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What Is MRC Location Data Accreditation?

September 28, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Foursquare recently announced that they are the first MRC-accredited location intelligence company. This accreditation requires Foursquare to “adhere to the Location-Based Advertising Measurement Guidelines, issued by the MRC (Media Rating Council), the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Mobile Marketing Association.” But what are the Location-Based Advertising Measurement Guidelines, and what is MRC location data accreditation?

What Is MRC Location Data Accreditation?

Greg Sterling at Martech Today explains that when deployed effectively, mobile location data “can be used to understand real-world customer behavior, purchase intent, brand affinity and as a versatile targeting tool for online and mobile campaigns.” However, quality and accuracy consistency challenges have been an ongoing problem with mobile-location data.

Shutterstock_529436278  Woman hand using mobile smartphone searching location on map and pin above blue tone city scape and network connection, internet of things, satellite navigation system app, smart journey concept

Recently, the decline of third-party cookies has led to mobile location data becoming increasingly popular. Enter MRC (Media Rating Council), who in 2017, with the collaboration of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), sought to put rules around the use of location-based data and offer accreditation based on those guidelines. The three organizations (MRC, MMA and IAB) created, for the benefit of the industry, “a set of recommended practices to serve as a guide in the collection and reporting of location-based data,” according to a statement released at the time the “Location-Based Advertising Measurement Guidelines” were finalized.

MRC location data is mobile location data that is delivered through an accredited location intelligence company, with Foursquare being the first company accredited to provide MRC location data.

What Are The MRC Location-Based Advertising Measurement Guidelines?

Broadly speaking, the MRC Location-Based Advertising Measurement Guidelines, as described by IAB at the time they were finalized, define: “Location-based measurement terms, recommended research practices and disclosures concerning the assignment of device or user location for use in digital advertising measurements. As such, the [MRC Location-Based Advertising Measurement] Guidelines also will serve as a benchmark by which those organizations who engage in such measurement practices can seek to have their services voluntarily validated through an independent third-party auditing process.”

Why Is MRC Location Data Relevant For Digital Marketers?

In the waning days of third-party cookies, trusted, reliable data will become even more critical to digital marketers seeking to deploy geotargeted, local marketing strategies. With location-based data from accredited sources, brands and retailers can serve ads to consumers when they enter specific zip codes or use geographical factors to tailor campaigns, curate messaging and launch promotions. 

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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