Bloomin’ Brands Warms To The Idea Of Pay-Per-Visit Mobile Ad Formats

xAd | 08/08/2017


The age-old question of whether a brand’s advertising “works” has been put to the test by a number of brands over the past year with casual dining operator Bloomin’ Brands endorsing the method unveiled by GroundTruth this past spring with Home Depot and Applebee’s.

GroundTruth (formerly known as xAd) has been rolling out its Cost-Per-Visit ad format to clients more widely as it seeks to prove the effectiveness of its location accuracy — a perennial problem for all platform companies to one extent or another.

Another location platform provider offering pay-for-performance is Retale, which introduced its “Store Traffic Guarantee” format a week after GroundTruth unveiled its ad product.

Pay-For-Performance Motivation

The company has claimed that it is able to interpret physical location with more than a 90 percent accuracy rate.  The “Accuracy Audit” analyzed 10,000 matched panelists who shopped at a sample of key retailers, consistently submitted receipts to InfoScout, and used location-based services via GroundTruth.

But marketers are used to those kinds of claims and have decided that it is not enough to convince brands to spend more on a given platform. And that has spurred the rollout of pay-for-performance ad formats that charge advertisers only if it can be proven that a person who saw an ad walked into a retail or restaurant location.

Bloomin’ Brands, the corporate parent of casual dining franchises Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, has been seeking to build up its loyalty programs in an attempt to blunt the challenge coming from on-demand food delivery apps. The rise of food delivery with the push of a virtual button on a smartphone has tended to leave more restaurant patrons staying home to eat rather than going out, Chris Brandt, the ‎EVP and chief brand officer at Bloomin’ Brands, told GeoMarketing earlier this year.

The use of GroundTruth’s Cost Per Visit ad format has eased the concerns regarding mobile ad viewability and effectiveness for the brand.

“We loved the idea of a direct response model for driving store visits, which GroundTruth Cost Per Visit enables,” said Karen Chester, VP of Media Services, Bloomin’ Brands.

“So it’s even more exciting to know that the model delivers on that promise. We’ve eliminated the hurdle of where to run our messaging, enabling us to simply focus on what we want to say,” Chester added. “Beyond that, we know we are being as efficient as possible in driving consumers into store. It’s that simplicity that makes it easy for us to continue using this new approach to buying.”

While neither Bloomin’ Brands nor GroundTruth provided specific results for any recent campaigns,  the location marketplace did say it recently partnered with an unspecified “national fast casual restaurant chain” to run a test campaign in a local market.

After A Test, An Expansion

The initial test “exceeded the partner’s expectations, driving over 1,000 observed visits to its locations, of which 85 percent were from new customers converted from competitive restaurant loyalists in the area,” GroundTruth said.

The brand has since scaled Cost Per Visit ads into 81 “top tier markets,” driving over 100,000 visits to date and moving to a national, always-on strategy.

“GroundTruth has created a substantial model with Cost Per Visit which connects marketing strategy directly with investment,” said Serge Matta, president, GroundTruth. “Since our roll-out, we’ve seen results and demand for the solution grow beyond expectations. We’ve also seen the industry respond with similar performance models. Both of these factors underscore an increased appetite for accurate and precise insights and overall better ROI attribution in advertising.”

View the entire article on GeoMarketing.