Opera/Unacast partnership connects advertisers to global beacon data for the first time

Advertisers can now segment and target consumers based on where they went in the real world with new and improved precision

Opera Mediaworks, the world’s highest quality mobile advertising and marketing platform today announced a new partnership with Unacast to provide beacon and proximity data for retargeting at scale to the world’s top advertisers for the first time.

Until now, the advertising industry has relied heavily on GPS data, which is only available when users are outdoors and actively using their mobile devices. Beacon data is far more accurate than GPS, registering consumer behavior down to a precise aisle, shelf or product.

Clients of Opera Mediaworks, which include 90% of Ad Age’s top advertisers, now have access to a customer’s “real-world identity” as created by Unacast, the world’s largest aggregator of offline consumer behavioral data gathered from beacons. This will allow advertisers to increase the personalization, timeliness and effectiveness of their mobile marketing campaigns.

Beacon data: The missing piece of the advertising puzzle

Beacons interact with smartphones to deliver hyper-contextual content to their users and are one of the fastest-growing technology products in the world. By the end of 2016, 85% of locations of the top 100 retailers in the United States will have deployed beacon hardware and software, according to a Business Insider Intelligence report. ABI Research forecasts that by 2020, 400 million beacons will be deployed globally.

While consumers are becoming increasingly glued to their smartphones, approximately 70% of waking hours are still spent offline. As customers walk in and out of shops, spend time in coffeehouses and gyms, and buy food at quick-service restaurants, millions of beacon proximity sensors register this valuable data that accurately reflects their behavior and interests – always with consumer consent.

Retailers and brands that have already deployed beacons will be able to leverage their beacon data and retarget their own customers across the Opera Mediaworks platform, to encourage them to return to their brick-and-mortar or online stores. Companies holding various types of proximity data can also monetize their data by allowing advertisers and brands to license anonymous data.

Highly granular data for accurate targeting, and globally, at scale

Beacon data has been difficult to scale for advertising due to the fragmentation of the beacon and proximity industries. Unacast has solved this challenge by creating the largest network of proximity companies in the world, to collect beacon data in the Unacast PROX Network, which aggregates, standardizes and tags the data to build targeting profiles on millions of users. Unacast has partnered with more than 40 of the world’s largest proximity providers and is on track to have 100 partners on board by the end of this year.

“The real value of beacon data is in its accuracy and granularity. Until now, that has simply meant targeting a shopper in the moment, as they walk down the aisle about a nearby product on sale,” explains Andrew Dubatowka, Director of Product Strategy, Opera Mediaworks. “With this partnership, marketers can extend the life of that beacon data beyond the confines of the store and, with a detailed understanding of a shopper’s interests, apply it in other contexts, such as audience targeting and even ROAS (return on ad spend) measurement.” 

With the agreement between the two companies, advertisers can now segment and target groups of people based on the locations they frequent at store, department and product level, where beacons can be configured with centimeter precision. For instance, a fashion brand might identify someone with an interest in shoes, down to a particular size and style, based on his or her activity within the shoe department of a shopping mall (via beacons on the Unacast network). Then, they can serve the customer relevant ads for a new line of shoes based on that interest in the evening, as they browse their favorite news or social app. Unacast has unlocked this data for the world’s leading advertisers, and Opera Mediaworks will activate it across compelling mobile brand experiences. 

Proximity data is of huge value to the world’s biggest advertisers and publishers, and, now that we’ve successfully aggregated it from independent beacon providers around the world, its full potential can be realized,” says Thomas Walle, CEO and co-founder of Unacast. “With this deal in place, advertisers can use the data from our collective network to grow their businesses. If brands already use beacons, they can now retarget customers and develop custom audiences for campaign targeting. We also provide one powerful marketplace for all players to monetize that beacon data.” 

About Unacast

Unacast is the world’s largest network of beacon and proximity data, connecting the physical world to the digital. Through the Unacast PROX network, we provide a scalable solution for retailers, brands and the marketing industry to use beacon and proximity data for online retargeting and attribution. We call this continued engagement.. Unacast holds best practice in offline data management and privacy guidelines. Unacast never discloses recognizable customer data and partners always retain full control over their own data sets. Visit www.unacast.com to learn more, and to sign up to PROX.