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.

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.

Most Popular Apps for Clinton and Trump Supporters

The differences between Trump and Clinton supporters extend beyond political view and into the apps that they are more likely to have installed on their smartphone. Utilizing Placed’s double opt-in audience, Placed was able to connect localized voting preferences to apps installed.

 

Using apps as a proxy, Clinton supporters are content generators with messaging and photo apps making up 70% of the list, while Trump supporters are more content consumers with 60% of the list including apps like NFL Mobile, Slacker Radio, Audible, Amazon Music, and Kindle. As it relates to retail, Trump supporters gravitate towards the market leaders with Walmart, the largest retailer in the US, and Amazon, the largest retailer in the US, representing 4 out of the top 10 apps.

 

For both candidates, the most popular businesses in the physical world by candidate preference have very little correlation with their supporters’ digital activities. This separation of offline versus online behaviors even for the same candidate highlights the importance of treating each medium in its own silo, as what works online isn’t necessarily going to work offline.

 

With Trump raising over $26MM in June through online and mail solicitations, it highlights digital as a strong channel to reach his strongest supporters and drive donations. Utilizing this list, Trump can focus fundraising efforts on apps where his supporters are most likely to be found. Clinton’s strength in social applications could represent an opportunity to replicate President Obama’s success in 2012 leveraging social media to drive donations.

 

Clinton Trump Supports Most Popular Apps

Free Burritos Are Driving Chipotle’s Recovery as Measured by Placed

Through a unique combination of location ratings service data and custom survey data, Placed was able to directly measure the change in visits to Chipotle during the frenzy following the restaurant’s E. coli outbreaks.

 

By analyzing location behaviors of consumers sourced from our Placed Insights service over a 13-month period, the data shows a drop in monthly Chipotle visitation that directly correlates with the outbreaks. Chipotle’s share in monthly traffic hit a low of 8.04% during the month of January 2016, a full three months after the first initial outbreak, representing the lowest visitor share over the 13-month period.

 

On February 8th, 2016, Chipotle shut down its nationwide stores to retrain staff on food safety. At the same time, the company launched a campaign to reintroduce customers to the brand with free burritos. Coupons worth a generous total of $70 million in free burritos were given away.

 

The “reintroduction period” with the support of millions of free burritos proved to be a promising tactic as Chipotle’s visitor share in Placed Insights for February and March show a gentle spike. More specifically, the burrito coupons pushed March 2016 visitor share to a level almost as high as that of the previous year (8.81% visitor share in March 2016 vs. 8.86% in March the year prior). Overall, the promotion had a material impact in winning back Chipotle customers.

 

CHI

Digging deeper into Placed Insights data reveals restaurants that benefited from Chipotle’s recent turmoil. In terms of visitor share within the Mexican restaurant category, there were a few notable beneficiaries:

 

Change in Mexican Restaurant Visitor Share, October 2015 vs. December 2015

  • Moe’s Southwest Grill, 5% increase
  • Del Taco, 2% increase

Looking beyond this category, Placed compared two leaders of the “fast-casual revolution,” Chipotle and Panera Bread. Examining overlap in visitation rates through November 2015, Panera Bread visitors were more likely to visit Chipotle than vice versa. However, in December 2015, the visitation points meet, indicating a shift in traffic from Chipotle to Panera.

 

Change in Chipotle & Panera Visitor Share Overlap, October 2015 vs. December 2015

  • % of Chipotle Visitors who also went to Panera grew 7%
  • % of Panera Visitors who also went to Chipotle dropped 3%

 Measuring Perception Across Chipotle Visitors in April 2016

To add some color and tell the whole story behind the numbers, Placed surveyed its audience on their most recent visit to Chipotle to find the ways that public sentiment has changed for the brand:

  • 46% had visited Chipotle within the last two weeks prior to their current visit
  • 19% of respondents cited a free burrito coupon as the primary reason for their visit, while 46% said a craving for Chipotle drove their visit
  • 70% are likely to visit Chipotle again within the next month
  • Over 90% are aware of the E. coli outbreaks, and among those who are aware, 79% visit about the same or more frequently since the news of the E. coli outbreak

