Can Snapchat's geotargeting capabilities match online ads to in-store visits?

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Dive Brief:

  • Snap Inc. is preparing to introduce Snap to Store, a new product for advertisers that measures in-store visits as they relate to ad campaigns on Snapchat, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
  • Snap has been testing the tool with brands including 7-Eleven and Paramount Pictures since last year but is now rolling it out for wider use. Snap to Store is free for advertisers that reach a spending threshold on Snapchat, though Snap wouldn't specify what that threshold is.
  • Advertisers using Snap to Store can run ads on Snapchat and then track in-store visits from users who viewed the ad, as well as run sponsored geofilter campaigns that track in-store visits from users who viewed their friends' Snaps that included the filter.

Dive Insight:

Offline attribution is a performance metric that has largely proved elusive but remains highly desired by marketers who want to tangibly measure the sales impact of their digital campaigns. Mobile devices with internal GPS technology and other location-targeting tools have made solving the riddle of offline attribution more tangible, but concrete solutions are few.

Snapchat's new tool looks to lessen the friction in tying together on- and offline efforts, which might be an important area for Snap to build out value following an IPO last month. It's also an intuitive extension of how Snapchat's users already interact with the app. The success of the strategy will depend on the accuracy of Snapchat's location efforts as well as how much detail the platform is sharing with brands. 

Native Snapchat formats such as branded geofilters encourage location-based sharing by design, so the new product is savvy to capitalize on that and likely has a wealth of user data built-in. Snapchat said it will not collect data on users in-store if their app isn't open, and Snapchat doesn't intend to share specific individual user data with brands, according to the Journal.

While Snap to Store will likely be welcome by many, the spending threshold for free access might frustrate smaller businesses. Research from the firm L2 estimates that 64% of brands are now on Snapchat, though many accounts are dormant and ads on the platform with formats like geofilters can prove unduly costly for anyone that's not a big-name marketer. 

Filed Under: Marketing
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