Macy’s used xAd to place a geofence along the parade route and around the store, and served location-based ads encouraging people to come in and play.
The proximity targeting drove the most reach while the on-premises beacon targeting drove the highest engagement – both logical conclusions. Macy’s used xAd to tie incremental store visits to the campaign, although Yarnell declined to share specific results.
It’s a cool idea on paper, but Yarnell readily admitted the user experience was a little clunky. Not only did players have to first download the Macy’s app and fill out a form to register, they had to enable location services, opt in for push notifications, turn on Bluetooth and actually visit a store before they could participate.
“We learned that simplicity is key,” Yarnell said.
The Herald Square activation was also a one-off, or at least it’s something Macy’s could only do as frequently as once a year when Thanksgiving rolls around. Macy’s is actively considering how to create an always-on location strategy.
“We did drive incremental foot traffic and it did drive sales, but it was a moment in time and there were challenges around scale,” Yarnell said. “The tools are there and the plumbing is there – but we need to figure out how to connect all the dots.”
It’s from an easy feat considering how fragmented the landscape is. That’s why when Macy’s looks for marketing partners, it’s not looking at the LUMAscape.
“[That] does not help me as a marketer when I’m trying to evaluate the space,” she said.
Macy’s wants to light upon the tech solutions “that can support deterministic cross-device identity” and extend “that effort ultimately into an omnichannel-focused strategy,” Yarnell said.
To that end, Macy’s has found value with a pared down list of partners, including Facebook, Twitter, MoPub, Hearst, AOL, Adelphic, Turn, MediaMath, xAd, Placed, NinthDecimal and adTheorent.
“Our approach is to try to not be paralyzed by the lack of clarity on how we want to proceed,” Yarnell said.