Sense Networks Debuts Location-Based Ad Tools

by , May 23, 2012, 7:05 AM
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Citysense-BTapping into location-based information to serve targeted messages to people on the go has long been touted as one of the unique benefits of mobile advertising. But sending the right ad to the right person at the right place and time has proven challenging.

Sense Networks has introduced a pair of new ad services to help marketers and publishers hone in on their mobile audiences through its platform analyzing real-time location data from phones, GPS devices and Wi-Fi.

Using machine-learning algorithms, it indexes all that location information -- combined with research on consumer behavior -- to predict mobile users’ activities.

AdMatch, one of the new ad tools from Sense Networks, uses the company’s predicted location and behavioral targeting to serve mobile display ads matching consumers with the most relevant offers from local merchants.

The other, called AudienceSense, enables publishers to monetize their audiences by creating behavior segments based on their own mobile location data. It includes more than 100 pre-built audience segments, but can be used to develop custom categories to suit a publisher’s specific goals.

Based on testing, Sense Networks says AdMatch is delivering twice the performance of campaigns targeting via geo-fencing, where someone receives a marketing message or offer on their phone when they come within proximity to a particular store. The solution does this “by selecting the best ads in real time through evaluation of behavioral attributes, current location context (what’s nearby), click history and ad characteristics,” it says.

On the privacy front, Sense Networks points out all user data is anonymous and never matched to outside data sources that would require knowing someone’s name, address, phone number or email. The company says location information is abstracted into consumer segments, with the raw data being discarded after processing.

AdMatch and AudienceSense are the first ad products from Sense Networks, which has created apps built on its algorithms that highlight city hot spots, based on mobile location data, or pinpoints the best nearby corner to catch a cab in New York. The company has also undertaken market research for clients involving location data.

For one major pharmaceutical client, Sense Networks analyzed motion patterns for consumers in certain U.S. ZIP codes to determine where and when to deploy field resources. The company did not name any businesses or brands using its new ad tools. 

Sense Networks raised about $9 million in venture funding from investors including Intel Capital. 

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