Mobile

Do mobile ads actually send people to physical stores? Placed Attribution will tell you

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You can tell if people are clicking on your mobile ads, but if that ad drives them to visit a physical store rather than your online store, how can you tell?

Placed Attribution, the latest product from location analytics company Placed, will tell you. The company is tapping into its location smarts to measure exactly how ads drive in-store visits — it’s basically creating a whole new metric to track mobile ad conversions.

“Today people typically attribute location [in response to ads] either through a survey, or some type of coupon download event,” David Shim, Placed’s founder and chief executive, said in an interview with VentureBeat. “With us, we see 1,000 locations per panelist per day, we have a model built out with where they go in the physical world.”

Placed grabs its location data from an opt-in panel of mobile users in a variety of ways: through its Placed Panels app, which offers up rewards for tracking your location; through the Give 2 Charity app, which lets you donate to charity by sharing your location; and through integration in other apps. Shim tells me Placed is now tracking more than 100 million new locations every day (that’s impressive progress, considering that last year it took Placed around two months since launch to reach 1 billion locations).

With Placed Attribution, the company will issue reports to customers that track in-store visits tied to mobile ad impressions and detail how much those ad-driven visits compare to typical store visitors, and it can also break down demographic information. It’s basically the same sort of metrics you see for tracking online visitors, just shifted to the real world.

“If you have an app that’s measuring location data in the background that doesn’t require anyone to check-in, you’re going to get more accurate data in terms of where people are throughout the day,” Shim noted.

Shim said he didn’t initially prioritize developing Placed Attribution. But after marketers started clamoring for some way to connect digital ad spend to the physical world, he saw the opportunity to offer something completely new, powered by Placed’s core location analytics business.

Seattle-based Placed has 15 employees and has raised around $3.4 million in funding from Madrona Venture Group and others. The company won the top prize for infrastructure startups at our MobileBeat innovation contest in last year.


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