Snap Buys Placed To Improve Offline Ad Attribution

What Happened
On Monday, Snap Inc. announced its acquisition of Placed, a mobile location analytics startup that delivers location-driven consumer insights. Placed gathers its data from a panel of mobile users who opted in to allow the startup to track their whereabouts in return for small cash payments. By acquiring Placed, Snap Inc. can benefit from its data to gain audience insights and measure the offline effectiveness of its ads.

In related news, the Venice, CA-based company also bought a drone manufacturer, Ctrl Me Robotics, last month, hinting at the possibility of developing a selfie-drone for Snapchatters.

What Brands Need To Do
Back in April, Snapchat launched a “Snap to Store” attribution service, which lets brands see if their ad campaigns on Snapchat is successful at driving people to visit their brick-and-mortar stores. Buying Placed will undoubtedly buff up Snapchat’s offline attribution and help the popular messaging app better make its case to retail advertisers. If your brand is thinking about advertising on Snapchat, this acquisition should come as welcome news. Placed is remaining independent and will continue serving its existing client base and all data is separate from Snapchat. 


Disclosure: The Lab’s parent company Interpublic invested a minority stake in Placed in 2014.

Source: AdWeek

Placed Is Exchanging Frequent Flyer Miles For Location Data

What Happened
Location data analytics firm Placed launched an app called Frequent Flyer that aims to help it acquire more consumer location data by offering users frequent flyer miles in exchange. By opting in to allowing Placed to collect location data, users can rack up frequent flyer miles for four major U.S. airlines. Placed is hoping the app will bring in some extra consumers to improve its in-store attribution accuracy.

What Brands Need To Do
With consumer data being the fuel that powers ad targeting, campaign measurement, and, in Placed’s case, offline attribution, advertisers and brands are constantly trying new ways to acquire consumer data either by themselves or via partnerships. As consumers become increasingly aware of the value of their data and related privacy concerns, brands and advertisers will need to work harder to get the user data they need. For brands, this means finding new ways to add value to their services so as to get people to volunteer their data and to provide consumers with extra utility, convenience, and personalization enabled by their data.


Source: GeoMarketing

How Las Vegas Used Placed To Track Pandora Ad Effectiveness

What Happened
Las Vegas used Pandora to promote the electronic dance music (EDM) artists playing in Vegas hotels and clubs in the hope of luring EDM fans to visit the city, and it worked! The campaign, which targeted seven U.S. markets between October 2014 and September 2015, drove a 6% lift in travel to Las Vegas among Pandora listeners. That lift was estimated to generate an additional $110 million in tourism revenue for the city. Pandora came to this discovery by cross-referencing its data of logged-in users with data from Placed, a mobile measurement firm that specializes in location data and online-offline attributions.

What Brands Need To Do
Typically, Placed is focused on providing attribution solutions for retailers to help them link online impressions with store visits, but this campaign proves that Placed can also assist in improving ad measurement and attribution for brands in other industries as well. Similar campaigns can be created for auto brands to track ad effectiveness in driving dealership visits, or for movie studios to see how their ads are driving box office sales. By linking digital ads with offline activities, brands can better understand how their ads are performing and adjust their campaign accordingly.

Full Disclosure: The Lab’s parent agency Interpublic has a minority stake in Placed.


Source: AdWeek

Get Ready For A New Industry Standard for Mobile and In-Store Measurement

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, six ad agencies, including IPG Mediabrands, recently selected Placed’s attribution product as the preferred tool for digital to in-store measurement, signaling a rising industry standard for mobile measurement.  As part of the partnership, the agencies will also get access to Placed’s insights tool that provides location analytics and examines customer traffic patterns.

Such new industry standard is both necessary and inevitable, considering the increasing prominence of smartphones in consumers’ everyday lives and the industry’s lack of efficient tools for mobile-to-store measurement. “We really look at attribution as a metric that’s going to help grow the category of mobile and give clients more confidence in mobile,” remarked our managing partner Chad Stoller, when IPG took a minority stake in Placed in September last year.

A confluence of new technology trends – from new, more intimate interfaces and advanced curation filters to hyperlocal technologies – is emerging as an unprecedented kind of measurable intimacy that connects brands with the modern consumers through their personal mobile devices. And the industry needs to keep up in this new trend by embracing new mobile measurement tools so as to better serve their audience with contextualized and relevant brand messages.


Editor’s Note: updated on 2/20/2014 to better reflect our 2015 Outlook.

Managing Partners Of IPG Media Lab At Dmexco

Our managing partners David Rosenberg and Chad Stoller are present at the German ad tech convention Dmexco. Chad took the stage yesterday in the “Future in Five” panel and talked specifically about utilizing new technology to reinvent out-of-home advertising. During his presentation, he highlighted the universality of outdoor advertising, the Lab’s recent efforts in programmatic outdoor buying and IPG’s recent investment in mobile measurement company Placed.

Watch the video of Chad’s great presentation via embedded video above (from 7:42 ~ 13:05)

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.