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In the Race to Digital, Don't Lose Sight of Powerful Offline Insights

Location data connects the dots

An interview with:
Mark Coffey
Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

Marketers’ attention and dollars are shifting to digital, but consumers still make the vast majority of purchases in-store. Mark Coffey, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at location-based gas price comparison app GasBuddy, spoke with eMarketer’s Caroline Cakebread about how location data can repair the disconnect between consumers' online and offline journey. He was interviewed as part of eMarketer’s May report, "O2O Measurement and Marketing 2018: How Location Tracking, Identity Graphs and In-Store Metrics Are Improving Online-to-Offline Capabilities."


How blurred has the line between online and offline become for marketers?

Mark Coffey:

I often say to our clients that marketing headlines are distracting. A lot of them talk about where we're going — they're not necessarily reflective of where we are. While a lot of the evolution of ad tech and offline measurement is exciting, the reality today is that there's a significant gap between what marketers know about consumers' behavior online and offline.

We're all enamored with the extraordinary growth of Amazon and the significant growth in ecommerce, but most purchases still happen offline. And the challenge is that commerce is switching from offline to online in a more accelerated fashion.

Over time, we'll stop looking at online to offline as two separate experiences, especially considering that consumers have a smartphone with them all the time.


Is location data key to closing that gap?

Interview conducted on April 4, 2018