How many times have you been stuck in traffic, staring at the ad on the side of the truck next to you? Mobile advertisements, or moving billboards displayed on vehicles, can reach a broad audience as they move around a city, exposing the ad to different demographics.
Drew Jackson‘s company originally used advertising to give trucking companies a new income stream. To measure their ads’ effectiveness, Jackson and his team built software that could determine who was looking at the ad and where.
To Jackson’s surprise, there was no other software like this out there, creating a gap in the mobile ad media market. He pivoted to the current iteration of ad analytics startup StreetMetrics.
“So essentially, we’re Nielsen for ads on vehicles,” says CEO Jackson.
“In addition to tracking the performance of those ads, we also try to understand who the people are that are engaging with those ads at any given point in time.”
Operators often only run an analysis on how many people view an ad on a bus once every few years. They use those outdated numbers to sell the ad space.
To determine exactly how much that ad is worth at any given time, StreetMetrics uses traffic data, along with historical and real-time location data, to provide an accurate media measurement.
The platform takes the location data from the vehicle’s GPS and compares it with real-time cellphone data.
“If that device shows up to a local coffee shop three out of five days a week, we can make the assumption that that person really likes coffee,” says Jackson.
He claims that they track nearly 220 million devices on a daily basis using mobile apps with location opt-ins. All of the secured data is captured anonymously.
The software then creates audience profiles, including demographics and consumer behavior.
“Not only can we help measure how many people see [the ad], but we know what they care about and what have they shown interest in doing in the real world,” says Jackson.
StreetMetrics offers an open API for clients that prefer to implement their own white-labeled solution, as well as an interactive online platform for operators to see different visualizations of their ad reporting dashboard.
The data can also be used to retarget audiences on social media and in-app advertising, creating smarter, more integrated campaigns.
“We’re very data-centric and we offer predictive modeling tools that predict when certain audiences are going to be in the city at any given point in time,” says Jackson. “We use data to facilitate better connections both online and in the real world.”
StreetMetrics has several clients in the micro-transit (think e-scooter and bike companies) and ride-share industries. They are undergoing paid pilots with national brands and recently acquired their first international client in Africa.
The Birmingham, AL-based team joined Techstars Atlanta’s fourth cohort this month to accelerate their growth. Following Demo Day this fall, they hope to raise a seed round.
“We’ve got a commitment to building a world-class piece of technology. Once we complete the seed round, we want to funnel those funds into engineering, expanding sales, education, marketing, and continue to maintain our 100 percent customer conversion rate,” says Jackson.