#SFSNYC: GroundTruth Turns On-the-Ground Data Into IRL Transactions

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When consumers visit physical stores, the likelihood that they will complete a purchase shoots up, especially in comparison to the likelihood they will make a purchase after visiting a digital site. “Visits lead to sales,” was the message of Hongzhe Sun of GroundTruth, one of the sponsors of Street Fight Summit in New York Wednesday.

GroundTruth is a location technology platform that tracks customers by location and executes targeted advertising campaigns based on consumer behavior, all in the goal of driving customers to make visits to physical retail locations. “We see over 18 billion requests comprising a mobile GPS signal every day,” Sun said. The company uses that data to serve over 1 billion ads every day.

GroundTruth uses location tracking to serve ads because offline visits show a stronger sign of intent, Sun said. “We know that people who search for gyms and people who actually go to the gym regularly are very different,” he said. When the company locates a user who actually goes to a gym, the likelihood they regularly go to a gym is much higher than if the person had been located through an online search.

“In the physical brick-and-mortar world, a visit often leads to a sale,” Sun said. For example, 95% of people who visit a physical Walmart make a purchase, whereas less than 5% who visit online actually buy an item.

Sun detailed the steps used by GroundTruth to increase physical sales. When GroundTruth captures a user at a competitor location, it will use targeted advertising to attract that consumer and capture a visit for its client. After a visit, GroundTruth then employs a number of strategies to retain customers and foster loyalty.

Loyal customers are retargeted. Messaging with location in mind and visit measurement also help to ensure an increase in the number of visits and, in turn, the number of purchases.

Advertisers can shape their strategies based on the tactics that yield the most effective cost per visit, which GroundTruth measures. For example, $500 of competitive targeting marketing spending can spur about 100 visits, making the effective cost per visitor about $5, he said.

Sun detailed testimonials from companies such as Ted’s Montana Grill, which found GroundTruth very effective. The GroundTruth Ads Manager “allows any business with a credit card to run an ad campaign that leverages a lot of what we talked about,” Sun said.