What’s Behind Yelp’s New Attribution and “Showcase” Features?

Yelp is going deeper into attribution and video advertising. Following closely behind its recent UX enhancements for a personalized front end, the company this week announced a new multimedia ad format called Showcase Ads; and a foot-traffic based attribution framework called Yelp Store Visits.

Starting with Showcase, they feature an animated format for deals and promotions, built from a variety of visual media. This input flexibility (doesn’t require video) will ease adoption and multi-media ad creation. That’s a key consideration for SMBs, and the multi-location brands that this feature targets.

This also follows a trend towards multimedia content that we’ve been tracking in light of emerging socially-oriented promotional formats like Snapchat and Instagram Stories. SMB promotional opportunities follow the organic success of Stories, and multimedia affinity from “camera-native” Gen Z and millennials.

As for Yelp Store Visits, it will generate cost-per-visit figures for merchants to get a better sense of return on ad spend. It’s a typical value proposition for attribution products in that it tracks post-ad activity to reveal efficacy and ROI. It will however differentiate in that it’s an entirely first-party approach.

In other words, data derive wholly from user activity (ad exposure and subsequent action) within Yelp. This makes it both reliable and privacy-friendly. Legislation like CCPA focuses less on tracking users and more on doing so across platforms. The crackdown will be more about sharing and selling user data.

Both new features follow clear trends and demand signals in today’s local media & commerce marketplace. Attribution has been in high demand for several years but is taking on new forms in the current privacy-first era. Yelp is in a unique position with lots of app usage and therefore meaningful first-party data.

“Yelp continues to find innovative ways to connect people with great local businesses,” Yelp SVP of Business & Corporate Development Chad Richard told Localogy. “These new ad products help trusted multi-location brands connect and engage with high intent consumers in the right moment.”

On a related note, attribution will be a key theme at Localogy’s upcoming 20/20 Conference. In addition to this news from Yelp, the discussion on and off stage will zero in on attribution and location-based ad targeting transformation in the current environment. Here’s just one session as a preview.

Day 2 – March 17, 2020

Multi-Touch Attribution Models
The volume of data and analytics behind attribution can be staggering. Should marketers focus on first click, last click or every click.? Following up on a great session at Place ‘19, we’ll dig even deeper into the world of multi-touch attribution. We’ll focus on online and offline touch points and what it means for local marketers to get the most out of multipoint attribution models.
Blake Burrus, Quotient

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