With New Partnership, Commerce Signals and PlaceIQ Marry Location With Transaction Data

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Advertisers have a new way to find out relatively quickly if their campaigns drive sales. Palo Alto-based data firm Commerce Signals this week rolled out its new centerpiece product, called databridge. The platform lets marketers see unfiltered transaction data directly from financial institutions, such as credit card companies, when purchases are made — offering local insight on the effectiveness of ads.

This transaction information is being combined in a new partnership with location intelligence company PlaceIQ to provide advertisers, within 72 hours, a clearer sense of the performance of their marketing efforts. Commerce Signals says this so-called “permissioned” exchange is a secure, unbiased way for marketers to see correlations between their ads and consumer activity. In other words, retailers can find out if their marketing brings paying customers to their stores online and locally in the real world.

Such assessments can be made available through other means, Commerce Signals admits, though that may take up to a couple of weeks to collate. The immediacy that databridge offers is what the company claims sets the platform apart.

Adam Paulisick, chief product officer with Commerce Signals, says his company works with big data providers such as Visa to import information to media companies for measurement purposes. This way marketers on PlaceIQ’s ad network can see if a consumer makes a purchase after seeing an advertisement. “This allows Visa to provide a storefront to their aggregated consumer insights on behalf of merchants that accept Visa payments,” he says.

What PlaceIQ brings to the mix, Paulisick says, is intelligence and measurement of consumer behavior when they patronize brands’ locations such as shops, hotels, and restaurants. The partnership between the companies, and the insights revealed through their platforms, may have far-reaching potential.

“Anybody who has a purchase at the end of their marketing journey is interested in this data,” says Nadya Kohl, EVP of business development with PlaceIQ.

Her company delivers ad media through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, as well as through streaming networks, and then measures conversions through the “place visit rate” of consumers, she says. That essentially shows how often customers go to a retailer after interacting with their ads. This is done anonymously in aggregate, but it still offers marketers a gauge of how ads perform at a localized level. “Once someone has seen that media, a cookie, an email address, or a location in some combination is assigned a unique impression,” Paulisick says.

Commerce Signals and PlaceIQ use a third party, such as credit information provider TransUnion, to link these impressions with anonymous payment transactions made through Visa. This marriage of “movement indicators” about consumers, provided by PlaceIQ, with an understanding of what drove a customer into a store can demonstrate to retailers when ads result in a sale, Kohl says. That also lets advertisers make adjustments to improvement the effectiveness of their campaigns.

No personal information is revealed, however the same person who saw an ad is connected to a payment in the Visa network. However, after an ad has been delivered, the advertiser can request aggregate data on whether or not consumers made purchases with their credit cards, Paulisick says.

The raw data from Visa is not used by Commerce Signals, he says, though databridge enforces the rules and permissions the credit card company wants in place when PlaceIQ requests reports back on the effectiveness of advertisers’ campaigns. Kohl says marketers can use her company’s data as a thread for understanding activity across their enterprises. More sophisticated uses of this purchase data is in the works, she says. “Being able to use our two datasets together in concert in omnichannel campaigns is another way, in the near future, to bring value to marketers,” Kohl says.

PlaceIQ is already seeing its data being applied more and more now by retailers for site selection. That can open up for retailers an understanding of consumer presence and potential purchase activity around those locations. “The prospect of a retailer putting a few million dollars of brick-and-mortar in the ground becomes a more sophisticated exercise,” says Kohl.

headshot Joao-Pierre RuthJoão-Pierre Ruth is a Street Fight contributor.