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Proving ROI: How to Understand the Real Impact of Location Data

Now more than ever, marketing is under the microscope. Marketing budget growth stalled this year after three consecutive years of growth –– amidst increasing concerns of fraud, lack of transparency, and, ultimately, poor performance. According to the most recent Gartner CMO Spend Survey, marketers are now being asked to justify their investments and assume accountability for business impact.

Yet the true effectiveness of advertising investment is notoriously difficult to quantify. Even in digital mediums, marketers are often forced to rely on vanity metrics like click-through-rate, which don’t necessarily reflect real-world purchase behavior. It’s even more challenging to parse the impact of individual campaign elements like data.

That’s why Factual commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) Study, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the ROI associated with Factual’s location data for advertising. After in-depth interviews with six Factual customers, Forrester developed a business case model –– including a rigorous assessment of holistic benefits, costs, and risks –– to quantify the value derived by Factual’s customers.

Last week, Factual had the pleasure of sharing this new research with the MMA community. Scroll down to watch the full webinar.  

Key Challenges & Trends

Smartphone ownership has climbed to levels that encompass nearly the entire US population. Though this presents a significant opportunity for marketers, Forrester found that mobile as an ad-delivery mechanism is simply not sufficient. To be effective, messaging must be relevant. Location-based data allows marketers to engage customers with the right messaging at the right time and place.

However, Forrester’s interviews uncovered several challenges with the location-based data marketplace including:

  1. Most marketers are concerned about data quality, as many data providers lack adequate methodology to ensure accurate data.
  2. Advertisers often have difficulty achieving precision targeting at scale. With many location data providers, scale is limited to major urban areas. Yet Forrester’s research found that marketing in urban locations quickly leads to saturation points.
  3. Advertisers are rightly concerned about obvious conflicts-of-interest that pervade the market. According to a data science lead at a major media agency:  “A lot of [data providers] try to sell you their Audience data but they also want you to buy their media and run on their media network. Their report will show that their media on their network is the strongest performing. That’s like they were grading their own homework”.

Key Benefits and Best Practices

Forrester’s analysis revealed unique benefits from Factual’s targeting solutions and surfaced tactics that marketers can use to assess location data providers.

In order to gauge accuracy, smart advertisers utilize a test-and-learn approach.  As a client success manager at a global media agency explained, “We A/B test different types of data providers out there quarterly, starting with other types of programmatic buys and then more specifically for location data. For our client, location-based targeting with Factual data showed better KPI results than our other location partners…

Generally, Forrester found that “agencies and brands alike see Factual data as extremely accurate”, and cost-per-action (CPA) for Factual-enabled campaigns were noted to be cheaper by as much as half the cost of other location data providers.

In order to combat saturation in urban markets, advertisers find that it’s more efficient to reach further out –– to pick the “low-hanging fruit” customers in smaller markets. According to one customer: “Granularity is extremely important to us, especially when we scale to small places like Cheyenne, Wyoming. We need those small geofences where we can still deliver at scale… we’ve had a lot of success with Factual.”  Forrester found that the quality and scale of Factual’s location data means that even small towns can be addressable markets with precise targeting.

Finally, Forrester’s research revealed that Factual’s agnostic approach instilled trust, allowed for easy activation via existing workflows, and enabled organizations to glean insights much faster. As Forrester describes, “the lack of lock-in to specific media providers gave marketers the opportunity to assess quickly if they needed to switch on a tactical or strategic level if needs changed”.

As we approach 2019, marketers must be prepared to quantify the value of their advertising investments. Factual is here to help.

Watch the full webinar recap below to learn:

  • How to quantify campaign ROI and the incremental uplift achieved through location-based targeting
  • Ways marketers are using location data to improve ROI right now
  • Tactics to improve your data strategies for 2019 and beyond



Interested in reading the research report? Download today for the full analysis and benefit breakdown.

Factual can help you leverage location data for targeting, insights and measurement in your campaigns. Contact our strategy team today!