As the world’s largest community-based navigation app, Waze continues to make moves to position itself as a go-to platform for advertisers. For those of you who may not be familiar with Waze, it was one of the first GPS applications to integrate real-time user sourced traffic info into the product. It saw meteoric adoption rates and was purchased by Google in 2013 reportedly for over $1 billion.
Currently, Waze has over 70 million global active users who spend an average of 438 minutes per month in the app. In terms of its appeal to advertisers, Waze’s success has stemmed from brands’ desire to reach consumers where they are. The ability to geo-target users who are in the immediate vicinity or heading to a destination near a business has proven to be an opportunity for businesses to develop a real-time digital billboard presence.
Initially, Waze introduced its advertising platform for agencies only. Now, through Waze Local, it also has a self-service offering. This self-service option opens up the product to a wider audience of local businesses who don’t necessarily have the same resources as brands who have agency partners. Theoretically, this creates a new revenue stream for Waze by tapping into the long tail of businesses experimenting with their own digital tactics.
Currently, pricing is based on impressions and ads can be purchased for as little as $2 per day-where the buyer can decide on their own CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions). The Waze Local dashboard also allows you to track daily reach and engagements (including navigations and saves). You can also monitor and update your creative, physical locations and budget on the fly.
This is just the start of this trend as we continue to shift to a constantly connected culture, and products like Waze are poised to capitalize. Advertisers are finding innovative ways to integrate new branded experiences into people’s everyday lives. From movie studios partnering with Waze to provide in-app narration by the stars of upcoming blockbuster releases to local coffee shops dropping digital billboards on the map, new digital branded opportunities will continue to come up through our culture of increasingly connected “smart” devices.
Andrew Hemingway is the Executive Director of Digital Marketing & Media at GYK Antler. He has been innovating in the digital space for the last 15 years. He specializes in direct-to-consumer strategies and in the field of demand generation. His experience working both client and agency side gives him a unique perspective into accomplishing our clients’ goals.