Brand managers may be shocked to learn that they could save up to 80% on their location-based targeting spend by removing inaccurate and poor-quality data. Despite the explosion of mobile marketing, the potential for fraud has been overlooked, and bad actors in the industry have taken advantage.

With such huge potential savings to be made, and significant improvements in return on investments from ad spend, it may seem strange that issues have yet to be addressed. This all comes back to location data being relatively new, and therefore there is an expected lack of technical understanding among brand managers. This makes it difficult for them to interrogate campaign results.

The answers to a few key questions could help brand managers and agency partners to vet the quality of the data they are purchasing and put them back in control of the situation. Here are five questions to lead the conversation:

Am I getting GPS or IP data?

You need to be very clear with your supplier to ascertain whether they are providing data using GPS or using proxy such as IP as an estimation of location. There is an alarming amount of non-GPS accurate location signals being used in the industry.

What tools do you have in place to verify that your location-targeted ad campaigns are reaching the right people?

Brands and agencies should be able to delve further into information on the metrics, tools, and vendors being used to measure the accuracy of your location-based ad campaigns. There are now tools available that can show where ads are landing and provide this type of detail.

What reporting do you receive? Does this come from the location data provider that handled campaign delivery, or is it from a third party?

No one should be allowed to mark their own homework. So, if your only reporting comes from the company the data is bought from, you are at great risk of receiving biased analytics. Self-reported information is not good enough. Always demand third-party measurement to verify and grade location-based advertising.

Does the reporting include levels of quality and accuracy?

Reporting on data sources is all well and good, but brands should also expect granular reporting on accuracy and quality. Location data needs to be spot-on to be effective, so don’t overlook these important aspects of measurement as it can have a significant impact on the performance of your campaign.

Is the location data reporting front and centre, or is it a second thought?

If you’re investing in location-based advertising, it’s important to use a specialist location verification platform instead of having it as an add-on to a viewability report. The latter doesn’t provide the data needed to fully assess your campaign.  

The best way to put a stop to location ad-fraud is to demonstrate that it is a high priority. Asking the right questions will start an educated discussion about location data buying. This will set expectations and drive a meaningful industry change.