Location intelligence continues to be one of the hottest areas of innovation and discussion in local commerce. The underlying dilemma is the sheer volume of commerce that happens offline, while it’s increasingly influenced online (including mobile). Connecting those “O2O” dots is the name of the game.
This was the biggest topic that emerged at Localogy’s Place Conference last month in Austin, including a panel of location intelligence CEOs (all session coverage is here). With looming CCPA regulations and privacy settings in iOS 13, these longstanding O2O dynamics are now set against new challenges.
With that backdrop, GroundTruth today announces updates to its self-serve Ads Manager platform. Looking to bring more automation to empower and streamline processes for location-based marketers, it’s rolling out what it calls the first “machine learning-enabled offline visit optimization tool.”
This taps into GroundTruth’s ongoing tactical refinement to drive physical foot traffic to stores. It’s essentially taking that playbook and applying it to campaigns in a more automated way. That will be governed by predictive modeling of tactics that work for campaign variances (time, place, vertical, etc.)
Speaking of variances, GroundTruth claims this will work for campaigns of all sizes. Because the company has worked with so many ad campaigns, it presumably has a robust “training set,” by which to govern such AI. It can apply tactics it knows works from past experience with a wide set of variables.
As one example, sports equipment manufacturer Warrior Sports drove a 33 percent lift in foot traffic to a specific store location. It also decreased the effective cost per visit by 26 percent. This was achieved after a month-long test, during which it refined campaign tactics using the new visit optimization tool.
This could also be a time-saving tool. If GroundTruth can effectively govern campaign execution in these automated ways, it could not only achieve better results, but do so with greater efficiency. That’s time savings (money) for brands, while democratizing capability down-market for SMBs.
“A massive opportunity we’re solving for is educating clients on the value of visits as a KPI for their businesses,” GroundTruth CEO Sunil Kumar told LSA Insider. “One of the biggest hurdles to overcome, especially when working with tier 2 agencies and SMBs, is making this KPI more attainable. When Visit Optimization is deployed early next year, brands and SMBs will find this new tool saves a lot of time, since they no longer need to manually execute campaign optimization — one click will allow clients to opt-in immediately and automatically. Additionally, since SMBs don’t always have the resources or bandwidth to implement advanced optimization capabilities, we anticipate access to this tool will provide tremendous value and ROI.”
Of course, anything AI-based often gets scrutinized due to the technology’s overuse in corporate marketing. So GroundTruth’s new feature will be given the chance to prove itself. It will be available starting in January as part of GroundTruth’s Ads Manager, which is used by more than 5000 SMBs. We’ll be watching.
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