Historically, beacon technology has been criticized for its lack of scale. The real value of beacons will come when all of those disparate sources are housed in a single network, Walle said.
And that’s Unacast’s play. The company onboards, validates and tags the offline behavior data collected from interactions with beacons and makes it available to DSPs – Unacast works with MediaMath, BlueKai, Oracle, Lotame and Opera Mediaworks – so that they don’t have to partner with each beacon provider individually.
“Sensors are just sensors, and someone needs to attach context to them, to add metadata that says, ‘This sensor is placed in the shoe department of this particular retailer,’” Walle said. “Retailers are only really going to understand offline consumer behavior if they have the full picture, and to get the full picture you need to work with as many proximity companies as possible.”
Walle said Unacast will be well-positioned when marketers start embracing more advanced use cases like collecting data for online retargeting, attribution and tracking return footfall.
He predicted that market will materialize in the next 12 to 18 months, and said Unacast is in discussions with several of the major holding companies, including WPP, to test its tech.
Founded in 2014, Unacast launched in 2015 and maintains four offices, including London, New York, San Francisco and its headquarters in Oslo. The company brought on ironSource and Appssavvy vet Chris Cunningham in April as CRO.