in understanding how they can integrate location data with other kinds of information. Asked how they deploy location data, 27% said it’s a “key component of a broader strategy to map the customer journey online and offline.” Twenty-six percent, the second-largest segment, said they were interested in learning how to marshal location data in conjunction with other data to achieve more advanced goals than their current practices allow.

Three Methods to Deploy Foreground Data Effectively

For those of us in the location data industry, we must adapt to the new world we live in and find solutions to solve the age-old problems our clients face. Foreground data (data that is captured only when a user has an app open) has the potential to be just as effective and insightful and can offer even greater insights into how people interact in the physical world.

Companies conducting location analysis can use three methods to help keep their solutions robust in this next era of location data; layer in foreground apps, reduce noise, and capitalize on inferences.  

Why and How Often Consumers Share Location Data

Location is among the types of data consumers are most likely to weigh disclosing based on the utility of the scenario. Asked about eight different types of data, including marital status, social security number, and physical address, a higher percentage of survey respondents said whether they’ll share location data “depends” on the situation than for any other category. It’s neither an automatic yes or no; companies need to make a case.

Mobile Marketing Firm Verve Acquired by Germany’s MGI

The companies underscored Verve’s location data-driven ability to drive prospective customers into brick-and-mortar stores, adding a cutting-edge ad tech capability to MGI’s suite of existing media solutions. Verve will also help the European enterprise increase its presence in North America.

Foot Traffic Data Shows Signs of Retail Apocalypse Can Speak to Smart Retail Strategy

Over the last year, we saw many well-known brands close their doors and scale back their offline footprints. While many believed this to be a sign of weakness, it was, in fact, a sign of a very effective corporate strategy.  

Retailers such as Macy’s and Walmart both faced multiple closures in 2019, but when digging deeper and analyzing specific store locations, we uncover a much more informative narrative than simple brick-and-mortar decline.

With Investment in Geo, Foursquare Focuses on Improving Data Access

When it comes to location data specifically, Senior VP of Product Josh Cohen is seeing Foursquare’s partners put more emphasis on the quality of data. The company’s partners are developing more sophisticated understandings of the range of data quality when it comes to location, which means Foursquare has to dedicate more resources to make sure new industry-wide expectations are met.

Takeaways From ‘The Other CES 2020’ That Location-Minded Marketers Need to Know

CES provided a unique showcase for the importance of connected TV (CTV); it’s one of the few events that wrangles hardware, media, and advertising companies into the same place for a week. Within digital advertising, this topic is number one, and not outlining your strategy to support CTV in 2020 was a way to cut any CES meeting short. Companies that have moved from video to TV, such as Amobee or Telaria/Rubicon, exciting new combinations of TV and digital assets such as Xandr; programmatic TV leaders like The Trade Desk; and companies that have been long on TV for years such as Samba TV should have a fantastic 2020 ahead of them.

2020’s Location-Privacy Winter: The iOS Edition

CCPA isn’t the only factor that will impact privacy and data collection. There are less-discussed and potentially more significant variables like the death of browser cookies and other tech-centric measures. Especially for location tracking, private sector influences and accelerants loom.

This Year, Brands Will Seek Out Incrementality

As networks, publishers, and agencies continue to shift to guarantee business outcomes in ad deals (a trend that began earlier in 2019), the concept of “incrementality” will emerge as a key issue for marketers in 2020.

Advertisers today have an incredibly difficult time distinguishing between those exposed to ads who were already going to visit the store (the natural effect, driven by intent and brand identity) vs. those who visited because of that exposure (the incremental effect, driven by ad sensitivity). Quite understandably, we want to know if our advertising campaigns actually work in changing consumer behavior in our favor.

January Focus: Pursuing Privacy

As we straddle the precipice of a new year and a new decade, the next milestone in privacy legislation looms: the California Consumer Privacy Act. As California’s version of GDPR, it is the first major US privacy legislation. It will set a precedent and kick-start a domino effect for other states and may even lead to federal data privacy moves.

“Pursuing privacy” will be Street Fight’s editorial focus for the month of January. You may have noticed our monthly themes: December focused on the connected consumer, November’s focused on holiday shopping, October on local commerce verticals, and September on mapping (more on those in a bit).