It’s a move that will allow both entities to benefit one from the other while continuing to grow, Hillberg said.
Thinknear, which now effectively acts as Telenav’s advertising business unit, relies on two different sets of technology to run its targeted mobile campaigns: Telenav’s existing Scout.me mobile navigation service with search capabilities and an ad platform for serving mobile display ads. Thinknear clients tap into the platform to identify what Hillberg called “premier location-enabled inventory on the ad exchanges,” which they can use to deliver targeted impressions from there.
Although there’s a minor integration between Thinknear and Scout, the rest of the tech remains separate. Rather, Thinknear takes advantage of Telenav’s first-party data through the Scout application and other Telenav apps to power its display targeting.
“We have a great footprint now and we’re investing heavily in this initiative,” Hillberg said. “It’s all about mobile and it’s all about location. That’s the Thinknear way.”
In his new role at Thinknear, Hillberg will be handing day-to-day operations and acting as a sort of bridge between Thinknear and the operating unit at Telenav. Hillberg is already well familiar with Thinknear after spending several years in an advisory role overseeing Portnoy and his team.
Hyperlocal advertising – which Hillberg defined rather literally as 100 square meters – and better attribution solutions will both continue to top the list of priorities on the Thinknear road map. Hillberg said he’s also to planning to focus more attention on improving Location Score, a metric designed to help marketers understand the quality of the location data they use in their campaigns by quantifying the difference between a consumer’s inferred location based on an ad request vs. that person’s actual physical location.
“There is a significant appetite for location-enabled data,” Hillberg said. “There’s also an uneasiness around click-through rate and the feeling that it’s not the right way to measure ROI. Our view is that this is an opportunity in the space to use location to get closer and closer to closing the loop, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”