Say goodbye to radius targeting, and hello to travel time

Article by Pierre-Emmanuel Padiou

The topic of geomarketing is steadily gaining traction, especially as advertisers are looking for inexpensive, easy, and reliable targeting solutions.

Users are no longer searching for locations based on distance, but on the maximum travel time it will take them to get there. Picture this: You are looking for a place to eat near your office. As a user you want to be able to select one that requires no more than a 15-minute driving distance, instead of knowing that this location is 2.3 miles away. 

Luckily, at Locala six years ago we developed a core technology to help: Isochrone Targeting. This technology effectively targets areas based on driving or walking time around your location(s). As we are privacy compliant, you can target and scale the right audience at a local level!

Guess who started to highlight a similar feature: Google. If you’re searching for hotels in Google Maps, you will notice you can now choose one based on travel time. Now is the time for marketers, and advertisers to invest in a similar approach. Why? If users are venturing to locations with travel time in mind, you will need to capture and reach these high-potential consumers that are outside of a traditional radius.

Are you interested in learning more about how our commerce media platform can help your brand reach more consumers and drive business growth?

Contact us!

The Importance of Data Privacy Compliance at Locala

“Privacy will always be a big factor that will help business growth and it will be done in a beneficial way that both helps the consumer and the brands and inevitably the economy. If you put privacy first, and then work with your brands to connect with those consumers, you’ll grow.”

Locala’s Managing Director & Chief Revenue Officer, Americas Ed Silhan. LinkedIn interview

As a commerce media solution that uses location data to help brands drive business to their stores, privacy  is at the core of everything we do. We strongly believe that a consumer’s essential right to privacy shouldn’t prevent them from discovering your brand. Simply put, our approach is not focused on individual data but on the analysis of aggregated mobility trends within a commerce area. 

In this post, we answer the most commonly asked questions about our data use based on this approach.

What type of data do we use? 

We mainly collect GPS and IDFA information from phones and tablets.

Locala was founded  11 years ago in France, the birthplace of GDPR, often described as the toughest privacy and security law in the world. Our compliance with this European data privacy regulatory framework requires us to only use data obtained through opt-in. It is worth noting that our processing system automatically filters out personal data that was not obtained through opt-in for a specific use. 

Once the data we collect has served its purpose, it is aggregated and we discard all personal information.

How can you activate efficient geotargeting ad campaigns without tracking devices? 

We are not interested in device-centric data as our approach is based on point of interests analysis (work site, store, venue, etc..). We use census block analysis, which is the most commonly used statistical method for mapping specific trends within a specific area. While this method requires precise information regarding the boundaries of the location defined, it allows us to avoid tracking individual devices.  


How can you give relevant insights to brands without relying on individual data? 

While most advertisers relying on geotargeting gather a significant amount of data to guide brands, our 10 years of experience as a leader in drive-to-store campaigns allows us to adopt a reverse approach using brand needs as the starting point. We first identify the needs of the brands we serve and then only use a small amount of data to help them drive growth. 

How has data privacy regulation impacted your technology? 

Because we only need a small amount of data to produce valuable insights, our technology has not been impacted by recent data regulations like Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Framework (ATT). As we look towards an increasingly privacy-first environment, our approach is based on developing technology that is more and more reliable while using less and less individual data. 

Do you want to learn more about how our privacy-first solution can help your business grow? Contact us today!

Leveraging Technology and Real Time to Generate In-Store Traffic

With the hybridization of consumption modes accelerated by Covid, stores must rethink their strategy to generate traffic. This is what Locala helps them do, as founder and CEO, Christophe Collet, explains.

What is Locala’s mission and what are its solutions?

For more than 10 years, Locala has been a leader in the drive-to-store market. We believe that the store is not only a place to sell, but also a place to connect with people and our mission is to drive as much traffic as possible to restaurants, stores and car dealerships.

