Getting Ready For Prime Time, Geo-Data Adds Insight To Addressable TV Ads

PlaceIQ teams with Acxiom’s LiveRamp to power location-based ads for automotive, retail, and travel brands to specific households’ set-top boxes and claiming to drive average lift in visitation of 46 percent across the three verticals.

While video is increasingly viewed on portable devices, the $70 billion spent on television ads means that the home screen is still king. But as addressable TV — the ability to target specific households with specific ads through the cable and satellite connections — is all about bringing the values of data-driven internet ads to the device that most people get their media from.

As part of that move towards “programmatic TV” advertising, geo-data specialist PlaceIQ began staking out its position beyond mobile last year in a partnership with Publicis Groupe and offline consumer data company Acxiom. The three began developing an addressable TV metrics product called SMG MAPS TV, which will aims to draw a direct line between the commercials seen by household pay TV viewers (who will otherwise remain anonymous) and mobile audiences’ brick-and-mortar shopping activity.

Now, that deal is entering phase two, as PlaceIQ and Acxiom’s digital arm, LiveRamp, have completion of a series of industry-first addressable TV campaigns and are reporting positive results across those three verticals in terms of generating an average 46 percent lift in-store visits from consumers exposed to the addressable TV ads, while the individual categories showed a range of success:

  • Retail brands saw an average lift in visitation of 70 percent
  • Automotive brands saw an average lift in dealership visitation of 50 percent
  • Tourist destinations saw an average lift in visitation of 20 percent

“As we continue to observe an industry that PlaceIQ founded through innovation more than six years ago — one that has given brands the ability to definitively quantify the effect of targeted advertising on real world visitation — we feel a tremendous sense of gratification when we observe how foot-traffic attribution continues to grow as a priority for the modern marketer,” PlaceIQ CEO and founder Duncan McCall told GeoMarketing.

“Intuitively, we know that great TV advertising is a very significant contributor to driving consumer action, especially driving foot traffic to physical locations,” added Nadya Kohl, SVP, Business Development at PlaceIQ. “In our work over the past years, we’ve been able to prove out that in some cases the lift in visitation from using traditional targeting technique on TV are dramatic. We set out to demonstrate whether Addressable TV ads would further extend the benefit in visitation lift because they are highly targeted by definition, capable of reaching very specific groups of consumers at the household level.”

In terms of what each brought to the addressable TV table, PlaceIQ provided location insight and visitation measurement, while LiveRamp provided the “privacy-safe data onboarding and connectivity services” needed to match and deliver campaign audience segments.

While the idea of location technology breaking out of being solely for mobile advertising and being able to serve as a point of connection to other media channels is becoming more common, besides extending the value of geo-data to TV, this partnership is more squarely focused on solving a bigger issue: the idea of attribution and whether or not an ad influenced someone to shop in a physical place.

Attribution Race

PlaceIQ’s and LiveRamp’s addressable TV campaign results come amid a flurry of announcements from other companies in the space promising greater insights into whether a marketer’s advertising “worked” or not.

This week, for example, Foursquare introduced an analytics product named Attribution that also showed ties between TV advertising during the Super Bowl and ads on mobile media platforms like Flipboard. Earlier this month, Placed extended its Cross Device Marketplace to include mobile connections with out-of-home ads to also demonstrate in-store ad effectiveness.

“Attribution fuels marketing success, so it isn’t surprising that there are often new entrants into the space,” McCall said. “We view it as flattering corroboration of our long-held vision. Working with scores of brands and media agencies over the past six years has shown that there is clear business value for proving ROI on ad spend.”

McCall also had some additional thoughts on Foursquare’s expanding analytics program:

“In pivoting their model, Foursquare has taken the first step in a journey through an exciting space. As they wisely ramp on a small number of test campaigns and markets, they will likely follow the same voyage of discovery we did long ago: massive scales of data that needs taming and cleaning and ‘de-frauding,’ rigorous analysis of geo-spatial databases of varying qualities, and the complexity of fusing location analytics to third party data sets.

“Add to this the obligation to bake in further domain expertise (and talent) in areas such as Sociology, Cartography, and Consumer Analytics and, finally, the ability to create products that address the unique needs of the verticals location intelligence can benefit,” McCall said. “It becomes clear that undertaking this journey isn’t for the faint of heart.”

“Given the market’s longstanding perception of Foursquare as a social network and business listings app, it will be interesting to observe their long term growth trajectory in developing a fully baked attribution approach that will let them acquire and earn the mantle of being a trusted data company,” McCall concluded. “It won’t come overnight, but we can attest that it is a worthy pursuit.”

The Question Of Scale

Aside from seeing the advertising Holy Grail with attribution, the key ingredient in ensuring full value for major retailers depends on analytics providers and ad targeters being able to demonstrate two things: one, that they are accurately reaching the right audience; and two, that they are accessing the right audience on a massive level, i.e. “scale.”

“Prior to the joint announcement between PlaceIQ and LiveRamp, what has been missing is the direct connection — at maximum scale — between those highly targeted addressable TV campaigns to real world visitation,” said Kohl. “Only by partnering between the advertiser, data manager, and location intelligence company can we unlock the enhanced value of addressable TV. It’s making the connection between a high value prospect and an authentic hand raising action, an action that is a strong proxy for potential customer acquisition.”

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.