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How Consumers Really Feel About Location Data

Mobile users prefer apps that give them something in return

Consumers have become more comfortable sharing location details, but in the past year in particular they have also become choosier about what they’re willing to share. At the same time, marketers have a better understanding of how to use location data and which data to avoid.

By and large, a clear majority of mobile users allow their devices to track their location—many of their favorite apps depend on it. But consumers shy away from sharing location information with apps that don’t give them some value in return. Younger consumers still opt in to consumer tracking at high rates.

Data quality remains a problem, and the percentage of high-quality location data on exchanges has actually fallen. That said, marketers have much better tools to vet and verify data, and there are high-quality sources of data, including GPS directly from publishers and data service providers that filter out much of the poor-quality data.

And many are investing in location targeting. In fact, research from BIA/Kelsey found that US mobile location-targeted ad spending will more than double between 2017 and 2022.

To really benefit from the use of location data, marketers must first define their advertising goals before deciding which type of location data to use.

These insights are drawn from eMarketer's latest report, "Location Intelligence 2018: Consumer Behavior, Data Quality and Targeting Tips." The report analyzes consumer attitudes toward location data, its quality and how marketers can effectively integrate that information into their marketing campaigns. eMarketer PRO subscribers can access the full report here. Nonsubscribers can learn more here.