Verve’s Acquisition Of Fosbury Puts Marketers In The Mobile Wallet

The first purchase of the Nada Stirratt era expands the company’s location ad position.

Verve's Nada Stirratt
Verve’s Nada Stirratt

Less than two months after Nada Stirratt took over as Verve Mobile’s CEO, the location ad platform has acquired Fosbury, which has become a major player in the indoor marketing space.

Stirratt’s first acquisition hints at the subtle changes in direction she wants to take the decade-old company, whose roots began as a mobile ad network.

As she concentrates more heavily on serving smartphone ads designed to increase shops’ and brands’ offline retail business with closer ties to agencies as well as publishers, the purchase of Fosbury helps broaden the company’s position by giving Verve greater control over consumer engagement programs while people are in-store and at the checkout counter.

Making Mobile Pay… And Pay

The strategy is an expansion of the one pursued at Verve under Tom MacIssac and James Smith, the New York-based company’s former CEO and CRO, respectively. Over the past year, Verve has worked to tap into the rise of beacons and the use of mobile pay via ads made for Apple Passbook — soon to be called “Apple Wallet” — and through partnerships with the likes of beacon maker Gimbal.

Although some location ad industry observers believe that the best, most scalable use of geo-data based advertising lie in attempts to trace consumers place patterns over time to build better audience segments. The idea is that there is simply not enough scale to target ads at consumers as they’ve already made their decision of what and where to shop.

But Verve cites the expectation that beacons and proximity-based advertising will drive $44.4 billion in U.S. in-store retail sales next year, according to BI Intelligence’s often-reported estimates And since location-based mobile campaigns are the center of the online-to-offline marketing space, Verve is well-placed to take advantage of the growing interest in this area of programmatic advertising. Furthermore, having the data that comes from regular consumers’ visitation rates — which can be measured, in part, by beacons — and the (anonymous) spending info from mobile payments processed by Fosbury’s software.

Fosbury’s clients include brands such as American Express and Chobani, which also should help Verve boost revenues as it’s likely to make further changes in its sales structure under its new CEO.

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.