Consumers' car rides are changing, whether that's due to their connected vehicles or the mobile devices they bring with them on the road. Anasofía Sánchez Juárez, director general of operations and country manager for Waze in Mexico, envisions that cars will transform from a means of transportation to a service, and sees marketers picking up on this trend by using the advancing advertising capabilities on its navigation platform.
Sánchez Juárez spoke with eMarketer's Matteo Ceurvels about the different strategies its advertisers are using to get consumers to the point of sale for our July report, "Maps and Navigation Apps: Discovery, Exploration Features Open Up Ad Opportunities."
Why do brands see advertising in mapping platforms like Waze to be worth their time and marketing budgets?
Sánchez Juárez: When people are on the move, they are more likely to take action on a promotion or make a purchase. The concept of mobility marketing also comes into play, as we are the last mile before someone reaches a point of sale.
Being able to connect the online with the offline is becoming a deciding factor for brands that start working with us. We can see where someone went after seeing an ad on their mobile device, and deduce which ad influenced them to take that action.
What kinds of brands are advertising on Waze?
Sánchez Juárez: Our data tells us that 90% of Waze users navigate to fast-food restaurants, with 30% doing so once a month, so quick-service restaurants [QSRs] are a very relevant industry for us.
On the other hand, we also work with consumer packaged goods [CPG] companies that don’t necessarily have a point of sale. For example, if we see someone going to a supermarket, we’ll send them a notification reminding them not to forget to buy a specific product.
Do CPG advertisers prefer one ad format while QSRs prefer another?
Sánchez Juárez: It depends on the brand’s objective. Advertisers new to the platform typically buy a pin marking where their store is or their product can be found.
When Frosted Flakes launched their new Cinnamon flavor last year, we saw them combine multiple formats. They used pins to identify points of sale at supermarkets and also used zero-speed takeovers. So when a user was stopped in traffic or at a stop sign, a branded message would pop up announcing the new flavor.
To reinforce brand recognition, brands can also use voice commands—which are when the system's voice is creatively transformed to include an aspect of the brand.
Are there other lesser-known formats brands can use?
Sánchez Juárez: They can also change the car icon. For example, in the US, McDonald's might change it to a little McDonald's car.
And this is not direct monetization, but we also have an API [application programming interface] for broadcasters. In this case, we'll take information on Waze to people who might not have it installed yet. When a TV station gives a traffic update it will say "presented by Waze" at the end.
Are other apps also starting to take advantage of Waze’s user base and embedding it into their own apps?
Sánchez Juárez: Yes, and there are a few different ways we’ve seen them do it. For one, they can use deep linking. If someone is looking for their nearest bank and clicks the link, Waze will automatically open and show them the quickest route to get there.
Another way is integrating the SDK [software development kit] into their app, giving them the ability to manage Waze data for free. We’ve seen some transportation companies do this. And then the last way is embedding Waze directly on their site.