Toys ‘R’ Us shopper data insights can give toy makers and retailers an advantage

April 25, 2018 – CIO Toys ‘R’ Us is shutting its doors, meaning consumers will begin looking elsewhere for their toy needs. Meanwhile, retailers of all shapes and sizes are clamoring to grab Toys ‘R’ Us’ market share. Location data could uncover insights into who could win the “toy wars.” Location affinity data and analysis gives us clues and could be used by the Walmarts, Amazons and Disney Stores of the world to make smarter decisions about how they approach tomorrow’s toy market.

The Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy filing last year sent shivers down spines of toy makers and has sent other retailers scrambling to grab the longtime toy purveyor’s market share. We can expect most toy retailers to attempt to step in where Toys ‘R’ Us left off, yet the smartest ones of the bunch will use a variety of data analysis and insights to determine the best ways to take advantage of this new opportunity, whether they are retailers planning to boost toy offerings on store shelves or toy makers diversifying where they sell their products.

No matter what, it will be a challenge. According to a March 2018 CNBC article, even though Toys ‘R’ Us accounted for between 15 and 20 percent of toy sales in the U.S. last year, Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink estimated that about 10 to 15 percent of the store’s total sales volume will disappear for good once the retailer is gone, which could mean toy retailers will be fighting over slices of a smaller pie.

Mobile location data gives us clues

After Toys ‘R’ Us announced their intentions to file for bankruptcy, my company wanted to learn what sort of effect this might have on the toy retail ecosystem. Using our platform, which incorporates mobile user data to provide insights about retail shoppers and other audiences, we conducted a location affinity analysis to predict where Toys ‘R’ Us visitors might shop once the store’s locations were to close.

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Marketers must get geeky about campaign lift and control groups. Here’s why

April 18, 2018 – MarTech Today When you ask your vendors about lift, ask them about the composition of the control group. Contributor Gladys Kong explains why sophisticated targeting methods make this question more important than ever.

Marketers, do you use mobile advertising to target specific audiences? Sure you do. And when you target specific audiences with mobile advertising, do you care about measuring campaign lift? I’m sure a lot of marketers are probably thinking, “Of course I do!”

So, why do I ask these questions if the answers seem so obvious? Because unfortunately, most marketers do not realize that if they are targeting specific audiences using mobile advertising and using a lift metric to gauge campaign ROI, there’s a lot more to know about what goes into measuring it.

Here’s the thing: Lift results are greatly affected by the way your measurement provider determines control groups. Don’t know what a control group is? I’ll explain in simple terms what a control group is, and why marketers — and their agencies — should demand that their mobile location attribution measurement providers be more transparent about how they build them.

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Amazon & Kohls: Frenemies And ‘Coopetitors’ Fighting The Retail Apocalypse Together

April 12, 2018 – Forbes – Late last year Kohl’s allowed ecommerce giant and retail rival Amazon to set up Amazon Return centers in select locations across Chicago and Los Angeles. At first blush, this seems insane.

After all, why would a competitor help an enemy?

Especially one accused of ushering in the retail apocalypse. Amazon’s ecommerce and mobile commerce success are unprecedented, and increasingly bleeding into bricks-and-mortar retail.

It turns out that Kohl’s actually benefits by helping its rival: adding the return centers boosted foot traffic by 12%, according to UberMedia. Kohl’s hope, clearly, is that foot traffic in its stores will translate to dollars in its cash registers.

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Marketers, here’s how to understand what’s really behind your mobile ad visits metric

March 23, 2018 – MarTech Today  Contributor Gladys Kong demystifies store visits metrics and the various ways they’re compiled, so you know the important questions to ask your vendors.

Marketers appreciate metrics that give them a clear sense of how their campaigns move the proverbial needle. On its face, the “exposed visits/visitors” metric used ubiquitously throughout the world of mobile ad campaign measurement is as clear as it gets.

Exposed visitors represent the number of devices that were exposed to an ad that subsequently were seen in a campaign location. Essentially, exposed visits help marketers gauge the reach of their campaigns by reflecting the number of users whose devices were spotted at a specific location after they were exposed to an ad. Seems pretty simple, right?

Well, as you may have guessed, there are a lot of details for marketers to consider the next time they see visits data in a campaign measurement report. Why be bogged down by the details? It’s important for smart mobile marketers to understand the nuances behind the numbers they rely on to make important business decisions because the ways in which measurement firms calculate and report visits can vary drastically. Knowing the basics of exposed visits is a great place to start.

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Using mobile location data to track the Amazon bump, and other retail data innovations

March 16, 2018 – CIO The new partnership between Amazon and Kohl’s is just the type of forward-thinking experiment retailers may need to succeed in today’s competitive commerce landscape. These companies looked past their competitive motivations to make consumer experience priority number one. And all bets are on that this won’t be the last time we hear about retailers using their natural symmetries to find their way forward.

Innovative retailers are experimenting with all sorts of novel ways to increase shopper foot traffic in their bricks and mortar locations. In today’s retail environment, it’s no easy task. Data shows that some such initiatives, such as a recent partnership between Kohl’s and Amazon could have a positive impact, and I expect that as time goes on consumer data and insights will also be what propel a lot of tomorrow’s retail innovations.

