The Fall Agenda: IAB Location Data Group’s Taking A Closer Look At Attribution

The perennial issue of geo-data quality standards is the other hot topic going into 2016, says the IAB’s Joe Laszlo.

IAB's Joe Laszlo
IAB’s Joe Laszlo

The immersion of location based advertising as a prominent feature of general advertising campaigns is leading to a larger discussion about how to continue to educate the industry about “best practices,” particularly when it comes to measuring ad effectiveness of geo-targeted campaigns, says Joe Laszlo, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s senior director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence.

Looking ahead at what the Mobile Marketing Center’s IAB Mobile Location Data Working Group, the general items on the agenda this year will include continuing to define standards for understanding geo-data quality, but also to ensure that members agree on how ad effectiveness and attribution are best understood and presented.

ROI Building Blocks

“The first half of 2015 saw the Location Data Working group publish a piece called Marketing ROI and Location Data,” Laszlo noted. “We felt it was important to look at the increasing use of geo-data not as a targeting attribute or just another data point, but more as in terms of getting a better handle on ad effectiveness or as a way to develop clearer KPI data points.”

The working group’s discussion will examine examples of the companies that are making new advances in showing the link between ad effectiveness for mobile ads and measuring in-store foot-traffic and sales/conversions. “The conversations will be taking on a broader shift.”

The challenge that hangs over ad effectiveness and location advertising is determining the standards for geo-data quality, though Laszlo said there have been signs of progress, particularly in terms of the role location analytics plays in targeting within programmatic ad buys.

“In the context of automation and exchanges, the latest revision of the Open RTB stack includes a field where an entity providing data about a piece of ad inventory, can and should specify not just zip codes, lat/long, DMA, or any other location data point they want to use, but also the source and the recency of that data as well,” Laszlo said.

That additional form that buyers need to fill out represents “the spirit of full disclosure,” Laszlo added, suggesting that it would help media buyers and their advertiser clients see how likely the data they have for their campaigns is accurate and precise.

“We want create more clarity around the data points a potential buyer needs to know about a location parameter in order to make an intelligent decision, Laszlo said. “I think we’re doing a good job there.”

Dealing With Inaccuracy

The other question the IAB and the industry faces is whether geo-data fraud or “inaccuracy,” as a recent AdExchanger post discussed, is the main issue.

“The question of how do you police ‘inaccuracy,’ is a big one,” Laszlo said. “It’s entirely reasonable and likely that somebody may, with the best of intentions, just have a faulty system in place and just happens to not be generating very good data — but they may think it’s very good. And of, course, you could have some intentionally using poor data, faking the lat/longs, the recency, etc., in order to charge a bit more. In any case, whether someone is unaware or is trying to abuse Open RTB parameters, the answer is having clear standards and guidelines.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.