CEO Letter: Continued Independence, Investment, and Innovation

To Our Customers, Partners, and the Industry:

 

In June, Placed agreed to join Snap to establish the de facto standard in offline measurement for the next decade.  Prior to the announcement, Placed had established itself as the leader in location-based attribution with over $500MM in media measured in the past 12 months across thousands of campaigns and hundreds of partners.  Placed achieved this level of success without selling a single ad, and instead focused on delivering one of the best-in-class attribution solutions for advertisers and publishers in a manner that is truly independent of media.

 

Post-close, both companies are committed to maintaining Placed’s position as an unbiased and independent leader in connecting ads to store visits.  To reinforce Placed’s commitment to operating independently:

 

  • Placed will operate independently of Snap, maintaining its brand and continuing to deliver offline attribution to 500+ advertisers and agencies
  • Placed will continue to add new advertisers and partners to its client list
  • Placed employees will operate separately from Snap employees
  • Placed will continue to maintain its own offices, separate from Snap offices
  • Placed’s production infrastructure will operate separately from Snap’s production infrastructure
  • Placed will treat Snap in the same manner as the 300+ partners who utilize Placed Attribution and Placed will not share advertiser or partner data with Snap

In the first full month following the close of the acquisition (August), Placed experienced record growth.  When comparing the month prior to the announcement (May) and the month following close (August), Placed experienced:

 

  • 20.1% increase in impressions measured
  • 13.1% increase in advertisers measured
  • 19.2% increase in publishers, networks, and platforms

The adoption rates over the last three months are near all-time highs, which further quantifies Placed as a leading source for offline attribution.  We are humbled by the demand that we’re seeing in the market, and the trust that 55 new publishers, networks, and platforms have put into Placed as the unbiased and independent source of truth when it comes to store visits attributable to media.

 

Adoption metrics alone don’t showcase the success that Placed has seen in the market. Since the news in June:

 

  • Placed plans to increase investment in product significantly going into Q4.  This includes a 400%+ increase in investment in TV
  • Placed released a white paper highlighting the issues associated with exchange based location data, where 99% of the locations aren’t able to determine store visits
  • STX and Horizon used Placed to measure the impact of digital and TV on the release of Bad Moms
  • RetailMeNot utilized Placed Attribution to independently measure the impact of paid search on retail store visits

Snap’s acquisition of Placed was not designed as a roll-up, but rather as an investment in cementing Placed as the default platform for measuring the physical world.  Placed aspires to be the location platform for the next decade throughout the world.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about Placed measurement, please do not hesitate in reaching out to me directly at david@placed.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

David Shim

Founder and CEO

 

Hurricane Irma’s Impact on the Location of People and Places

Placed analyzed the location and visitation data generated by residents in the path of Hurricane Irma to gain insights into impacts of what has already proven to be an abnormally active storm season.

 

Foot Traffic to Businesses:  Areas impacted by Hurricane Irma saw quantifiable increases in visitation to grocery stores (2.1x), gas/convenience (1.7x), and pharmacy (1.7x) in the days before expected landfall of Irma. While these visits were expected, unexpectedly visits to Pet Food and Supplies retailers, Diet & Nutritionists businesses, and Sporting Goods stores also saw increased visitation between September 4th through the 7th.

 

Restaurant/QSR locations saw up to 3.7x visitation rates by September 8th as residents began evacuation, or conserved supplies by eating out up until the last minute.  Interestingly, Check Cashing locations saw upwards of 28X the visitation from prior to the hurricane, possibly due to banks being closed and power outages forcing cash only transactions. Wireless retailers also saw significant increases in visitation (1.5x-4x) before, during, and immediately following the storm.

 

Evacuations Before Landfall:  By mapping “away from home” percentages by city by day, we clearly see the alignment to evacuation notices as well as delayed returns for areas where Hurricane Irma caused extended power outages.

 

  • Evacuations Start (Average): 2 days before landfall
  • Population Returns (Average): 3 days after landfall, 5 days after landfall for areas with extended power outages

Distance Traveled:  The metric “distance traveled from home” indicates that the Sept 6th Hurricane Irma path projections, which placed the center of the storm traveling up the Eastern coastline, aligns with the first wave of residents of Miami and Naples opting to leave their home locations and travel distances averaging as much as 260 miles to escape the hurricanes cone of damage.

