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Tapad Formalizes Partnership With Placed On In-Store Attribution

The two companies say their collaboration yielded a 74 percent lift in restaurant visits in one cross-screen campaign, while a CPG brand got a 24 percent gain in in-store traffic.

Tapad's Are Traasdahl
Tapad’s Are Traasdahl

Cross-platform ad targeter Tapad has decided to make its ad hoc association with location analytics provider Placed more formal, as the two have entered a strategic partnership designed to measure the effectiveness of digital ads on driving in-store traffic.

The challenges and possibilities of location-based advertising with regard to proving online-to-offline attribution have been attracting a lot of attention lately as more brands look to connect mobile ads to in-store results.

Dealmaking Ramps Up

Brands’ increased focus on using interactive to boost physical retail sales has driven a number of strategic partnerships, such as the exclusive deal two weeks ago between Publicis Groupe media agency ZenithOptimedia and location analytics company NinthDecimal on sharing online-to-offline data. Separately, geo-data company PlaceIQ recently struck a similar arrangement with another Publicis media shop, Starcom Media Group, on using location analytics to support addressable TV ads.

Seattle-based Placed has been racking up a number of media agency deals in the past year in its bid to be viewed as the “standard, single currency” for in-store attribution. But its work with an ad tech platform like Tapad is different than most of the agreements it has entered lately.

Tapad wants Placed to help buttress its measurement of the impact of unified, cross-screen marketing campaigns on in-store traffic and transactions.

The Missing Link

Early results from Tapad’s and Placed’s partnership appear promising. One cross-screen campaign demonstrated a 74 percent lift in restaurant visits. Another resulted in a 24 percent lift in in-store traffic for a CPG brand. The companies declined to identify their marketing clients.

“We work with Tapad on delivering cross-screen targeting and insights for our clients. Recently we ran a campaign utilizing their partnership with Placed, which helped us understand how cross-screen exposure increases campaign engagement and drives store visitations,” said Leon Barsoumian, SVP of Analytics Research and Technology at Havas Media, in a statement. “These insights, derived from Tapad’s technology and Placed’s measurement solutions, are helping us inform and activate future cross-screen buying strategies for our portfolio of clients.”

“Accurately measuring ROI has long been a significant challenge for advertisers, but today’s data-driven approach to marketing has helped tremendously,” noted Are Traasdahl, Tapad founder and CEO. “Understanding the impact of digital campaigns on traditional retail has been the missing link — until now. Layering in-store insights from Placed into our cross-device technology is a win-win for our advertisers.”

Placed's David Shim
Placed’s David Shim

Making The Partnership Work

All this dealmaking is predicated on the expectation that, by the end of this year, desktop and mobile are expected to reach parity in terms of digital ad spending, said Placed CEO David Shim in an interview with GeoMarketing.

“The Tapad and Placed partnership enables advertisers to measure offline ROI, specifically store visits, associated with cross-device advertising,” Shim said. “This omnichannel approach to advertising and attribution highlights not only the impact of mobile to in-store, but desktop, which today represents the largest percent of digital ad spend.”

The company’s main metrics offering, dubbed Placed Attribution, works by collecting consumer location-based data using a GPS-enabled app that hundreds of thousands of U.S shoppers have downloaded onto their mobile devices.

Users opt-in to an agreement with Placed to have their physical location and demographic profiles anonymously gathered in return for points that can be converted into cash, gift cards, or charitable donations. It’s a system that keeps things safe and private for consumers, Shim said.

In terms of what Tapad and Placed each bring to the other’s table, a Tapad rep outlined the deal this way:

The Tapad Device Graph identifies connections between related devices, resulting in “a unified view of behaviors, interests, actions and ad experiences.” The campaigns are targeted to audience segments in real-time using Tapad’s demand-side platform.

Then, that “anonymous, privacy-safe campaign data” is handed off to Placed for comparison with data from their panel of “more than 500,000 active opted-in users, representing 1 in 500 adults in the US.”

Placed then measures store visitation for those exposed to the ads. On top of that, Placed compares a control group of people who have not been exposed to digital campaigns to the consumers who visited a store after seeing one or more advertisements on any combination of internet-connected devices.

From there, the lift of visitors resulting from a campaign is measured and Tapad can further optimize campaign performance to drive more in-store visits.

“By partnering with Placed… Tapad is delivering to its clients an unbiased currency to measure the effectiveness of cross-device advertising in driving consumers in-store,” Shim said. “By eliminating any conflict of interest when it comes to measurement and media, marketers are able to view and optimize in-store performance by not only mobile, but desktop, allowing a wider understanding of what channels perform the best in driving consumers in-store.”