Placecast Launches Location Targeting Platform for Mobile Display

Placecast last week announced its foray into mobile advertising display with PlaceAd, a demand-side platform (DSP) "built uniquely to maximize the value of location-based inventory on mobile."

Thus far Placecast was concentrating its business on opt-in location-based push messages. While this channel is very personalized and provides high ROI for brands, it however requires agreements with wireless operators and opt-in from their subscribers. This obviously limits the available inventory.

Instead of that mobile display advertising is abundant – via ad exchanges and real-time bidding platforms – and this inventory – in app banners and interstitials – is increasingly location-enabled.

Therefore it is not a complete surprise to see Placecast jumping in the mobile display bandwagon; in addition, in its early days Placecast already had a put a toe in mobile display (watch here1236 our interview with Placecast in December 2008).

PlaceAd uses inventory from MoPub, PubMatic and Smaato.

No breakthrough, but consistent offer

The key features of the platform include:

– Machine Learning and Optimization: Placecast’s decision engine optimizes campaign performance based on activity across placements and publishers to maximize performance.

– Dynamic Creative: Clients can change elements in the ad based on location, time of day, weather or other info on the consumer.

– Store-level analytics and reporting: Consolidated campaign reporting shows deliveries, clicks, and other actions across different inventory down to the individual store location. Heatmaps can be used to see campaign activity near targeted areas.

– Audience targeting though a number of methods such as contextual targeting based on content, Place profiles and 3rd party audience data.

None of that is completely unique to Placecast – if we look at competitors such as ThinkNear, (i.e. TeleNav) xAd, WHERE, or Jiwire and third party data providers such as PlaceIQ or Factual.

However Placecast surely has a game to play especially because they already have a long customer list of CPG brands using its existing products.

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