Peoplecount Tests Real-Time Wi-Fi Location Analytics for Place-Based Media Metrics

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Peoplecount's rigorous two-month test using Wi-Fi ping data yields 99.5% accuracy in the measurement of real-time location analytics for retail and place-based media metrics. The "Placescount" service is now available to media providers, retailers, and property managers.

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"Wi-Fi data yield reliable, real-time analytics that are ideally suited for in-retail and place-based media metrics. It's an accessible technology that's available almost anywhere."

Measuring real-time location analytics like foot traffic, dwell time, return trips and pathways just got easier – and cheaper. Peoplecount recently compared mobile data analytics, including cell data, Wi-Fi and beacons, as tools for place-based media measurement, selecting Wi-Fi analytics for a two-month pilot test. A detailed presentation is available here.

Installing a network of Wi-Fi routers in a suburban shopping mall, Peoplecount tracked Wi-Fi pings every 5 seconds for two months. Foot traffic was verified with manual and door counting equipment. “We were excited to learn that for individual points the accuracy was 91 percent and across the venue as a whole, 99.5 percent,” boasts Kelly McGillivray, Peoplecount’s President and Chief Methodologist, acknowledging that it took some time to learn how to filter and expand the data to get meaningful results.

Besides location-specific foot traffic, the technology, which passively detects Wi-Fi-enabled Smartphones, yields reliable, real-time metrics of dwell time, return trips and footpath analytics. By geo-fencing the data, it is possible to track people inside and outside a store or in different parts of a venue, which can range in size from a small retailer to an international convention center or airport terminal. “This is an economical, accessible and secure approach to location-based analytics”, notes McGillivray, adding “This technology works almost anywhere in the developed world.”

Peoplecount is now offering this turnkey service, named Placescount, to out-of-home and place-based media operators. It is ideal for dynamic digital signage providers, as the power and internet connections are already established. Placescount can measure media audiences in airports, malls, transit stations, stadiums, casinos, convention centers and other large venues. Next steps include examining the logistics for outdoor use in the wake of the growing incidence of Wi-Fi-enabled out-of-home advertising.

About Peoplecount
Peoplecount is a highly respected and innovative supplier of audience metrics and advertising effectiveness research for digital and static outdoor advertising, place-based media and in-retail networks. Peoplecount developed many out-of-home advertising measurement models including the Traffic Audit Bureau’s transit and pedestrian metrics used throughout the US.

Winners of the 2009 MediaPost DOOH Award for Most Innovative Audience Research/Metrics System, Peoplecount has a history of innovation over its twenty years of operation. The Toronto-based research company is staffed with professional engineers, geographic information specialists and data analysts, with clients including the industry associations, advertising agencies, out-of-home advertising and place-based media operators, and recreational and retail companies.

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