Mobile has in many ways become the primary digital channel and location is the key to unlock the efficiency and versatility of mobile. Accordingly, Dstillery has added offline location data and data visualization to offer “geospatial insights for brands.”
Earlier this week, the company announced “Dscover Maps” or “DMaps” and spelled out a range of use cases for the data behind them:
- Planning better ad campaigns.
- Conducting deeper competitor analysis.
- Scouting potential retail locations.
- Engaging more relevant audiences for local political campaigns.
- Performing smarter geographic market segmentation.
Several other providers that predate Dstillery in the location intelligence segment, such as GroundTruth, PlaceIQ and Placed, offer data visualization tools for similar purposes. When I asked what differentiated Dstillery’s product, Dscover Maps lead Peter Lenz told me the quality and volume of the company’s data and its transparency.
Lenz explained that there are billions of real-world data points associated with device IDs that the company receives. It then cleans, normalizes and discards more than 70 percent of the data as inaccurate or of poor quality. Dstillery then integrates the location data into its hundreds of audience segments. The company also has built a proprietary device graph that maps location data to households to allow online and offline targeting or retargeting.
All of this is done in an anonymous and privacy-compliant way, according to Lenz, who added, “We provide a better signal. Our data is extremely clean and it’s not a black box.”
In our wide-ranging conversation about the utility and quality of location data, Lenz made an interesting point. He argued that many brands are using location and geofencing improperly. For example, he said, many brands use a targeting radius that is too large – within 10 to 20 miles of all their locations. He said that creates a lot of inefficiency and waste.
One of the most interesting developments in this arena is the way location-derived audience and attribution data can be combined with traditional media such as direct mail, out-of-home or TV to give them more precision and “accountability.”
Lenz discussed how marketers can use Dstillery’s location data to determine where to target radio or direct mail buys accordingly. DMaps data can also integrate with third-party media vendors for planning purposes and with brands’ own first-party data as well.
There’s no question about the power of location intelligence and its growing array of use cases. The challenge here is figuring out how to evaluate the various claims being made in this increasingly dynamic but crowded segment.