Movement in a Blink

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Movement in a Blink
Patricia Reyes

Last May, Blis headlined MediaCom APAC’s inaugural tech event BLINK_live as a main sponsor. Blis Asia MD Regina Goh took the stage at the future-focused forum held at Shangri-La Singapore, repping to an audience of over sixty senior marketers. Her aim was to satiate a craving for fresh strategies with some food for thought by posing this question: “Are your customers telling you what they want through their movement data?”

As the only location tech company at the event, it was apt to talk about location data from a new, more relatable perspective of audiences and movement. We springboarded a pitch centered on our core belief that the value of location data lies in its ability to provide powerful, contextual information about a consumer’s journey. If the positive feedback and nodding heads in the room were any indication of the direction we’re headed, this is one conversation we are chuffed to initiate. In the mix of data play needed for a more effective marketing approach today, brands would be well advantaged to know there is more to location than a fixed dot on a map.

Why Movement?

In Asia, markets across the region are extremely fragmented and with this comes a unique set of challenges we are consequently posed to overcome. To drive market success, the team goes through great lengths to articulate the value of location data, even if this means scaling back on technical conversations reserved for more advanced, location-aware marketers.

This is not to say that marketers in the region are unaware of the power of location data. In fact, our days are spent preparing for the growing wave of brands and marketers who do understand (albeit on a basic level) and signal increasing interest to leverage our Blis data location-aware approach.

Why then is talking about Movement so important?

On the subject of location, its limitations are implied by referencing it as a fixed point. When you talk about the concept of movement, in contrast you think about motion that is dynamic, untethered and unanchored to a fixed point. A real world journey comes to mind, complete with human preferences and habits. Obviously, movement and location are fundamentally different concepts, but knowing that they are intrinsically linked changes perspective. So steering conversations toward movement data reframes the perception of location data, and this has helped us present a more macroscopic view of the relationship of people to places. Blis’ Insights Manager, Alex Wright, wrote about this in an earlier blog post, saying:

“Location and Place are important, but are arbitrary constructs without human interaction to create movement and bring purpose.”

How does Movement Data move marketers?

Simply put, understanding movement cracks the code of gauging consumer intent. Equating movement data to a person’s real world behaviour allows marketers to grasp scale – one of the issues the early days of location advertising has wrestled with. In tandem with ubiquitous smartphone usage and the adoption of programmatic, due time has passed to see kinks and flaws of early technologies iron themselves out. Technology has matured along with a marketer’s sense of sophistication when it comes to planning and deploying campaigns.

Knowing this, brands today don’t need to fixate on a fixed time and place to trigger location-based ads, precisely because our tech is literally built to “move” with the customer and map out audiences. Early iterations of location data usage such as proximity targeting, while still useful to a degree, no longer defines the full scope of what movement data offers when used to its full potential today.

Movement is powered by location data signals, and Blis understands this very well. Going back to the basics may seem counterintuitive for a future-looking tech company like ours, however, as indicated by the calibre of marketers who attended the talk – it seems the conversation is not only headed in the right direction, but is also gaining the momentum we’ve envisioned as a pioneer in this space years ago.

If you’re looking for next level knowledge, Blis’ Head of Product Amy Fox publishes a blog series covering advanced location-based advertising. She creates useful primers on 201 level issues such as differentiating data sources and pre and post-bid verification. Click on here and watch her space.

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Patricia Reyes Patricia is part of the marketing team and operates out of Singapore helping to oversee SEA and ANZ marketing and communications. Prior to Blis, she's worked at both sides of the coin as editorial, project and account management before finding her sweetspot in marketing and adtech.
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3 Ways Retailers Can Use Mobile for Effective One-to-one Marketing

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3 Ways Retailers Can Use Mobile for Effective One-to-one...

Today, mobile devices are like mini retail stores we carry around in our pockets: places where consumers can browse merchandise or place orders almost instantly.

But mobile devices also give consumers something they can’t get in stores: personalized marketing. Collecting data like shopping histories and browsing patterns, mmobile devices provide retailers with detailed insight into individual consumers and a means of communicating with them directly.

How can retailers use mobile insights and capabilities to craft effective, one-to-one messaging?

