Both tools complement PlaceIQ’s “place visit rate” (PVR) metric. Launched last year, PVR uses location data to determine the percentage of customers that were served a retailer’s mobile banner ad also visited a physical store.
Because the effectiveness of PIQ Analytics and PreVisit depend on scale, retailers in densely-populated areas are most likely to benefit, McCall said. “If you want to know where people were before they arrived at a bakery in Des Moines, Iowa, for example, that could be more difficult to find if many people are not checking their phones and there’s less foot traffic in the area, compared to a Walmart or McDonalds where we are more likely to have a larger sample size that has statistical meaning,” he said.
PlaceIQ also does not identify people’s exact locations. The company’s technology can tell marketers that someone is inside a certain store in a shopping mall, but it would not know which floor or aisle, for example.
Despite these limitations, location data is becoming increasingly helpful in giving marketers a more comprehensive understanding of where consumers’ interests lie and where they are in the purchase funnel, said Shelby Saville, EVP of digital at Spark, a Starcom MediaVest Group agency that uses PlaceIQ’s PVR metrics and is considering its Analytics and PreVisit tools.
“What’s interesting is that two years ago location data as a targeting tool was hardly on anyone’s radar outside of geofencing,” said Saville. “Now we’re using it for insights into people’s shopping behavior as we think about the consumer’s journey and location data helps us understand the customer further.”
PlaceIQ faces competition from other companies that also offer location-based ad targeting capabilities such as Placed, Maponics, xAd and Foursquare, as well as data behemoths like Google, Facebook and Twitter.