Offline Attribution: A digital marketing boost


An Adotas Q&A with Duncan McCall, CEO and co-founder of PlaceIQ, explores the role of attribution in the complex inter-relationship of digital advertising and consumer spending in brick and mortar stores.

With 95 percent of sales still occurring in brick and mortar locations, it’s important for marketers to understand how their initiatives are affecting in-store visitation. Today’s consumer lives in an on-demand world splintered across devices, channels and physical locations. The challenge of aligning a marketing message with a true customer journey and measuring its real world effect has never been greater. Location data gives marketers an accurate attribution mechanism.

Q: What is offline/foot traffic attribution?

A: Foot traffic attribution, or the ability to measure marketing initiatives – such as targeted mobile or TV ads – to in-store traffic, has historically been difficult to measure.

Mobile devices are ubiquitous, enabling brands a new understanding of consumer behavior based on movement data. This allows brands to better understand real world consumer journeys, affinities for products, the blend of online and offline behaviors, and subsequent visitation to key locations.

PlaceIQ was the first to create and patent a foot traffic measurement metric, called Place Visit Rate (PVR), more than six years ago. This is the metric that leading brands in retail, auto, CPG, travel, and QSR use to measure the effect of advertising on actual visits to stores, restaurants, auto lots, and other brick-and-mortar locations. What sets it apart is PVR’s ability to measure offline consumer behavior through observed device movement, at scale, with unprecedented precision.

Q: Foursquare recently announced they can now measure foot traffic generated by digital ads. Will this impact the ad tech/mar tech industry?

A: As we continue to observe an industry that has given brands the ability to definitively quantify the effect of targeted advertising on real world visitation–we feel a tremendous sense of gratification when we observe how foot-traffic attribution continues to grow as a priority for the modern marketer.

Attribution fuels marketing success, so it isn’t surprising that there are often new entrants into the space. We view it as flattering corroboration of our long-held vision. Working with scores of brands and media agencies over the past six years has shown that there is clear business value for proving ROI on ad spend.

Q: What is the average device user base for a typical foot traffic attribution solution?

A: Attribution solutions work best when they have the right scale. For example, PlaceIQ has focused on building a platform that interprets 10 billion movement anonymized data signals per day from more than 100 million consumers.

Q: What is the next innovation in attribution?

A: One interesting area of innovation is how attribution is serving new purposes for marketers. The ability to measure real world interactions is helping (for the first time ever) measure the effect of addressable TV—an already powerful targeting mechanism for home viewership—on foot traffic. Measurement also helping retailers better plan where to open new locations, based on how consumer audiences interact with the real world. In the coming months and years, we’ll see attribution fuel countless other decisions outside of traditional advertising.



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