Transitions media business to Zeta Global in broad strategic partnership
Since founding PlaceIQ, we’ve had the privilege to focus on the same fundamental organizational goal for close to a decade: building a new model of consumer behavior from location data. From initially defining and launching some of the first fundamental location data products and concepts such as audience segmentation and foot traffic attribution, to creating the foundation for what has now become an industry – I can tell you that it has been an incredible journey so far…
One thing that has not stayed constant during that journey however is the market-driven business model that PlaceIQ has used to monetize our technology.
For the first couple of years of our company, and possibly due to the fact that my co-founder and I came from the geo-spatial industry, we were singularly focused on deploying data-only solutions to market. While we felt we had a winning offering, it became clear we were simply too early (a theme we have often encountered over the years!) to monetize via a straight sale of data. Interestingly, our customers at the time demanded we enable media-centric solutions to gain access to our data and capabilities. So, in 2012 we did just that: we launched a set of PlaceIQ managed media solutions as the primary path to market for our data.
It worked! The business grew very nicely. But at a certain point, the actual arrival of the long promised rise of programmatic buying, combined with brands and agencies starting to use our data far more actively to drive real business ROI began to happen at scale. In observing that trend, we knew that the original data-centric opportunity for PlaceIQ was finally coming of age. We relaunched our suite of data products, and were gratified that they were extremely well received by the market.
As in any growing space, we consistently were faced with strategic choices to make. Once we had relaunched our data business, one key decision was of course: would we try to serve two business models at the same time (media and data), or pick one and focus on it. We were certainly not unique. We have watched other data-centric companies with media businesses confront similar strategic choices.
There are many hard things about continually (and successfully) growing, building and sustaining a business. But I can confidently say that the one constant I have found is the importance of developing the ability to adapt to change, especially in an industry like ours. To continue to be successful, we believe focus is key. Thus, we determined that the right thing to do for our customers and our people was to transition our managed media business to an organization that was focused on scaling, and investing in, an activation business.
So, we are very excited to announce that effective immediately, PlaceIQ has entered into a strategic partnership with Zeta Global to not only enrich their myriad of marketing touch points with PlaceIQ audiences, measurement and analytics – but to also transition our managed service media offering to them in order to align it with a world class, data-centric media activation platform.
What does this mean moving forward? Think of it this way: what has been considered the PlaceIQ managed media solution will still be powered by PlaceIQ data and capabilities – but will be delivered, run, and serviced by the talented Zeta Global solution team – in many cases by the very same team members our clients have enjoyed previously.
If you are a client of PlaceIQ managed media solutions, effectively little will change. You will be working with the same data, people, and technology, but it will now be supported by a much larger organization with additional resources and capabilities to deliver not only location-aware media activation, but many other customer experience touchpoints too.
As we now transition into the second half of 2019, PlaceIQ returns to its roots: we are 100% focused on delivering superior data solutions into the marketplace – back to our original model and our core DNA of innovating with data. We started the company with a vision of enabling our customers to genuinely make better business decisions and drive real measurable ROI with location data – both inside and outside of the marketing realm – and I’m utterly delighted to say that we are delivering on that vision today in a sustainable and repeatable way with many long-standing customers. We have reached the day I originally envisioned where deploying location data is not just a marketing tactic, but a fundamental omnichannel business tactic that is truly changing the way companies are doing business. Observing what our teams, both past and present, have collectively accomplished toward this goal is humbling indeed.
I conclude this message with a big thank you to our customers, partners, employees and investors for all believing in the long term vision of the power of location data, harnessed in a privacy friendly manner, to change the way organizations do business. Our whole team looks forward to continuing to drive the industry forward throughout 2019 and beyond.