JiWire Aims To Improve Mobile Ad Targeting With Its New Location Graph

Location-based ad company JiWire is announcing a new service today that’s supposed to connect user behavior and location — perhaps inevitably, given the trendiness of building an this that graph, it’s called the Location Graph.

Even prior to the Location Graph, interim CEO David Staas says JiWire had already created more than 3 billion location tags. The new initiative is basically an attempt to draw more meaningful insights from all that data.

It can lead to relatively straightforward observations, Staas says — for example, JiWire might observe that there’s a significant overlap between people who go the zoo and people who visit child care services. But the Location Graph also combines that information with third-party data, creating a profile of each user, and therefore extrapolating from your location history to distinguish between moms and dads and students. JiWire claims to have profiled more than 500 million devices already.

The company plans to make some of its conclusions available on a public website. Here’s a small sampling of what it says it has learned:

  • Sixty percent of women eat at the same three restaurants each month.
  • Moms who go to beauty salons are also likely to visit health clubs, child care centers, counseling services and restaurants.
  • Twenty-three percent of people who go to Peet’s Coffee and Tea also go to Starbucks.
  • Thirty percent of people who shopped at Best Buy also shopped at a competitor’s location

Beyond the nvoelty factor of the data, Staas says this is an important step to improving mobile ad targeting —  specifically, by allowing advertisers to buy an audience, just as they can in most other ad media. Currently, they mostly target ads based on the type of app or the location of the user, which are less precise ways to reach an audience. In other words, a store can use geofencing technology to broadcast an ad or an offer to users within a certain distance. But wouldn’t it be more effective to target, say, moms within a certain distance, rather than everyone? And really, once you can reach a specific audience, is their location really that important?

The Location Graph is supposed to help JiWire deliver that kind of targeted advertising. And because the user profile includes a lot of behavioral data, advertisers can also make smarter choices about the audiences and locations that they want to reach.

You can see more findings in this infographic.