As argued in our previous post, the real value of proximity lies in the network applications of it. We are therefore proud to officially release Unacast PROX Network, a platform built to let PSPs easily connect with offline and online domains globally. PROX value adds meta tags familiar to the online media companies to the raw proximity data, and harmonizes the data structures across the various PSP’s to enable a single offline customer view. The benefit being that offline data can be linked to the relevant digital data in order to give retailers and brands new retargeting possibilities, in addition to providing a more complete picture of the offline behavior. And we do all the heavy lifting in form of technical integrations on both the supply and demand side. Data is of course never shared without proper consent, and never on a recognizable personal level.
However, the PSPs and retailers/brands that do opt to share some of their aggregated data to the network will receive similar data back, giving them a competitive edge. Remember, a customer doesn’t cease to exist when he or she goes out the door or goes online. They simply change form, and by working in networks we can continue to engage them.
And this is only the start of what the network can provide of value. Unacast will launch several products in the coming period that solve such issues as providing “delete me”-features to the end consumer and a cross proximity provider notification control centre, to make sure we as an industry don’t spam the end user.
We launched the Unacast PROX network at SXSW with guests from the industry and press joining us for a panel discussion on the future of proximity. From the left: Asif Khan for the Location Based Marketing Association, Kjartan Slette from Unacast, Patrick Leddy from Pulsate, Alex Bell from Signal360, and Marius Olsen from VG.
International press has picked up on the significance of Unacast PROX network, and so far both Adweek and The Drum has covered the launch, in addition to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. More press will follow the coming week.
From the press release
Media platform Unacast, which connects a person´s physical offline behaviour to online advertising, has signed landmark strategic deals with seven of the world’s most forward-thinking proximity solution providers (PSP’s) to become the world’s largest supplier of proximity data to brands and retailers.
MobStac, Tamoco, Blue Sense Networks, dot3, Fluxloop and CosyTech have signed agreements with the Norwegian company, recently named by Business Insider as one of the 24 hottest tech companies in the Nordics, to create the Unacast PROX Network. They join California-based Total Communicator Solutions, one of the biggest players in the US, which was the first PSP to sign up in January this year.
Launching at SXSW this week, the Unacast PROX network provides global brands and retailers with the ability to retarget their customers online based on offline behaviour. By joining the PROX network, the same retailers and brands can now also understand their customers’ offline behaviour before and after they visit a specific location, something that was previously not technically possible.
Thomas Walle Jensen, Unacast co-founder and CEO said:
PSPs, retailers and brands have a limited customer view today. As soon as the customer leaves their store, he or she becomes invisible, until they resurface in the same location. What the customer did before and after the visit is unknown. By working with Unacast and sharing data into the Unacast PROX network, retailers and brands can ensure that in-store campaigns can take into account the total physical profile, thus fulfilling the promise of proximity as the offline cookie.
By the end of 2015, the current members of the network alone will have over 100,000 beacons at retailers, malls, cinemas, museums, sports stadia, bars, restaurants and stations working with clients such as Unilever, HP, BP, Vodafone, Tesco, Carlsberg, BMW, Uber, AT&T and Clear Channel. They cover all aspects of the industry, representing the largest proximity markets of the US, Europe, as well as South Asia and the Middle East, and the full technology stack, from beacons to NFC and geo-fencing.
Also being announced today is the first commercial use case for the network. CAPA, a leading innovator in the Nordic cinema ad industry with close to 50% market share in Norway alone, will be the first company to use proximity data from the Unacast PROX network to retarget customers online based on their visit to the cinema.
Gareth Williams, Commercial Director, CAPA said:
By joining the Unacast PROX Network, we can provide the cinema-goer with a more tailor-made experience when they arrive at the cinema and offer brands another touch point with which to communicate to potential customers.
For example, understanding what cinema-goers are doing both in the physical and digital domains between and after the visits to the cinema, will enable CAPA to both provide a more relevant communication while in the cinema (on their phone) and also when they later go online. A brand like Coca Cola can now be offered the ability to approach a sports fan in a different way to a fashionista. Also, brands running commercials before a film starts can continue the communication to the same customer when they go online the next day. Unacast enables completely new ways for brands to create cohesive and tailored campaigns, both offline and online. The campaign will go live in the coming months.
As part of Unacast’s ambition to drive standards and help the proximity industry realise its full potential, all PSP’s joining the network will work together to offer industry-leading privacy. This will help the industry grow by making privacy a feature of proximity marketing, delivering a great customer experience and so encouraging future engagement.
