Will location data rise as cookies crumble?
Factual's new Data Enrichment offers brands additional insights about their own customers based on real-world behaviors.
Location data provider Factual is launching a new product called Data Enrichment, which supplements first-party data with additional audience insights built on mobile-location and real-world behaviors. The company says this allows companies to gain a deeper understanding of their own customers than first-party data would enable by itself.
CPG brands, automotive, media publishers. I spoke about the new offering with Scott Townsend, Factual’s Head of Data Enrichment and Factual CMO Brian Czarny. Townsend outlined several concrete use cases for the product for CPG brands, automotive marketers and media publishers, among others.
Townsend explained that CPG brands often struggle to get good first-party data from the retailers that sell their products. Factual’s product can show these brands where their customers are shopping. “This helps with personalized messaging,” said Townsend. “The campaign can say, ‘the product is on sale at Costco,’ where the consumer is a frequent shopper.”
Automotive brands can better understand other car makers they’re up against and engage in-market shoppers visiting competitor lots. And media publishers, according to Townsend, “Often struggle to get enough data to make their inventory competitive with the walled gardens. Enrichment provides additional insights for advertisers about publisher audiences,” so they can charge more for their inventory.
Growing appetite for location data among brands. Factual’s Czarny observed, “Brands want to have the complete picture of their customers,” and added that the company is seeing “incredible appetite for location data to build behavioral segments.”
Indeed, location data has been described as a “cookie for the real world.” That idea becomes more significant and not just a marketing concept as browsers shut down third party cookies and privacy regulations make many types of data less available.
I asked Czarny and Townsend, as more brands seek out location data for insights and segmentation capabilities, will CCPA or mobile OS location alerts affect the availability or accuracy of that data? Czarny predicted that iOS 13 would likely have a bigger impact than CCPA in that regard.
Indeed, the Wall Street Journal previously reported, “Since iOS 13 was released in September, tens of millions of people have moved to block apps’ ability to track their locations when not in use.”
But Czarny said that Factual’s access to data had not been significantly impacted. “Near term iOS 13’s impact hasn’t be great for us because we responsibly source the data.” He predicted that wouldn’t be the case for publishers and mobile apps that ask for location without delivering a clear benefit to the user.
Why we care. As privacy forces marketers and brands to develop or better utilize their first party data, data enhancement offerings like Factual’s will become more important. The audience insights gained from location data is an obvious and powerful data-enhancement tool. It remains to be seen, however, how deeply the location intelligence industry is affected by CCPA, OS location alerts and increasing consumer privacy concerns surrounding location.