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Talon Uses SafeGraph Data to Add Greater Breadth and Depth to OOH Audience Targeting


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The Problem: How to add more precision to OOH audience targeting capabilities

Talon’s technology was developed with the goal of giving brands and agencies a better, easier, and more effective way to plan, execute, and deploy out-of-home advertising campaigns. 

Over time, and especially as the OOH industry has become increasingly data-driven, Talon’s customers have become interested in gaining spatial intelligence about the surrounding areas of the OOH units available for booking—in addition to understanding more about audience behaviors as well as how best to reach target audiences. 

“Proximity has always been a key consideration in how our customers plan and buy OOH ad campaigns today,” shared Sophie Lewis, Talon’s Product Owner. “They are keen to buy ads that are strategically placed to either drive immediate foot traffic or go head-to-head with the competition.” This is impossible without geofencing the ad units. 

At the same time, there’s also been an uptick in clients wanting to understand how consumers move around in or between different locations. But in the absence of access to precise, granular, and up-to-date POI data, it has been a challenge for Talon to easily optimize OOH ad campaigns with these insights in a consistent way.

Therefore, the opportunity was ripe for the taking to start working with high-quality data that could help Talon address questions around proximity and foot traffic more effectively.  

Thanks to SafeGraph, we can now offer our customers a more refined and precise approach to planning and buying OOH ads than ever before.
Sophie Lewis Product Owner at Talon

The Problem-Solver: Talon

As a leading Global OOH media agency, Talon believes that behind every great outdoor campaign, there’s a lot more than just planning. This led them to build a multi-pronged strategy for taking a brand’s OOH ad campaigns to the next level, based on smart, data-driven planning, powerful in-house technology, and unforgettable creativity. Whether working directly with brands or in partnership with ad agencies, Talon’s team takes pride in its full-service approach—from planning and buying to creative development to production and execution—to ensure that the OOH ad campaigns they facilitate are as effective and successful as they can possibly be.

The Solution: SafeGraph Places and Geometry

Talon underwent a thorough vetting process to ensure SafeGraph data could help them achieve their goals around proximity as well as understanding how consumers move around locations. 

Talon needed to first validate that SafeGraph data covered a wide array of brands and categories—including the brands they work with—and was also distributed evenly across the US (beyond top DMAs alone). But they also wanted access to something that most POI data vendors don’t offer: up-to-date business operating hours and location polygons for each POI. 

On top of that, they had a few operational challenges to solve as well:

  • Data Consistency: When working with various data sources in the past, they found each dataset had its own standards for “cleanliness,” making it difficult to work with until it was fully scrubbed. “Our team had to do a lot of data transformation in order to make the data we were using actually usable,” explained Lewis. “We weren’t able to answer our customers’ questions immediately until the data was cleaned.”
  • Segment Creation: “We’ve got fairly sophisticated audience segmentation models in our ‘Ada’ (audience targeting and measurement) platform, but we could never depend on third-party data sources to provide the same level of detail,” confirmed Lewis. The big issue here for Talon was both a lack of visibility and a lack of control over how these third-party audience segments were built. This made it infinitely harder to work with these datasets, including being able to integrate them into the Ada platform seamlessly.

Fortunately, SafeGraph was able to tick all of the boxes. Not only could SafeGraph provide highly granular and up-to-date POI data—covering multiple brands and categories across the entire US market—SafeGraph also helped Talon solve a key issue by being able to include geometry attributes for each POI by providing them with access to accurate polygons. 

“For us, the quality and scale of the data were paramount,” reiterated Lewis. “Not only was SafeGraph able to deliver the quality and scale we needed to achieve our goals—much less with a monthly update cadence—but the structure of the data is giving us new opportunities to refine our audience targeting capabilities even further.” 

To date, Talon has used the ‘top categories’ and ‘sub-categories’ attributes available in the SafeGraph Places dataset to provide their customers with granular audience insights. Looking to the future, they are planning to leverage tags to give users more extensive filtering options in Ada to help find precise audiences with greater granularity.

Finally, what made SafeGraph really stand out to Talon’s team was how easy it has been working together. “We always know there’s someone at SafeGraph who can answer our questions, help us work through issues, and be receptive to our feedback,” emphasized Lewis. “This really feels like a partnership; SafeGraph offers a level of service you don’t get with other data vendors.”

The Result: Driving efficiencies that fuel smarter, more targeted OOH ad campaigns

Since working with SafeGraph, Talon’s team has been able to respond to constantly growing demand faster than ever before. “We’ve been able to significantly improve our response time,” explained Lewis. “Now when we get a brief from a customer, we can get back to them even faster with a well-thought media recommendation.” 

What this basically means is that this has enabled Talon to be on par with other channels (especially digital). “Although out-of-home advertising has historically been used to drive reach and brand awareness, we’re now able to drive lower funnel metrics—like consideration, purchase, and intent—with niche behavioral audience targeting,” summed up Lewis. 

Integrating SafeGraph data into their Ada platform has, therefore, made it possible for the brands and agencies Talon works with to run more effective OOH ad campaigns, especially in terms of boosting foot traffic and driving increased brand recall. And because Talon can work with the data in a way that works best with all of their platforms, they’ve also been able to tailor their response to briefs to align the right audience for achieving a customer’s specific goals.

The Future: Weaving SafeGraph data into different parts of the business

While Talon is currently using SafeGraph data for the US market only, there’s already talk about expanding the partnership into other markets globally. “The natural next step for us is to replicate what we’re doing in the US into the other markets where we have a presence, including Singapore and the United Arab Emirates,” continued Lewis. 

Additionally, Talon recently launched a DSP called ‘Atlas’ that allows them to buy OOH ad units programmatically for their customers. Being that audience targeting is a big part of the out-of-home buying experience, Talon is thinking about how to weave SafeGraph data into the DSP, along with other data sources like weather, sporting events, and more to offer brands and agencies a more holistic and comprehensive media buying experience. 

“More broadly speaking, we’re asking ourselves a lot of questions around consumer movement partners and what that might look like in the future,” concluded Lewis. “There’s the potential to combine foot traffic data with POI data in order to gain a deeper understanding of how events or seasonality affect human behaviors that ultimately impact ongoing media effectiveness.”

Interested in SafeGraph’s POI data?