Features

Location-Based Ad Network Taps Into Daily Commute Patterns

Written on
Feb 24, 2014 
Author
Richard L. Tso  |

ADOTAS – Living in a large city can definitely have its perks, and hopefully one of them is a functional, dependable and well laid-out and public transportation system to carry commuters to and from the office each day. With over 10.2 billion public transit trips taken each year, one company — CommuteSteam — is looking to analyze these trips to deliver more relevant advertisements directly to people’s phones. Mobile Marketer recently reported that locally relevant ads see as much as a 3x increase in performance over traditional campaigns.

“With smartphones taking over, understanding riders on an individual level, and in the context of the transit system, opens up major hyper-local advertising possibilities and new markets,” CommuteStream co-founder Samuel Pro said. “It puts the power of highly-targeted mobile advertising, traditionally reserved for large brands and agencies, into the hands of businesses that didn’t previously have any affordable or easy-to-use options.”


Capitalizing off of the hyper-local ad trend and similar technologies like Apple’s iBeacon for in-store offers, and RadiumOne Connect for geo-targeted push messages, CommuteSteam works by tapping into a phone’s geo-location services in order to capture a person’s travel patterns to inform more targeted ad delivery. The ad network uses ‘Predictive Geo-Targeting’ to display content based on individual rider travel routines and preferences. The ad-tech startup has patent pending technology that integrates with transit and other mobile apps to present hyper-local ads based on travel patterns.

Applications that collect transit data such as train and bus trackers use this patent-pending technology to display locally relevant advertisements to riders using their app. If a person typically travels on the same route each day, they also walk by the same restaurants, stores and cafes so now it gives these local small businesses the ability to deliver ads, coupons or promotional offers to get him to step into the store and make a purchase.

Currently, 1.4 million daily mass transit trips taken daily in Chicago and as of last week this became the pilot city to debut this technology. Chicagoans that use a mobile train or bus tracker now have the option of seeing an ad offering a discounted drink at the bar right across the street from their bus stop. By March, the company expects to be able to offer over 1,000,000 impressions per month in Chicago, with plans to tackle additional markets such as New York and Boston within the year.

Smaller local businesses struggle to identify and reach potential customers nearby to entice them to walk in the store and shop. While some advertisers rely on push notifications, others are examining other forms of location-based targeting as a viable solution. CommuteStream equips local businesses with simple, innovative tools for targeting commuters. Additionally, CommuteStream helps transit app developers more effectively monetize their applications by delivering highly relevant ads, with plans coming soon to offer real-time travel alerts and premium content.





Richard L. Tso is a reporter for Adotas and an avid writer covering the intersection of technology and advertising, fashion and music. With over 12 years of experience in the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations industries, Richard has held executive positions at global agencies and technology companies and is founder of the interactive communications firm Pseudosound Consulting LLC. A classical cellist and painter, he believes that sometimes sound carries more weight than words. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

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