Foursquare Moves Into Online Interest Targeting

Foursquare on Wednesday will announce the addition of a new feature to its audience-targeting product in the first release since combining forces with Factual in April.

Powered by Factual, Foursquare’s Audience lets marketers build custom segments based on consumer behavior. The data becomes increasingly powerful when combined with additional data, such as online interests.

Targeting nuances are made possible by the combination of location and online data, which is complementary to the real-world behavior Foursquare sees as people continue to quarantine. It fills the gap of brand-to-consumer engagement when people have turned to online browsing to fill time, said Ocean Fine, vice president of sales and demand at Foursquare.

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"We've seen this applied in verticals across ecommerce, media and entertainment and food and dining," she said. "In a nutshell, with more scale and more granular customization when designing your audience, it leads you to better campaign performance."

Location signals are a vital ingredient to understanding consumers’ needs and wants. Audience intends to use target-based audience data that combines physical locations and digital attributes, using and/or logic.

It’s about giving marketers the ability to build audiences, based on real-world location behaviors and online interests, categories in the self-serve Audience Designer.

The online interest signals include searches, clicks, views and shares. The new categories are collected via “trusted” partners across a global network of over 3 million publisher websites, which identify more than 18 billion events monthly.

Foursquare first gained traction for an app that allowed people to share their location with friends. The company then pivoted to provide location data and software to marketers and ad agencies. Now it's become more common to learn of their support in data.

Location-based audiences aid marketers in reaching consumers where they might go in the physical world, but also online. 

For campaigns catered to the top of the purchase funnel — high-consideration electronics purchases like TVs, for example — online signals, such as a website visitor reading a TV recommendation on a technology review site, can prove invaluable. It’s a way to reach consumers who may visit a brick-and-mortar electronic store, but also those who have shown intent online and haven’t yet stepped into a retail location. 

Marketers can select from more than 800 online interest categories as targetable attributes when building an audience within the product. That unlocks new types of audiences and phases of the buyer journey hard to reach with location alone.

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