Freckle IoT has announced a global partnership with Cisco, allowing the in-store attribution vendor to leverage Cisco’s Meraki access points and more efficiently tie brand advertising campaigns to offline visits on a global scale. As part of the new partnership, Freckle will be a member of Cisco’s Solution Partner Program.
“For a brand that is operating internationally, we can measure offline attribution for them in any country that they are in,” explains Freckle’s founder and CEO Neil Sweeney. “It also means that for these major brands, the deployment of hardware is now seamless, as they are able to leverage pre-existing infrastructure that is in their store.”
That ability to leverage pre-existing infrastructure makes for what Sweeney describes as “frictionless execution,” and it’s one of the ways that Freckle is looking to differentiate itself in the crowded offline attribution market. Sweeney says that Freckle is aiming to become a global leader in attribution, in the same way that Moat, Integral Ad Science, and Double Verify have become leaders in viewability.
“Intuitively we believe that the industry is moving to a attribution first metric, not some of the metrics that exist today such as viewability and CTR,” he says. “There are ways in which to track online attribution, but the industry lacks a holistic voice for offline.”
Rather than relying on inferences for attribution, Freckle is directly tying opted-in consumers to store visits. The company uses data directly from smartphone handsets and marries it with brands’ global advertising campaigns to show whether specific advertising messages directly result in visits to a business.
By connecting to sensors and beacons, including the Cisco Meraki network, Freckle will be better able to match collected location information to hardware and deterministically validate in-store visits.
“Millions of dollars are being spent in media with 90% of purchases still taking place in a location. [Our solution] allows a brand to determine how effective they have been in their media allocation in driving someone into a location—something that currently has not been available,” Sweeney says. “This, too, allows for brands to move off of other metrics such as CTR and focus on a ‘per visit rate.’”
Today’s partnership comes on the heals of another partnership between Freckle and the omnichannel identity resolution vendor LiveRamp in March. However, Freckle’s latest agreement with Cisco directly aims to solve gaps in the in-store attribution landscape.
“[Cisco’s] beacons that sit inside of their access points require a SDK in order to work. Because we focus on the SDK, this was a natural partnership—they provide the hardware, we provide the software,” Sweeney says.
The partnership also extends Freckle’s presence in the global market, allowing Cisco clients in the retail sector to use the beacons inside their physical locations to capture real world consumer behaviors. Freckle matches location data against the data from a brand’s real-time advertising campaigns to pinpoint consumers who were exposed to ads prior to making visits to a store’s location. Freckle collects data exclusively from consumers who’ve opted-in, and uses individual ID numbers to keep identities anonymous.
Although Sweeney envisions the new partnership between Freckle and Cisco as generating the greatest benefit for his company’s retail and automotive clients, he says the addition of purchase-based information means companies offering consumer-packaged goods (CPG) will eventually be able to use offline attribution as proof that their media is working, as well.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.