1. Get personal.

Today, consumers want—and expect—ads to speak directly to them. In fact, 74% of customers feel frustrated when their online experiences aren’t personalized.

The easiest way for retailers to personalize content is by harnessing their first-party data. If a customer purchases a dress online, the brand can use what they know about her (her fashion interests, browsing history and email address) to customize subsequent content. For example, the brand can serve an ad via email that suggests a pair of shoes to go along with the new dress.

With CRM data, the retailer can see what the woman bought online, but do they know what she’s purchased elsewhere? Or what she does when she’s not shopping? This is where location data comes in. Retailers that layer location-based insights on to other sources of data can get to know where and when consumers shop at brick and mortar stores. They can also identify other behavioral patterns, including which day of the week and time of day they like to go shopping—data can enables greater levels of personalization.

Let’s say a CPG brand wants to reach out to a previous customer who hasn’t been seen in store lately. The marketers can use their knowledge of the consumer’s daily commute to deliver the ad just before he leaves work, suggesting he stop by on his way home. They may even offer him a discount on the product he previously purchased.

2. Market to individuals, not devices.

Once retailer marketers have identified their ideal audiences on mobile, they shouldn’t see phones as the only means of communication. Consumers own an average of 3.6 connected devices, so retailers should communicate with consumers across the devices they use, including tablets, laptops, desktops and addressable TV.

However, if a retailer sees a user reading political news on the tablet all day but watching cartoons in the evening, it might not be the same same person. With families and partners sharing devices at home, marketers need to make sure they are constructing nuanced consumer profiles across devices in order to reach out to individuals, not just devices.

3. Don’t be creepy.

Personalized, cross-device marketing is on the rise in part because consumers are increasingly willing to disclose their data to retailers. After all, purchase histories and location data are essential for useful or interesting ads.

But how retailers use that data is key. Consumers want to feel understood, but they don’t want to feel like ads are invasive or drawing on data that’s simply too personal and private. Marketers need to make sure they aren’t crossing any personal boundaries or making consumers feel uncomfortable.

If marketers want to turn heads or, more importantly, turn consumers into buyers, they’ll need to do more than blast out generic ads to the masses. When retailers personalize ads with these three tips, they’ll see huge improvements in campaign performance.

But how, exactly, do they measure these improvements? Find out next week when we assess the best metrics for retailers.

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Embracing the Retailer’s Dream Metric: Cost Per Visit

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Embracing the Retailer’s Dream Metric: Cost Per Visit

The twentieth-century American engineer and statistician W. Edwards Deming once said, “Just because you can measure everything, doesn’t mean that you should.”

This applies to retailer struggles today as marketing executives need to decide what they should measure and how. Do they care about impressions, views or click-through rates? And once they figure that out, how can they make sure their ad dollars are really working? The Partnership predicts that ad fraud will cost brands over $16 billion this year alone, while Infectious Media suggests that over half of all digital ads aren’t seen at all.

Fortunately for retailers, there’s a new metric in town—one designed to eliminate waste and increase sales. With a cost-per-visit (CPV) model, retailers pay only when a consumer sees an ad and visits a specific location. Here are four ways retailers are benefiting from this cutting-edge new metric.

1) Increased Foot Traffic

With the National Retail Federation predicting eight to 12 percent e-commerce growth this year alone, no one can deny the rapid rise of online sales. However, 85 percent of consumers still prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, where 94 percent of all sales are generated. That’s why it’s vital for retailers to keep their physical stores alive and continue to enhance their in-store experiences.

With the explicit goal of bringing visitors into physical store locations, CPV is a metric for retailers wanting to increase foot traffic—and pay only for successful conversions. While there are many ways to boost in-store visits, today’s leading location data solutions use predictive location modeling. With Blis Futures, we choose to charge on a CPV-basis because we are completely confident in this approach.

2) Greater In-store Sales

Driving consumers into brick-and-mortar locations may also encourage consumers to buy more than they anticipated. It gives retailers the opportunity to upsell consumers so they need to make sure they clearly advertise their promotional pricing, point-of-purchase displays and loyalty programs. Once you have a potential customer in the store, you can push tailored messaging in real-time and create personalized promotions. As anyone that has ever been into a Target retail location can attest – you may go in for one specific item but end up unable to leave the store for less than $100! So only paying when a consumer sees an ad and then visits a physical location reaps multiples rewards for a marketer.

