Blis | Where will location go in 2018?

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Where will location go in 2018?
Gil Larsen

2017 was a big year for location-based advertising: The IAB released its Location-based Marketing Playbook for Retailers and spending on location-based advertising reached $16 billion. It’s also a year that saw many new changes and developments in how advertisers use location data and measure its success.

How will location-based advertising continue to develop in 2018? Here are our four top predictions.

1. Cost-per-Visit (CPV) will become the new industry standard.

In the past year, we’ve seen the emergence of a powerful new marketing metric: Cost-per-Visit (CPV). With this model, brands pay for an ad only when a consumer that’s been exposed to it visits a specific location.

We were early adopters of this revolutionary new metric, so we’ve seen first-hand the positive impact it’s had on the industry. With Blis Futures, brands use predictive location data to increase foot traffic—and pay only for successful conversions. Using the CPV model not only helps brands increase foot traffic and boost sales, but it also helps foster a more trusting relationship between brands, agencies and tech vendors.

In 2018, CPV will continue to gain momentum as the metric of choice. Tech partners that want to compete will need to abandon click-based measurement schemes and work towards building more honest and transparent relationships with advertisers.

2. Brands will place greater emphasis on location intelligence.

When location data first began making a splash in advertising, brands focused mostly on proximity advertising—targeting consumers when they came within a certain vicinity of a specified location.

But increasingly, we’re seeing advertisers turn to more sophisticated uses of location data to inform their campaigns in new and exciting ways. By analyzing historical location data and detailed behavioral patterns, brands are gaining comprehensive insights into consumer preferences and habits—information that can be used to craft hyper-targeted campaigns.

For instance, if a consumer visits an elementary school in the morning five days a week, a brand can safely assume the consumer is a parent. And what if, after dropping the kids off at school, this parent goes to the office? The brand now knows that they’ve identified a working parent. And let’s say three days a week after work, the parent visits the local yoga studio? Now, the brand knows this hard-working parent is also a yogi.

All these details in a consumer’s profile and lifestyle can help brands inform when and where to serve ads for the best results. It’s brands that realize this potential and harness location intelligence as a campaign and wider business planning tool that will reap the rewards in 2018.

3. To promote transparency, more technology vendors will (and should) develop visualization tools.

Throughout 2017, concerns over brand safety, viewability, transparency and ad fraud have led to calls for greater transparency across the industry. These concerns have led some of the loudest voices clamoring for change to make significant budget cuts and many others to tweak their global contracts.

Here at Blis, we’ve taken our own steps to promote greater transparency with our clients, and we expect many other tech vendors will start doing the same in 2018. With our visualization tools Smart View and Smart Trends, clients can see exactly how our technology works—and how they can use it to achieve their goals.

In order to heed the calls for greater transparency, others should follow suit—developing tools that foster trust between vendors, agencies and brands.

4. Tech vendors and their partners will find new ways to improve attribution.

Attribution has remained a serious challenge for marketers this past year. In fact, 40 percent of them said proving marketing ROI was their top challenge in 2017.

In order to improve attribution, we partnered with several talented data providers to help our clients determine how their marketing touchpoints lead to conversions. For example, our partnership with Ansa powered by RSi is giving customers access to sales data so they can measure in-store sales uplift at retailers across the country.

In 2018, we’ll likely see more successful partnerships as well as other innovative new solutions.

As 2017 comes to a close, we will continue to build upon past successes and work to solve the remaining challenges. In doing so, we hope to make our predictions come true so that 2018 will be another great year for location-based advertising.

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Gil Larsen is VP of Americas at Blis. He is responsible for driving Blis’ ad sales revenue in the U.S. and has built strategic media and marketing partnerships with leading brands over the past 20 years.

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