Location-based ad measurement company Placed will offer its location analytics platform to the public for free, the company announced on Thursday.
The platform, launched in 2013, maps in-store attribution for 1,900 businesses, aggregating 800 billion locations and 2.8 billion measured visits, and turns that raw location data into actionable insights.
“We think that to date location analytics has been smaller than it should be because of the limitations around accessing it,” said Placed CEO David Shim. “The data’s there; the data’s actionable. Let’s get it into people’s hands versus hiding it behind a wall.”
By opening up its data, Placed is aiming to position itself as the Google Analytics of location insights, Shim said.
Shim hopes that the company’s data set will become the “single currency for the physical world,” he said, adding that no other location-based analytics service has taken the step of going free and public with its data.
Placed primarily serves large publishers and ad networks, but small- and medium-sized businesses can benefit from the public data, too, Shim said.
SMBs might use Placed Insights to determine how they rank among other businesses, discover what other companies their clients gravitate toward, and understand their consumer profiles.
“Where they didn’t have this direct access, now they can get this data and start to learn,” Shim said.
Shim invited readers to consider a mom-and-pop grocery store. With Placed Insights, the owners might determine that Whole Foods has the biggest market share in their area, indicating that their own store should consider carrying more organic goods.
“We can show you how far people are willing to travel,” Shim said. That sort of information can have implications for the marketing strategies of small businesses.
Going forward, larger businesses can still pay for Placed’s full suite of products, including Attribution—which measures how ads affect store visits—and Audience, which enables campaign activation based on consumers’ offline behaviors. Insights will be updated monthly.
While Placed was acquired by Snap in June 2017, Shim said that the company continues to operate independently, using its own data not gathered through Snap.
For Snap, the move has meant “investing in a platform that will be the single source for offline attribution,” Shim said.
Shim also hopes that Placed Insights will show how valuable the company’s data is for those looking into the company’s other services. “Not only will Placed benefit, but the whole space and sector will benefit because people will find more value in location,” he said.
With more people accessing the company’s data, Shim hopes to see even more creative uses of Placed’s resources. “Once you have more minds working on this data set, they’re going to come up with use cases that we might not have thought of,” he said.
Shim believes that public access to Placed’s insights could accelerate the market desire for location-based services overall.