Nearly four of every five digital display dollars were transacted programmatically in 2017, totaling $32.56 billion. (eMarketer) And recently, the power of programmatic has started to transform other avenues of marketing such as TV advertising via CTV/OTT and even out-of-home advertising.
Alongside the growth of programmatic, marketers are also realizing the importance of localization. Recently BIA/Kelsey forecasted that national brands will more than double their local advertising spend between 2017 and 2022. On top of that, according to a survey of 500 marketers by the Local Search Association, multilocation brands are spending a quarter of their budgets on location-based marketing and more than half are using location data to target customers, representing billions of dollars spent annually.
Leveraging the power of programmatic to achieve advertising that is more local and personal is a clear choice. From day one, our mission here at Simpli.fi has been straightforward: make programmatic accessible for advertiser of all sizes who want to effectively scale localized audiences, messages, and budgets in real-time and across channels.
Recently Frost Prioleau, CEO of Simpli.fi, joined Greg Sterling from LSA for their “On Target” podcast to continue this conversation about localized programmatic. It was a lively discussion on how advertisers of all kinds are leveraging localized programmatic, the rise of location data as a tool, insights on attribution measurement, and more.
The full podcast can be found here. For our blog readers, here’s a roundup of the conversation.
Why Localized Programmatic?
The addition of programmatic advertising was one of the biggest advancements in digital since the introduction of search but initially, all of the available programmatic tech was focused on national campaigns. Since Simpli.fi’s founding in 2011, our programmatic targeting capabilities have transformed all aspects of localized marketing.
Localization is necessary in order to effectively reach users whose buying habits, nomenclature, and preferences vary widely from state-to-state and city-to-city. However, scaling large numbers of highly personal and targeted local campaigns requires purpose-built technology. This is where Simpli.fi fits into the marketplace. We serve SMB’s by powering the programmatic offering for local media companies (cable companies, TV stations, newspapers, etc) and also provide programmatic media buying for multilocation brands and their agencies.
What Does It Mean to Deliver Performance on High Volumes of Localized Campaigns?
Here at Simpli.fi, we often talk about the scale of our platform. On any given day, we have 90,000+ live campaigns. The number is impressive, no doubt, however the reason we love this number goes beyond the initial wow-factor because it reflects a core indicator of Simpli.fi’s unique approach to programmatic.
Due to the nature of localized programmatic, it is defined by high volumes of localized campaigns. It’s imperative to make sure that impressions are delivered to the right people and are targeted with precise data so that the ads reach only the specific audience that will drive traffic to a website or increase foot traffic to a store. A handful of targeted campaigns is not going to be as effective for a local audience. Success demands a large number of extremely targeted campaigns, messaging and audiences and this requires sophisticated automation.
To achieve performance on high volumes of localized campaigns, we use a type of granular data – called unstructured data – as opposed to audience segments from a DMP. This allows us to optimize audiences to a much more detailed level. We could write a whole blog about the power of unstructured data, and in fact, we have!
Click over to read about how unstructured data provides Simpli.fi’s locally-minded clients with a truly transformational programmatic tool.
How is Foot Traffic Attribution Measured for Localized Programmatic?
Largely in the location-based targeting space, foot traffic measurement is done via panels that estimate projected location visits based on a sample of opt-in mobile users. Panel-based attribution tracks the users they have data on (those opt-in users) and scales up the measurements – which means visits to a specific location are estimated based on assumptions.
This is why Simpli.fi chose to take a different attribution approach for localized programmatic. For national campaigns focused on reaching large, broad-based audiences, panel-based attribution can provide a good indication of behavior. Panels can work well in situations where there is enough volume to get accurate signals. However, nationwide panels are not effective in localized advertising, where audiences are often measured in thousands, not millions.
For localized advertising to work, it’s important to bring a larger amount of data to the table. In order to measure and report foot traffic visits for our clients, our approach at Simpli.fi has been an “all of the above” approach to data. We have access to all the main sources of GPS and have strong algorithms and methodologies for cleaning and eliminating data that is not delivering a verifiable GPS location.
Location Data is a Hot Topic. How Does Simpli.fi Use It?
Location-based advertising requires the use of location data, such as GPS. Years ago, the best available solution was for advertisers to use reverse iP lookup in order to map to a location. The advent of GPS targeting has transformed the local advertising world. With its introduction, advertisers can target users up to 50 meters or less and they have a higher ability to target based on specific areas – such as neighborhoods or specific store locations – and to attribute their ad spend to store visits.
Here at Simpli.fi, we apply location data through the use of Geo-Fencing. Powered by latitude and longitude GPS data, Geo-Fencing is the foundation of Simpli.fi’s advanced location-based mobile advertising technology. This powerful technology is used to target a dynamic and custom audience based on their location, to track online-to-offline conversions, drive mobile performance and reach, and much more.
Location-based advertising is already taking the advertising space by storm and it’s only going to continue to grow as more businesses leverage it to better drive foot traffic and understand how to measure it.
Have more questions about location data? We answered the four most commonly asked questions about location data in this recent blog, including more info about Geo-Fencing.
Last Thoughts: Applying Programmatic to Upper Funnel Behaviors
Beyond the use of Site Retargeting, personalization is not usually seen in programmatic advertising and even more rarely applied to upper funnel behaviors. In other words, personalizing creative to reach more users earlier in their buying process is an untapped opportunity for many programmatic advertisers.
For example, a prospective car buyer is researching options online and reading reviews of various car brands. Site Retargeting kicks in after the shopper visits the dealership’s website and leaves. The advertiser can serve ads to the user right away or at a later time as they continue to search the web. This is a powerful targeting tool and works effectively. Our clients use it often and see strong performance.
But consider the impact if that advertiser could reach the car shopper before they even visited the brand’s website. Simpli.fi’s Prospecting Dynamic Creative goes beyond standard creative by not only matching the audience to the creative, but by also adjusting the content of the ad to the individual based on upper-funnel behaviors, such as keywords searched and contextual elements. It takes into consideration the nuances of a buyer’s search intent such as color, car classification, new vs. used, certified vehicles, etc. No site visit is needed to dynamically serve the ads and no integration with inventory software is required. Simpli.fi offers this tool to our automotive clients today with future plans to reach additional industries.
Dig deeper into these insights and much more by listening to LSA’s “On Target” podcast found here. A big thank you to LSA for having us join!