Placed’s Shim: Location-Based Optimization Is The ‘SEO of 2016’

As geo-targeting and proximity marketing have become mainstream, success means proving how cross-platform, online/offline advertising delivers actual in-store sales.

As its celebrates its founding five years ago in Seattle, Placed is continuing to stake its claim as the advertising industry standard for in-store attribution across all devices. Part of that effort has entailed striking 100-plus deals with just about every major media buying agency and demand-side platform, but as David Shim, the company’s CEO and founder tells it, the plan for 2016 is shaping up much the same way.

Placed is adding between two-and-four new partners on a weekly basis, Shim told GeoMarketing, and to keep up, the company has 50 open positions.

If there is a single focus this year, Shim said that it all falls under the idea of “location-based optimization.” The term, Shim said, is meant to get advertisers and the platform companies that serve them to recognize the need to rank performance for how well marketing providers able to drive actual business to a specific place.

Since it’s well-established that every brand needs to understand how well its search engine optimization and search engine marketing strategies are doing, the concept of “LBO” is poised to become a discipline in its own right — and Shim is ready to make his case

GeoMarketing: What driven Placed’s growth over 2015 going into this year?

David Shim: It’s been a record year at Placed! Crossing over 100+ publishers, ad networks, and DSPs adopting Placed Attribution in 2015, Placed continues to solidify its position as the industry leader for in-store attribution across digital including mobile and desktop.

The agency momentum that we saw at the start of 2015 with UM, Initiative, BPN, DigitasLBi, Horizon, Essence, amongst other agencies selecting Placed as their preferred attribution solution has only compounded going into the end of the year. By delivering the only solution in market that is independent of media, utilizing proprietary first party data, Placed continues to be the preferred attribution solution for media buyers and sellers in 2015 and 2016.

locationBasedAdvertisingPlaced racked up a number of partnership deals, particularly on the agency and programmatic side. What gaps are left in terms of the kinds of players Placed works with? How does the focus on the kinds of partners Placed works with change in 2016?

In terms of new partners, Placed is averaging between two-to-four a week. On the programmatic side, Placed started as the market share leader in integrations across DSPs including RUN, Adelphic, The Trade Desk, and DataXu, and at the end of that year only continued to build on that lead with partnerships with additional DSPs and trading desks.

The uptick in demand for Placed Attribution comes as marketers are proactively looking to expand beyond the legacy metrics of clicks, app installs, and online orders to measure the real world impact of their media.

By delivering to partners a best in class solution for in-store attribution and unbiased by media sales, Placed is delivering the standard currency for offline attribution. With Placed Attribution as the standard currency, partners are measured against the same trusted metrics, while advertisers receive a consistent methodology across their entire campaign.

What does the product road map look like for 2016? Or do you mainly plan to double down and simply expand the Cross Device Marketplace?

In 2015, Placed expanded beyond measuring mobile advertising to include desktop ads with the launch of the Cross Device Marketplace.

The Cross Device Marketplace enabled advertisers and publishers to select a cross device provider (e.g., BlueCava, Crosswise, Drawbridge, Tapad) to be applied across a campaign, enabling Placed to connect desktop ad exposures to store visitation.

This expansion of Placed Attribution was something the market demanded, and quickly adopted once available. In 2015, Placed also announced the launch of Placed Revenue, where in addition to store visits, reports included purchase rate, revenue, and ROAS metrics.

Going into 2016, Location Based Optimization (LBO) is a term that Placed is coining to highlight the shift in 2016 from measurement to optimization and actionablity as it relates to location.

LBO is set to be the next SEO, SEM this upcoming year. With 90 percent of retail transactions occurring offline in the physical world, it is a channel where optimization is green field. LBO has the opportunity to be a larger market than SEO and SEM as it is addressing a market that is 9x the size of digital.

This push into LBO requires analytics designed for optimization, as well as taking into account the entire marketing mix beyond the walls of digital, which all aligns very closed with Placed’s product roadmap in 2016.

Lastly, what stage is Placed’s ability to show online-to-offline in-store attribution? What gaps do you think you’ve closed in the past year and what still remains to be done?

Placed Attribution is the complete solution to measure online to offline as it relates to in-store attribution. In addition to store visits, Placed Attribution reports on lift, purchase rates, sales, as well as breaking down store visitation by features that enable optimization including geography, demographics, time to purchase, path to purchase, apps installed, device and carrier, time of days and day of week, amongst many additional features. As the industry currency for in-store attribution, it is critical for Placed to continue to innovate in the information that we make discoverable to our partners.

As it relates to areas for expansion in 2016, Placed is focused on meeting the demands of our client base, which is to deliver an omnichannel solution to measure store visits across all mediums, and not just digital. Additionally, to support this push into all mediums, Placed is actively building out the organization with 50 open position across the country.

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.