Factual Updates Geopulse For Location Insights And Attribution Beyond Ad Targeting

"As brands begin to leverage data for a variety of business purposes, they're constantly looking at ways to use location data in different ways outside of just targeting," says Factual SVP Brian Czarny.

Factual has been working to broaden its geo-data analytics tools to keep pace with the wider marketing demands to use location signals to inform everything from consumer insights to store attribution to real estate decisions.

With that in mind, Factual rolled out updates to its Geopulse product suite last week designed to put those various use cases brands are asking for.

The two new products are Geopulse Insights, which is intended to enhance demographic information about brands’s customers based on the place history they create, and Geopulse Measurement, promises to help marketers understand the real world impact of their media investment by integrating in-store visitation data into campaign performance metrics.

Both tools are built with Factual’s technology and data assets, including Global Places, which covers more than 130 million places and points of interest around the globe, and its Observation Graph, which describes signals from more than 280 million mobile devices.

“We’re looking at different ways we can make our data more accessible and usable specifically for marketers,” says Brian Czarny, Factual’s SVP Of Marketing. “As brands begin to leverage data for a variety of business purposes, they’re constantly looking at ways to use location data in different ways outside of just targeting. And so that led us to build up the Insights product.”

How Location Informs Business Decisions

The broadening of the Geopulse product suite comes as Factual has continued to sign up programmatic ad platform partners as well as adding clients like global co-working space provider WeWork.

Last summer, WeWork was in the process of expanding the 235 office Locations it runs across 54 global cities — 23 of which are in the U.S. — the co-working operator turned to geo-data insights from Factual’s Global Places data.

Since real estate, in addition to payroll and marketing, is one of the biggest challenges that multi-location brick-and-mortar businesses face, the idea of using location analytics to do more than just drive visits to a place reflects the growing use cases of geo-data in general and Factual’s business model in particular.

“At a macro level, we are a data company and we essentially have three core market segments where we provide our analytics,” Czarny says. “One of the largest and fastest growing is certainly on the marketing side, using location data to help marketers understand customers, target customers, and then measure campaign performance through attribution.That’s a big and growing area for us. We also provide data to companies like, Uber and Facebook, Apple Maps, Amazon, and others, where they’re taking our data and building into their products or their mobile apps.

“The third area is on the analytics side,” Czarny adds. “So being able to provide data directly to companies who are interested in gaining unique business insight. They have a data assigned team who has their own data already or they’re pulling from other sources and are interested in how they can use location data to help make business decisions.”

Addressing Location Accuracy

As the use cases for location data have grown and become mainstream for most marketers, figuring out how accurate, precise, and effective those geo-data signals are remains a challenge.

For the brands, agencies, and platforms that are increasingly reliant on the promise of reaching the right consumer at the right time as marketers seek to develop ever more detailed profiles of how, when, and where people conduct their shopping, in-store attribution has becoming a singular demand and a primary area of competition among location intelligence providers.

Factual’s Geopulse Measurement is meant as Factual’s answer to marketers’ questions about digital ad effectiveness in the offline, physical world.

“The accuracy piece actually falls under a broader category of data quality,” Czarny says. “And since we started that’s been one of the primary drivers of how we go about our data. We focus very heavily on ensuring high data quality across both data sets. On the Places side for accurate point of interest information, as well as on the Observation Graph side where we get into location accuracy. And so, with those data sets we have our own technology that we built that seeks to address both of those things.”As the Geopulse additions were launched last week, Time Inc. integrated marketing shop Viant said it had initiated “a major enhancement” to its partnership with Factual. Viant, whose iconic parent was recently acquired rival media conglomerate Meredith, has been updating its location data strategy for the past year. The latest step its taken involves a direct integration with Factual that allows Viant customers to have access to real-time foot traffic measurement and industry reporting.

“Brick and mortar still accounts for roughly 90 percent of total retail sales, and 70% of shoppers are looking for interaction in physical retail environments. It is critical for brand marketers to understand how their campaigns impact both foot traffic and in-store sales,” said Viant CMO, Jon Schulz. “Our ability to ingest and link Factual’s location data to our graph provides our clients with people-based insights on which customers are visiting which stores and when, enabling marketers to optimize campaigns in-flight, when it matters most.”

Factual’s deal with Viant is billed as providing a complete picture of who is visiting a store and when, including insights into the devices and channels that are driving store visits, the DMAs and specific locations that have highest visitation, visits attributed to impressions and time lag from ad exposure to store visits.

And ultimately, if Factual’s data does connect marketing to actual foot-traffic for its and its partners clients, that’s the answer to the accuracy question.

“On the location accuracy side, we have our location validation and stack,” he adds. “It essentially goes through all the inputs that we have and throws out a high percentage of them based on poor accuracy. We’re doing a lot of the data quality processing around that location validation, post bid stream and before it ever actually enters into either our data sets or into the Geopulse products. Ultimately, the breadth of our data, and the quality of it, makes it actionable. That’s what sets us apart and we’ll keep building on that.”

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.