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Ezra Doty, of Quorum, on using location data to identify and market to high-intent audiences

I had a fascinating, in-depth conversation with Ezra Doty, CEO and Founder of Quorum, a New York-based company whose products let advertisers target high-intent audiences based on their real-world shopping behavior. Like myself, Ezra is a bit of an “Internet Old Timer,” having served at many cutting-edge companies prior to founding Quorum, including Think Realtime, Dealer.com, the Universal Music Group, Vevo.com, Revenue Science, and others.

Ezra and I chat about his background, and then get into the nitty-gritty of how mobile device data collection enables a kind of targeted advertising that’s proven to be extremely effective in practice. He explains that the data collected from mobile devices is limited to latitude, longitude, GPS coordinates, timestamp, and anonymous ID, regardless of whether the device is iOS or Android. He emphasizes that the company does not collect any personally identifiable information and maintains a strict separation between anonymous mobile data and personally identifiable information.

We discuss how the ad calls from browser-based devices are very different from SDK-delivered ad calls, with Ezra noting that “the difference really, with SDK based (ad calls) is that it is only as accurate as the blue dot on your phone… it’s not perfect. Sometimes you’re on the other side of the building, or whatever, but it’s pretty close. And that’s the degree of accuracy we have with SDK-based (ad calls). ”

One thing that’s fascinating about gathering and analyzing location data is that it provides the marketer with opportunities to discover unexpected insights, for example, the likelihood that individuals making multiple visits to a store such as Home Depot within a certain time range may also be in-market for other goods and services of interest to homeowners. Ezra and I discuss the power of such correlations and other insights derived from studying cross-shopping behavior.

Ezra is a strong exponent of retargeting customers who have visited a brand’s physical stores, as they are more likely to convert than website visitors, and we trade notes on this, as well as how competitive conquesting, where a brand targets customers of competitors, can be achieved using location-based data. As Ezra notes, “conquesting is obviously big… lifestyle targeting, you know: I want to target somebody who was at a ski resort or a golf course or amusement park — you can think about a lot of use cases around that.”

Ezra has high hopes for his company in 2024 and beyond and sees major opportunities in applying Quorum’s technology to CTV advertising. As he stated recently in a column for the website of the National Association of Advertisers, “while 2024 will pressure advertisers and publishers to develop innovative ad solutions to boost revenue and streamline operations more than ever, those who test new ways of targeting, embrace a collective data approach, and turn on the power of local will be primed to win.”

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