Placed adds consumer surveys to its location analytics with Placed Panels

Mobile location analytics provider Placed wants to help businesses to find out where their customers are going with its latest product, Placed Panels. The new standalone app and survey tool allows companies to track and measure real-world location data from opted-in participants.

After a business sets up its Placed Panels online, it receives a custom URL that can be used to recruit participants for its survey. Customers participate by downloading Placed’s free co-branded Panel App, which provides a single, aggregated destination for all currently available panels. Available for both iOS and Android, the app uses a triple opt-in system to ensure those using it are both aware they’re sharing their location and willing to do so. Panelists must opt in when they are initially recruited by a company, when they download the app and when they open it for the first time.

Businesses can offer rewards in exchange for panelists completing their surveys, and the app’s users can also earn points for sharing information that can be traded in for small value gift-cards or entries into random drawings for higher value prizes.

Placed beta-tested the service in August by recruiting more than 36,000 participants willing to install the Panels app and share their location data with the company. Even measuring something as simple as the most popular coffee shops in a metropolitan area revealed surprising regional trends. Placed found that while Starbucks reigned supreme in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles, on the East coast it was Dunkin’ Donuts on top. In markets where consumers could choose between both, Dunkin’ Donuts was the top choice three times out of four.

While real-world location preferences might seem somewhat trivial, the detailed location information provided by Placed Panels allow businesses to understand what their audience actually likes.

This, explains Placed, can help companies customize their promotions and marketing, incorporating regional preferences and ensuring targeted promotions actually hit their target. For example, there is no sense in offering your customers Starbucks gift cards if 75 percent of them are die-hard Dunkin’ Donuts loyalists.

“If your company is not leveraging location analytics, you are at a competitive disadvantage to peers in your industry,” said David Shim, Founder and CEO of Placed, in an announcement accompanying today’s launch.

Placed is backed by $3.4 million in Series A funding from the Madrona Venture group. Since starting the free, public beta of its Placed Analytics service in June, the company has tracked more than 1 billion pieces of user-generated location data.