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UberMedia connects cross-channel ad impressions to actual store visits


Mobile ad company UberMedia is expanding its measurement and attribution business in a big way.

You may remember UberMedia as the company that owns social apps like Echofon and UberSocial. While that’s still the case, it has shifted its attention over the past few years to its mobile ad platform, which uses the apps as a source of data — and which can tell advertisers whether someone who saw their ad actually made it into their store.

“We could tell advertisers, out of a campaign they ran, how many people who go to your location are incremental lift — it was not just sheer volume of visits,” said Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Revenue Officer Michael Hayes. “Then once we showed that we could do that well, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that across an advertiser’s media plan?’”

In other words, with its new Cross-Media Location Visit Measurement product, UberMedia is taking its location-based attribution approach and using it to assess the effectiveness of a company’s ads even if they’re not running through UberMedia — whether they’re desktop display ads, video ads, mobile, social or search.

Hayes suggested that this represents a big step up from ad measurement based on things like impressions and clicks, which aren’t directly connected to actual business outcomes. The “holy grail,” he admitted, would be connecting ad impressions to sales data, but “it’s hard for advertisers to get sales data in the hands of agencies on a consistent, weekly basis.”

So if you can’t get sales data, being able to say that your ads drove a certain number of people to a car dealership, or a hotel, or wherever, is pretty good.

“This is not a panel, this is empirical data,” Hayes added, noting that UberMedia has access to billions of behavioral and location data points every day. “And it’s incredibly precise — precision and accuracy are important.”

The goal here is less to offer new measurement tools to existing UberMedia advertisers and more to build an additional business for the company with a new set of customers. Hayes suggested advertisers could also use this data to spot trends and plan future campaigns.

“Measuring our advertising investments to hotel visits is a compelling strategy to better understand how our media is impacting bookings,” said Elvin Kawasaki, vice president and director of digital investment at ad agency Initiative, in an emailed statement. “Cross Media Location Measurement is a major breakthrough for not only the travel category but for other retailers that want to measure foot traffic and make smarter advertising investments.”

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