Blis’ Regina Goh on location data: ‘It’s pretty creepy, but it’s the price of your free app’

As consumers become increasingly protective of their data, marketers will face a tightening availability of location-based advertising data – but that will be “good news” for the industry, according to Blis’ Regina Goh.

The Singapore managing director of the location programmatic specialist admitted monitoring a person’s device and home address seems “pretty creepy”, but that the media and marketing industry is evolving to improve data privacy.

Speaking during the Mumbrella360 Asia conference in November, Goh stated that consumers still bore enough responsibility over their data to know the cost of a free app.

When asked by an audience member about the rise of data protectionism, she said: “I think it’s already happening. It’s pretty creepy when you know the device and where [people] live. [Protecting data] is a large part of our industry, but the rest are catching up. When I turn my location feature on Uber, Uber doesn’t use it for other things.

“But it’s all coming back to permission-based marketing. When you accept the free app that you download; if you don’t want to pay for that app, it’s sponsored by advertising. You are giving permission to give away [data].

“The way we do it is purely anonymous; we know this particular device behaviour; going to those locations and the frequency. And it’s those traits that we can segment into audience. [Privacy] is not a huge problem for us, but I think the sector is going to evolve. Smartphones and iOS are tightening the GPS sharing of their locations, allowing users to control more. But that’s good news for us, because there is so much fraud data, making up location data just so they can get higher fees.”

Speaking about how location-data is used to help marketers, in particular those in the offline retail space, she added: “Two locations define us: one is home and one is work. Home usually does a good job because you reside there a long time and you interact with media a lot when you’re home.

“It allows us to see if you’re single, have a family; at work we can see how you travel, when you travel and all the places you travel in between. It gives a sense of who else you can be. Location is at the core of your identity.

“Frequency of locations does give you an indicator of your intent and interests. If you go to a location once in 30 days, there’s a high chance you’re still in the consideration phase: how we interact with this person should be very different.

“As marketers, we do want to spend on people who give us a strong intent.”


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