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Industry Average Location Score Improves 12% in Q3, Opportunity Remains

According to the second edition of the Location Score Index from Thinknear, the overall accuracy of location data from billions of ad impressions has improved 12% in Q3. Still, the industry average sits at just 55 on a 100-point scale.

The growing emphasis on delivering relevant, location-specific messaging to consumers via the mobile devices they spend most of their media time on has led Thinknear to develop the Location Score Index. The goal of the initiative is to help the industry better understand the current state of location data quality in the ecosystem.

To develop the score, Thinknear accesses the largest sources of location-enabled mobile inventory in the U.S. and compiles the report by sampling and analyzing data from over a billion ad impressions. Then, they run location accuracy tests on close to 500,000 consumer ad experiences.

The score of 55, while an improvement over Q2, indicates a very broad spectrum of data quality in the mobile ecosystem and underscores the critical importance of improving data accuracy for the success of mobile. While some inventory sources scored higher than others, Thinknear expects location accuracy to continue to improve as publishers and the like increase their focus on location.

Similarly, mobile ad spend and mobile time spent continue to increase, and as a result, location data is in demand. According to the report, 68% of ad requests included location data in 2014, in comparison to only 10% in 2012.

While mobile promises to reach consumers wherever they are, proving that a mobile display ad is delivered to a target audience in a specific location has been a challenge for the industry thus far and therefore, questions of mobile ROI remain. Nonetheless, understanding the accuracy of location data can help connect the dots and deliver a better value statement for mobile.

It will be interesting to see how quickly data accuracy improves and to what extent it will impact the adoption and investment in location-targeted, mobile campaigns.

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