NinthDecimal Joins Tapad On Solving Online-To-Offline ROI For Location Ads

The deal follows a mix of recent alliances among companies promising mobile ad effectiveness in retail settings.

NinthDecimal's Michael Fordyce
NinthDecimal’s Michael Fordyce

The competition — and deal-making — among mobile ad platforms is continuing to heat up, as location ad targeter/mobile measurement provider NinthDecimal and cross-platform player Tapad are teaming up to deliver metrics on whether online ads are driving in-store traffic and sales.

The arrangement brings Ninth Decimal’s mobile-based LCI platform, which tracks in-store sales lift and is based on location analytics from the San Francisco company’s publisher partners, together with cross-device data from The Tapad Device Graph. In all, the goal is to extend offline attribution of ads that reach consumers across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

The partnership follows several other deals both companies have made in the area of online-to-offline attribution. In March, NinthDecimal struck an exclusive relationship with media shop ZenithOptimedia with the lofty aim of creating “a new standard of omnichannel measurement and audience insights” for the Publicis Groupe’s media agency clients.

“Marketers need to understand how effective their campaigns are across all devices,” said Michael Fordyce, CEO of NinthDecimal, in a statement. “Our Tapad partnership is the next step in extending NinthDecimal’s LCI platform as the measurement standard for all types of media, and offers brands with a complete picture of campaign performance across all their digital advertising.”

While NinthDecimal has continued building its connection with ZenithOptimedia, in April, Tapad formalized its association with location analytics provider Placed for the same purpose of proving to clients that online, geo-targeted ads can be measured effectively.

Tapad’s work with both companies appears complementary. Where NinthDecimal ingests data from its publisher partners, Placed’s main metrics product, Placed Attribution, is based on a panel model that includes more than 600,000 active opted-in mobile app users — Placed notes that number represents 1 in 450 adults in the US. In addition to Tapad, that metric is also used by over 80 publishers, networks, and demand side platforms, including IPG Mediabrands, DigitasLBi, Horizon Media, DataXu, Drawbridge, and TapJoy.

This summer, the Seattle company released a second measurement product, Placed Revenue, which is able to determine whether a mobile user saw an ad. From there, the Seattle startup records data from offline purchases and then matches that to devices that displayed the initial ad.

The race to offer the most comprehensive set of location, online-to-offline metrics is showing no signs of slowing. And the best way to demonstrate value to potential retail clients is to have strong partnerships, especially at the agency level, since that’s the where ad budget allocation decisions are made.

For example, in February, NinthDecimal and Placed rival location analytics provider PlaceIQ offered to provide a greater degree of autonomy to the automated media buying programs that agencies increasingly employ to target clients’ ads both online and offline by allowing all its Madison Ave. partners direct access to its location analytics software.

Tapad's Are Traasdahl
Tapad’s Are Traasdahl

Last month, PlaceIQ updated its one of its main metrics products in a direct appeal to major brands and to the agencies, publishers, and ad distribution players who serve them. With the update, dubbed Enterprise PVR, auto manufacturer Audi joined the geo-data based measurement company’s existing agency partner Starcom MediaVest Group to test out the new version of the tech company’s Place Visit Rate, which was released three years ago as “a real-world KPI” that measures in-store ROI related to digital ads.

With more companies entering the proximity marketing space and more businesses looking for proof that online ads can lead to in-store sales, expect more tech companies in the space to find ways of working together.

“With the explosion of devices and content channels, truly understanding what’s working is essential to getting the most value from marketing,” said Are Trandahl, Founder and CEO, Tapad, in a statement. “Combining cross-device insights with a leading measurement solution like LCI is a great example of the next-level, innovative solutions available for today’s marketers.”

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.