FAQ: How to Set Up Blueprints in GroundTruth

No matter what industry, from quick-service restaurants to retail and banks, in-store visits and foot traffic are the biggest differentiator in terms of real business results. Although many people browse and shop online everyday, 83% of purchases still happen inside a physical store. 

When it comes to advertising and marketing that makes an impact on the bottom line, driving store visits is the most effective way to improve Return-on-Ad-Spend (ROAS) and grow your customer base. That’s why GroundTruth built our Blueprint technology—to give marketers the tools they need to turn real-world behavior into advertising that drives real business results. 

To set up your own campaign using GroundTruth’s Blueprint technology, we compiled the most frequently asked questions here to help you. 

What Is A Visit?

GroundTruth’s Blueprint technology shows ads to consumers based on past or current location behavior. If they’ve proven to visit the mall where your store is located, for example, we add them to an audience segment for our customers.

That ad segment is then shown ads across multiple ad channels, as determined by our customers. Each time an ad is shown to a shopper, that’s called an “impression” and GroundTruth customers buy impressions in groups of 1,000. 

GroundTruth tracks everyone who sees an ad impression and then visits your target location. That’s a visit. If someone visits your location but hasn’t seen the ad, that doesn’t count and GroundTruth doesn’t count it as a verified visit. That way, marketers can tie their efforts to increased foot traffic, instead of larger trends, like summer break, for example. 

How Do GroundTruth’s Blueprints Add Value for Customers?

GroundTruth has a proprietary mapping process called “Blueprinting” that maps the boundaries of locations like buildings and car parks. This makes it clear when a DeviceID that views a campaign goes to the location after seeing the ad impression. The accuracy of Blueprinting has been verified by Numerator (formerly InfoScout), and is going through the accreditation process for theMedia Ratings Council (MRC).

Marketers and media planners who need to draw a direct connection between campaign performance and real business results, like conversions and ROAS, use GroundTruth to prove their impact. 

How Do I Set Up a Campaign with Blueprints? 

To ensure your locations are all set up with Blueprints, and learn how to launch a campaign that drives in-store visits, follow these steps:

1. Set up Your Blueprint

Since data accuracy is a core value for GroundTruth, Blueprinting can take time. Each new Blueprint is quality checked to make sure the point of interest (POI) boundaries are right, and will enable reliable visitation tracking.

If you’re planning a campaign, it pays to start early. GroundTruth recommends that whether you’re using a handful of POIs or thousands, you establish your Drive-To locations at least a week before the campaign’s planned launch date. Starting early is also essential around busy holiday periods, when the Blueprinting team is swamped with visitation setup requests.

How Many POIs Should You Include?

When you’re starting a visitation campaign, it pays to have plenty of POIs. Large national brands with high foot traffic like McDonald’s and Subway often have great success because they’ve got plenty of easily accessible and well-known locations consumers can go to. Even if you only have a few POIs, don’t worry – you’re still building brand awareness. Consumers may visit even after the end of the campaign.

How Wide Should the Exposure Area Be?

GroundTruth prides itself on being able to reach consumers anywhere. However, when you’re running a visitation campaign, think about it from your shoppers viewpoint. Ask how far they are prepared to drive to buy an item or enjoy a meal. Consider where your competitors are or if you have other locations nearby. 

How Long Does Blueprinting Take?

The Blueprinting team completes most projects within two working days. Large projects can take a whole week. The good news is, GroundTruth already has over 5 million Blueprints loaded into our platform. 

If you’ve got a project in progress, you can check the status of your new Location Group at any time. You’ll know whether it’s ongoing, completed, or rated as UTB. UTB means that there’s an issue with completing the Blueprint, which can happen with businesses located inside other businesses, like airport drugstores or cafes inside hospitals.

2. Create Location Groups and Audiences

When you use Ads Manager, Location Groups help you track POI visitation and create audiences for retargeting. A location group is simply a collection of POIs that you’re using for a campaign. As well as visitation, location groups help you create audiences for retargeting.

All blueprinted POIs passively track DeviceIDs of those who visit the location, and you can use these for retargeting. Again, if you’re planning to create a Custom Audience for visitation and retargeting, set up your Blueprint project well before the campaign launch date. That’s because it can take a while to gather those Device IDs. The longer you collect the audience, the bigger it will become.

Understanding Audiences

Audiences are a powerful weapon in visitation campaigns, and it is crucial to know the difference when setting up geofencing. There are three types of audiences:

  • Brand: consumers who’ve visited a brand in the past three months
  • Behavioral: people who fall into a behavior pattern. For example, people who regularly visit airports, hotels and car hire firms could be called “frequent travelers”
  • Category: this refers to a particular type of brand such as a restaurant, hairdresser or a retail outlet

GroundTruth’s Ads Manager will help you optimize your audiences based on your goals. Once your campaign is running, you can assess audience performance, and add or remove audiences as needed. You can also get recommendations based on GroundTruth’s audience data on which audiences drive the best visitation.

3. Plan Campaign Timing and Budget

We recommend that visitation campaigns run for at least two weeks, or even longer. Shorter campaigns may be less successful, simply because people may not see enough ads to entice them to visit your location.

Since visits don’t always happen instantly, it’s worth extending the campaign to capture those visits. That doesn’t always mean spending more: start with your available budget, then increase as needed based on performance. The more you invest, the better the chance of getting consumers to visit your location.

4. Optimize Your Campaigns

As you learn more about your customers that visit frequently, sporadically, online-only or in-store only, you will have new information to improve the performance of all your campaigns. Once your campaign is up and running, your team can optimize for the results you care most about. As a self-serve platform, Ads Manager lets you optimize live digital campaigns at any time. Some of the tactics to try include:

  • Extend the campaign
  • Add more POIs
  • Add new audiences
  • Widen the targeting area
  • Reduce limiting campaign factors (such as demographic, technographic, publisher category, day parting)
  • Try new tactics, such as GroundTruth’s ‘Neighborhoods’ targeting 

No matter what your goals are, GroundTruth provides the media platform you need to drive the real business results you’re looking for.