Gimbal Innovates to Track Consumer Trends in the Physical World

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For years, marketers have used Google Trends to uncover insights based on search data. Now, executives at the advertising and marketing automation platform Gimbal are hoping their newest product will serve the same purpose for the physical world.

Built on top of an independent location data set, Gimbal Trends has been designed to provide marketers with a comprehensive view of consumer behavior in the real world. The product was released this morning, and already Gimbal is seeing interest from companies in the entertainment industry that are interested in leveraging the data to optimize their decision-making processes about upcoming events.

“Concert and event organizers can compare the popularity of various venues and learn about the preferences of individuals [and] past event attendees,” explains Gimbal Chief Operating Officer Matthew Russo. “By digging into foot traffic and visitation trends at each venue, promoters can better understand concertgoers’ preferences and music tastes in the region by tracing data back to specific dates and performances.”

Gimbal is launching its Trends product at an interesting time. The location data space has never been more competitive, and brand marketers have never had more options to choose from when it comes to mapping customer movements in the real world. “Mapping the Future of Local Commerce” is Street Fight’s theme for the month of September, in part because of the level of innovation going on in the marketplace right now.

Search marketing tools that help digital strategists research which keywords are popular, or on the decline, on search engines have been incredibly successful for years. With Trends, Gimbal is looking to give real-world marketers access to some of those same features, tweaked with inlaid mapping and location data.

Despite already having access to countless digital tools that make sense of where consumers are going and what they are doing, both online and offline, Gimbal believes its new Trends product provides a value to marketers that hasn’t been available in the marketplace before.

Russo says that despite having virtually limitless amounts of information about what consumers are doing online and what drives conversions, many brand marketers are still flying blind when it comes to offline shopping. With 90% of commerce in the United States still happening in the physical world, knowing what consumers do provides marketers with insights to continue to deliver better customer experiences.

“The inspiration behind Trends comes from the pain points expressed by our customers,” Russo says.

“Knowing where consumers go in the physical world has historically been difficult—even though 90% of all commerce in the United States still takes place offline,” Russo says. “Like a pixel for the physical world, Trends provides a holistic view of offline consumer behavior, empowering businesses to make better decisions.”

Russo envisions marketers using Trends to analyze visitation to the top brands and retailers, identify shifts in market share and consumer preferences across top commercial locations, and uncover the types of activities that consumers engage in both before and after visiting specific locations. Trends can also be used to understand the unique behaviors of visitors and learn how seasonal patterns impact dwell time and frequency of visitation.

Russo says that what makes Trends different from anything else on the market is scale, accuracy, and reach. Trends provides an accurate deterministic understanding of foot traffic, and it has coverage across 4.9 million store locations and venues in the United States. Although Trends could be used by anyone interested in leveraging real world insights to make better decisions, Russo says there’s particular interest in the product from organizations with brick-and-mortar locations.

“This could be marketers, but Trends will also provide tremendous value to out-of-home advertisers, business analysts, finance teams, municipal planners, and real estate developers,” he says. “Trends will provide a comprehensive view of consumers’ physical behavior over time.”

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.