 

  • Shortest Average Distance Traveled (Pre-Land Fall): 32 miles, Tallahassee Residents
  • Longest Average Distance Traveled (Pre-Land Fall): 295 miles, West Palm Beach Residents

The September 7th announcement of mandatory evacuations for additional cities beginning Sept 8th initiated a second wave of residents departing with Ft Myers-Naples area seeing 73% of residents on the move.

Placed Attribution Ties Store Visits to Paid Search, 37% of Store Visits within 48 Hours of Search

RetailMeNot Delivers 4X Return on Ad Spend for Paid Search based on Offline Incremental Sales

 

Placed announces the launch of Placed Attribution for Search. With this launch, Placed is the first and only attribution solution independent of media to tie search clicks to store visits. With the addition of paid search, Placed Attribution delivers an omnichannel measurement solution that is the standard currency of measurement across digital and out-of-home advertising.

 

In 2017, paid search is estimated to reach $32.32B in spend, largely driven by search’s ability to drive measurable and cost efficient conversion online. To date, offline conversions have played a limited role in the growth of search due to the inability to tie clicks back to store visits independent of media.

 

“Search’s explosive growth over the last decade has been directly tied to its ability to drive online sales, yet online represents only 10% of retail sales in the U.S.,” said David Shim, Founder and CEO of Placed. “Placed Attribution for Search will bring a second golden age for marketers who want to tie clicks back to bricks.  Having RetailMeNot as launch partner highlights the importance of offline measurement for search, both for advertisers and publishers.”

 

Results: RetailMeNot

RetailMeNot, a leading digital savings destination connecting consumers with retailers, restaurants and brands, partnered with Placed to measure the effectiveness of paid search in conjunction with their content to drive consumers in-store. Placed and RetailMeNot measured multiple paid search campaigns across a diverse list of retailers, where the paid search click drove consumers to a RetailMeNot landing page.

 

“RetailMeNot and Placed first entered into a strategic partnership in 2015 to measure the effectiveness of paid media on our properties in driving consumers to retailers’ store locations. RetailMeNot is committed to solving attribution challenges, and Placed delivered a best in class solution that is independent of the purchased media,” said Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer at RetailMeNot. “Paid search is an important part of our integrated marketing strategy to enable millions of consumers to discover savings when deciding what to buy and where to shop. With the launch of Placed Attribution for Search, RetailMeNot is now actively measuring paid search efforts to store visits, where the majority of all retail transactions occur in the U.S.”

 

  • Time to Visit:  Placed measured that 37.95% of retail store visits attributable to RetailMeNot’s paid search campaigns occurred in the first 48 hours.

 

  • Clicks to Bricks:  RetailMeNot search campaigns outperformed Placed’s retail benchmarks for lift by an average of 4.3x.

 

  • Return on Ad Spend:  Paid Search returned a 4.0x return on ad spend (ROAS) that was incremental to the ROI driven online.

 

How It Works

Placed Attribution for Search directly measures the search click through a redirect implemented by the advertiser. This click redirect allows Placed to map keyword clicks to its audience that generates over 140 billion latitudes and longitudes on a monthly basis. Placed’s location platform represents the largest set of active locations in the industry. Using these raw locations, and patented models to identify visits and assign them to places, Placed can directly connect paid search to store visits.

 

Interested in learning more?  Contact us at sales@placed.com.

Accurate Location in Limited Supply, Findings from Placed Research

In the same way in which ad viewability was the hot topic issue these past 18 months, Placed anticipates location accuracy to enter into the headlines.  Placed’s research found that on average the accuracy of exchange based locations were on average off by more than 4 city blocks!  Additionally only 1% of bid request are accurate enough to identify store visits.