Measuring the success of Chipotle’s strategy through free burrito coupons, Placed discovered that visitors who are less likely to frequent Chipotle due to the E. coli outbreaks are more likely to use Chipotle coupons than visitors whose visitation has increased or remained the same:

  • Among those who visit Chipotle less frequently due to the outbreaks, 23% used a free burrito coupon during their visit, which is 27% higher than those whose visits didn’t decrease during this time frame.
  • For coupon users who visit less frequently since the outbreaks, the majority said prior to this Chipotle visit, their last visit was within the last 6 months (29%) or more than 6 months ago (16%)
  • This group of users is also 61% likely to visit Chipotle in the next month

Chipotle’s approach to winning back customers with coupons shows signs of early success with directly measured foot traffic from Placed Insights, and perception metrics from Placed Survey.

Strong Start for Sprint’s “The Cut Your Bill in Half Event”

sprint_logoOn December 5th Sprint launched, “The Cut Your Bill in Half Event,” where consumers could bring a copy of their Verizon or AT&T bill to a Sprint store and their Sprint would cut their bill in half. Beyond the aggressive discounting, this promotion was unique in that it required a consumer to go into a Sprint store to complete the offer.

 

With the world’s largest opt-in location panel, Placed was able to directly measure the change in store visits to Sprint store as compared to the other wireless carriers. The results in the first two weeks were clear, this promotion is having a material impact in offline visits.

 

  • Week 1: Sprint saw the largest % increase in foot traffic across all wireless carrier stores
  • Week 2: Sprint increased foot traffic market share by almost 3% since the start of the sale

Download the White Paper, Foot Traffic Impact of Sprint’s ” The Cut Your Bill in Half Event” for additional details including corresponding TV spend.

 

Black Friday Shoppers – Not Your Average Consumer

As the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday is the pinnacle event for deal-hungry consumers who brave the crowds in search of steep discounts and door buster deals. For retailers, understanding who these shoppers are and how they behave is critical to driving more shoppers into their stores and capturing a greater share of holiday dollars.

 

In our recent report, Holiday Shopper Profile: Offline Insights into Thanksgiving and Black Friday Shoppers, we surveyed 14,645 smartphone panelists about their holiday shopping plans and combined this with direct measurement of their offline shopping behaviors to reveal interesting insights into this consumer segment.

 

When asked about their Black Friday shopping plans, nearly half of respondents planned to shop on Black Friday this year, with 1 in 4 still unsure if they will join in on the deal hunting.

  • Although online shopping continues to gain ground, the majority of consumers still prefer brick-and-mortar to click-to-order on Black Friday.

 

Black Friday shoppers are not your typical consumers. Placed found these shoppers displayed strong demographic characteristics to set them apart.

  • Black Friday Shoppers were significantly more likely to be Asian (index 133), Hispanic (114), and African Americans (110) than an average consumer.
  • Shoppers skewed younger, with those ages 25-34 over-indexing the highest, and were significantly more likely to have children.

 

Leveraging Placed Insights to directly measure consumers’ location behaviors, the study analyzed where those that planned to shop on Black Friday had a higher likelihood to visit even before the holiday season officially begins.

 

Not unexpectedly, Black Friday shoppers over-index to discount retailers in October, while at the same time branching out to premium brands such as Coach, Apple Store, and Whole Foods.

  • Based on observed retail visits in October, Black Friday shoppers showed a high affinity for Discount Retailers including Burlington Coat Factory, T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, and Old Navy which indicates this shopper segment is actively looking for deals during the other 364 days of the year.
  • Apple Store, Coach, and Whole Foods are retailers where Black Friday shoppers over-indexed in October, highlighting this segment’s willingness to move up funnel for selected premium brands.

 

As Black Friday rapidly approaches, retailers that understand the behaviors and characteristics of shoppers roaming their aisles will be best positioned for a positive start to this holiday season.

