Placed’s Proposition To App Users: Share Your Location, Get Frequent Flyer Miles

To build up its in-store attribution accuracy, Placed is rolling out an app called Frequent Flyer that enables users to opt-in to location measurement in exchange for airline miles.

When it comes to providing in-store attribution the demand for greater accuracy — and less guesswork —  takes a lot of forms, while inviting questions from marketers and brands.

The persistent question about accessing consumers’ location data for the purposes of serving ads and gaining insights about the place-based patterns created by smartphone geo-data involves participation: can people be incentivized into sharing where they are and where they’ve been?

A second question addresses accuracy: how reliable and specific is such information?

Fly Me To The Store

Placed’s latest attempt to answer those questions comes in the form of an iPhone and Android app called Frequent Flyer. People who download the app are offered a simple proposition: if you agree to opting-in twice and tell Placed where you are, you’ll get frequent flyer miles in return.

Frequent Flyer is Placed’s third “double opt-in app” — Give2Charity and its Panel App are the previous two. At launch, the Seattle location attribution platform has signed up four major airlines (though the brand names have not been released).

“Airline miles and location go hand in hand,” says David Shim, Founder and CEO of Placed. “Frequent Flyer gives consumers the ability to choose who has access to their data, and provides them with a clear value exchange in airline miles.”

Frequent Flyer app images
Placed’s Frequent Flyer App

GeoMarketing: How did the concept of Frequent Flyer come about? (Aside from the panel app and Give2Charity)

David Shim:  Placed is continually exploring opportunities to expand its audience in the right way.  With Give2Charity the focus was on enabling consumers to convert their location data to charitable donations, while the Panel App supported direct payments.  Frequent Flyer was built on that same foundation of providing material value back to consumers in exchange for their location data.  This approach to target specific verticals has been successful both for our owned and operated apps, as well as our 150+ Placed Affiliate apps.

How do the benefits associated with Frequent Flyer work?

Once a user installs the app and opts in twice to share their location data, Frequent Flier runs in background to persistently measure first party location data generated by the user.  In exchange for the privilege to measure their location data, Placed compensates them with airline miles.  The goal with Frequent Flyer is to provider travelers the easiest way to accrue airlines.

Do they see this app as a complement to their respective airline loyalty programs? How does it not compete with those offerings?

Frequent Flyer enables our partner airlines to monetize their airline miles, which Placed purchases to offer as a value exchange for consumer location, and promotes traveler loyalty as they have additional avenues to accrue miles outside of purchasing an airline ticket.

Aside from downloading and sharing passive location data in exchange for discounted airline miles, does the app feature any content (either related to travel or other content)? 

Frequent Flyer is designed to be the easiest way for consumers to earn airline miles. By simply going about their day, they accrue miles on their preferred airline.  In addition to monetizing their location data, Frequent Flyer also enables users to earn more miles by sharing the apps with friends and family.

Secondly, Placed says it records 1,000 location per user per day on average. Obviously, no one purposely “visits” that many places. In terms of explaining the value of Placed’s attribution information: since a lot of this is passive data, how does Placed sift out people passing by a place to actual visits?   

With persistent location measurement though its apps, Placed directly measures a 1,000 first party latitude and longitudes per user per day. This scale of data enables Placed to move beyond a single location to identify store visits, and rather we cluster locations and sensors to identify store visits.

On average Placed sees over 80 latitude and longitudes per store visit, enabling us to differentiate between someone walking by the store, driving by the store, waiting outside of the store, or actually visiting the store.

Are there any other plans for specific vertical-oriented apps planned?

In the next 12 months expect to see more apps from Placed that target specific verticals, as well as more mass market audiences.

In terms of the measurement/attribution value of Frequent Flyer, is the goal mainly to expand the number Placed’s audience (the company’s claim is that it’s comprised of “1 in 100 US adults who share 2 billion first-party location data points”)?

Frequent Flyer adds to Placed’s audience — such as business and leisure travelers, as well as expanding the total number of users who have double-opted in to share their first party location with Placed.

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.