 

Download Placed’s Accuracy & Bias in Ad Exchange-Derived Location Data White Paper at https://www.placed.com/resources/white-papers/location-accuracy-bias

 

Excerpts from the white paper:

 

Growth in location based advertising is tied to continued growth in mobile usage. Current spend projections for location based targeting are estimated to reach almost $30B by 2020. As spend increases, so will expectations around validating the accuracy of both the location data and the subsequent visitation impact

 

However, there are several well known limitations of exchange-derived location data. First, the

source (e.g., GPS, cell tower, WIFI, IP) and accuracy of a given exchange-derived location data

point is generally unknown without additional validation. Second, given that ad impressions are

served and exchange-derived locations are observed only when the device is in use, there is the

potential for significant measurement bias to exist.

 

High-level results from the location accuracy analysis include:

 

  • The average accuracy of exchange-derived locations is over 4 New York City blocks.
  • After filtering for location accuracy, only 1% of bid requests are useful for in-store measurement (based on a location accuracy < 50 meters).
  • 80% of bid requests are made while people are in between visits—and most of the rest are made at home, limiting viable use of the data for determining store visitation or affinity.

Takeaways from the analysis of bias in exchange-driven location data:

 

  • Exchange-derived locations are only present when the device owner is using the phone and browsing an app that serves ads, thus bid stream data over indexes on location data from Lodging, and Gyms & Fitness Centers– likely due to readily available wifi combined with extended time spent at a given business.
  • Key retail categories such as Fashion, Professional Services (ex. Staples, OfficeMax), Sporting Goods and Computers & Electronics are under-represented in bid data.
  • The skew toward a subset of commercial business categories creates a bias in exchange derived data that requires validation against first party data to ensure corrected weighting.

Placed joining Snap Inc!

Placed is excited to announce today that we are joining the Snap Inc. team!

 

Over the past 12 months, Placed has measured more than $500 million in media spend to store visits, across thousands of campaigns and hundreds of partners, cementing Placed as the leader in location-based attribution.

 

By partnering with Snap, we will do even more. Still working independently, Placed’s goal continues to be the adoption of a common yardstick that can measure the offline effectiveness of advertising across multiple platforms and publishers.

 

Together, we believe we can drive much better results for advertisers and publishers.

 

David Shim

Placed 100’s First Top Movers for 2017

Placed’s Top 100 monthly rankings of most visited businesses has been published for January 2017. The top categories to experience a climb in rankings this month include Automotive, Gas Stations, and QSR’s. Enterprise rose 17 spots to the 100th most visited business in January, whereas Sonic, Dairy Queen, and Valero each climbed 16 spots.

 

Dairy Queen, in addition to Baskin-Robbins (which increased by 15 ranking points) should be no surprise this month, as January marked the 18th warmest one on record in 123 years in the contiguous US.

 

Chevrolet Dealers and Ford Dealers, which each rose 11 spots and 9 spots respectively, experienced growth in foot traffic as January is tagged a favorable month to buy the most recent models of cars–sales are typically slow, and manufactures increase the price tag as the year goes on.

This month’s top 10 movers are as follows:

 

In terms of the biggest hits in rankings this month, the 25 businesses that experienced the largest drop in rankings all spanned the Retail category, a predictable trend given the end of the holiday shopping season. Retail businesses that declined the least in January 2017 rankings include The Home Depot, Dollar Tree, and the UPS Store, which each only dropped one spot from December. The 10 businesses to experience the largest declines on the list can be found below:

View the full rankings for January 2017 here.

Placed 100 for December Sheds Light on Holiday Retail Movers

Placed’s Top 100 monthly business list, ranked by highest in-store foot traffic, is now available for December 2016. Due to the prominent season of buying and giving in December, the majority of this month’s big movers fell under the Shopping category. 37 businesses in total experienced an increase in ranking, 78% of which were Retail businesses. Only four businesses in the Food & Beverage category experienced upward movement on the list: Chili’s, Olive Garden, Panda Express, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

The idea that offline retail is certainly not dead rang particularly true this month, especially for Clothing & Apparel stores, as five of these businesses climbed at least 20 spots in ranking: Express jumped 35 spots (previously, Express ranked 123 in November and did not even make last month’s top 100 list), followed by increases in Hot Topic (+32 spots), Forever 21 (+25 spots), Victoria’s Secret (+22 spots), and Dick’s Sporting Goods (+20 spots).