Doug Thompson, CEO dot3 and publisher of influential site BEEKn summarised:
The Unacast PROX Network is going to help deliver on the promise of beacons and the Internet of Everything. We believe that beacons represent a seismic shift - one where the physical world, from our thermostats to our cars, the retail aisle to a community garden is being 'digitized'. We think of this network of beacons and connected tech as part of a digital fabric that will make our lives more meaningful, let us create richer relationships with the brands we love, and let us engage in our communities in new ways. The Unacast PROX Network helps to solve a big challenge - letting us bridge the gap between the physical and online worlds in a way which we think will delight, inform and engage customers - while respecting their privacy.
About the members of the Unacast PROX Network
dot3 provides proximity services to clients in North America, Europe, and the UK and is partnered with major global ad agencies, retailers and brands to deliver the experience of the Internet of Things. dot3 was co-Founded by Doug Thompson who is also the publisher of BEEKn, one of the leading websites in the world on BLE and iBeacon technology. The dot3 platform has attracted some of the top global brands or retailers in their category, covering everything from grocery to beverage companies, universities to public institutions, who have come to realize that proximity is merely facilitated by the beacon. dot3 has developed a platform based on these larger insights and a resulting focus on creating amazing experience for both the end user and the client. dot3 is currently working with dot3 is currently working with a major tourist destination in Canada to "beaconize" an entire town - from theatres to museums, outdoor parks to local retailers. These large-scale deployments bridge multiple locations and stakeholders, brands and retailers, public institutions and media partners.
MobStac's Beaconstac is a software platform for proximity messaging and analytics using Beacons. MobStac primarily focuses on businesses in North America, Europe, South Asia and the Middle East. It is currently working on active beacon pilot projects with businesses belonging to diverse industry verticals from multi-brand retailers to museums to movie halls and event management companies. Beaconstac is the only hardware-agnostic proximity-marketing and analytics software platform that lets you create and manage proximity-messaging campaigns from an easy-to-use dashboard. Easy-to-use APIs and mobile SDKs allow developers to make high-level customizations to their app very easily.
About Blue Sense Networks:
Blue Sense Networks has more than 500 customers in over 15 countries. Its biggest markets are the UK, US, Germany and Switzerland in which it works with some of the leading companies in their respective sectors like HP, BP, Unilever and MSG Global. The Blue Sense Networks' management team has 50+ years’ experience in delivering location-based solutions to enterprises. This has provided them a competitive advantage that has helped them to position ProximitySense, a UK leading iBeacon and proximity engagement Software Cloud Platform, paired with their Blue Bar Beacons, the biggest Beacon offering Worldwide, as one of the industry's most robust and future-proof solution when it comes to deploy and deliver at the enterprise level.
Tamoco has offices in London UK and Seattle USA and serves clients worldwide. It has run campaigns in the USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. Clients include Uber, Vodafone, AT&T, Carlsberg, Tesco, BMW, and Lookout. Tamoco's platform enables brands to have a contextually relevant engagement with their consumers to enable appropriate content and messages to be delivered to a given user at that precise moment. Its platform makes it simple and intuitive for brands to manage their proximity activity and to see insights in real time. Its solution is a turnkey service that, once its SDK has been embedded, gives an app a rich range of proximity enabled notifications and content all controllable from the cloud with no further development requirement; making single day deployment possible.
About Total Communicator Solutions Inc:
Founded in early 2012 by former Qualcomm executive Erik Bjontegard, Total Communicator Solutions Inc. develops innovative, fully integrated mobile marketing communication platforms and customized applications to help clients connect with users, customers and future users in meaningful and measurable ways on mobile devices. Its precision mobile marketing platform, Spark Compass™, integrates the Gimbal encrypted proximity beacons from Gimbal, Inc., enabling the delivery of customized and relevant content for real-time consumer engagement. With numerous beacon installations in locations across the U.S. incorporating thousands of proximity beacons, the Spark Compass Platform is placing beacon networks in numerous market leading locations such as hospitals, university facilities and convention centers. Total Communicator Solutions Inc. is headquartered in San Diego, Calif., with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Spain, Mexico, UK and New Zealand. Visit http://www.sparkcompass.com for more information.
CosyTech is focusing on creating disruptive proximity services in the Nordics, building hardware and software based on NFC to provide personal and appless experiences, coupling with BLE technology, both as an iBeacon-platform and as a fast link between our units and the end user smartphone. CosyTech is launching with its first large clients this summer, and then focusing on the US and Asia.
Fluxloop currently focuses mainly on Scandinavia but will expand further to Europe during 2016. By the end of 2015 it will have the biggest Proximity Network in Norway. It works with several telco providers and Clear Channel Norway. Using Pinch, the advertiser doesn’t need to figure out how to implement beacon support to an app, where to install beacons or how to configure them – Fluxloop does it. They make it easy to integrate Pinch into existing monitoring- and CRM systems. Pinch mainly enables businesses to communicate easier and better with their users. Its partnership with Clear Channel enables Pinch to tailor messages and show them on Digital Out Of Home screens to users nearby.