Placed Challenges Ad Exchanges On First-Party Location Data

With 190-plus ad tech/publishing partners and store visitation data from 2.3 million active users, Placed is seeking the mantle of industry standard when it comes to determining location ad effectiveness.

Store visitation analytics platform Placed is continuing to rack up partners on the buy side and the sell side, building up the scale of its first-party geo-data as 2.3 million active app users share their location information on a daily basis.

Placed CEO David Shim says the Seattle company now measures 1 in 100 adults in the U.S., who share over 2 billion first-party locations every day. This is more first party locations than generated on all the U.S. ad exchanges combined, Shim says.

Plus, it has also added over a dozen new ad tech partners that are taking advantage of the Placed Attribution analytics platform to power online-to-offline ad effectiveness on behalf of their own clients.

Vying For Location Ad Industry Standard Measurement

The new partners using Placed Attribution include AccuWeather, AdSupply, Choicestream, Evite, Eyeview, MedicxMedia, Mobilewalla, Netmining, Parsec, Sharethrough, Unlockd, Woven, and Connexity, the parent of cross-platform insights provider Hitwise. For those counting, that brings the number of tech and advertising agency partners employing Placed Attribution to 190.

For Placed, the number of partners represents an endorsement of its bid to be recognized as the industry standard for online-to-offline, location-based ad effectiveness.

“With the addition of these new partners, Placed continues down the path of the most widely available attribution solution in market,” Shim told GeoMarketing. “This is a win for advertisers to have a single currency for measurement across their entire plan, and publishers to have a trusted and unbiased third party attribution solution that agencies and brands agree is best in class.”

Avoiding Analytics/Ad Sales Conflict

Placed Attribution continues to evolve based on current and future market demands, Shim added. With 50 percent of the company classified as an Engineer or Data Scientist, Placed is “committed to investing in extending its lead as the market leader in ad to in-store attribution,” Shim said.

Noting its singular focus on attribution, Shim insisted that Placed isn’t distracted with multiple business lines that extend into things like ad sales. Placed does not, and will not, sell advertising, Shim said, suggesting that companies who engage in both analytics and media sales have an inherent appearance of conflict.

Even as Placed continues to expand the number of locations, consumers, and ad tech companies it covers, the question of whether it can offer the kinds of instant and overwhelming real-time scale that ad exchanges promise remains a question. But Shim has a ready answer.

“Placed continues to invest aggressively in building the largest double opt-in location audience in the world as we firmly believe this is required to deliver the most accurate measurement of store visits, and maintain the gold standard in consumer privacy,” Shim said. “On average Placed measures a 1,000 location per user per day, while those using exchange based data are limited to 3-to-5 high quality locations per day, effectively seeing only 0.50 percent of locations a person generates in a day.”

Don’t Kill The Click

The growth of online-to-offline advertising has prompted a greater demand for knowing whether an ad actually drove an in-store visit. As those changes become more embedded in brands’ budgeting process, that is likely to draw questions about the way location-based ads are priced.

Specifically, will the drive toward location-based ads change the focus from traditional CPM-based (aka, “how many pairs of eyes actually saw an ad?”) to cost-per-action/in-store visit models?

In other words, do clickthrough rates still matter when companies like Placed can measure whether someone who saw an ad decided to go to a store as a result?

For his part, Shim is not ready to “kill the click.”

“Placed continues to see no direct correlation between CTR and store visitation,” Shim said. “When it comes to optimizing to offline actions, we’re seeing marketers utilizing location, demographics, time, device data, and business visited in lieu of clickthroughs.”

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.