Maps platforms aren't just for helping consumers find their way. They also offer a wealth of data for advertisers that want to do more advanced location targeting. Peter Lenz, senior geospatial analyst at data science company Dstillery, spoke with eMarketer's Yory Wurmser about how advertisers are using data from maps to reveal trends and improve ad targeting, and what they need to watch out for while doing so. Lenz was interviewed as part of eMarketer's July report, "Maps and Navigation Apps: Discovery, Exploration Features Open Up Ad Opportunities."
How are your clients using maps today?
There are a bunch of different use cases, and they depend on the client. Our advertising clients often wonder, who is actually clicking on their ads? Where are their customers coming from? And how does this compare with the population of the US? If you're running a national campaign, you'd expect to have more clicks in New York City than you would in Iowa. But if you see a mismatch between population distribution and actual response, what can that tell you about who's interacting with your brand?
Beyond that, our clients are often interested in basic questions, such as, who are the people living in or visiting a particular place? That can be two very distinct populations. The people who live in a place that's close to an office park are very different than the people who drive there every day to go to work, for example.
Do you license maps from another company, or have you built your own?