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Cintric Prioritizes Historical Geo-Data To Build Consumer Profiles

Real-time location data is only one piece of the puzzle, says Connor Bowlan, the location services company’s CEO.

Connor Bowlan
Connor Bowlan

As consumers have become increasingly mobile, retailers have learned that they must reach them with the right message at the right time — and that location is a significant part of targeting those messages. But real-time consumer location data is only one piece of the puzzle: A Mom walking by a Harley dealership on her way to a class yoga quite likely doesn’t have the same intent as a leather-clad biker walking into the store, even if their locations are almost identical.

As a result, Cincinnati-based Cintric, which bills itself as a “location services and consumer insight company,” bases its offerings around helping brands to build a holistic view of customers’ personalities through app-based historical geo-data, and then to target them accordingly.

“If a brand comes to us and says, ‘hey I want to target new car owners who just bought a car within the last month and who are likely to go to an Autozone in the next week,’ we can tell them the exactly how to geo-target their ads,” says Connor Bowlan, CEO and co-founder at Cintric. “We’re not just shooting [customers] an ad when they get near the Autozone.”

GeoMarketing: How does Cintric build its location-based consumer profiles?

Connor Bowlan: Essentially, we just watch where users go throughout the day, and then we compare that info to our own database.

If you go to a college [and to a dorm], we know you’re probably a student. If you shop at Babies R Us, and you also go to a school at 8:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon, we know you’re a parent because you went to Babies R Us, and you’re probably picking up and dropping off your child at a school.

Then we take that intel and compare it to the rest of our population, see which categories you fit into, and then deliver that content to brand enterprises so they can do everything from understand the performance of different retail locations to serve up content that’s directed at particular demographics or lifestyle categories.

How does this help you approach targeting in a unique way? What do you think differentiates Cintric in the mobile space?

We like to think of ourselves as consumer and location intelligence. What we’re really all about is figuring out things about people and areas based on behavioral patterns. We process millions of locations updates per day. Right now, the panel that we use for our own purposes, it’s about 300,000 people that we’re tracking. We leverage that for our own separate consumer insights and we can market that to companies.

The way that we’re kind of different is that we have an SDK that gets embedded into existing apps. We looked at the market, and we saw players like Placed who began their process by going out on a one-to-one basis and started getting people to download an app that would track them and then bring them in with gift cards the like. We know a few other players who are doing similar things.

But we’re a bit different — we’re not a huge entity, we’re from Cincinnati — so we tried to figure out the quickest way we could leverage a large panel, and how can we could do that with our particular talents.

So we decided to build out the development tools, the SDK that we gave away for free in exchange for these developers sharing their location data from their users. That’s allowed us to build up this panel of about 300,000 people very quickly. We’re seeing really rapid growth. We’ve only been around for maybe six to nine months or so, and yet, we already have a pretty large sample of people that we can draw data from.

What’s next for Cintric as the company undergoes this period of rapid growth?

We’re building something cool that’s more content-focused for one of our partners. One of the neat things is that since we’re tracking people, and we have the ability to integrate lots of ideas; if the developer or company that’s working with us chooses to, they can integrate any kind of information they want within our profiling system.

What that means is now we can do things like tie a Facebook ID to someone’s behavior, So we can actually examine a Facebook ID, track it to our mobile audience throughout the day, and see that if that person saw a piece of content online, and, if so, did they actually go and visit that place in real life? That’s something we’re working on.