 

To find out more about Black Friday shoppers, download our latest report.

‘Tis the Season to Showroom: Black Friday Smartphone Usage

With more than half of Americans armed with a smartphone this holiday season, these small devices are set to play a big role in how consumers shop – both in store and on screen.

 

In our recent report, Holiday Shopper Profile: Offline Insights into Thanksgiving and Black Friday Shoppers, we surveyed 14,645 smartphone panelists about their holiday shopping plans and combined this with direct measurement of their offline shopping behaviors to provide in-depth analysis into this consumer segment.

 

According to Black Friday shoppers, smartphones are the perfect deal-hunting companion. Nearly half of survey respondents planned to use their device to “get coupons/deals” this Black Friday, while 43% of shoppers plan to compare prices online while they are in a physical retail store – i.e. showroom.

 

Showrooming has evolved, moving from a niche behavior of tech-savvy shoppers to a widespread consumer activity. To combat showrooming and even leverage it to their advantage, retailers need to understand which aisles these consumers are likely to be browsing.

 

Based on observed visits in October, those that plan to use their smartphone to showroom on Black Friday had a higher propensity to visit Bookstores, Toys Stores, Beauty, Sporting Goods, and Shoe retailer categories. Drilling down further by retailer found DSW Shoe Warehouse, Ulta, Sports Authority, and Dick’s Sporting Goods display some of the strongest brand affinities among this audience during their pre-holiday shopping activities.

 

In an environment where shoppers hold the pricing power of the Internet in their hand, brick-and-mortar retailers need to go on the offensive. By combining targeted mobiles ads with exclusive in-store incentives, marketers can drive the right audience in-store with an experience that an online competitor can’t match.

 

To find out more about Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopper trends, download the report.

 

A New Way to Monetize Your App (without Ads)

How to monetize apps?  The challenge plagues many developers as they try to strike a balance between making money without compromising the user experience. With monetization options largely limited to paid app models, in-app purchasing, and ads (which impact user experience), it’s clear that developers need new ways to drive app dollars while keeping their experience intact.

 

Answering this need for more monetization options, Placed announced the launch of Placed Affiliate earlier this week, which offers app developers a new and easy way to monetize apps without altering the user experience.

 

If you’re interested in monetizing your app with Placed Affiliate, request an invitation to participate here.

Placed Affiliate provides incremental and recurring revenue to app developers by monetizing location data for market research, not ads, and works alongside existing monetization channels to increase total app revenue.

 

Set up is easy: Developers implement the SDK, users opt-in and, in exchange, the developer earns incremental income.

Placed Affiliate

 

What about privacy? Placed keeps user privacy at the core of its approach. Participating apps not only have location permissions enabled by the end user, but also require a secondary notification and opt-in for any data exchange, ensuring a privacy first user experience.

 

Ready to monetize your app? Request your invitation to participate in Placed Affiliate.

 

 

 

Do You Showroom? Study Reveals New Insights into Showroomers’ Shopping Habits

Showrooming: The word that strikes fear into the hearts of brick-and-mortar retailers as shoppers take to their aisles only to buy for a cheaper price online. In our new study, Placed: Aisle to Amazon, we take an in-depth look at where these showroom-savvy consumers shop, revealing which retailers should be most wary of this growing trend.

 

Males vs. Female Showroomers

One of the key findings from the study highlighted the differences between male and female showroomers and the brick-and-mortar stores they were likely to visit.

 

  • Best Buy took the top spot for males who were 39% more likely to visit the electronics store than the average U.S. consumer, while Kohl’s led for Females at 49%.
  • For Male showroomers, the #2 and #3 retailers they were most likely to visit were held by home improvement retailers The Home Depot (24%) and Lowe’s (23%), with Sears landing the #4 spot at 22% and Costco securing the #5 position at 20%.
  • Females saw PetSmart (47%), Bed Bath & Beyond (46%), Marshall’s (44%) and Old Navy (38%) round out the top five.

Download your copy of the full study: Placed: Aisle to Amazon

Male vs. Female Showroomers