Connecting the small screen with the real world

Foursquare brings attribution to TV through inscape partnership — Subway® among the first brands to sign on

Juan Ordonez Unsplash

In 2018, more than 90% of consumer spending still happens offline, according to the U.S. Census. Layer onto that fact how more than $70 billion was spent on TV advertising in 2017, and you can see why the ability to measure the impact of linear TV advertising on driving in-store customer behavior is the holy grail. But it’s one that has always been a challenge for marketers.

For the team at Foursquare, it’s a challenge that we’ve been chipping away at for years. Small-scale panels and surveys have been the historical go-to, but they suffer from limited sample size, slow reporting, cumbersome setup, and dubious results. Today, marketers and agencies simply don’t have the time for that headache. They need a solution that can tie TV ad exposures to in-store visits — at scale.

That’s why today we’re excited to announce that Attribution by Foursquare, our real-world attribution tool, can now measure the effectiveness of linear TV ads at driving consumers to stores, restaurants and other key retail locations.

This news brings together the best in opt-in TV viewing data with our industry-leading location technology platform. Thanks to our new partnership with viewing data provider Inscape, we have created a new product offering that gives marketers a more complete picture of their advertising ROI when it comes to real-world behavior (from measuring audience affinities, to visitor loyalty and optimal exposure frequency).


Since launching in early 2016, Attribution by Foursquare has introduced a steady drumbeat of new functionality, and to date we measure a diverse range of digital advertising mediums spanning programmatic, OTT, search, digital audio, social, and CTV. Thanks to our recent announcement with iHeartMedia, we’re also measuring terrestrial radio. Adding TV measurement was a big priority for us and a crucial need for advertisers, as TV advertising represents about half of all U.S. ad spend.

Here’s how it works: Attribution by Foursquare already leverages cutting edge, machine-learning methodology. It’s built on Foursquare’s core location technology, which has a unique and precise understanding of where people go. And it looks to our growing, measured audience of 70 million consumers for a precise understanding of the impact that media has at driving audiences to businesses.

Meanwhile, Inscape, the leading provider of automated content recognition, takes glass-level insights from more than nine million smart TVs in the U.S. Foursquare matches these TV spot exposures to our panel, enabling marketers to deterministically measure the impact of TV advertising, not just at the household level, like Nielsen, but at each stage of the individual consumer journey. (Data collected and shared by Foursquare is always clearly opt-in, and if a user doesn’t find value, they opt-out and we don’t collect any data. We believe in privacy by design, and we have limitations in place that ensure data protection and safety.)

The bigger picture: TV advertising doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Network ad buys are typically just one piece of an omnichannel media strategy. Our multi-touch attribution (MTA) approach measures TV in concert with digital, search, and social simultaneously to tease apart the impact of each medium, and more importantly, measure the combinatorial effects of multiple touchpoints. (Pro tip: TV + digital works better than digital alone. We’ve measured up to 2x in-store visit lift from consumers exposed to both TV and digital formats, over those exposed to only one medium.)

Client approved:
The Subway® brand, a forward-thinking force in the advertising space and a longtime Foursquare partner, is one of the first brands to sign on for Foursquare’s newest offering. Subway will be measuring TV campaigns running through the fall and into the holiday season, looking for insights on a wide variety of creative campaigns and broadcast partners. For example, we’re measuring the effectiveness of their ‘Raising the Steaks’ campaign, across various programs, networks, channels and dayparts.

“We’re excited for the new and innovative measurement capabilities we can leverage thanks to Foursquare. A deep understanding of how TV commercials can drive incremental visit lift is so crucial for our industry. As a brand, we’re focused on integrating fresh, new technology to help our Franchise Owners across the country to be successful. Integrating this tool into our marketing efforts and the ability to accurately thread together the impact of digital ad exposure and linear TV exposure with restaurant visits is a game changer for us,” said Melissa Sutton, Director of Media, Subway.

“We’re working closely with Foursquare and Subway to build a strong, data-driven approach to Subway’s media strategy. Together, we’re inventing new ways to use data to drive ROI for Subway across all of their marketing efforts and Foursquare’s new TV attribution capabilities will bolster these significantly,” added Stuart Ketelsen, SVP, Managing Director, Carat.
Want to learn more about how your TV ads are driving foot traffic? Email or click HERE for more product information.

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