San Diego-based Gimbal, a mobile engagement and location intelligence company, wants to help mobile app publishers better understand and visualize their audiences in the physical world and monetize their anonymized, opted-in data.

The company just released a public beta of its new Proximity Data Platform (PDP). It offers advanced geolocation insights on their customers' journeys. It bring internet-style tracking to physical spaces both in- and outdoors.

Mobile app publishers that have incorporated Gimbal’s SDK can now access a free toolset that can help them drive greater revenue and better consumer engagement, said Paul Cheng, SVP and GM of Marketplaces for Gimbal. 

Location-Based Marketing Challenges

Cheng said Gimbal wants to address two specific challenges associated with monetizing location and proximity data: the amount and accuracy of the data, and the evolution of technology and privacy standards.

Generating, managing and collecting sufficient and accurate data

App Developers have two options when trying to generate and collect location data: a) rolling their own solution using the mobile OS location frameworks with a developer team; or b) integrating a location SDK and using the associated platform to collect and manage this data. Cheng boasts that the Gimbal SDK "is mature and stable. Gimbal is a spin out of Qualcomm and incorporates many techniques to optimize battery life."

It has also been installed in more than 200 million devices and is in everyday use in apps created by numerous enterprise customers, including Citibank and Shazam. "We are one of the only location and proximity SDK platforms that has been approved by financial institutions for use in their applications,” Cheng said.

Understanding changes in technology and evolving privacy standards

Mobile marketers have to grapple with both the perception of tracking technology — which some find invasive — and genuine privacy concerns related to the data they collect.

Gimbal is working with privacy forums and multiple organizations to help define the future of privacy, Cheng said.

“This ensures that our users have transparent disclosure of how their location information is collected, how it is used and what benefits and utility they receive in exchange for their data. We are also working on ways to help consumers better opt-out of certain use cases," he said. 

Gimbal’s Plans

Once it emerges from beta, the PDP toolset will morph into something similar to other supply-side platforms (SSP) — technologies that enable web publishers to manage their advertising space inventory,

Gimbal PDP is an SSP for app publishers that want to manage their location and proximity data, including how and by whom it is used, Cheng said.

For now, the Gimbal PDP is focused only on the collection and use of location and proximity data. Over time, as best practices evolve, Cheng said PDP will be offering additional tools that will enable publishers to selectively push content, offers and advertising to their audiences. This capability currently exists in the Gimbal platform but not via the PDP.