Factual’s Trusted Data Contributor Program Adds 13 New Partners

In a continuous effort to provide the highest quality data, we have added 13 new companies to the Factual Trusted Data Contributor Program. These organizations work directly with businesses and brands, and in turn ensure that their data is represented accurately in Factual. This select number of partners provide high-quality data to Factual and equally excellent service to their customers. These organizations have a large number of SMBs and national brands under their belt, and we gladly help them disseminate their customer’s data with fidelity across our network. We are excited to announce the following organizations to the program:

Trusted Data Contributor Service Description Countries Covered
Connectivity
info@connectivity.com
Connectivity provides companies with customer intelligence solutions. It also monitors reviews across hundreds of sites & claim listing information. US and Canada
ICE Portal
info@iceportal.com
ICE Portal is a technology and marketing company that helps travel suppliers manage, curate and deliver their visuals to thousands of online travel and travel related websites- including major OTAs, GDS’, DHISCO (Formerly Pegasus), Search Engines, Local Directories and Social Networks. ICE Portal distributes visual content to over 11 million unique visitors a month on websites worldwide. Global
Local Market Launch
info@localmarketlaunch.com
Local Market Launch provides a Local Presence Automation solution to simplify the foundational process of local presence management. Our user-friendly technology platform delivers an automated solution to establish and manage local presence and business listings across all digital channels. Our SMB and Brand products are sold through our digital agency, newspaper group, and yellow page publisher partners. US, UK.
Localistico
contact@localistico.com
Localistico helps local businesses become easier to find and look their best across different platforms, from Google to Yelp. Not only do they ensure that businesses can get the right data in front of their customers, but also keep track of changes and reviews and give actionable recommendations on how to improve their local presence. Localistico has clients in Spain, UK, Ireland and Czech Republic but will be available in other EU countries during the next months. UK, IE, Spain. With plans to expand to France, Germany and other EU countries
MetaLocator
Info@metalocator.com
MetaLocator provides store locator and product finder solutions for its customers. MetaLocator is a SaaS solution, and works with any website. Global
Milestone Internet Marketing
info@naptunelistings.com
Milestone is a leading software and service provider of online marketing and advertising solutions for the hospitality industry. Milestone’s Naptune™ is an award winning listing management SEO software allowing businesses better online and mobile visibility. USA, Canada, UK, UAE, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Costa Rica, Brazil, Tanzania, Portugal, China, Singapore, India
NavAds
sales@navads.eu
NavAds offers small businesses and enterprise customers a global platform to manage business listings on a variety of GPS devices, navigation apps, map development companies and POI databases. 122 countries-mainly EMEA and Americas
seoClarity
sales@seoclarity.net
seoClarity is the world’s leading Enterprise SEO platform trusted by 2,000+ brands worldwide including brick and mortar retailers such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Barnes and Noble, Paychex and more. Global
SIM Partners
sales@simpartners.com
SIM Partners’ Velocity platform empowers enterprise brands to drive customer acquisition at a local level. Through automation, Velocity optimizes location-specific content and business information enabling national marketers to dominate local, mobile, and social search results across thousands of locations. SIM Partners has offices in Chicago and San Francisco and authorized resellers in Australia, Germany and Italy. Global
SweetIQ
brad@sweetiq.com
SweetIQ is an industry leader in local search marketing, helping F500 brands convert online searches to in-store shoppers. Our analytics and automation platform delivers local search results for national brands and their marketing agencies. Since 2010 we’ve been helping our clients grow their sales by increasing their online findability and giving them the tools they need to manage their online presence. The company has offices in Montreal and San Francisco, working with clients across North America. USA, Canada, Australia
uberall.com
hello@uberall.com
A Berlin-based Geomarketing Software Company that among other things manages local listings for local shops and service providers, franchises, retail chains, etc. Based in Germany and currently also active in the UK, France, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. Germany, UK, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland. In 2015 they will be adding Poland, Italy and several other countries
Vendasta
sales@vendasta.com
Vendasta’s 10x platform helps digital agencies and media companies sell digital marketing solutions to local businesses. Through this platform, Vendasta provides white label reputation management, social media marketing and local listings management while integrating with third party applications to offer a complete solution for any local business. In local listing management, Vendasta is the only platform to provide complete transparency, as well as an entire repository of white label training materials, support resources, and marketing collateral to help partners achieve 10X growth as quickly — and efficiently — as possible. USA, Canada, Australia.
YP
press@yp.com
YP is a leading local marketing solutions provider in the US dedicated to helping local businesses and communities grow. Formerly AT&T Interactive and AT&T Advertising Solutions, YP launched in May 2012, bringing the two companies together with the mission of helping local businesses and communities grow. YP’s flagship consumer brands include the popular YP℠ app and YP.com, which are used by more than 80 million visitors each month in the U.S. and The Real Yellow Pages® directory. US

