Last weeks’ announcement that Telefónica’s Axonix had purchased Statiq, the three year old mobile location targeting business, was exciting news not just for the Telefónica teams across Weve and Axonix, but also for the industry. Statiq have been creating waves since they launched, breaking the mould by detaching media from supply and giving buyers what they want – control of the data.
The combination of Weve, Axonix and now Statiq will help define the next phase of location marketing in the UK. When Weve launched at the back end of 2012, it was undoubtedly one of the leading players in location marketing, and cell tower geo-fencing enabled brands to market to customers based not only on their live location but also their habitual movement patterns. It also enabled brands to use the technology to measure the impact of marketing in real world footfall – put simply, return on investment converting digital ads into in-store visits.
Over the next two years, location marketing became a busy space, with new businesses either setting up in the UK or migrating across from the US. Smart tech companies were leveraging GPS to enter the hyper-location marketing space on display advertising. This again shifted the opportunity for brands to analyse the value of mobile as a channel for understanding customer behaviour. Knowing that a customer entered a supermarket was great, but where else had they been? This ability to use location as a measurement tool became the new norm. Statiq were certainly a big part of this shift alongside many other great brands, but their willingness to detatch data from supply made them a hit with both traditional media buys and also trading desks.
When Weve was purchased by O2 in 2015, we entered our next phase of location capability, powered by the wider O2 assets. O2 Wifi is one of the UK’s largest Wifi providers with over 15,000 hotspots across venues including McDonalds, Costa, B&Q, Oxford Street, Canary Wharf and many other locations. This breadth of coverage helped Weve created a hyper-local marketing and measurement platform based on 100% verified audiences. On top of this, the fact that O2 Wifi is open to all customers regardless of mobile network allows Wifi venue owners to understand not just who their customers are, but also where they travel from, how frequently they access venues, right through to their online and real world behaviours. We saw the most advanced brands using their footfall data to help with new store location planning, stretching the value of location outside classic marketing.
Where Wifi wasn’t available, O2 had another product in Small Cell (part of O2 Smart Steps), which allowed deployment of a fully portable device to measure customer footfall behaviour in store. During 2016, the first agency partners started to deploy this tech into car dealerships to start to understand true hyper-local footfall behaviour. This gave both agency and client a true view on footfall in a dealership , enabling the other factors that impact the frequency of a visit to be measured, and overlaying all media formats’ roles in that journey, thereby providing further extension to the natural role of marketing budgets.
Footfall marketing and measurement had become something of a game of choice across Cell, GPS, Wifi and Small Cell. With this purchase of Statiq, which in effect brings together three businesses with access to all Telefónica tech, we believe will offer something unique and ground breaking in the location space, and are excited at the prospect bringing this enhanced proposition to the market at the earliest opportunity.