What Marketers Should Know About Foursquare’s Pinpoint – New Location Ad Targeting Product

Foursquare launches Pinpoint - a new ad offering aimed at assisting marketers in targeting users based on where they have been, using location data.

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Foursquare – local search and discovery service mobile app launched in 2009 undoubtedly is the only location based app surviving in the planet. Over the last six years users out of excitement to become mayors of a place or to show off, have provided 7.5 billion check-in data to Foursquare—with some coming more recently via its companion app, Swarm.

This accrued rich data set very well tells Foursquare where consumers shop and what they’re interested in buying. The Foursquare applications protocol interface (API) also powers location tags for popular digital apps like Pinterest, giving the company even more mobile data.

Dennis Crowley – Founder at Foursquare knows  very well that this huge chunk of personal data is the only saving grace for him and his company. Taking stage at the Ad Age’s Digital Conference, Dennis launched Pinpoint – Foursquare’s new location based ad targeting product.

Pinpoint describes itself as a “full servicing advertising solutions powered by the world’s most accurate location intelligence available.” The platform will use Foursquare’s first-party location intelligence and third party GPS information from apps and publishers to help make sense of consumer behavior and add context to data.

It will then compare this data to its own and use it to create “geo-shapes” to build profiles of consumers at scale. Marketers will also be able to use Foursquare’s Proprietary Place Attribution Report to quantify how effective their campaigns are in driving critical foot traffic into locations. “We’re making sense of the relationship between people and places, so that brands can target more than just demographics. Marketers can create custom audiences at scale, using the psychographic data that they need, combined with the location data from Foursquare,” said the company’s spokesperson.

Pinpoint will also allow advertisers to use Foursquare data to target ads on desktop, mobile and tablet.

To launch Fourquare has partnered with Google, Turn and Drawbridge, as well as top brands such as AT&T, Coors Light, FedEx, Jaguar Land Rover, Samsung Galaxy and Choice Hotels. In mid-May, the program will become more widely available to marketers. “We’ve been asked all of the time by [ad-tech companies] to use our location data for targeting purposes,” said Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare’s chief revenue officer to AdWeek. “For the first time ever, we are using that location data outside of Foursquare users.”

Foursquare is also forging agreements with big publishers to help them better target their promos.

End of 2014, eMarketer predicted that around the world, advertisers will spend $592.43 billion in 2015, an increase of 6.0% over 2014. Mobile advertising is the key driver of growth around the world and it is also projected that Mobile’s share of worldwide digital advertising will surpass 50% in 2017.

While mobile advertising is the future of digital advertising, it is driven by location. The problem with this that marketers have faced over the years is the noise around the location plus lot of bad location data. However, Rosenblatt thinks this as a massive opportunity for Foursquare’s Pinpoint. “We have six years of first-party location intelligence, which has created a map of the world the way your mobile device sees it. Our snap-to-place technology filters out inaccurate location data, so that advertisers get only the precise places that their audience goes to in the real world,” said the spokesperson for Foursquare.

Right now with the Jaguar Land Rover is trying out Pinpoint with a particular eye on the car brand’s competitors. For example after obtaining the latitude and longitude of shoppers from Foursquare the auto giant might retarget ads to those who have visited Chevrolet dealerships.

For a year now marketers were able to target its users on other sites and apps with a product it called Foursquare Audience Network (FAN). With Pinpoint, they can now use the company’s data to target non-Foursquare users across mobile and the Web.

A new revenue stream for the 55 million user app might make its investors happy but are users still hooked up to check-ins. Looks like opening up the data for the marketers is the only saving aspect left for Foursquare.

Image credit: Adage India