While we try to process submissions quickly, it can take four to six weeks for submissions to be reflected in our data.

For more information please reach out to tdc@factual.com.

Andrea Chang- Partner Services team

Featured Partner: Beasy

Making plans is often harder than it should be. We text, email, calendar invite, call, and even poll our friends and colleagues in person to determine when and where to gather, but often end up with more headaches than group activities. Beasy solves this problem by providing a simple solution designed explicitly for the challenge of setting up plans, instead of trying to force fit another approach. See our interview below with Founder and CEO Whitney Komor about this inventive approach to making plans.

Company: Beasy
Located: Sydney, Australia
Partner Since: 2014
Website: www.beasy.co
App Store: iTunes, Google Play
Name and Title: Whitney Komor, Founder and CEO

 

Q: Introduce readers to Beasy.
A: Beasy is a messaging app that makes it easier for groups of people to coordinate social plans. In the Beasy app, whenever someone mentions a time or place, it is identified automatically and added to a list where it can be voted on by everyone in the conversation. You can think of this as similar to how iMessage automatically identifies when you enter a time or date in a message and gives you the option to create a calendar item. What is special about Beasy is that it doesn’t only identify times and dates, but also the places that you’re trying to meet, and it lets the group vote before the plans are set.

Beasy builds on our first app, The Best Day, which offers similar functionality around voting on the best time and place to meet. Unlike The Best Day, Beasy extracts time and place information directly from your conversations, so you can continue to talk with your friends while still planning efficiently.

Q: Why is location data important for Beasy?
A: A main part of Beasy’s functionality is that it automatically identifies the places that users mention in their messages and provides detailed information on them to everyone in the conversation. For example, when a text message is entered such as, “let’s go to Intelligentsia Coffee tomorrow afternoon,” what we want is to identify “tomorrow afternoon” as a time and “Intelligentsia Coffee” as a place that you’re going to. To do this on the back end, we break each message down into tokens of one to a few words and pass them through a system where we determine which ones are most likely to be places. For example, tokens following “go to” are weighted as likely to be places. Once we have gotten this far, we need a location database to identify what the real world locations are that are being discussed. This process uses more than just text, we will also qualify queries with information such as where the user is when they send the message (lat/long), or if they’ve mentioned any cities earlier in the conversation.

Q: Why did you choose Factual as your location data provider?
A: In order to offer a seamless user experience, we wanted to host the places data ourselves and query it at high speed. Factual allows us to do this. Additionally, Factual provides rich data around each place, so if users are discussing a restaurant for example, we can use Factual’s Restaurants data to offer details like hours of operation and cuisine.

Q: Beasy uses online communication to foster offline communication. Do you think in the long run, having technology that is with us 24/7 and integral to our every interaction will make us more or less social?
A: This might seem funny coming from me, but I think it’s making us less social. Before starting The Best Day, I remember being so frustrated liking my friends pictures on Instagram but struggling to organize dinner in real life. Then it struck me that I prefer to have technology have me help see people in the real world instead letting me follow their lives digitally. Somewhat ironically, Beasy is a social app that’s really designed to let you spend a little time as possible actually absorbed in technology.

Q: Beasy provides a simple and elegant solution to a surprisingly complicated problem (getting some friends together). Since you have your hands full with your own app, what similar problems would you like to see someone else solve?
A: I’ve read a bit about businesses that are trying to help you park instead of circling around. When someone figures out how to do that well, I’ll be really happy about it.

