Location isn’t everything when it comes to mobile… but it is the most important factor.
That’s the observation from Eli Portnoy, general manager of Thinknear, a location based and targeted mobile advertising company.
“Think about it,” Portney says in a recent interview. “The phone is a portable device we carry in our pocket and is a part of what we are doing all day and every day. You have your phone with you when you are commuting, when you are at work, when you are seeing friends, when you go home. It’s ubiquitous. And you use it to interact with your world and what’s important to you.”
But as Portnoy goes on to point out, advertisers and marketers continue to overlook how this portable device that people are using everywhere they go is capable of “very precise location capabilities.”
“This is a very powerful tool to help companies to understand who their consumers are and what they are doing,” he says. “Location enables this insight.”
When asked by eContent what is the main problem that prevents companies from obtaining and using accurate location data, his response echoes the lingering concerns of many across the mobile advertising and marketing industries.
“The hardest thing about using location in mobile is that it’s not always possible to capture, yet it’s very valuable,” Portnoy concludes. “Users have to have their GPS on, give the app permission to use their location, have a clear line of sight to a GPS satellite, and so on. In effect, not every impression can have good location, but companies are willing to pay for the information and so publishers have an incentive to pass location even when it’s imprecise. So, companies are trying to infer location, which is good. But because of the way location is passed right now, there is rarely an accurate mention of the method used to derive a location. So, ad networks see a lot of location to the extent that a majority of impressions come with a latitude/longitde, but only a fraction of those latitudes/longitudes are actually accurate to within 100 meters.”