Location intelligence provider GroundTruth announced that its self-service advertising platform will offer an automated visit-optimization capability. That means bidding is optimized for campaigns and creatives that drive physical store visits.

It will become available in January 2020.

Range of location-related targeting options. The company’s self-service Ads Manager offers a range of location-based targeting options including audience targeting, location and weather-based targeting. Audience targeting is based on profiles generated from offline behaviors (e.g., airport or gym visitation) but can also be combined with other data sets.

GroundTruth also has a “cost per visit” (CPV) model that only charges advertisers when an offline visit occurs. The company said in 2017, shortly after its launch, that 80% of the brands were responding positively to its CPV model. (It hasn’t offered any data since that time.)

SMB advertiser base tripled. Interestingly, the company explained that a substantial portion of its self-service advertiser base is comprised of small-to-midsize businesses (SMB) and that segment has more than tripled since last year from 1,500 advertisers to more than 5,000 this year.

In addition, GroundTruth cited beta-tester Warrior Sports, a sports equipment manufacturer, in its release. The company was reportedly able to use the GroundTruth optimization tool to drive increased visits (up 33%) to specific third-party retail locations and reduce its effective CPV by 26%.

GroundTruth asserts that it can reach “2 out of 3 smartphone users in the U.S.” and tracks “more than 30 billion global physical visits annually.”

Why we should care. We’ll have to wait until general availability to see how broadly effective the GroundTruth machine-optimized visitation is. But it’s a pretty provocative idea, combined with CPV: pay only for store visits and automatically optimize against creatives that drive visits. The other striking element here is the apparent momentum the company has with SMBs and self-service.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He previously held leadership roles at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.