Q: What lessons have you learned starting The Best Day and Beasy?
A: I’ve mostly learned form mistakes. One particular one that I always try to remember is that when it comes to product development I’ve discovered this idea of trying to think about all of the assumptions you’re making and testing them as quickly and cheaply as possible. For example, before we build out a new natural language processing feature, we write out a message to parse and one of us will pretend to be the bot and manually write out what we want it to detect to confirm if it provides a worthwhile user experience. It takes 10 minutes instead of two weeks and saves a lot of effort.

- Julie Levine, Marketing Associate

In Case You Missed It
Check out some other Featured Partners, like navigation apps Urban Engines and 2GIS, market research company Infoscout, and social apps Emu, HelloTel, and SocialRadar. See even more featured partners here.

My Vacation Policy Is Better Than Yours*

More and more companies are throwing away their rigid vacation policy in favor of treating everyone as responsible adults capable of taking the time they need without a set number of days to limit them. The idea is to allow each individual employee the ability to design their own work/life balance, free of preset restrictions.

Years back Factual made this transition and I’ve come to deeply appreciate this approach as a clear winner over more traditional policies. After speaking with various folks about this policy (colleagues as well as people who’ve never tried it) I also see there are clear challenges and certain questions that arise.

The following article is meant to draw from my own experiences with this policy, along with some of my colleagues’, and explain its core guiding principles, how it works, and what the main challenges are.

It’s Not Unlimited — It’s Responsible

Some people call this a “no policy vacation policy”. Others call it “unlimited vacation”. These names totally suck and we should all please stop using them because they focus on the wrong things and give the wrong impression.

The only way I’d have “unlimited vacation” is if I tell my boss it’s time to part ways and by the way I won’t be doing any more work for anyone else ever. I mean, sure I could set out to take 11 months of paid leave but at some point along the way I’d be, you know, FIRED.

As for the “no policy” moniker, maybe it’s a bit silly to name something by what it isn’t [1]. We can and should do better than that.

Since a foundational principle of this policy is that you’re a responsible adult and will therefore strive to do the right thing with your time off, let’s call this modern liberal vacation policy “the Responsible Vacation Policy.”

A nice name doesn’t address the real issues though. What is this policy exactly, what are the ups and downs, and how do we address the legitimate concerns people have when trying to make it work?

The Prereqs

Certainly the Responsible Vacation Policy is not right for every company or every team. If a company operates on a rigid shift or hourly based scheduling system, this policy may not be right for it.

Here are some core considerations for a company to make before instituting a Responsible Vacation Policy:

  • You work with good people who are generally motivated to achieve results for the company.
  • Your company believes in evaluating employee performance based primarily on results.
  • Your organizational leaders care about their people and are willing and able to watch out for them and offer guidance when necessary.
  • Your company’s operational logistics and legal requirements allow for the Responsible Vacation Policy.
  • You believe that your employees are capable of making highly personal decisions for themselves, and a company should not dictate those decisions.

If you have those things and you’re open to a better vacation policy, let’s explore what the Responsible Vacation Policy offers, how it works, and the challenges it presents…

The Benefits

Flexibility Is a Game Changer – for you and for HR

Once upon a time I worked at a good, successful company that implemented a traditional 2 week paid vacation policy. One fine Sunday I felt like working on an important project my boss was waiting on. I spent 10 solid hours at my kitchen table cranking out code and testing.

I waltzed in Monday morning, showed off the project, threw it into production and it was a ”win.” Then I got to thinking: I spent my entire Sunday working on this. What if I could take Wednesday off without it counting against my 2 weeks of paid vacation? The surf report showed a southerly swell building mid-week and it’d be sweet to ride some less crowded waves[2]. How about we trade Sunday for Wednesday, I’ll hit Surfrider for some long rights with less kooks, and we can call it a win-win?

My idea was met with grumbling from my then-boss and dirty looks from his boss. HR was consulted to determine whether this would cause California to slide into the ocean like the mystics and statistics say it will. Eventually I got my way, after being assured that this could never happen again. “Highly unusual, too much paperwork, imagine the chaos if others found out.” Holy shit, I thought, there’s gotta be a better way.

And there is!

Under the Responsible Vacation Policy you’re free to take time off work when and how you want. Since you’re a responsible adult, it’s assumed you’ll make the appropriate arrangements with your team and clients, and that you’ll figure out how to make the right tradeoffs and still deliver results.

