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Yelp buys Turnstyle to expand targeting and offline attribution capabilities
The acquisition greatly enhances what Yelp can offer business owners.
Earlier this week, Yelp bought a company called Turnstyle for a reported $20 million. Turnstyle can be characterized in various ways; it calls itself a WiFi-based marketing and loyalty platform.
It could also be called a “marketing automation” platform — though that phrase has virtually no meaning now because it’s so abused. Then there’s “mobile personalization platform.” These phrases don’t have much meaning but point to things that are meaningful.
Turnstyle enables businesses to offer guest WiFi in exchange for customer email addresses (opt-in). The company uses the phone’s MAC address to identify the device, when it returns to the venue, for either loyalty or attribution purposes or both.
Yelp has been building out its marketing capabilities and programs relatively quietly over the past couple of years. Late last year, it introduced loyalty program Yelp Cashback (using Empyr). It has also been beefing up booking, messaging and transactional tools.
Turnstyle gives Yelp an intriguing new set of capabilities to help businesses market to customers and figure out if those efforts are working.