July 31, 2014

Telenav acquires ThinkNear, kicks off Scout Advertising platform

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Telenav is kicking off a new location-based, mobile advertising platform this week with the acquisition of an LA-based company called ThinkNear.  Blending their peanut butter with Telenav’s own chocolate, the two have created the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that is called Scout Advertising.

In a nutshell, Scout Advertising provides physical retail stores, restaurants, and other business a chance to advertise to a targeted audience.  Whereas most location-based advertisers of its kind can drill down to zip code or DMA, Scout Advertising will get to within 100 meters of a location.  Because of this, you’ll not see advertisements to irrelevant stuff that just happens to be in the same zip code.

“…A sports memorabilia store can target an NFL fan with an advertisement for a nearby sale on branded jackets, blankets and umbrellas while the fan is tailgating on a cold and rainy day.”

Scout Advertisingworks hand in hand with Scout GPS navigation service and helps advertisers understand just how valuable their marketing campaigns are by providing  “Drive-To rate”.  With this feature it is possible to see how many have used your local advertising to navigate to your store!

Telenav Launches Scout Advertising; Acquires ThinkNear, a Hyper-Local Mobile Advertising Company

  • Scout Advertising gives brick and mortar advertisers a unique ability to reach consumers within 100 meters of any location
  • OI is easily measured by whether or not customers then drive to the store

Sunnyvale, Calif. — October 16, 2012 — TeleNav®, Inc. (NASDAQ: TNAV), the leader in personalized navigation, announced today that it has acquired Local Merchant Services, Inc., d.b.a. ThinkNear, a privately held hyper-local mobile advertising company located in Los Angeles, California, for consideration of $22.5 million, consisting of approximately $18.5 million in cash, plus restricted stock and assumed options.  The acquisition, which closed on October 10, 2012, added ThinkNear’s team of twelve employees, including its two co-founders, to Telenav’s mobile local advertising group.

Telenav will combine ThinkNear’s targeting technology with the existing Telenav Drive-To Advertising™ solution to create a new mobile local advertising platform called Scout Advertising™.

ThinkNear – Hyper-Local Targeting

ThinkNear helps advertisers reach consumers within 100 meters of any location, which is more precise than the zip code and designated market area (DMA) targeting typically offered by most ad networks. The ThinkNear network reaches tens of millions of customers across more than seven billion impressions per month. The precision and scale of ThinkNear allows advertisers to take advantage of the most distinctive aspects of mobile phones, which more than 85 percent of American adults now own.[1]

ThinkNear’s targeting technology also enables Situational Targeting™, which takes into account where consumers are, what they are doing, and what is happening around them. For example, a sports memorabilia store can target an NFL fan with an advertisement for a nearby sale on branded jackets, blankets and umbrellas while the fan is tailgating on a cold and rainy day. Hyper-local Situational Targeting provides consumers with ads that are more relevant to their real-time needs and interests as they go about their day.

The ThinkNear network and Situational Targeting have helped advertisers, including dozens of recognized brands, secure click-through rates four times higher than the industry average and equally high conversion rates.

“Real-time location is a nuanced and difficult problem and we have spent almost two years working on the technology to do it right,” said Eli Portnoy, CEO and co-founder of ThinkNear who will be joining the Scout Advertising team. “We have built technology to target mobile consumers based on true location and real-time context across billions of monthly impressions.”

Mobile Internet Usage Increases but Mobile Advertising ROI Remains Elusive

According to Internet research firm comScore, mobile Internet usage is expected to overtake desktop Internet usage by 2014.[2] However, despite the ongoing growth in consumer mobile Internet use, sixty-two percent of marketers surveyed by the Association of National Advertisers say the inability to prove ROI of advertising on new media platforms is a top concern.[3] Recent reports from research firm eMarketer showed that mobile advertising accounted for less than one percent of total ad spending, or $1.45 billion, in the U.S. in 2011.[4]

“Most mobile ad networks struggle with targeting because they are trying to apply online technologies in the mobile space,” said Dariusz Paczuski, vice president of products, marketing, and monetization at Telenav. “This is frustrating for brick and mortar advertisers because, although the growth in mobile Internet use is astounding, the ROI for mobile has been difficult to measure. We now solve that problem by driving more customers at scale with hyper-local targeting and measurable results.”

Scout Advertising – A New, Combined Platform

Telenav’s existing search and navigation-based Drive-To Advertising platform reaches 34 million customers and provides advertisers with the industry’s only measurement platform that captures the “drive-to” rate; the number of users who viewed an ad and then clicked on it to drive to the advertiser’s business location. With drive-to rates, advertisers know exactly how many users are taking action to drive to a location, giving companies the ability to measure true ROI.

“We work with national advertisers who have come to realize that mobile isn’t just about impressions, it’s about driving and measuring the number of new customers,” Paczuski continued.

Scout Advertising will combine ThinkNear’s Situational Targeting technology with Telenav’s Drive-To Advertising measurement to give advertisers access to a comprehensive solution delivering billions of hyper-local impressions per month.

“We are extremely excited to combine ThinkNear’s technology and expertise with our own to provide an even more comprehensive solution for advertisers to reach and drive more customers,” stated Paczuski. “This is a platform built from the ground up to leverage the mobile experience. We will help advertisers reach the right people while deploying the right mobile measurement tools. We expect this to change the game for advertisers. We are 100 percent focused on providing them with a clear and remarkable ROI on their mobile advertising spend. The proof will be the increase in customers driving to their front door.”