MobileFuse partners with Cuebiq to offer first measurement of mobile ‘Dwell Lift’
Tying foot traffic in physical stores with mobile ads has become fairly commonplace, so mobile ad platform MobileFuse is taking the next step.
The New York City-based company is partnering with location intelligence provider Cuebiq, also headquartered in New York, to offer what they say is the first service to determine mobile “Dwell Lift.” MobileFuse specializes in delivering the appropriate ad at the right time and place, like an ad for a nearby bar when the user is at a sporting event.
In the companies’ parlance, Dwell Lift is the amount of additional time a customer or potential customer spends in a physical retailer because they’ve seen a mobile ad.
Cuebiq’s software development kit (SDK) has been utilized by about 150 apps, like GasBuddy. About 30 million U.S. users have downloaded one of those apps, after agreeing that the app can continuously track their location via GPS.
MobileFuse CEO and co-founder Ken Harlan told me this location-aware panel, called VisitQ, is so large that, when his company serves a mobile ad to a VisitQ participant in a specific physical location, there is likely to have been other VisitQ participants who have similarly visited the same location, but who did not receive the ad.
Using the non-ad viewers as a control group, then, MobileFuse determines how much longer the ad recipients spent in the location, assumedly as a result of the ad.
He cited the example of Honda, one of MobileFuse’s clients. His company analyzed the VisitQ data from Honda dealerships in the Washington, D.C. area, and determined that smartphone users who received a recent Honda mobile ad hung around a dealership for an average of ten minutes more than non-recipients.
Ten minutes more, he said, was considered by Honda to be “impactful.” The ad can be served through MobileFuse or, using a MobileFuse tracking pixel, by any other ad provider.
The Lift is based on any tracked mobile ads received by visitors to that physical location from 3 to 30 days before the visit, with the time window determined by the client. Harlan said the average window of time between an ad serving and the visit was 14 days. The average length of a visit to a DC-area Honda dealership was five to 20 minutes for users who didn’t receive an ad, plus an additional ten minutes for those who did.
When I pointed out that the visit could have been stimulated by, say, a TV ad or a Web article, Harlan replied that such causality was possible, but the partnership is only measuring that there is a correspondence between mobile ads and longer visits, and not whether other factors are also involved.
The supposition is that the increased dwell time is because of the mobile ad. The partnership doesn’t measure if the ad was clicked or if there was any other response by the viewer, only that it was displayed, although Harlan said all the Honda ads noted that a sale was on.
Aside from Honda, he said, there have been several other brands successfully using this service during the three months of this partnership’s beta period, including a Fortune 50 retailer, although he declined to identify them. So far, Harlan said, every location has yielded enough non-viewers in Cuebiq’s VisitQ panel of 30 million to constitute a control group of at least a dozen.
Although other mobile advertisers measure foot traffic that apparently results from ads, Harlan said they were “flawed” because they are based around the location of the smartphone user at the time the ad was delivered, instead of a length of time that represents an actual visit. He said that such a smartphone user could have been merely passing by the physical location when the ad was served, for instance.