xAd Unveils New Platform To Help Stores Gain Insights On Foot Traffic

What Happened
On Wednesday, xAd, a New York-based mobile ad tech company, unveiled MarketPlace Discovery, a new location intelligence platform that tracks foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. Powered by the anonymized foot traffic data that xAd collects from its network of over a hundred thousand mobile apps and its proprietary Blueprints technology that charts the geo-boundaries of nearly a hundred million store locations, this platform enables brick-and-mortar businesses, especially retailers and chain restaurants, to see not only the foot traffic pattern of their own stores, but also that of their competitors. Users will also be able to see where their customers were prior to their store visit, helping them better understand the consumer journey and geographic distribution. The platform, currently in beta, is free to use and available to the public with a “more comprehensive version” planned for launch later this year.

What Brands Need To Do
The advances in smartphone adoption and location-based mobile ad tech have enabled brick-and-mortar stores to track the volume and sources of their visitors, just like what a digital shop can do with Google Analytics, in order to better understand customer behavior. This new location intelligence platform from xAd can be a great tool for brands with physical stores to gain some valuable insights on a number of things, such as how they measure up to their competitors in terms of store visits, how they can better serve their customers by anticipating the ebb and flow of store traffic, and where they should target their outdoor campaigns based on where customers are coming from.


Source: StreetFight

Snapchat Debuts “Tap To View” And “Add Nearby”

Read original story on: The Verge

Back in May, Snapchat CEO hinted at retiring “pressing down to view”, a staple feature for the popular messaging app besides overlaying texts and disappearing photos. Now with the updated app rolling out this week for iOS and Android, Snapchat user no longer need to hold a finger down to view snaps and Stories. Instead, a simple tap will now start video playback.

Moreover, the new update also brings a new “Add Nearby” feature that will let users to add fellow Snapchatters in near proximity as friends. While not entirely original, as other messaging apps such as WeChat have had similar features for a while, this is still a very savvy move for Snapchat to grow its user base. With more and more brands starting to make good use of the location-sensitive features on Snapchat, it makes perfect sense for Snapchat to do the same.

Instagram Presents New Ad Opportunities With Revamped Search Page

Read original story on: Wired

Instagram has been making strides in making its platform more brand-friendly, and earlier this week, the photo-sharing social media debuted two new features that would offer brands more ad opportunities.

Firstly, Instagram updated its search bar to include trending locations, based on the geo-tags of the trending pictures. This could easily be utilized by hospitality marketers to serve interested users with location-specific native ads.

Moreover, it also debuts a revamped Explore channel that includes Trending Tags, which organizes and presents content channels based on popular hashtags in real time. Although Instagram has yet to reveal whether brands could buy a “promoted tag” or not at the moment, history seems to suggest that it will become open to brands sooner or later.

Foursquare Leverages Location Data Into New Ad Platform

Read original story on: VentureBeat

Today Foursquare unveiled its newest ad platform, Pinpoint, which enables brands to target Foursquare users based on where they’ve been.  The platform isn’t limited to Foursquare’s apps, as the company expressed interest in opening it up for a “verified ecosystem of apps, exchanges and publishers” in the near future. A prime example of leveraging its vast user-generated location data into consumer insights, this should provide a new revenue stream for Foursquare.


Here’s How Marketers Are Using Mobile At This Super Bowl

Read original story on: Street Fight

The National Retail Federation estimates that the average American will spend $77.88 on Super Bowl-related spending this year. And this year, mobile, specifically location-based mobile ads, is playing an important role. Unlike the winter holidays where consumers often turn to online shopping, the bulk of the Super Bowl spending is centered on in-store CPG purchases such as food and beverages, where mobile-enabled hyperlocal marketing shines.

Besides using the data collected from devices to measure effectiveness of television advertising, mobile can also be utilized by brands to cash in on the awareness generated by a television spot by serving users more targeted ads in the days after the game.


Vistar Media Teams Up With AirSage To Mine Carrier Data

Read original story on: Street Fight

Vistar, a digital out-of-home startup, wants to use their data to map of consumer behavior in the real world. Through a partnership with AirSage — one of few startups that have negotiated deals with carriers for this data — Vistar has developed a system which it says can allow marketers to analyze where nearly 110 million of consumers live, work and shop in an anonymized and privacy-sensitive way.

The new data product is meant to supplement the core digital out-of-home business. But the move also comes as the company launches its own mobile advertising demand-side network, and looks to find a way to compete in an increasingly crowded mobile advertising industry.



Partner Spotlight: Roximity

Roximity is a leader in the emerging space of “hyperlocal retail”: using its state-of-the-art beacon technology, the company aims to understand consumer behavior and advertising effectiveness at shelf. In the past two weeks, Roximity has released a new generation of beacon hardware with greater range, battery life, and security, in addition to partnering with shopping app giant Ibotta, which will use Roximity tech to send proximity-enabled offers on nearby products. The platform has been featured in the New York TimesUSA Today and more, and has secured partnerships with everyone from Ford to the Brooklyn Nets.