This also does away with questions around remote work, paid parental leave, religious holidays, and unforeseen circumstances like a long illness.[3] An added benefit to HR is that the Responsible Vacation Policy removes the need to establish separate policies for these things and reduces the amount of paperwork and accounting.

Sick Days Suck, So Don’t Have Them

Days off are days off; you take as many of them as you deem appropriate. Perhaps some of those days off are because you’re sick and need to stay in bed. You don’t need to worry about separate tracking or accounting of sick days vs vacation days. This is valuable because you don’t want to have people in a situation where they feel they need to drag their sick body into the office.[4]

The Responsible Vacation policy also relieves folks of the temptation to play sketchy games to unofficially turn sick days into vacation days. My Dad once told me a story about a colleague who called in sick and went to Disneyland. Of all the shitty luck, that guy’s boss also went to Disneyland and ran into him on Mr Toad’s Wild Ride. The next day the guy was fired. “What was he thinking?” you might ask. I dunno, maybe he had burned through all his official vacation days and really wanted to take the family to see Captain EO. The point is, the traditional sick vs vacation approach has a long history of being awkward and suboptimal. The Responsible Vacation policy nicely sidesteps all this silliness.

The Challenges

“But OMG people will take advantage of the company!”

Not the people I work with, they won’t. That’s not who we are.

On the other hand if you’re working with people who aren’t motivated to achieve and instead are actively looking for ways to screw over their employer… well, then you’ve got bigger problems than your vacation policy.

Admittedly there’s an area in between. Imagine an employee who takes this policy and chooses to live like a European with umpteen weeks off every year. What to do about that? Simply tie it back to performance and things become clear.

If the employee taking extravagant vacations is kicking ass and fulfilling an important role, there’s no problem here.

But if his lifestyle negatively impacts his work and his team, his supervisor should take appropriate action. The first step would be for her to simply have an open and honest conversation about overall performance expectations and how this is factored into the review process. Naturally this is going to limit the employee’s career and compensation track at the company. This is arguably quite fair to both parties and there’s no need for drama here.

“How Much Vacation Should I Take?”

Speaking with my workmates, this is by far the biggest concern. How do you know how much time is reasonable to take off if there are no official numerical guidelines?

But that’s the whole point! As responsible adults we each need to find the answers and tradeoffs that work best for us individually, understanding that personal choices may impact our work results. To resolve this concern, work results and performance should be addressed in periodic performance reviews. This allows you to reassess and make adjustments to your work and life styles as you see fit.

Admittedly, the “be an adult” and “wait for your review” advice only takes us so far. There are a few specific challenges in this area that bear further scrutiny.

#1 The Workaholic Problem

Some people don’t take enough vacation because they can’t help but work. All. The. Time.

One might argue that this boils down to a private, personal problem. However, a competent supervisor can spot a workaholic a mile away and should be prepared to offer gentle guidance and encourage some minimum time off. True, this is not a perfect solution. But it’s no worse than the solution with a traditional policy, which is to mathematically coerce the employee to take overly-accrued time off because otherwise they’ll “lose it”.

#2 The Guilt Problem

When Factual introduced this policy, a colleague of mine joked: “Sure you can take time off…” (insert guilt-inducing stare down) “… if you really think that’s the right thing to do.” I always laughed at this but the fact is there’s a real issue here that needs addressing.

Some folks are genuinely reluctant to take time off because they worry that their reputation will be damaged as a result. These folks would prefer some minimum requirement so that everyone is effectively forced to take some amount of time off and no one need feel guilty about it.

This can be addressed similarly to The Workaholic Problem: A competent supervisor should be on hand to set a good example and offer individual guidance and encouragement.

“But I Can’t Cash Out Unused Vacation Time When I Leave The Company”

Some folks look forward to cashing out unused vacation time when they leave a job. It’s true that this policy does not allow for that.

It’s also true that the accountants and investors of the world view this aspect as an advantage because accrued vacation is seen as company debt. But that’s not the point.[5]

Assuming the company has their heart in the right place to begin with, this policy is not a ploy to get accrued vacation time off the books. From an operations point of view the real win is the overall simplification of the entire process.

