PlaceIQ and comScore partner for offline location visitation measurement
Measurement will include traditional TV, mobile and desktop ads.
Using PlaceIQ’s location-data measurement capabilities, comScore will begin to report physical store visitations spurred by TV, mobile and desktop advertising. This represents the further mainstreaming of online-to-offline measurement — one of the most important developments in digital marketing of the past several years.
(The metrics firm previously announced a similar relationship with GroundTruth [formerly xAd], though this new deal is broader in scope.)
Location analytics and offline data can be used as a signal of buying intent, as a mechanism to identify and segment audiences, as a competitive benchmarking tool and, as in this case, as a way to determine the relative efficacy of digital ads. ComScore will be reporting location lift on the basis of a control and exposed methodology. That involves isolating the impact of ad exposures on store visitation: group A saw the ad, group B did not; how did that impact store visitation?
Categories that comScore sees as highly interested in this capability include QSR, automotive, retail and hospitality. CPG is also on that list. Collectively these categories are spending billions of dollars on advertising.
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Retail is the top-spending industry category, representing roughly 21 percent of all digital ad spending, or more than $15 billion. There isn’t a single traditional retailer that isn’t interested in offline store visitation measurement.
But perhaps the most provocative aspect of the announcement is that TV — and some OTT, or over-the-top, video (delivered via a set-top box) — is included. Now marketers will be able to see which of their TV ads drove store or dealer visits. With digital display, comScore said that only viewable impressions will be measured.
Marketers will be able to tell which platforms and channels were most effective and which creatives drove store visits — to enable optimization against visits vs. optimization against clicks. ComScore told me that customers testing the program during the beta period had a “really positive reaction.”
The widespread ability to measure offline activity and tie it back to digital media and ad impressions is a dramatic development for the industry and will enable much more insight into the customer journey. PlaceIQ is one of the early innovators in the space, though there are now quite a few others that offer location analytics and offline measurement (scale, accuracy and quality are the disputed variables).
These partners aren’t the only players pursuing this type of measurement. Not long ago, Snap acquired location analytics provider Placed for more than $125 million. Google and Facebook are also charging ahead with offline analytics capabilities, including the ability to retarget store visitors online. Earlier this year, Google also extended offline measurement to YouTube ads.