How does “hyperlocal” retail work? Will people have to “check in” at every store aisle? 

Myriad hardware and software solutions are trying to maximize the relationship between brands on the shelf and the humans that buy them. “Beacon” technology—of which Apple’s’ iBeacon is the best known—uses Bluetooth to track the location and patterns of shoppers within the aisles. This level of tracking means that retailers can learn valuable data about their shoppers, and consumers can receive messages and offers based on where they are in a store.

How does Roximity’s technology work for advertisers?

For Alex Finkel, head of partnerships at Roximity, beacons close the attribution loop. ”Groupon might have an offer to your local restaurant, but your phone won’t know you actually went there. Beacons will be an integral tool for small businesses to have insight into their customers [that] they’ve never had before.” Roximity’s beacons link up with a consumer’s mobile device to send messages, deals, or calls to action at the shelf level. Retailers can understand the effects of their advertising campaign through Roximity’s platform as it tracks user activity within a store.

What advantages does Roximity hold for consumers?

Roximity sees hyperlocal technology as a return to a more intimate relationship between consumers and retailers. In big cities, Finkel says, “all the scale and density make it impossible to know your customers in the ideal version of the local small-town store we picture. That’s the relationship we strive for, but the urban economics make it difficult.” Beacons give retailers more information and more avenues to communicate with shoppers. It’s a futuristic version of the friendly handshake from decades past. For Roximity, beacons are “a step toward the personalization that used to exist.”

With beacons, consumers can make informed decisions at the shelf level. “If it’s contextual and meaningful,” says Finkel, “it’s not an advertisement for free pizza. It becomes a meaningful way to get lunch. That’s what I think of the broad vision and promise for beacons.”

Interpublic Invests in Mobile Measurement Company Placed

The Lab is very happy to report that our parent agency Interpublic has taken a minority stake in Placed, the Seattle-based mobile attribution company that we just featured in our partner spotlight last week. Placed measures mobile ads’ effectiveness in driving customers into stores, using a panel of consumers who in exchange for rewards have agreed to share their physical location data when they download a Placed app. They currently have the largest opt-in panel of mobile location data, with more than 200,000 smartphone users.

This investment was led by The Lab, and highlights our ongoing efforts to better measure the fast-growing mobile ad market.

“Attribution is a pain point of mobile,” said Chad Stoller, managing partner of IPG Media Lab, IPG’s media innovation and investment unit that will oversee the holding company’s relationship with Placed. “How do I know this is working? There need to be better metrics when it comes to mobile.”

For IPG, the Placed investment will help clients make more efficient mobile media buys, Mr. Stoller said. IPG will work with Placed as it develops its own proprietary ad products as well as leverage Placed’s data to strategize other types of media buys for clients, he added.

Partner Spotlight: Placed

There’s a reason VentureBeat calls Placed the “location-analytics standard”: it tracks over 175,000 users worldwide via a series of opt-in apps, and catalogues their movement through over 200 million locations daily. That staggering amount of intelligence netted it $10 million in its latest round of funding this summer.

How does it work?

To acquire the data, Placed uses a variety of approaches. One notable system is Placed Panels, a mobile app that offers rewards through location-based surveys. Users, known as “Panelists,” complete surveys throughout the day, as their devices are continually tracked in the background. The Panelists are then entered to win gift cards, sweepstakes, or other incentives. There are also opportunities to use the Placed data on mobile sites or partnered apps, and with other publishers.

What happens with the data?

Placed tracks the location data from its users and packages it in helpful, easy-to-understand analytics. Retailers and advertisers can measure locations based on how many users visit, and which sort of user goes where. The data can also measure ad campaign effectiveness by counting how many users walk into a physical store.

The goal is to provide real-world information on movement, identifying which consumers move where, when, and how often. Placed has even published research connecting its data to categories like television network preference, and half of the 25 largest ad networks use Placed data.

How does Placed address privacy concerns?

Given its large and far-reaching collection of data, Placed commits to privacy best practices, early and often:

  • Explicit consent is always obtained before any data is tracked. Users may opt-out easily by uninstalling the app.
  • Placed creates a value exchange by offering incentives in return for location and device information. That way, users get something in exchange for their data.
  • Placed also anonymizes each user. It only understands the info collectively, and third parties are not able to glean specifics on any aspects of the user pool.

So users always have to opt-in, are never revealed to third parties, and get something in return. It’s a good way to ensure their data gets used correctly, and keeps everyone happy.

Breaking News App Uses Proximity Tech Right

After launching its iOS app back in June, NBC’s Breaking News app is now bringing its proximity-based news alerts to the Android platform. It clearly asks for the user’s consent to use location information to enable this feature, and provides them with an easy opt-out as well. The news could be as local as a specific neighborhood or broadened to cover cities in the wake of major stories. The app stands out for offering a highly personalized news experience coupled with well-defined privacy measures.