Placed’s Commitment to Independent Measurement

Last week, we excitedly shared the news that we were joining forces with Foursquare. And the outpouring of enthusiasm by clients, partners, and the industry at large has been tremendous. However, one question, which rings familiar, “can Placed be truly independent alongside Foursquare’s media business?” Overwhelmingly, the answer is YES! Just as it had been two years ago.

In June 2017, Placed was acquired by Snap, Inc. with the goal of delivering a truly independent “…yardstick that can measure the offline effectiveness of advertising across multiple platforms and publishers.” And we did just that. In the shadow of over a billion dollars in media (Snap), Placed has built the #1 attribution solution in market. That’s 500+ advertisers and 450+ publishers working with Placed across more than $2B+ in measured media in the last year alone.

With the acquisition by Foursquare, Placed will build on its established stance as the most widely used, independent location-based attribution platform:  

  • Placed powered by Foursquare will operate independently of Foursquare’s media business
    • That means separate support teams, one for attribution clients, and another for media
    • That also means zero exchange of advertiser or partner data between the teams
  • Placed’s production infrastructure will operate separately from any media production infrastructure
  • Placed will continue to maintain its Seattle office
  • Service is uninterrupted for the +1,000 clients already benefiting from Foursquare and Placed technology.

If these points look familiar, that’s because they resemble the letter that I wrote in November 2017, CEO Letter: Continued Independence, Investment, and Innovation. The difference now is that we’ve since added over 150+ partners since, highlighting the trust that the market has put in Placed and now Placed powered by Foursquare as the independent leader in attributing store visits to advertising.  

Thanks to our supporters, including Jeremi Gorman, Chief Business Officer of Snap, Inc., who said last week, “Together, Foursquare and Placed are a powerhouse in location technology and measurement, and we are excited to see how they invent the future of location. We look forward to continuing to work with them in many capacities, including measurement and location data, as we focus on building on the growing momentum in our advertising business.”

We look forward to sharing more news and proving our value and integrity to customers and partners.  

To learn more about how Foursquare and Placed are changing the world of location technology, please see Placed Blog and Foursquare Blog.

Last Letter as CEO of Placed, First Letter as President of Foursquare

Since starting Placed almost 10 years ago, we held the thesis that the location industry needed a single source of truth in order to truly drive adoption.  Placed has delivered that single source of truth in measuring media to store visits with Placed Attribution, used across 440+ publishers and platforms on behalf of 500+ advertisers.  Additionally, Placed Insights, our open location analytics platform, is the most widely utilized in market with thousands of users logging in monthly.

While the adoption of Placed has exceeded our own expectations, there has been a competitor that I’ve begrudgingly admired from a distance.  They hold many of the same principles as Placed, invested in proprietary first party data, building models based on validated visits, focusing in engineering and data science first, creating a market leading point-of-interest database, and most importantly, valuing and protecting user privacy.  This company is Foursquare, and I’m excited to announce that today Placed is merging with Foursquare to deliver the most comprehensive and fully independent technology stack in the location technology industry.

The combination of Foursquare and Placed standout as the quantifiable leaders in market:  


  • Well over $100MM in revenue the last 12 months tied exclusively to location across more than 1,000 clients
  • In the last 12 months over $3 billion dollars in media spend attributable back to store visits representing a quarter of a trillion ad impressions
  • Placed powered by Foursquare will be the undisputed leader in offline attribution, trusted by:
    • 75 of the 100 most visited chains in the US
    • 18 of the 20 most visited restaurant brands in the US
    • 14 of the 20 most visited retailers in the US
    • 450+ publishers across digital, video, TV, and OOH
  • The largest team to ever focus exclusively on location with 350+ employees with over 40% representing Engineering and Data Science
  • Investment led by leading technology media and telecommunications-focused global merchant bank The Raine Group along with its co-investors in the amount of $150MM, representing one of the largest investment commitments the industry has seen
  • A measured audience of over 100MM unique devices in the U.S., thanks to the combination of Placed with Foursquare’s extensive data, developer network and consumer apps.
  • Placed and Foursquare’s first-party data centers on transparent opt-in, always-on location, true visit and stop detection, and multi-sensor awareness.
  • A combination of Placed’s validated visits with Foursquare’s user-confirmed visits that number over 13.1 billion to date, making it the leading first-party data set to train machine learning to capture accurate store visits.

With the scale that a combined Placed and Foursquare will deliver in-market, you’ll see many improvements across our suite of products, while remaining committed to our position as the independent measurement solution for store visits:  

  • In the coming months, Foursquare Attribution will merge into Placed Attribution, reintroduced as Placed powered by Foursquare. It will deliver a single solution with all of the best-in-class features associated with each service
  • Placed will continue to deliver offline attribution to its 500+ advertisers and agencies
  • Placed will continue to be Snapchat’s preferred solution to measure ad exposures to store visits
  • Placed will continue to add new partners and advertisers and expand existing relationships as the largest independent advertising to in-store attribution solution in-market   
  • Placed will continue to operate independent of media with a strict process in place to protect partner and advertiser data  
  • The new offering will immediately incorporate Foursquare’s industry leading POI as well as proprietary and privacy-focused 1st party data into its platform (105MM POIs across 150 countries)

When we look back, history will define this as a seminal moment in location, that changes everything, and I couldn’t be more excited and honored to be a part of this ride at Foursquare as President.    

https://blog.placed.com/nas/content/live/placed/https:/placed-blog.s3.amazonaws.com/srv/blog-source/shared/2017/10/David-300x95.png

David Shim

Founder and CEO


PS – A special thanks goes out to the team at Snap, including Evan Spiegel and Jeremi Gorman, for embracing the opportunity and impact of a combined Foursquare and Placed, and former CSO Imran Khan, for believing in the vision of Placed in 2017.        



