How Marketers Are Making In-Store Metrics More Reliable

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This post is the latest in our “Targeting Location” series. It’s our editorial focus for the month of March, including topics like location-based ad targeting, attribution, and privacy. See the rest of the series here

In-store marketing platforms are designed to spit out all different types of metrics. Return-on-ad-spend (ROAS), customer acquisition costs (CAC), cost per visit (CPV), and customer lifetime value (CLV) are just a few of the metrics that marketers regularly track. But how reliable are these metrics, and what do they mean for big-picture business growth?

The ad tech company S4M is aiming to answer that question. The company recently released a new feature as part of its FUSIO drive-to-store platform. That feature, dubbed Uplift Trust, is being billed as the first of its kind to allow marketers to see whether the in-store uplift rates being generated by their campaigns are statistically reliable.

S4M Americas CEO Stan Coignard says the existing market of location data, used primarily for audience targeting and footfall measurement, is lacking reliability and standards. With so many different methodologies around, and so much variability from platform to platform and vendor to vendor, most companies are still providing both media and footfall measurement, without having the ability to be neutral and agnostic.

“Some work has been done on viewability, brand safety, and fraud filtration, [but] we need to bring more transparency on the footfall uplift as a true KPI to bridge online advertising and offline business,” Coignard says.

So what’s the best way to accomplish that? In Coignard’s view, the answer involves a combination of openness and transparency. Brands that use S4M’s new Uplift Trust indicator can see whether enough data has been generated by their digital advertising campaigns o compute a relevant uplift rate, or if more consumers need to be reached in order to collect a sample that’s significant enough to prove an actual trend.

Uplift rates are important for marketers because they represent the increase in visitors to a physical store attributable to a particular advertising campaign. Because uplift rates are calculated using scientific methods, they are generally thought to be reliable indicators of a campaign’s real-world impact. But a small sample size can diminish the value of an uplift rate, and without being sure whether their rates are sound, marketers can’t truly have confidence in the campaigns they’re running.

Coignard sees the digital industry as having put a huge value on untouchable media in the past. As walle- garden technologies, Google and Facebook have stopped brands from checking their performance for years, and the programmatic ecosystem has added even more value on invisible media and data. However, Coignard also sees a new push towards a state where lack of transparency is no longer acceptable as just another part of advertising.

Transparency is a particularly hot-button issue among brand marketers right now, in light of allegations of widespread fraud and other abuses in the digital advertising industry. According to a survey by Forrester Consulting, 27% of digital marketers cited lack of transparency in location data collection as a leading challenge in using location data in ads.

“We get to the point where the whole advertising industry is accountable towards brands’ money, and users’ data privacy,” Coignard says.

Coignard hopes to see S4M’s Uplift Trust offering become an industry standard in transparency for digital advertising technology providers delivering drive-to-store campaigns.

“Uplift Trust is just one step further for us in providing this transparency to brand marketers and media agencies. We started off as the first in the industry to provide MRC-accredited post-clicks metrics, then live footfall calculations to our clients so that they could actively optimize campaigns in real-time to achieve the best results,” Coignard says. “Uplift Trust reinforces this by informing clients not only of their footfall or sales uplift but also if the figures are reliable, allowing them to see if their campaigns are providing real-world results or not.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.Rainbow over Montclair

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.