3) Branding Opportunities

When retailers buy ads on a cost-per-visit basis, they don’t pay if the consumer sees the ad but doesn’t come into the store. That means the retailer also benefits from ad views and branding. In fact, a consumer may see the ad and make a purchase online rather than in-store, but the marketer still pays nothing for that conversion. At Blis, we are willing to take that risk and allow marketers “free” branding messages. Our confidence in the technology behind our CPV metric allows us to think of marketers first.

4) Risk-free Investing

CPV transfers the risk from buyer to partner, so retailers don’t have to worry about wasted ad spend: They’re making a completely risk-free investment. With free branding and zero downside, retailers have nothing to lose.

When Blis became one of the first tech partners to offer the CPV model earlier this year, we sent a critical message to both retailers and the wider industry: We’re ushering in a new era of transparency and accountability in advertising.

Check back again next week when we switch gears to discuss how retailers can use mobile to boost engagement, retention and acquisition.

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Closing the Retailer Purchase Loop: Solving the Challenge of Attribution

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Closing the Retailer Purchase Loop: Solving the Challenge of...

You’re on your way to work when you pass a billboard featuring Nike’s newest running shoe. That reminds you: you just signed up for a half marathon, so you’ll need some new gear. You start googling top-of-the-line running shoes on your phone. You forget about the race until days later when looking at Facebook on your laptop, and there they are: the same shoes that caught your eye. Still, you won’t purchase them until you try them on. So what a pleasant surprise when, on your walk home, a banner ad appears across your phone: “You’re 3 minutes from a Nike store,” it says. Why not stop by?

If you go into that store and purchase those shoes, which ad was it that led to the conversion? Was it the original billboard, the social media ad, or the location-based banner? Perhaps a perfect combination of all three?

These questions reflect the challenges every marketer is currently facing when it comes to attribution. Today, a typical path to purchase is no longer a straight line to the point of sale. It looks more like a latticework of ads both online and offline, on our devices or in our neighborhoods.

Yet despite this added complexity, brands can begin to solve the mystery of attribution and determine the value of each marketing touchpoint. They just need to follow the footsteps.

Understanding Footsteps to Purchase

Brands can get a better understanding of which campaigns are boosting their ROI by taking a look at how digital ads directly relate to foot traffic.

First, advertisers can conduct an A/B test to determine which ads are bringing people into their brick-and-mortar retailers. By comparing how many devices were seen in store from an exposed group (devices that received an ad) to a control group (devices that didn’t receive an ad), brands can figure out what’s working and how well. This is the kind of study we conducted on a series of CPG brands earlier this year—where we found an astonishing 47 percent uplift in foot traffic for the exposed group.

Location data can also reveal more than just how many devices made it into stores. It can also tell advertisers the average time it takes for someone to enter a store after seeing an ad, or which locations are performing best. Brands can also layer this data with purchase histories and sales data for even more insightful stats and figures into how their customers are responding to ads.

So once brands have uncovered all these clues into what’s driving conversions and how, what do they do with it all?

Step Up Your Campaigns

Brands don’t strive for accurate attribution just for the sake of it. They want to know what’s causing conversions so they can do more of it—and cut out what might not be working at all.

An energy drink brand, for example, can use data about foot traffic and sales to make sure the next iteration of their campaign performs even better. Let’s say the brand discovers that people are 50 percent more likely to go into a store that stocks the energy drink when they receive an ad within 200 feet of the retailer. Rather than targeting everyone within 500 feet of the retailer, the brand can eliminate waste by just reaching out to those within a much smaller radius.

What if advertisers discover that no matter what distance, more people seem to be purchasing the energy drink from Walgreens than CVS? Perhaps next time, they can put a greater share of their ad budget into targeting those near Walgreens.

By solving some of the mysteries around attribution by finding which campaigns are driving sales, advertisers can continuously optimize their campaigns. And that means less waste and a greater bang for every marketing buck.

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