The Vantage Point series taps the perspectives of various lookout points from around the local media and tech sectors. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect that of BIA Advisory Services. Please contact Rick Ducey, Managing Director, BIA Advisory Services, if you have insights to share.
Precision Matters More for Marketers
As the country and the world get back to a new business norm, marketers will be more discerning of their marketing spends. This trend was already in place pre-COVID-19, as marketers continued to ask media and data providers to help answer the adage that “half my marketing is working, I just don’t which half.” With COVID-19 and the economic fallout, marketers will need more accuracy and accountability of their advertising spends.
COVID-19 itself may not have changed business entirely, but it has acted like a gas pedal to get us there faster. Schools were experimenting more and more with Web-based learning at significantly lower price points; people were having groceries delivered or using apps for pick-up service; and people were using food delivery services. Linear TV and Broadcast radio were both on trends to digitization with Connected or Over-the-top TV and digital audio/Podcasting; this has accelerated with shelter-in-place orders for much of the country. Marketing dollars will be more accountable to ensure they are reaching the intended audience. Media that has more ways of measuring the effectiveness of their ad placements and technologies that help provide insights to the audience will likely garner a larger share of advertisers’ reduced budgets.
Using location data whether from audiences derived from location data or attribution solutions that measure in-store traffic are seen by marketers as effective tools of a multi-channel marketing solution. However, this only solves part of the challenge. Currently many location data sets rely primarily on GPS data. In urban markets, where 80% of the US population lives, latitude/longitude data is not enough for buildings or multi-story environments like shopping malls or airports. Understanding if the data was from someone on the ground floor inside a coffee shop, or on the 10th floor above it, which have the same “location”, have very different meanings when you consider the vertical dimension. Being more precise today with data is more important than ever before.
The same can be applied to COVID-19 contact tracing. Google and Apple are working together on a peer-to-peer solution to aid in contact tracing. Several states, healthcare services and research universities have launched contact tracing apps with location services. These can be very effective solutions for people that have been in proximity of someone who has tested positive or been in the same place that a contagious person has been. But what happens within a building, location data alone cannot determine. What floor was that person on and potentially exposed others to COVID-19? Understanding the vertical dimension is a key ingredient to provide the most holistic technology-based contact tracing solution, privacy notwithstanding.
We do not live a two-dimensional world. Understanding the vertical dimension provides more context in a 3D world. More accuracy for marketing solutions, floor detection for E911 and better COVID-19 contact tracing, adding Z-axis is critical to location-based services be more precise.
Dan Hight is the VP/GM, Data Partnerships at NextNav. NextNav’s revolutionary Metropolitan Beacon System (MBS)-based services enable mobile phones, autonomous vehicles and IoT devices to reliably provide Position, Navigation and Timing Services (PNT) and serve as a backup to GPS in indoor and urban metropolitan environments. Delivered over a managed terrestrial network with carrier-grade dependability and metropolitan-wide coverage, NextNav’s services are designed for public safety applications, E911, PNT services for Critical Infrastructure, as well as a multitude of consumer, IoT and commercial applications that require reliable 3D geolocation and timing services indoors and in urban areas.