Back in early June, it was reported that Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, had acquired Placed. Placed is a location analytics firm, and aims to measure store visits and offline revenue generated by out of home ads, television, and digital. Both Facebook and Google already have offline attribution, but Placed is claiming to be the first “media independent” solution for paid search campaigns. The company explains that they measure the search click through a redirect put in place by the advertiser and that that click redirect allows them to map keyword clicks to billions of locations on a monthly basis. By using these locations, in addition to patented models to identify visits and assign them to places, Placed can connect store visits to paid search.
They recently performed a case study with RetailMeNot to demonstrate their offerings and discovered that 38% of store visits tied to search campaigns happened within 48 hours. Even though more than 90% of all retail purchases happen offline, offline attribution is only utilized by a small margin of marketers. This is unfortunate because the latter twists the results of the campaign’s performance, and makes it easy for conversions and visits not to be captured. After all, it’s a well-known fact that local searches have the potential to drive a huge number of offline store visits.
Facebook and Google already have offline tracking since mobile devices help make that possible, but also because ROI usually increases significantly when offline actions are factored into the equation. Offline analytics, such as calls or visits, can also help marketers optimize their campaigns for real-world behaviors vs. clicks. Since retail makes up the largest category of online ad spending, a variety of companies find themselves experimenting with cost per visit ad models that are currently being very well received. In the future, automotive and home services will likely be good audiences to tap into for offline or location analytics. One thing is for sure, keep an eye on Placed! Perhaps now is time for you to try your hand at offline attribution.