If you view the ability to cash out unused vacation time as a requirement of employment, this policy may not be right for you. However, I’d encourage you to seriously consider the overall benefits the policy offers… you might conclude it’s an overall win.

What About “20% time”?

Meh.

I’m not convinced that I need my boss to tell me exactly what percentage of time I should spend being creative.

Some companies have official policies that allocate a specific percentage of your time for “pet” projects. This is great and all, I just wonder why time must be “set aside each week” for me to build things I think will help the company? Why not simply make that a part of my overall job description and then trust me to manage my time appropriately?

The Responsible Vacation policy offers a useful umbrella of agency that transcends limited policies such as “20% time”.

For example, Drake, Factual’s open source data workflow tool, was born from an individual engineer’s passion to scratch an itch. In a different organization perhaps he would have “protected” this project under a “20% time” policy. But we didn’t need to do that.

Grassroots projects like Drake naturally fall under a general principle of responsibility that is already part of the Responsible Vacation Policy: We’re expected to make good time management decisions.

Risks that we take, winners or losers, are then evaluated on their merits and adjustments made as deemed appropriate.

A Brave New World and The Struggle Is Real

When Factual entered this brave new world of the Responsible Vacation Policy I made the mistake of talking up the policy to my wife Laura by suggesting we could go on all kinds of exotic trips and it wouldn’t be a problem as long as I had my trusty laptop and an internet connection. This was terribly naïve.

A while back Laura arranged a 2 week Big Island get-away for us and some of her family. I marked my calendar as “remote” for that stretch of time and planned on putting in roughly a week’s worth of work while away. This was utterly moronic.

We arrived in Kona and it turned out my awesome wife rented us a condo adjacent to Banyan’s — tasty left breaks over the reef for my goofy self and a sweet hollow shape. I could step onto our lānai, check the swell conditions, grab my board and be surfing all in mere minutes.

My original plan had been a level headed combination of vacation and productive work. But mostly I partied with family and surfed my brains out so you can see the abject failure here.

The Kona trip and similar adventures have forced us to face some realities. If I’m going to leverage this policy to take long trips then I need to either (a) be far more disciplined about getting work done while away or (b) just be realistic up front and accept that I’m going to be Away On Vacation.

Option (a) obstructs the vacation but option (b) creates the biggest hit to work productivity. There’s a struggle here, but it’s the right problem to have. At least here I have the opportunity to work out the best possible tradeoffs for me, my career, and my loved ones.

Laura and I hit upon a rough guideline. Some companies have vacation policies with a tiered system: After X years of service you’re awarded Y weeks of paid time off per year. We cribbed values for X and Y from a known company and set that as my suggested yearly time Away On Vacation. Beyond that it’s understood that I may choose to tag along on a trip but I’ll probably need to be disciplined about working remotely. This is not a perfect solution but it provides a rough baseline and seems to work for us.



Kona 2014

This is my story working under the Responsible Vacation Policy. Your story will be different. The Responsible Vacation policy provides you with virtually endless options and I’m confident you’ll be able to tune it to fit your own unique personal situation.

Conclusion

It’s been said that democracy is the worst form of government… except for everything else that’s been tried. I’ll make a similar argument for the Responsible Vacation Policy. Yes, it has some issues, some of them thorny. And yes, there may be times and places where it cannot or should not be applied.

However, given a good crew of people and the proper legal and ethical foundation, the Responsible Vacation Policy may be the best corporate vacation policy known to mankind. It’s certainly the best vacation policy I’ve ever worked with.



- Aaron Crow, Factual engineer, responsible adult, avid vacationer
Follow me on Twitter



Notes:

* If you don’t have a full time job or you work for yourself or you work at a forward thinking company like Netflix or Factual then you are exempt from this claim and my vacation policy is not necessarily better than yours.

[1] OMG don’t get an engineer started on the scandalous “NoSQL” sobriquet.
http://blog.dhananjaynene.com/2009/10/stop-calling-me-nosql/

[2] “Surfing sucks. Don’t try it.”

[3] Companies using a traditional vacation policy can offer some modicum of flexibility in these situations — comp time, unpaid time off, etc. This may be better than nothing but IMHO it still sucks.

