All Eyes on Location Data - Recap From Cannes Lions

Top advertisers, agencies and ad platforms gathered at Cannes to talk about creativity, new technologies and where the industry is heading.

June 24, 2016

Share this article

Cannes is synonymous with rosé wine, yachts and vacation. The Cannes Lions festival took place this week, and even though rosé wine and yachts were highly represented, this was far from a vacation as the top advertisers, agencies and ad platforms gathered to talk about creativity, new technologies and where the industry is heading.

Unacast was at Cannes and very fortunate to be selected to Unilever's Foundry 50. Here are the key highlights we found interesting in Cannes:

Attribution is hot

Just like the sand on the beach in Cannes, attribution (measuring how many people returned to the store after seeing an ad online) was also hot in Cannes.

Physical retail is struggling in many categories as Amazon is eating their lunch. A guy I spoke to in Cannes told me that a recent survey they did showed the most common action to do after deciding to buy a product is to see if it's available on Amazon. No wonder as Amazon offers Prime two-day shipping and superior customer support.

Therefore, driving people back to the store for a great experience, which is not possible online, is key for marketers. They need to be smart and efficient with their marketing spend to achieve that and attribution is a great tool for continuous campaign optimization.

Most attribution products today are based on GPS data which gives scale but little accuracy. It´s hard to know if the user actually visited your store or the neighbor store as the technology does not offer such precision. And in a world where marketers are used to be very accurate and measure what ads are clicked on and the conversion on specific products in the online world, we see marketers want the same granularity for online-to-offline attribution as well.

This is where beacon and proximity data will play a crucial role in the future as it allows to understand with a 100% accuracy if the customer returned to store and what he or she did inside the store.

High demand for proximity data for retargeting

Location marketing is going to be huge – no doubt. According to BIA/Kelsey, local digital marketing dollars will reach $71b by 2020

On our journey towards this prediction, we see that advertisers are starting to ask questions about how the location data has been collected - as it was a well-discussed topic in Cannes.

The source of location data was brought up in several conversations as marketers now need to ensure they get what they buy.

If I want to retarget people that have been to my QSR, can I be sure these people were in my store and not at another store in the area? This is what differs beacon/proximity data from GPS data as the first data set is 100% deterministic. At Cannes, we saw a high demand for beacon/proximity to take away any uncertainty in regards to retargeting.

The current challenge though is scale and volume of beacon/proximity data – but this is about to change. The amount of beacon/proximity data is growing rapidly with large deployments in retail, sports and shopping malls. There´s a lot of proximity data that sits idle and not being used by marketers. At Unacast we are hard at work to activate this unused data, to ensure that we can build large segments with hyper-local and accurate beacon/proximity data.

We have just completed a number of retargeting campaigns using beacon data with great success, and we look forward to sharing them soon. Stay tuned…