Bid Stream Beef’n

We want you to think about the source of your location data the same way you think about the source of your food. We are giving you full permission to be snobby about your data, much like your friend is snobby about not eating at any restaurant that isn’t farm-to-table. Yeah, you may have to pay a premium for higher quality, but you’re going to feel a hell of a lot better afterward compared to eating mystery meat and month-old vegetables.

Buckle up because we have some beef with bid stream data and we are ready to spill the tea.

At the most basic level, bid stream data is not as high-quality or accurate as data coming from an SDK. So, basing a marketing campaign on bid stream data probably won’t yield as drastic of results as it would if they used SDK data.

With this information, you might wonder why anyone would use bid stream at all. The answer is simple- bid stream was all that was available when these data companies were starting out 6–8 years ago. And, although that doesn’t seem like that long ago, the location data realm (and society as a whole) has evolved immensely between then and now. Don’t believe me? 8 years ago, you heard Party Rock Anthem for the first time on your way home from buying the new iPhone 4. Times have changed my friend.

As the location data space continues to evolve and mature, it is expected that regulations will arise to ensure transparency and fair use. With the emergence of GDPR and similar legislation, bid stream data will decrease in use, stopping resellers from collecting data with low standards in terms of compliance with regulations, data quality, and data source. Unfortunately, these characteristics currently parallel the majority of the firms in the industry.

On the flip side, there are first party firms in the industry (making up the minority) who collect data using more accurate SDKs. These firms own their data, so they are able to directly enforce privacy. Additionally, these firms are held to a higher standard in the sense that they are required to comply with rules and regulations within the space- the biggest of which is giving users the power to control their own data.

Now, what are you supposed to do with all of this? As a first party firm in the industry, X-Mode’s goal is to collect the best, most useful data for our clients, so they can create the best products. Knowing this, why don’t marketers care about the quality of their data? In the current state of the industry, most salespeople have the mentality of pitching their low-quality data to marketers, banking on the assumption that the marketer does not understand that they are being sold low-quality data. So, it won’t be until marketers collectively make an effort to care about/purchase high-quality data, that bid stream and resellers will have to cut the BS and start providing high-quality data- supply and demand at its finest.

In summary, it’s important for marketers to be educated on this topic and truly care where their data is coming from. Sure, it’s cheap and easy to get Wendy’s 4 for $4, but it pays off to go to a steakhouse. And that’s the tea.


By: Caroline Shelquist