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GroundTruth Expands Cost-Per-Visit Ad Format With Jack In The Box

"When someone enters our restaurant, we know they are going to make a purchase, so the main priority is to simply drive those visits,” says Jack In The Box CMO Iwona Alter.

GroundTruth is rolling out a set of ad formats the location ad marketplace has dubbed True Performance that will allow advertisers to pay only for results or actions that precisely meet their pre-specified goals, such as connecting marketing messages to foot traffics.

The new product suite comes exactly a year after GroundTruth (then known as xAd) sought to stake its claim in the location-based ad attribution wars by testing its first Cost-Per-Visit ad format with Applebee’s and The Home Depot. The company also filed for a patent on the ad format and has consistently partnered with attribution platform Placed to validate the visits.

So with this extension of GroundTruth’s performance-based buying suite, the company now plans to specifically gear the new offerings toward CPG brands looking to better measure their location-based marketing efforts.

Still, for the moment, the initial testers of this latest iteration of pay-for-performance are QSRs like Jack In The Box.

“One of the biggest challenges in digital marketing has been the ability to tie investment directly with real business outcomes,” said Iwona Alter, VP and CMO, Jack in the Box . When someone enters our restaurant, we know they are going to make a purchase, so the main priority is to simply drive those visits. This model allows us for the first time to verify the efficiency of this process.”

While some agencies and brands have expressed skepticism about the ability to of ad formats that promise on pay-per-visit, particularly as to whether these visits are made by regular customers who would likely show up anyway, GroundTruth CMO Eric Hadley pointed to clear solutions that marketers and media buyers have been clamoring for.

“The digital industry is concerned about fraud and brands are demanding a more simplified buying process. With ‘True Performance’ we’re helping our partners better measure whether their ads are driving an offline impact,” said Hadley.

In terms of how Cost-Per-Visit and True Performance works, in the last two years, GroundTruth has focused on scaling both sets of “quality location data” (i.e., mobile signals and precise points of interest). As such, GroundTruth claims it currently sees over 2 billion visits a month—an 80X increase since 2016.

Meanwhile, aware that competitors like Blis and the now defunct Retale have released pay-for-performance ad formats as well, Hadley added that “while many companies offer the ability to tailor campaigns towards Cost Per Action (CPA) or offline performance goals such as visits or sales, no other company offers the ability to commit to these outcomes—until now.”

To back that up, GroundTruth has carefully cultivated ad agencies to help expand the use of its Cost-Per-Visit model.

Steve Katelman, EVP, Global Strategic Partnerships, Digital, Omnicom Media Group offered this assessment: “We often talk about the promise of technology with our clients. I think this is one of the great examples of that promise being realized. Location has given way to better targeting and measurement. Now, we’re able to add another element to more efficient buying.”

Meanwhile, Huw Griffiths, Global Chief Product Officer, UM, praised GroundTruth’s efforts by saying “The key to Cost-Per-Visit is its simplicity. With better measurement tied to tangible results, it has the potential to truly deliver for brands.”

How is GroundTruth expanding the Cost Per Visit model? Are there other kinds of performance metrics that GroundTruth clients are seeking?

“As the leader in location, clients rely on us for innovations that drive business results. When we launched CPV last year, we were the first in the industry to offer a performance-based offline buying model for brick-and-mortar locations,” Hadley responded. “What we’re doing now with the expansion of True Performance is bringing that same concept to CPG brands by giving them the ability to use location to pay for SKU-level sales, the metric that matters most to ROI. This new metric meets their need to focus on innovation and sales.”

When asked how brands like Jack In The Box use an ad format like Cost-Per-Visit and now, True Performance, Hadley said, “True Performance, which currently includes Cost Per Visit and SKU-level sales metrics, works well as an always-on strategy that can be increased or decreased depending on time of year, sales goals or business opportunities. That said, complete alignment is the key to making this performance-based buying model work–messaging at any time should always be geared toward enticing the consumer to go in-store.”