Over the past several months I’ve thought a lot about — and written — about how data and consumer insights can help retailers excel in an increasingly unforgiving consumer landscape. I’ve suggested that retailers can use local-level mobile location data to ensure they have goods in stock that are not only seasonally-appropriate but reflect the interests and previous shopping behavior of local demographic groups. I’ve contemplated a retail future that employs consumer and location data to inform the transition from just places where people “buy stuff” to experiential and social environments where people convene, use healthcare facilities and even visit libraries.

I’ve observed as leaders in the space such as Target have focused on creating a seamless mobile-to-real-world experience for consumers for product research, building shopping lists or when in the store.

However, perhaps no brand makes commerce innovation headlines the way Amazon does. One of the most watched of Amazon’s recent initiatives is its integration with Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired in June. Shoppers are starting to see Amazon devices like Amazon Echo, Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets on Whole Foods store shelves, for example.

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Evaluating location data measurement providers? Here are 5 questions you should ask

February 21, 2018 – MarTech Today – In the world of mobile location data, there’s an acute need for more robust education and understanding of what’s behind the information that marketers receive in measurement and attribution reports. Only by arming marketers with this knowledge will the location data measurement space achieve the high data quality standards and full transparency we as an industry need today.

Truth is, when it comes to measuring the performance of marketing and advertising efforts using mobile location data, most marketers don’t know what type of data or methodology lies beneath their reports.

For those who are ready to carefully vet their location data measurement providers, to open the hood, so to speak, there are five key areas they should address with vendors or include in RFPs, including specific questions they should ask.

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Why retail is the new data industry

February 12, 2018 – CIO – At massive tech conferences like CES, SXSW, Web Summit or even Dreamforce, data is at the core of many innovations and conversations. But it’s time we add another annual event to that list: The National Retail Federation’s Big Show. More and more, the retail industry is driven by data insights and the technologies powering them. So, it came as no surprise to me when visiting NRF in New York last month, data-centric technology innovation was in the air.

The NRF’s Retail Big Show lives up to its name. It’s a whirlwind event jam-packed with smart people and smart conversations. And if you’ve ever been inside the massive halls of Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center where the event was held, you know what I mean about “big.” So, there was a lot to take in.

After decompressing and mulling everything I was exposed to at NRF, however, I was able to process all I’d learned and distill it into a few key takeaways. Here are the big trends I saw emerge from this year’s event:

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How Mobile Data Integration Is Turning The Shopping Mall Into The Third Place

December 22, 2017 – Retail TouchPoints – Dire headlines about the state of the shopping mall conjure images of department store closeout signs, empty food courts and lonely mall Santas. But as the holiday shopping season approaches, that dreary picture is far off from reality for the innovative retail centers that are fostering modern-day community spaces. By creating experiential and social environments where people convene more than simply “buy stuff,” commercial retailers and brands are establishing what have come to be known as society’s third places — the next stop after home and work.

It’s this lifestyle experience-driven reimagining that is reinvigorating yesterday’s shopping mall, and in many cases, mobile technology and data is behind the evolution.

I know what you’re thinking — isn’t mobile commerce one of the reasons why brick-and-mortar retail and the mall are dying? Well, it’s not that simple. In fact, not only does mobile technology present compelling opportunities for smart retailers, the adoption of mobile is precisely why they have far more information to learn about who shoppers are and how to attract them than ever before.

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Why 2018 will be the year of mobile data measurement and insights

December 13, 2017 – CIO As a CEO of a bustling mobile tech firm, it’s my job to balance day-to-day responsibilities with the need to step back and observe, to spot the signs of important trends that affect our business. It isn’t difficult to spot one trend I believe will define 2018 for the mobile location data space: measurement. In my estimation, next year will be the year of mobile location-based measurement and insights.

Let me explain. Businesses, particularly advertisers and marketers, have employed data and metrics to gauge the effectiveness of their efforts for decades. In the mobile location data sector, the last few years have been dominated by talk of measurement and attribution. More and more marketers have expressed interest in using data showing foot traffic to retail outlets or demographics of mobile users passing by outdoor media, for example.

What’s new and what we’ll see much more of in 2018 is actual spending on this type of mobile attribution and measurement, not just on digital media, but across all media spend. Anecdotally speaking, at Ubermedia, we’re seeing tangible indications that marketers are incorporating measurement plans into their campaign budgets. Over the past year, there’s been an increase in the number of RFPs submitted by clients featuring requests for measurement related data and services.

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Creating the Best Place to Work? It’s all about the Intangibles

November 20, 2017 – Women 2.0 – We use the word “team” in business all the time.

We schedule “team meetings.” We ask in interviews whether a potential employee will be a “team player” if she’s hired. But to me, it’s more than just empty business-speak. The sports analogy means something to me. It’s about the importance of keeping an open mind, building a diverse group, nurturing personal and professional growth and winning together.

As someone who believes there are a lot of similarities between athletics and running a business, I saw the camaraderie and perseverance of my own team at mobile data and analytics firm Ubermedia, rewarded recently when it was named one of LA’s Best Places to Work by the Los Angeles Business Journal and a Best Place to Work by Ad Age. Perhaps sports analogies speak to me because I played basketball in high school, ran track at Caltech, or because I am an LA Lakers fan, but most likely it’s because I’m passionate about watching my own kids play basketball. Overall, a lot of the things I see at play in sports are at play day to day at my company.

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