This Must Be The Placed: Location Coverage Rises 60 Percent

With fresh funding in hand, the location-data provider is cultivating new partners and places to work with.

David Shim, Placed's CEO
David Shim, Placed’s CEO

Less than a month after raising $10 million in second round funding, Placed is capitalizing on brands’ and agencies’ increasing demand for geo-data.

The Seattle-based company has crossed a significant threshold in the location measurement space with the claim that it now covers 200 million daily physical retail sites. These retail locations are sourced from Placed’s mobile rewards/loyalty app, which represents a large opt-in panel for understanding consumers’ shopping behaviors and patterns. Since the start of the year, Placed has seen daily locations increase by 60 percent, says David Shim, the company’s CEO and founder.

“Placed now measures nearly one in every thousand people in the US above the age of 13, all through a first party opt-in,” Shim says. “By connecting the digital and physical world at scale, Placed is able to provide its clients and partners an unprecedented and actionable view into the offline behaviors of consumers.”

Joining The Location Party

Placed’s impressive growth numbers have helped it forge close ties with marketers, ad networks, and publishers. Placed has also found a way to appeal to its location-based technology peers by supporting geo-oriented advertising programs by Millennial Media, PayPal Media Network, Thinknear, Verve Mobile, and xAd.

The niche that the company has carved out involves the attribution tools associated with its two-year-old “Placed Panels” product, which is at the core of its identity.

Originally, the “panels,” which are comprised of individuals who downloaded the Placed app and agreed to “check-in” when at a retail location, was offered to publishers as a way to package their audiences to marketers. Place billed it as an alternative to traditional targeting methods. Typically, publishers would offer advertisers groups of consumers based on broad demographic profiles. But demos are, by their nature, vague, since people are classified by gender, age, class. There’s a world of difference in each of those personal attributes.

Profiling consumers based on location is certainly more telling: does this person shop at a particular store in a certain area? From those patterns, marketers should be able to discern a fuller picture of the consumers they’re aiming their ads at. That’s the premise for the Panels product and it’s what powers the analytics platform that is Placed Attribution, which grew out of Placed Insights, and provides real-time information on consumers’ in-store visits.

Let’s Make A Deal 

To incentivize consumers to download the Placed app and report their location info, the company offers store coupons and the option to donate to charities.

The effect is self-reinforcing. As Placed adds more users, more stores, and wider data coverage, it can then offer more of what’s been drawing in its clients and consumers in the first place.

The latest partner is mobile ad platform — and serial acquirer — Opera Mediaworks. Opera, which acquired mobile video startup Ad Colony last month, is hoping that Placed can help it better understand how to target consumers while they’re “in-store, in real-time.”

Creating A Common Currency

Appearing alongside Opera in Placed’s new client list is Conversant (the company formerly known as display ad net ValueClick). Conversant has been building up its mobile abilities for some time, and the analytics from Placed are likely to provide it a further boost. These partners join other new additions to the Placed partner roster, which includes Pandora, The Weather Channel, Millennial, InMobi, and Rocket Fuel.

“The addition of Opera Mediaworks and Conversant reinforces Placed as the common currency for mobile advertising to in-store attribution,” Shim says. “Advertisers now have a common conversion metric for offline attribution that works across their entire campaign, providing them with a measurement solution that closely matches desktop,” he adds, citing what Google’s DoubleClick and Facebook’s Atlas provide to marketers on the PC-based web.

A Product Of Location

Hiring is another area that Shim is concentrating on as he plots Placed’s growth trajectory for the rest of 2014. Shim just brought on Tim Barnes, Placed’s chief product officer.

Most recently, Barnes had founded data management platform Fabric Worldwide. Barnes served as president of Fabric and had helped steer that company’s acquisition by WPP Group late last year. Previously, Barnes held executive posts such as VP, Product and Operations at Publicis Groupe’s Vivaki and as Global VP for Business Intelligence at that company’s Publicis sibling, Razorfish.

Barnes is the first executive hire Placed has made following its new funding.  In the second half of 2014, Placed expects to add 15 new staffers at various levels. The company has roughly 30 employees, according to Crunchbase.

“The ability to quantify consumer’s offline behavior with digital touch points will systematically transform the way media is measured, and I believe Placed is the platform to deliver on this vision,” says Barnes, in a statement. “Placed is already the standard currency for location-based measurement, and I am excited about the opportunity to take that standard to the next level.”

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.