4INFO’s Business Model Shift Reflects Mobile Attribution’s Central Marketing Role

By making 4INFO's online/offline engagement solution open more widely, it can help brands and publishers tap into "always-on" consumers through programmatic advertising.

4INFO is continuing its evolution as a location-based analytics ad platform to encompass more customer relationship management tools as personalization and individual targeting is changing the demands of brands, agencies, and publishers.

The bottom line is that programmatic advertising and marketing has made the series of inter-connections among platform companies more intrinsic to advertising that crosses desktop to mobile and online-to-offline. As such, the San Mateo, CA.-based analytics provider is making its data onboarding solution generally available to give its clients and their own partners greater ability to seamlessly target and attribute advertising programs.

Mobile At The Center

The program is built on the company’s customer identity and engagement platform and is focused on how mobile is at the center of shoppers’ media consumption, as people spend nearly three-quarters of all digital minutes on their portable devices.

“We’re quickly seeing traction in the market since introducing our onboarding solution because our expertise in mobile is helping customers achieve higher match rates with the scale and accuracy they need to monetize data and maximize revenue,” said Mari Tangredi, general manager of 4INFO’s Identity Platform.

The main promise of 4INFO’s opening of its onboarding solution is that it will capture the shifts in mobile ad budgets. The company notes that mobile ad spending is expected to more than double desktop display, even as most identity and data onboarding solutions on the market today are rooted in desktop as a starting point for mapping people and data to devices.

“4INFO was born in mobile. More than four years ago, we solved the biggest challenge of connecting people and data to mobile devices helping marketers precisely target national mobile ad campaigns with our patented methodology,” Tangredi said. “With our onboarding rollout, we’re expanding access to this proven approach for marketers’ use across platforms and publishers.”


4INFO CEO Tim Jenkins is also making the case that partners include Kantar Worldpanel Shopcom, DataStream Group, and StatSocial have seen 3x- to 6x higher match rates.

“One of the big drivers in opening up our solution was that we had brands, advertisers come to us and say, ‘Hey, we’ve worked with you for years on a media side of the business, but we see so much marketing potential to your data and being able to work with you in a more open fashion. We want to be able to work with you directly with our CRM files. We want to be able to have a way that all of this is onboarded together so we can ingest, for example, location data and purchase data back into our own CRM system to be able to have a much greater feeling for the customer experience.’

“The other thing we heard from clients, which really prompted us to open this up, is that they said, ‘When we work with you directly, our match rates, whether I’m a third party data company like Kantar Shopcom or I am a big brand who is trying to onboard their CRM file against digital identity… When we work with you, our match rates are somewhere between four and six x what they are when we work with our other onboarding partners,'” Jenkins said. “It was kind of a no-brainer for us that we needed to work with them and enable their data in an open fashion.”

Calling All Verticals

For the last three years, 4INFO had been heavily working on its appeal to retailers and consumer packaged goods brands by being able to match UPC and SKU — the barcodes on products at the shelf-level that can then be tracked directly at the checkout line by partners like Kantar Shopcom — to mobile devices and the company’s insights on households’ consumption.

But the onboarding solution is intended for any physical business, from retail to restaurants, that wants to better get a seamless view of customers’ media and shopping information.

“This program is for every vertical out there,” Jenkins said. “If you look at the data partners that we’re working with, like Kantar Shopcom, They have a lot of transaction data that they’ve accumulated through the various loyalty programs they track. The onboarding solution works perfectly in those environments where the advertiser is focused on addressability where the advertisers focus on wanting to be able to measure the impact it has on offline sales.

“CPG is all about getting down to the UPC level, while retail is all about trying to be able to measure things at a SKU level,” Jenkins added. “But let’s talk about quick serve restaurants. QSRs want to be able to measure more broadly than single products. They’re not asking, ‘Did you buy a hamburger and fries?’ They just want to know, ‘Did you spend $25 at my restaurant?’ We can provide that answer.”


About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.