Spotify’s Digital Advertising Experiences Drive Traffic for Brands in the Real World

Global Audio Streaming Service Drove 430,000 Offline Visits to Baskin-Robbins, Measured by Placed

Spotify has selected Placed as a measurement partner for offline attribution in the U.S. Through this partnership, Placed will measure the business outcomes that Spotify’s media platform delivers across the range of places where their users engage with the platform, including mobile, desktop, connected speakers, and listening in-car.


Baskin-Robbins–the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops–has already found value in this partnership. Last year, Baskin-Robbins leveraged  Spotify’s turnkey Audio Everywhere format to reach the platform’s culturally savvy listeners of all ages as they soundtracked the summer, taking advantage of the time people spend outdoors and away from screens as the weather heats up. They engaged their audience with an ear-catching campaign, “Baskin-Robbins Got Me Like,” which featured a friendly voice tempting listeners with tasty descriptions of  two new drinks: Sundae Shakes and Ice Cream Lattes.

Using Placed, Baskin-Robbins measured the impact of the audio campaign on Spotify, finding:


  1. Over 12% lift in store visitation — about 4x the Placed industry benchmark
  2. 430K U.S. store visits from people who heard the ad
  3. 47K incremental store visits, with a positive return on investment

The full success story can be found on SpotifyforBrands.com.


“We’re always interested in driving store visits to Baskin-Robbins, and it’s important for retail marketers to gauge the success of their media buys with a partner who can measure in-store, like Placed,” shared Dave Nagel, Senior Director of Consumer Engagement. “With this campaign, we were able to get an effective read on platforms like Spotify and make more efficient decisions about our media spend. Using a platform like Spotify, combined with the measurement results from Placed was a strong way of validating our messaging and media strategy.”


“With Placed measurement tools in our wheelhouse, we were able to demonstrate our ability to drive impact where it matters most to brands like Baskin-Robbins: foot traffic,” said Brian Berner, U.S. Head of Sales at Spotify. “Placed’s approach to measurement and focus on consumer privacy make them an ideal partner as we look to underscore the value of Spotify for advertisers and marketers.”


“Spotify has a strong track record delivering incremental store visits,” says David Shim, Placed CEO and Founder. “We’re proud to work with Spotify to help advertisers like Baskin-Robbins to optimize campaigns to drive real-world actions.”


For more information about Placed’s partners, please visit our Partner page.


As Sears and Kmart stores close, where will their shoppers go?

Where will shoppers go if Sears and Kmart close?

For those of us interested in the retail space, foot traffic, or simply business in general, the closure of major retail stores like Sears and Kmart is a big deal. Both rank in the top 10 for visit share in the “Department Store” category. That’s a lot of visitation, so as their presence diminishes, other stores stand to gain considerable business. To get an idea of where that might be, we can use Placed Insights to examine two key visitation metrics: customer overlap* and customer affinity.**

Department Stores

While Sears and Kmart are not completely similar (Sears is a mall-based department store while Kmart is geared toward bargain shoppers), they do share a lot of visitation with two other major department stores. Among Sears, Kmart, JCPenney, and Kohl’s, we saw customer overlap between roughly 19-25% last quarter. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more shoppers turn to these stores after Sears and Kmart close.

Specialized Stores

More specialized stores may also see an increase in foot traffic. Sears is known for carrying a broad range of products including electronics, appliances, lingerie, and athletic shoes. Three distinct competitors with significant customer overlap or customer affinity with Sears includes Best Buy (27%), Victoria’s Secret (20%) and Finish Line, which has a 1.53 Customer Affinity index with Sears.

Discount Stores

Dollar-branded stores such as Dollar Tree and Dollar General both stand to gain Kmart foot traffic. Both are in the top 3 in terms of customer overlap, with 37% and 24% respectively. Discount retailers Five Below and Big Lots may also gain customers, as they have a Kmart Customer Affinity Index of 1.26 and 1.23 respectively.

*Customer overlap is the percentage of all visitors to one business (i.e. Sears) that also visited a second business (i.e. Kohl’s) in a given time frame.

**Affinity Index is the likelihood that a given population (i.e. Autozone shoppers) also visited another business (i.e. Whole Foods) in a given time frame, compared to the general U.S. population. For example: if Autozone shoppers have a Whole Foods Affinity Index of 1.50, it means Autozone shoppers are 50% more likely to visit Whole Foods in the given time frame than the general U.S. population.

Placed Research: How Advertising has Evolved for QSR & Fast Casual Restaurants

QSR campaigns perform well compared to other verticals or categories.

The ubiquity of mobile devices has dramatically changed the landscape for restaurant advertising, particularly for Quick-Serve (QSR) and Fast Casual. No longer constrained to the desktop, digital advertisers have embraced the possibilities of mobile data and continue to do so—digital ad spend measured by Placed for QSR and Fast Casual increased by over 1,000% between 2014 and 2018.


In this new paper from Placed Research, we explore unexpected and useful insight gained through nuanced location analysis that can be used to guide advertising strategy:

  • QSR marketers do better than average in terms of lift and efficiency
  • Audio and Social apps are the most cost-effective channels for influencing QSR customers
  • QSR and Fast Casual marketers spend efficiently on TV
  • Tactical incrementality is strongest for younger & less loyal customers

Read the full report here, or contact sales@placed.com to learn more.