 

This month’s top 10 movers are as follows:

In terms of the biggest hits in rankings this month, Dairy Queen’s rank continues to dwindle with the warm weather, followed by several Gas Station and Restaurant (QSR and Fast Casual) businesses declining relatively in December. Although holiday travel was predicted to reach the highest level on record this year, Thanksgiving 2016 alone was set to be the busiest for travel in nine years. The rankings show that travel by road was stronger in November than December, as Chevron dropped 12 spots, while Mobil experienced a decrease of ten spots, and BP a decline of nine rankings.

View the full rankings for December here and lookout for the first official top business list of 2017 movers and shakers next month.

 

Placed 100: This Month’s Round-Up of Most Popular Businesses in November

November’s Top 100 Business Ranking List has been released by Placed. Based on in-store foot traffic measured through Placed’s 2.5 million user audience, this month’s list is a crucial one given the onset of the holiday shopping season. Typical of this time of year, 13 of the 15 businesses with the largest jump in store visit rank were retailers. The biggest climbers in rankings include Gap (+16 spots), Bath And Body Works (+15), J.C.Penney, Victoria’s Secret, and Macy’s (all +11 spots each).

 

November’s Top 10 movers are below:

What did remain the same in 2016, however, was the decline in the Food & Beverage category; Dairy Queen dropped along with the temperatures as it decreased 10 visit rankings, Sonic was down by 7, Jack In The Box and Denny’s by 6, and KFC and Domino’s Pizza each down by 5.

 

View the full Placed 100 to see the other big movers for November.

Placed 100: The Round-Up of Most Popular Businesses in October

Placed’s Top 100 Business Ranking List, based on in-store foot traffic, is now available for October. 35 businesses in total saw an increase in rank versus September, the two most prominent categories being Department Stores and Discount Stores, Warehouse & Wholesale Stores, with six businesses each experiencing upwards movement on the list.

 

Shopping in the spirit of spooky was the large driver behind this growth, as Party City climbed 21 spots to the number 84 most visited business in October. Foot traffic showed that US consumers were all about DIY costumes with attention to detail this year, as Goodwill rose 8-points, Michaels rose 7-points, and Sally’s Beauty Supply rose 5-points.

 

October’s Top 10 movers are below:

In terms of the biggest hits in rankings this month, it was the Food & Beverage category that experienced the biggest drop in rankings. With summer officially over and school back in session, ice cream parlors like Baskin-Robbins and Dairy Queen were the businesses to take the largest hits. Buffalo Wild Wings, who launched their Half-Price Wing Tuesdays in September, actually dropped 5-points in the rankings, providing some evidence that people are watching less football.

 

View the full rankings for October here.

 

Placed 100: The Round-Up of Most Popular Businesses in September

Placed’s Top 100 Business Ranking List, based on in-store foot traffic, is now available for September. 35 businesses in total saw an increase in rank versus August, the two most prominent categories being Fast Food and Gas Stations & Convenience Stores with four businesses each experiencing a climb on the list. Dominos’s Pizza and FedEx tied for the lead in terms of month-over-month rank change, rising 6 spots on the list, closely followed by Baskin-Robbins and Popeye’s Chicken.

 

It’s no surprise that Domino’s Pizza tops the list, as the world’s biggest pizza delivery chain reported a bigger-than-expected 17 percent jump in quarterly revenue for Q3 2016, revealing that customers who pick up pizza at Domino’s are also increasing, in addition to just those ordering delivery. Domino’s Pizza is known for being a leader in digital ordering, while its chief competitor Pizza Hut reported a two percent decline for the same quarter. This change is seen as “an anomaly in the restaurant industry which has been plagued by slowing foot traffic and high competition.”

 

September’s Top 10 movers are below:

 

septtop10

 

In terms of the biggest hits in rankings this month, it was the Retail category that experienced the biggest drop in rankings (American Eagle Outfitters, Ross, J.C. Penney, and Victoria’s Secret), likely due to the back-to-school shopping uptick in August. J.C. Penney, who isn’t set to announce third quarter earnings until Friday November 11th, is an interesting position to see if this decrease in rankings is narrowing as their progress towards rebuilding continues.

 

View the full rankings for September here.