Location-Smart SDKs: Demanding Better Data for the UK Mobile Marketplace

Posted on: Sunday 03 September 2017 | Paul Lyonette

Paul Lyonette, VP Sales International, at Verve writes about location-smart SDK's.

In the UK, the SDK is perhaps mobile marketing’s best-kept secret. 

The software development kit is a key tool for app developers and marketers. It sits directly on the device, extracting the most accurate and precise data from premium publisher apps and providing the best audience profile data for advertisers. 

The SDK is a rich source of first-party consumer data as well. Accessing that data — a permission that consumers, especially younger consumers, increasingly grant if the experiences they receive in return are relevant and meaningful — makes the SDK an on-device trove of highly accurate and granular information about location history and what location insights can highlight about consumer behaviors, preferences, and shopping cycles over time.

The role of the SDK is at the heart of the data story. In a study commissioned by Verve, analysts at ExchangeWire evaluated current perceptions of location data when it comes to accuracy and precision. When asked what was the most important factor in deciding whether to use data in the planning or targeting of mobile campaigns, two thirds said it would be accuracy plus the precision of the data. While the terms accuracy and precision are similar, they are not interchangeable; accuracy provides a ‘true’ measure, however it lacks in granularity. Precision provides granular intelligence to the accuracy measurement, thus improving confidence in where that device has traveled. It is the marriage of the two that provides the most meaningful outcomes for mobile advertising. Indeed, 57% of media buyers said utilizing both accurate and precise data is a key focus in improving ad relevance, helping to increase ROI. 

Given this demand for accurate and precise data — with footfall measurement, dwell times, and location confidence being key focus areas for marketers — media buyers and sellers must turn to SDKs rather than exchanges (which generate third-party data that is often noisy and in need of significant cleansing) to fulfill their needs. 

That in mind, the new study looked carefully at SDK-adoption rates. Only about half (51%) of the polled mobile-ad sellers — and less than half (47%) of the buy-side respondents — said they knew about the benefits of the software development kit. It’s clear to see, for many respondents the SDK remains in the shadow of the more widely known open mobile-ad exchange. Further education is needed to help advertisers and publishers unlock the power of the SDK.

What we know for certain, however, is that for the other half (approximately) — representing SDK-savvy respondents in this study — business outcomes begin to shift when the SDK is foregrounded in marketing’s approach. A remarkable 87% of UK respondents cited increased mobile ad yield resulting from the integration of location-smart SDK technology into their campaigns. 

If driving success in location-based marketing depends on the smart marriage of good data sets with cutting edge technology and analytics, then SDKs are crucial to creating a better understanding of consumer movement and behavior. The software development kit is at the core of this process, helping to weave connective threads between people, places, and behaviors over time. It is inarguably the future of mobile marketing. The promise of the SDK, and the data it generates will take us to that future.

See the research here. 

Written by

Paul Lyonette

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