Geopath measures and analyzes audience location and how consumers engage with advertisements

The rise of mobile devices was rather predictable: put more processing power into a touchscreen and portable computer, allot enough time for consumers and manufactures to figure out what the heck to do with it, and voila, you have a recipe for a new technological ecosystem. What’s less obvious however is how to go about generating those ‘what the heck to do with it’ insights in the first place. On a mission to audit the circulation of out of home (OOH) media to empower brands with actionable data generated by millions of tech users all over the world, Geopath has been helping leading brands make sense of this enormous swath of data buzzing every second of every day.

Since the firm doesn’t offer any consumer-facing services, it's easy to see how one would could miss who or what Geopath is; behind the scenes however, the nonprofit has been powering many of the strategies employed by world-class brands to engage consumers who are always on the go. Following an aggressive rebrand from the Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement Inc. to what it is today, the newly minted ‘Geopath’ is emblematic of an ‘agile, integrated, passionate and forward-looking organization.’ For a better sense of what this rebrand means not just for the company, but the industry as a whole, PSFK sat down with Geopath president Kym Frank for an exclusive interview.

“The timing of the rebrand made total sense for us as its falls in conjunction with the technical overhaul of our existing audience measurement systems. We’ll now be able to better harness industry-changing data sources such as carrier data, GPS unit devices, connect cars, weather forecasts—anything that generates data in the outside world,” says Frank.

“Organizationally this manifests as a loosening up of the nine to five schedule, the ability to work from home if necessary and a more open floor plan to encourage more connections with coworkers. The new vibe has completely changed the mentality of our employees from going to work to being part of a team.”

Understanding that a successful rebrand is more than just a facelift, but rather an inside-out transformation that reimagines what a company stands for and how those values manifests in its day-to-day life, Geopath’s success in establishing an updated image proved critical not just for company growth, but for the many independent partners sourcing the OOH data measurements.

“We have over 200 members in our network who all come to us with different needs. Some prefer us to make an API, while others ask for in-house software. We also make data available to 3rd party providers who may want to incorporate our data into new or pre-existing systems to develop their own tools based on the information we’ve provided,” details Frank. “And of course, since we’re a nonprofit with 25 board of directors, it allows us to do certain things you wouldn’t be able to do in a for-profit environment. Since we don’t try to profit off of our measurements, we never cut corners—it allows us to have a lot of flexibility in utilizing data you otherwise couldn’t acquire through a one-off trial.”

Indeed, Geopath’s unique ways of predicting movement is what Frank refers to as an ‘aggregated anonymous audience flow,’ which means the company is capable of non-invasively tracking devices to understand and interpret widespread behaviors. And while data collection in the for-profit landscape relies on use of geofences, beacons, sensors or some other setup to collect this information, Geopath’s algorithms are more so a refined predictive measurement of the likelihood a consumer is to be in a certain location based on historical contexts of a particular device. To this point, Frank stresses,

“All of this data gets scrubbed before a firewall long before it gets to us. We also worked with the privacy council to make sure we’re not violating any terms or laws. Because we’re the currency for the industry, we need to make sure we’re being incredibly responsible—the whole trade relies on exchanging this data.”

The metrics Geopath produces are relevant for anyone in the space, whether you’re a manufacturer, advertiser, wireless carrier, or another player in the OOH space. Moreover, because the data is constantly refreshing, updating in real-time to reflect changes in geographies as they happen, the timeliness of the metrics tracked ensures their accuracy. As such, the company is able to gauge how audiences are moving on streets, roadways, airplanes and virtually everywhere else, with a high degree of confidence.

While many people remain unaware that OOH is a standalone industry, many others are taking a macrocosmic view of massive amounts of big data The next time you walk past an ad that resonates with you more so than the other 500 you saw that day—especially if its one that happens to surface on your mobile device—know that Geopath may have very well framed the timing and context with which you took notice.

Geopath

The rise of mobile devices was rather predictable: put more processing power into a touchscreen and portable computer, allot enough time for consumers and manufactures to figure out what the heck to do with it, and voila, you have a recipe for a new technological ecosystem. What’s less obvious however is how to go about generating those ‘what the heck to do with it’ insights in the first place. On a mission to audit the circulation of out of home (OOH) media to empower brands with actionable data generated by millions of tech users all over the world, Geopath has been helping leading brands make sense of this enormous swath of data buzzing every second of every day.