Simpli.fi’s ‘addressable geo-fencing’ enables individual household targeting but at scale

  •   July 11, 2018
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Local programmatic platform Simpli.fi has introduced what it’s calling “addressable geo-fencing.” Geofencing based on IP address or polygons or radius targeting has been around for a long time; this approach allows marketers to target individual households with greater precision.

Think of it as not unlike Facebook Custom Audiences for the real world. The company says it can be used as a stand-alone tactic or in combination with other media channels and device targeting (direct mail, desktop, mobile, TV). It’s available for both residential and commercial locations.

Marketers are able to upload up to 1 million street addresses, which Simpli.fi then matches against plat lines for each property. A “plat line” indicates the divisions between properties. Accordingly, Simpli.fi is creating an individual geofence around each location or property. The company says it sees about 90 percent match rates. The company also uses GPS to bolster location precision.

It can also layer other types of geofences on top of its plat line-based geofences. For example, if a company wanted to reach only part of its customer base that surpassed a threshold income level, based on Census or other data, that could be accomplished.

Numerous companies offer location targeting or audience segmentation using mobile data. But the distinction here primarily involves the use cases and, the company would argue, accuracy. Many companies use store visitation data to construct audiences or benchmark against competitors (e.g., “frequent shoppers” or “share of foot traffic”). Simpli.fi’s offering enables marketers to reach specific known addresses and add in multiple digital channels on top of that.

Simpli.fi asserts that this plat-line approach enables much greater reach and effectiveness in targeting, pointing out that IP-based solutions — for the desktop or mobile web — are not only less accurate but provide limited reach because they’re being truncated in programmatic exchanges. The company asserts that its “addressable geo-fencing makes all household targeting efforts more effective,” including mobile, direct mail and connected TV or OTT video.

Simpli.fi also offers foot traffic attribution, so that if the campaign drives people into stores during a 30-day window, it can show that impact or lift. In its promotional materials, the company cites some example use cases:

  • Cable company: A cable company that provides residential cable and internet services is interested in targeting addresses of current cable subscribers, but not internet subscribers.
  • Automotive: A local auto dealership is interested in targeting addresses that are due for an upcoming lease renewal.
  • Dentist: A local dentist’s office is interested in pushing a promotion to current patients about their new teeth-whitening services.
  • Direct mail: A direct mail marketer wants to deliver supporting digital ads to the same people receiving its mail (e.g., catalog advertiser).

One might argue that most of these existing customer use cases could have been served in the past by approaches such as email segmentation or direct mail, based on CRM data. But Simpli.fi expands the range of possibilities available to marketers to multichannel and multidevice targeting to strengthen and support other media, together with offline attribution.