GroundTruth launches new self-service mobile-location ad-buying platform

Advertisers are billed entirely on a cost-per-visit basis.

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GroundTruth has launched a new self-service ad-buying platform. Called “GroundTruth Ads Manager,” it’s billed as “the industry’s first end-to-end self-serve platform for mobile location-based advertising,” and it reportedly touches “2 out of 3 smartphone users” in the US market. As with AdWords, users create an account, upload credit card information and create a campaign “in a matter of minutes.” GroundTruth says that there’s no minimum spend. There will be bidding, however. Using GroundTruth’s trove of location data, advertisers can target specific places in real time and target audiences, constructed from offline visitation patterns and attributes (and associated buying intent). They can also layer them: e.g., women under 30 who have been to a specific fast-casual restaurant in the past three months and who are present at a competitor’s location. According to GroundTruth CMO Eric Hadley, advertisers can optimize their ads against store visits. They’ll be able to adjust their budgets according to how many visits they want to drive. Hadley added that the company uses third parties to verify offline visits. “Unlike some others,” he said, “we’re not grading our own homework.” While there are multiple firms doing offline attribution and targeting based on location data, the self-service and cost-per-visit aspects of the platform are what stand out. GroundTruth is one of a very small number of advertising platforms that have introduced this model (it was the first to do so). Hadley explained that brands have responded positively to CPV optimization. (Recently, the CEO of IoT company Freckle said he believed “[e]very online KPI goes away with better offline attribution.”) While the platform is intended for anybody, Hadley believes that smaller agencies and in-house marketers at multilocation businesses or franchises will be the primary audience rather than “mom and pop” businesses. However, there’s no reason that third parties provisioning ads for smaller businesses couldn’t use the platform as well.

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About the author

Greg Sterling
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Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

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