[4] If a workmate shows up to Factual visibly sick then they will be unceremoniously escorted out of the building and sternly admonished to stay home until they’re no longer contagious. We’ve got shit to do and have absolutely zero interest in sharing anyone’s plague.

[5] If you find yourself at a company that uses this policy primarily because it lets them do away with accrued debt on their books then OMG hasten down the wind and go find better people to work with.

Factual Featured Partner: Urban Engines

Getting from Point A to Point B in any city can be challenging. Vital information such as which direction to walk, what train to take, when the next bus will arrive, and if there’s an event going on that will shut down part of the route are not always clear to commuters. Urban Engines is making it easier to traverse cities by collecting and analyzing everything from train and bus data to anonymous commuter movement patterns, to empowering transit agencies, and improving individual commuter experiences around the world. See our Q&A with Urban Engines’ Dan Zheng and Resmi Arjunanpillai below.

Company: Urban Engines
Located: Los Altos, CA
Partner Since: 2014
Website: www.urbanengines.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/urbanengines
Twitter: @UrbanEngines
Google+: +Urbanengines
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/urbanengines
App Store: iTunes, Google Play
Name and Title: Dan Zheng, General Manager
Resmi Arjunanpillai, Marketing Manager

 

Q: Introduce readers to Urban Engines.
A: Urban Engines is using technology to make urban living better; our primary focus is improving urban mobility — making it easier to get where you’re going — by using information from the billions of trips that people and vehicles make each day.

We work closely with cities and transit agencies to optimize their systems using transit data, such as “tap in/tap out” data from commuters entering and leaving public transit stations. With this simple information, we get a complete and clear view of how commuters are using the transit system and learn things like how full trains are and how many people are waiting on the platform. With Urban Engines data analytics solution, transit agencies can make decisions that can alleviate congestion and improve commuter experience, such as adding more buses on a crowded route.

Urban Engines uses the same powerful space-time engine that powers our analytics to drive an app that gives commuters the fastest public transit route from point A to B, whether online or offline, by evaluating traffic, area events, and how transit routes have fared historically. It is designed to be fast, always accessible (online and offline maps, search, and routing) and personalized, providing one-touch access and navigation to your favorite locations.

Q: Why is location data important for Urban Engines? Why did you choose Factual as your location data provider?
A: Within the Urban Engines app, it’s critical to surface locations that people are searching for. We like working with Factual because the location data is very high quality, allowing us to deliver a good user experience.

Q: Aside from providing maps and routes, how does the Urban Engines app help improve transit experiences?
A: When we designed the Urban Engines app, we had a modern commuter with a mobile device in mind. We set out to solve three problems: speed, connectivity, and orientation.

Speed: If you look at other apps today, given small mobile device screens, it takes a lot of effort just to input an address. Then there’s a lot of work to actually get to the location information that you want. We have provided one touch browsing for maps. As soon as you open up the app, we have already computed the best routes to all of your favorite locations.

Connectivity: For most places in metropolitan areas, there’s decent coverage in terms of connectivity to the internet. But generally if you have to go into places such as a subway station or basement bar, or you are traveling to a city where you won’t have data or internet access, you need full offline capability. With the Urban Engines app, you have complete offline functionality — you can do offline browsing of any map, search (for an address or point of interest), and route to any destination.

Orientation: For me, every time I get out of a train station — especially new ones – I get lost. Your phone has a camera, gyroscope, GPS, and a bunch of other sensors and features that actually could make it well equipped to assist you in this situation if deployed better. Our app combines these features to get what we call “X-ray mode.” This is a transparent map overlay of streets, transit stops, and transit routes on your camera view. When you turn on X-ray mode, you can tap on a bus stop or train station to see next arrival times and a walking path to see exactly how to get there without having to guess which way is uptown.

These are the things we’ve focused on so far, but there are many ways to use a mobile device to improve commuting and this is only the beginning!

Q: What’s an interesting or unexpected thing that you’ve learned from analyzing different cities’ transit patterns? Are there any key differences in commuting between different countries or continents?
A: Commuting is so location dependent. For example, in Singapore (given that it is near the equator) it rains a lot and the amount of rain has an impact on how people travel. When there’s light rain, people tend to hop on buses more often — it’s like a large moving umbrella. When it pours however, the subway stations get packed.

