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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : November 11, 2013

Google to track 'real world' shopping activity to demonstrate effectiveness of mobile ads

Google has tracked people's online movements for years, and has more recently delved into location tracking. But recent reports reveal the Internet giant is to put that real-world tracking data to good use by tracking store visits against whether a user previously looked at advertising for the company.

by Helen Leggatt

Google is set to track consumers as they make their way around malls and high streets. The scenario, as originally reported by John McDermott of tech site Digiday, will see Google "beta-testing a program that uses smartphone location data to determine when consumers visit stores, according to agency executives briefed on the program by Google employees. Google then connects these store visits to Google searches conducted on smartphones in an attempt to prove that its mobile ads do, in fact, work".

The program works by gaining access to user data via Android apps or Google's iOS apps including Search, Gmail, Google+, Chrome, and Maps.

If a smartphone user has 'location services' activated and has one of the Google apps running in the background while out shopping Google has the ability to pinpoint their exact location. Pinpointing a user's location is even more accurate if the mobile users access a company's in-store Wi-Fi.

The reason behind the move to track shopping activity against advertising is to provide marketers with a "more complete and accurate picture of how their online advertising drives conversion", said Google in an October blogpost, allowing marketers to optimize their ad placements and budget allocation.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, Google, mobile, search, tracking

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