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How Simpli.Fi Geo-Fenced The NBA Finals

Live sporting events such as the NBA Finals are a hot spot for marketers," says Simpli.Fi CEO Frost Prioleau. "Rather than shelling out large budgets to get in front of fans on TV, companies of all sizes [can] leverage mobile location data in order to target fans across devices and at certain locations."

Approximately 20,000 people attended each game of the 2018 NBA Finals — and unsurprisingly, most of them were on their mobile devices, sharing pictures on social media, searching for stats, and effectively creating a treasure trove of data.

As such, local programmatic and DSP platform Simpli.Fi used its suite of location tools to geofence the arenas where the finals were held, a move aimed at showcasing how marketers might reach their ideal target market at specific locations during a designated time frame.

“Live sporting events such as the NBA Finals are a hot spot for marketers,” Frost Prioleau, CEO of Simpli.Fi, told GeoMarketing in a conversation at Cannes Lions. “Rather than shelling out large budgets to get in front of fans on TV, companies of all sizes [can] leverage mobile location data in order to target fans across devices and at certain locations.”

GeoMarketing: Since we’re here at Cannes Lions, what are the most important trends you’re seeing or hoping to learn about at Cannes this year — especially from a location-based marketing standpoint?

Frost Prioleau: Cannes is an extension of the trends that we see back in the U.S. Trends and hot topics of interest addressed this year relate to personalization, addressability, flight to quality, and interest in OTT/CTV.

Additionally, going forward, I predict that there will be discussion of how the industry will further apply location data to advertising, attribution, and analytics. I think we will see many improvements in this area in the coming years, and will likely unfold an opportunity to tie location data to TV targeting.

In other news, Simpli.Fi recently joined the DPAA. What was the impetus for that move, and how do you feel it expands your purview going forward?

We see numerous benefits to joining DPAA, including lead generation and networking, as well as access to events, best practices, case studies and research. We are excited to be working with Barry Frey, DPAA President & CEO, and his team and are excited to have a seat at the table in contributing to digital out-of-home growth.

You just worked on several geo-fencing campaigns during the NBA finals. How were these campaigns planned — and why do you feel that geo-fencing is still a particularly effective tactic, especially when it comes to live events? Additionally, how has the sophistication of location-targeted ads increased over the past year or so, in your mind?

We perform various data analysis throughout the calendar year to show our Geo-Fencing product suite in action. The NBA Finals was a perfect use case for us to show how Geo-Fencing with Event Targeting can help marketers reach their ideal target market at specific locations during a designated time frame.

Live sporting events such as the NBA Finals are a hot spot for marketers: Rather than shelling out large budgets to get in front of fans on TV, companies of all sizes [can] leverage mobile location data in order to target fans across devices and at certain locations.

The sophistication of location-based targeting has advanced significantly. Not only is it more personalized, triggering dynamic creative content from GPS locations; it is also more addressable, enabling more and more precise geo-fences. Over the past quarter alone, driven by the performance delivery of our Geo-Fencing product suite, the number of geo-fences activated on Simpli.fi’s platform grew by 217 percent, resulting in over 1.5 million more Geo-Fences in Q1 2018 as compared to Q1 of 2017. Lastly, location-based targeting has become more accurate. Marketers now have much better tools to vet and verify location data accuracy. There are high-quality sources of data, including GPS-derived data, as well as better screening for filtering out much of the poor-quality data.

Location data has become an important resource for marketers to reach the right audience at the right time through the ubiquitous use of mobile data and location services. With our geo-fencing technology suite, advertisers can use location data for competitive intelligence, customer experience improvements, and attribution measurements. Advertisers are able to target users based on physical locations, measure “last mile” conversions at physical locations, measure lift in foot traffic driven from online campaigns, and more.

Any metrics from those NBA campaigns that you can share?

Yes, there were a ton of findings from this data pull.

Relevant findings include that although the number of mobile users only increased slightly (1.82 percent) during Game 2 as compared to during Game 1, there was a significant increase in mobile users during game time play in the latter half of the series, resulting in an 84.95 percent increase during Game 3 as compared to Game 2, and a 30.04 percent increase during Game 4 as compared to Game 3.

Additionally, as the series progressed, we noticed an uptick in mobile users within the arenas during pre-game hours as fans arrived early in anticipation for the next big game to tip-off.

These spikes can likely be attributed to increased activity on mobile devices before and during the games as the hype of the 2018 NBA Finals built – snapping pictures, posting or sharing on favorite apps, and more – many of which capture and share location data in order to provide the user with a more relevant experience.

As such, our Event Targeting solution can help marketers of all sizes to build a dynamic mobile audience based on a specific location and time frame and reach them with targeted ads instantly or up to 30 days after the event.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of GeoMarketing.com. A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.