Placed Connects In-Store Attribution To Out-Of-Home

After creating a Cross Device Marketplace to measure mobile-to-desktop conversions, David Shim wants to show how digital billboards can lift retail foot traffic as well.

App-oriented store visitation analytics platform Placed has signed on a mix of media buyers and out-of-home agencies to prove that the oldest form of location-based advertising can complement mobile and desktop to deliver consumers into brick-and-mortar stores.

“Placed Attribution for OOH” launches with four of the largest OOH media buying and planning agencies in the US: Dentsu/Aegis’ Posterscope, IPG/Mediabrands’ Rapport, WPP Group’s Kinetic, and independent Horizon Media, which is an existing Placed partner, as are billboard operator Clear Channel Outdoor and in-theater ad network National CineMedia.

The decision to expand its in-store analytics coverage to the OOH comes as Placed attempts to advance — or perhaps capitalize — on the idea that “location-based optimization” (understanding the using location as a factor can generate store traffic and sales) as important, if not more so, than search engine optimization and management are for pretty much every brand.

“This single currency approach enables marketers to not be limited to a single channel, but rather plan and optimize across multiple mediums to drive the best performance when it comes to offline actions,” Placed’s Shim says.

Certainly, the past few months have seen a number of geomarketing-oriented platforms, such as Gimbal, SITO Mobile, xAd , among others, pursue deals with dedicated OOH players as brands’ desire for full cross-channel marketing intensifies.

Solving The Viewability Question, Too

“Horizon Media engaged Placed to reimagine Placed Attribution, which measures digital ad exposures to in-store visitation, for our client’s out-of-home (OOH) campaigns,” said Jill Nickerson, SVP, Director of OOH at Horizon Media, in a statement. “With a currency that delivers attribution for both digital and OOH, Placed was able to measure double-digit cross campaign lift resulting in millions of incremental visits to our client’s retail locations. With the addition of OOH, Placed Attribution is our preferred ad to in-store measurement solution across desktop, mobile, and now OOH.”

For the most part, this new analytics product simply extends Placed’s relationship with the related units of other media buying shops, Placed CEO/Founder David Shim told GeoMarketing.

Billboard advertising“In many cases, these agencies and their holding companies — Denstu Aegis, WPP, IPG — also manage the digital media buying and planning for those same advertiser using Placed Attribution,” Shim said. “By having a common currency across digital (mobile and desktop) and outdoor, Placed is able to deliver an omnichannel attribution solution to advertisers that to date hasn’t been available. This single currency approach enables marketers to not be limited to a single channel, but rather plan and optimize across multiple mediums to drive the best performance when it comes to offline actions.”

On top of that, Shim, is also staking claim to what he said is a “patent-pending approach to viewability that goes beyond proximity and takes into account angle, distance, and direction.”

Vying For In-Store Attribution Standard Via Agency Deals

In other words, besides tracking whether a consumer is in proximity of a retail location, Placed Attribution for OOH can identify the likelihood of whether or not an OOH placement has been seen or not.

Placed's David Shim
Placed’s David Shim

Doing so presents billboard advertisers and their agencies with the same digital standard for to in-store visitation that has come to be expected from mobile channels.

“Placed’s solution has allowed Clear Channel Outdoor to demonstrate the power of OOH advertising by measuring real-world consumer behavior,” said Andy Stevens, SVP Research and Insights at Clear Channel Outdoor, in the release accompanying Placed’s news. “Placed can map OOH views to offline behavior, measured through store visits or brand surveys and we have already been able to show significant campaign ROI across multiple verticals. This partnership represents our continued commitment to making OOH more addressable and measurable through best-in-breed data providers.”

Beyond Awareness To OOH Ad Effectiveness

Looked at another way, OOH has mostly been a brand awareness medium, since determining whether or not seeing a giant billboard on a building or roadside tends to rely on estimates and best guesses.

“By enabling media buyers and sellers to quantify the impact of their outdoor ad spend, it transitions the conversation from branding to direct response, which will result in more investment in the space,” Shim told GeoMarketing.

Using an app-based location measurement system that rewards users for sharing their location with virtual rewards and the ability to support a favorite charity, Placed measures over 600 million latitude and longitude pairs sourced from 1 in 300 adults in the US. Unlike most data management platforms which use various smartphone signals to register a person’s location through a device’s unique ID, Placed can claim it “represents the largest audience in the world that has opted in to persistent location measurement.”

In addition to the usual first party geo-data with directly measured sensors readings including accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass, Placed believes all those layers can sort out which shoppers have been led to walk into a shop via their connection to seeing an OOH ad.

“In the past 12 months we’ve seen a material uptick in advertisers asking us to extend Placed Attribution into OOH,” Shim said. “OOH advertisers and media companies continue to push for measurement beyond proximity, and Placed Attribution delivers against that demand by introducing a viewability metric combined with ROI metrics including store visits, purchases, and revenue.”

Toward Greater Consumer Insights, Understanding

Ultimately, the value that Placed is building into OOH media is not just the ability to target a shopper in real-time — although it does present that potential — but it also allows a deeper level of understanding a consumer’s interests and profile beyond basic demographics and the attributes associated with someone’s online web usage.

“NCM is the largest cinema network in the country,” said Sunil Soman, VP for Strategic Insight and Analytics at NCM. “Our unique position is that we are a fully national sight-sound-and-motion video network with our ads consumed near retail locations — so it was critical for us to prove the impact that ads in our FirstLook pre-show had on store visits.”

Placed worked with NCM, which represents 1,600 theaters and is second to rival cinema ad net Screenvision’s 2,200 movie houses, to not only use direct measurement for theater visits, but also helped it organize surveys to understand the movie viewed. That, in turn, let the movie chain network tie that back to ads served and ultimately to brick-and-mortar retail visits.

“With a recent national retail campaign for example, Placed was able to confirm that 17.2 percent of those exposed to the ad visited the retailer’s physical location within 5 days,” Soman said.

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.