Report: Location-based marketing is increasingly valuable, but data accuracy remains in question

Recent Location Based Marketing Association global trends report shows areas of investment for location-based marketing

Marketers globally and across the region are seeing increasing value in location-based services and data targeting yet concerns about the accuracy of such data remains rife, a recent report has found.

The Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA)’s latest Global Location Trends report found that when it comes to the location and targeting-based data available to them, marketers are increasingly realising value in using location-based data to influence and engage audiences. Just over seven in 10 respondents globally consider location-based marketing to be important or very important.

The report’s authors noted COVID-19 and government application of location data in contact tracing over the last year has had significant impact on public perception of location data as something that goes beyond selling and promotion and drives public health awareness.

As a result, 80 per cent globally saw currently available location-based services ad targeting data as valuable and 81 per cent said it was actionable. In APAC, the figures were 79 per cent and 81 per cent, respectively. Yet only 57 per cent of global respondents believed currently available LBS ad targeting data was accurate, including 53 per cent of APAC respondents.

The fifth annual survey found 95 per cent of global companies are already using location-based services and data to reach customers, up 10 points year-on-year and 18 per cent between 2018 and 2020.

Besides the ability to target, key use cases for location-based marketing cited in the survey are for increasing brand recall (21 per cent of global respondents) and driving sales at the point-of-sale (17 per cent).

Overall, the report found 52 per cent of the marketing budget is going into location-based marketing, led by the North American market. The figure dipped to 49 per cent in APAC. But it’s expected to grow slightly in 2021 across APAC, led by the 28 per cent of global companies who say they’re making “significant investment” in location-based services.

The report found digital out-of-home advertising to be the one of the top media considered, up 11 per cent year-on-year in North America but also up moderately across all other markets represented. Two-third of global respondents viewed DOOH as location-based media. Mobile, online, radio and static billboards were also areas of location-based investment for advertisers across APAC.

In terms of location-based technologies in use, Bluetooth technology was most prevalent globally, and 49 per cent of companies surveyed were planning to increase spend in this area in 2020. This was followed by beacon technology (78 per cent utilisation globally and 75 per cent in Asia-Pacific and China); Wi-Fi (60 per cent globally, 64 per cent in APAC); and GPS (52 per cent globally, 50 per cent in APAC). Meanwhile, NFC took the biggest hit to adoption, experiencing a 22 per cent drop in investments in APAC.

Topics considered of most importance globally to location-based marketing, according to the survey and in order of percentage, are location-based advertising, location analytics, Internet of Things, social location services, augmented reality/virtual reality and merging mobile and digital out-of-home.

The LBMA industry report was based on a survey of 871 companies globally.

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