Q: How do you think ride-sharing apps (like Uber and Lyft) are impacting commuting and traffic? Is this something you plan to track in the future as well?
A: We know that urban commuters are changing their habits. A lot of it has to do with the shared economy – Zipcar, Uber, Lyft, or bike sharing programs. That’s going to continue to evolve in the sense that for younger people it’s about access rather than ownership. For the app, we will track this space closely and continue to add relevant functionality. More broadly, our space-time engine can also be used by ride-sharing apps to analyze movement data.

Q: Do you have any advice for the average commuter on some simple steps they can take to start improving their experience?
A: One of the things we do in the Urban Engines app is provide real time data (when available) such as if there’s an event happening on your route and how likely your choice of public transportation to be delayed. Looking at this real time information can be extremely helpful in determining your route each day, so you don’t get stuck in unanticipated congestion.

- Julie Levine, Marketing Associate

In Case You Missed It
Check out some other partners we’ve interviewed, like concierge app Snips, city guides Tastemade and Jetpac City Guides, and networking apps HelloTel and SocialRadar. See even more Featured Partners here.

Announcing Tailored Location Segments, a New Geopulse Audience Feature Enabling Marketers to Create Custom Location-Based Audience Segments

Today, we launched the latest enhancement to Geopulse Audience, Tailored Location Segments. Tailored Location Segments allow marketers to create completely custom audience segments from scratch based on any definition of place and time. These user-created segments can then be combined with any pre-defined segment in Geopulse Audience, enabling marketers unprecedented ability to create the precise audience that best meets their needs. Traditionally, marketers have been forced to choose from pre-defined audiences in a picklist, limiting their campaigns to the availability of targeting – we are reversing that model, enabling marketers to craft their targeting to best fit their ideal campaign.

For example, two brands target audiences may be fitness enthusiasts. However, one brand’s ideal fitness enthusiasts may be people who go to the gym or other fitness centers, while another’s may be those who primarily engage in outdoors activities. In the traditional audience model, both would have to settle for a pre-defined “fitness enthusiast” that mixes their ideal audience up with others they are less interested in reaching. With Tailored Location Segments, each brand can create their ideal segment. The first brand could create their own segment of “fitness enthusiasts” reaching people who visit gyms, yoga studios, spinning centers, etc. The second brand can tailor their campaign to reach people in parks / recreation areas, cycling stores, running stores, outdoor tracks and the like. And if one of the brands wanted to narrow it down to “fitness moms” they could add Factual’s “moms” segment and further refine their audience.

Location-based ad targeting is only as good as the data underpinning it. As part of Geopulse Audience, Tailored Location Segments use only accurate and precise user location data, mapped to our Global Places data, the highest quality places data in mobile marketing, covering over 65 million places in 50 countries.

With our easy-to-use self-serve tools, we’re making this capability broadly available in both programmatic and direct sales environments, removing the need for ad ops or engineers to create complex queries on backend databases. Tailored Location Segments is extremely accessible and is being made available to marketers through all of our media partners including InMobi and StrikeAd.

For a guided tour of the Tailored Location Segments check out this video:

Factual Tailored Location Segments from Factual on Vimeo.

We caught up with our partners StrikeAd and InMobi who have used Tailored Location Segments in campaigns and here is what they had to say:

“The level of customization available through Factual’s Tailored Location Segments is what really stands out from the other location based audience offerings in the marketplace,” said Alex Rahaman, CEO of StrikeAd, a leading cross-device, programmatic buyer. “Marketers are now truly able to build the audiences they want to reach, based on physical real world consumer behaviors.”

“InMobi has been able to enrich its mobile consumer data of over one billion monthly active users with Factual’s geo-data and geo-expertise,” stated Anne Frisbie, InMobi’s VP/GM for Global Alliances to GeoMarketing. “By doing this, InMobi​ — in partnership with Factual — is able to offer brands the ability to buy enhanced mobile audiences that are informed by geo-intelligence. InMobi believes that mobile consumer geo-intelligence is an important consumer signal for improving overall mobile audience targeting.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Tailored Location Segments, Geopulse Audience, or any of our ad targeting tools, please contact us.