Placed’s Attribution Platform Expands as More Partners Demand Proof of ROI

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Measuring what store visits and purchases were driven by what specific advertising has historically been a very thorny problem, and it’s a challenge that’s only gotten more complicated in the digital era. With so any marketing touch points for a consumer, how can a brand tell which methods are actually working? Location analytics firm Placed is invested in working this problem out, as are its growing list of partners.

This morning, the Seattle-based company announced that it has more than 190 partners using its attribution tool, Placed Attribution. Recent partners include AccuWeather, Eyeview, Parsec, Unlocked and many more. What do they have in common? They all want to know the impact of digital actions on offline behavior — especially when that behavior involves the ringing of a cash register.

Like so many brands, agencies, and publishers, Placed Attribution partners don’t only want to reach the eyes of Placed’s roughly two-million opted-in consumers (who in exchange for rewards, hand over their location data); they also want to measure the efficacy of that reach and confirm the ROI of their marketing spend. It’s somewhat ironic that in a time we’re our eyes are glued to digital, mobile, and social, consumers still like to “go shopping,” so to speak, and more than ever are smartphones are there with us, enhancing the experience, but not replacing it.

“With 90% of retail transaction occurring offline in the physical world, advertisers are no longer accepting vanity metrics or digital proxies for offline visits,” Placed CEO David Shim told Street Fight. “The ability to connect the dots from ad exposure to store visit and purchase changes the way that marketers measure and optimize campaigns delivering better performance and ultimately larger budgets. As brands and agencies see the direct impact that attribution has on their business, adoption and investment quickly follows.”

Placed, which was founded in 2011, is hardly the only company looking to standardize location and trace a concrete path between online and offline. Companies like xAd, PlaceIQ, and Placecast are some of the other major players in the space. But Placed has long shown that it has something special. It seems to all come down to the vast number of shoppers that use the Placed app and volunteer their location data. It’s a straightforward exchange that even the most privacy-conscious consumers can possibly get behind. And the proof is in the numbers: Placed says its double opt-in audience now represents one in 100 adults. In a single day, these users generate more than 2 billion first-party location data points. That’s a pretty tempting statistic for any one investing in digital media with an in-store element.

And yet it’s more than just data, data, data; Placed’s success also has to do with where brands, agencies, and publishers are in the greater conversation of location-based marketing. We’re well past the point of wanting to figure how location can be used as a marketing tool. We’re in the thick of planting all these various technologies, and now we’re looking to see what took off and what didn’t, and what it all means for our marketing strategies to come. We got here fast.

“In the past year, in-store attribution has moved from a discovery phase to one focused around implementation,” said Shim. “Based on the growth and adoption that Placed is seeing across its clients, we’d expect that by the end of 2016, attribution will be a default on status for the majority of advertisers where they have an offline conversion event.”

Nicole Spector is a Street Fight contributor.