ComScore and xAd pair to link online ads with offline actions

Understanding the relationship between mobile advertising and in-store footprint

ComScore (a company part-owned by WPP) has paired with xAd (an outfit that helps advertisers locate audiences in public) to help brands better understand when their mobile ads have driven an in-store visit.

The tie-up works by using comScore’s measurement methods, plus xAd’s BluePrint technology to let advertisers measure the reach and frequency of their mobile campaigns; more specifically it better helps them understand how ads served on a mobile phone influenced in-store footfall.

The solution will initially be available globally for mobile campaigns through xAd, and will later be available at scale for desktop and television through comScore, providing marketers with cross-screen measurement and viewability, according to the pair.

The partnership proves significant given the trends of audiences increasingly using their mobile phones as their primary media-consumption device (US location-based search and advertising is expected to have a CAGR of 40 per cent until 2020) plus marketers increasingly being asked to prove the ROI of their media spend.

Shashi Seth, xAd’s chief product officer, said the partnership would help both advertisers, and publishers alike, as marketers would be more confident that their media spend is driving value for their organisations.

“Collaborations like this one will help establish a new standard for offline measurement while helping to deliver more accurate and timely ROI metrics,” he said.

Duncan Trigg, comScore’s SVP of advertising, added: “ComScore Location Lift in xAd will provide the cross-media comparable insights brands need to understand how they’re reaching their target audiences across screens, and whether those impressions converted into actual physical store visits.”

The tie-up reflects moves made earlier this month by Facebook, which announced the launch of its Store Locator tool that similarly helps retailers better understand if their mobile ads drive in-store footfall, plus whether or not they buy items while there.

In an era when consumers’ paths to purchase are becoming increasingly multi-faceted, the ability to track the efficacy of all ‘nudge behaviours’ is crucial. Marketers are now being asked to attribute the value of their media spend, and despite the rise of online commerce (both on desktop and mobile), this is still dwarfed by the amount spent in-store.

Numbers published earlier this week by eMarketer reflect this, with the Axel Springer-owned outfit forecasting that e-commerce sales will account for just over a fifth (22.6 per cent) of all UK commerce in 2020 (see chart).

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