Canadian programmatic demand-side platform EQ Works has partnered with location data firm Factual to access its enormous database of geographical points of interest.
Factual gathers location data on businesses and public spaces – approximately two million such locations in Canada. With that detailed data in hand, EQ clients will be better able to geotarget mobile users when they’re in range of stores or relevant landmarks.
David Katz, executive vice-president, corporate development at EQ Works, said that programmatic platforms like EQ can already locate a mobile device by accessing its map coordinates, but while this may show what city or neighbourhood a mobile phone is in, it doesn’t reveal what’s near that location, be it retail fashion, auto dealers or grocery stores.
As an example of how brands are using geotargeting, Katz said some of EQ’s restaurant clients have been using geo data to customize strategies in urban or suburban areas, using point-of-interest data to determine the context. Since urban restaurants tend to rely on foot traffic, they send out mobile messages to a relatively small area nearby. In contrast, suburban diners are often in cars, so suburban restaurants can message potential customers from further away.
Location and point-of-interest data can also be used to develop behavioural profiles, helping identify and target people that spend a lot of time at the gym, for example, or who are repeat shoppers at specific retailers.
“When I talk about context, really what I’m trying to say is I want to be able to target users in real-time based on their relationship to the location,” he explained. “What are they near? Are they at a store, have they been to a car dealership recently, are they near a museum? Rather than just the coordinates, it’s what’s at that location.”
Mobile geotargeting has become a major trend in ad tech, as agencies and brands attempt to narrow their messaging to only the most timely and relevant touchpoints. Combined with the recent popularity of push notifications, which can be sent to a user’s device via an app even when they don’t have the app open, targeting based on geographical context promises to deliver ads when users are most likely to act on them.
“Over the last year or so, the conversation has really changed to ‘How can I make my mobile campaign more effective?’ which brings location to the forefront,” said Katz. “When we can target people who have been to a key location like a store or competitor’s business, [clients] start getting really excited. Now we have the data to do that at scale.”
Katz said that while EQ has been maintaining a cross-format offering that includes video, display, desktop and mobile, mobile has become a much bigger focus for the company in recent months.