Acxiom Expands NinthDecimal Location Data Partnership

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The growth of location data sharing just keeps chugging along.

The latest is an expansion of a pair-up between mobile location information company NinthDecimal and data services giant Acxiom, a firm with a data broker pedigree that has steadily built its marketing related capabilities in recent years.

The companies have broadened a relationship started in 2014 into a more integrated one. While originally Acxiom worked with the company to let marketers target its pre-existing audience segments in NinthDecimal's mobile app inventory, now clients can build custom audiences by combining data from both firms and targeting ads to them through a variety of online ad-buying platforms, in out-of-home advertising or with addressable TV inventory via Acxiom partnerships.

A retailer might develop a custom segment, for example, based on Acxiom audience data comprised of likely home appliance shoppers combined with data from NinthDecimal showing shoppers who frequently visited a specific retailer or its competitors.

Location data is being broadly dispersed across the advertising ecosystem via a steady stream of partnerships, all intended to give marketers better abilities to find the right consumers at the right place and time, with the right message, and then determine whether it worked. Just last week Verve joined Acxiom's publisher partner network to provide location data from Verve's app publisher network.

Also last week, NinthDecimal competitor Freckle IoT, which gleans mobile device proximity information from beacon data providers and directly through app and publisher partners, announced deals with five programmatic ad platforms, Adelphic, AppNexus, MediaMath, The Trade Desk and TubeMogul.

Many demand side platforms and ad exchanges have relationships with mobile location data providers such as Placed, NinthDecimal, PlaceIQ, Factual and Foursquare. Mobile location data firms PlaceIQ and 4Info also partner with Acxiom.

Some large retailers have already begun using Acxiom's and NinthDecimal's combined data offerings to target and measure ads aimed at custom audience segments, according to the companis. "We're running this for a couple customers now," said NinthDecimal President David Staas. "They want to understand things like, 'Did my display or mobile advertising increase spending.' "

NinthDecimal gathers data on 150 million mobile devices each month through relationships with publishers of around 75,000 apps. Some data is derived through ad calls made to those mobile apps, and in other cases the app publishers agree to provide location data to NinthDecimal in exchange for analytics services.

The firm's database matches lat-long information to actual business locations.

As with the majority of mobile location data collection, these partner publishers require users to agree to share location data when they download the apps, or sometimes when location data is gathered after download. Many mobile apps, once they have this permission from users, collect background location data, which tracks the location of devices at all times, whether or not the app is in use, and often when apps don't require any location data to perform core functions.

Another component of the Acxiom-NinthDecimal partnership involves campaign measurement. NinthDecimal can match its anonymized device ID data to household data of people exposed to an ad campaign and provide the results to Acxiom, which can then compare it against a brand client's household-level first party transactional data, said Mr. Staas. The process would determine the portion of that exposed group that actually purchased something.

For one retail client, the firms currently are running an Acxiom study to measure how ads affected lift in in-store foot-traffic.

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