We are a drive-to-store platform, whose sole purpose is to maximize real-time traffic to the point of sale and therefore revenue for our clients. To do this, our advanced algorithms optimize four dimensions in real time. Our technology defines the dynamic catchment area of each store, identifies the audiences most likely to come into the store and determines the best media to engage them – because every consumer behavior is different – and finally, we define the most appropriate advertising format. Our technology is able to create marketing campaigns with a single measure of effectiveness, the in-store visit.

How do you help companies adapt to the new post-Covid model?

The customer journey and consumption is no longer only digital or in-store, but has evolved to both at the same time. We help our clients understand and leverage this hybridization, identifying the right targets, in the optimal areas with the best message on the best medium. Our technology produces insights that help brands understand their catchment area, market share, competitive landscape, etc. If they are launching a new service, such as click and collect, we are able to help them through this transition by letting the right people know about the service. We also enable our clients to track geo-behavioral trends in real time at the store level and thus increase their knowledge of the customer and the competition. 

In this post-Covid world, we have seen a growing shift in shopper habits. With our geolocation data, we’re seeing customers go back to the office, expanding their shopping opportunities beyond their home catchment area, but also through schools, offices and more. And we’re able to reach them with the right message wherever they are.

How has Locala evolved with the market in its 10 years of existence?

Locala has been used by more than 600 major brands worldwide for 10 years because we have been able to anticipate both technological and regulatory changes. For example, we have always focused on consumer data protection, and we only apply our technology to people who have consented to receive targeted, location-based advertising. We have evolved to adapt to new consumer habits, using the latest technology. This allows our clients to take advantage of the hybridization of the customer journey, in real time, which is a real technological breakthrough because it allows them to test new products or services, launch them quickly and know right away what the impact on their ROI is.

Originally posted on BMF Business

The Importance of UX Design on Ad Platforms

Learn why Sophie Delrot, VP Design at AskLocala, believes good UX design is key when creating an ad platform that actually performs – especially for small and medium businesses.

Digital advertising has gone through many stages of evolution throughout the years. However, ever since programmatic—that is, data-driven, automated, digital—ad buying has become the norm for the vast majority of all ad spending, UX design has largely been forgotten as an essential element of advertising-platform design. This is the case primarily because highly skilled, experienced traders are now operating the actual campaigns, so there is little need to create intuitive, easy-to-use platforms. If you are an agency or brand with sufficient resources to hire dedicated staff, this is completely fine. However, this means businesses that have smaller budgets often encounter severe challenges when it comes to entering into the digital-consumer activation space.

By enhancing the user experience, we can democratize advertising technology … by offering SMBs a glide path for growth.
All too often, companies develop advertising platforms without a proper focus on the user. A recognition that UX design is essentially about solving problems for human beings is critical. This seems so obvious. Nevertheless, the fundamental role of UX design often gets forgotten. As a consequence, UX design often takes a path that presents users with convoluted, even frustrating experiences.

The implications of a bad user experience can be nothing short of existential. Dominant platforms such as Facebook and Google, among others, are typically hard to use, creating a barrier to entry for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). A business consequence is often predatory behavior and the resultant chaos that clouds what success should look like. By enhancing the user experience, we can democratize advertising technology, or ad tech, by offering SMBs a glide path for growth.

As someone who has built a product-design department at an ad-tech company from scratch, I’ve learned three core principles that are critical to creating a dynamic, sustainable design sensibility for our industry.

Accessibility Is Paramount
By accessibility, we mean aspiring to design a friction-free user experience for all….
By accessibility, we mean aspiring to design a friction-free user experience for all—the user-experience version of utopia. According to Donald Norman, the godfather of emotional design, “Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating.”

But too many designers make human beings adapt to the designs they’ve conjured, which are, all too often, based on their own personal aesthetic. It really shouldn’t take someone ten minutes to figure out how to run a dishwasher or open a door. Our goal should be products that are seamless, whose use is instantaneous and easy. UX designers must adapt to human needs.

The UX designer’s ability to anticipate and meet all of the users’ relevant needs with one product design is tantamount to a formula for making your advertising platform more successful.
As ad-tech companies more fully embrace subscription models in the post-cookie era, the Software as a Service (SaaS) marketplace translates to more hands on keyboards in business-to-business (B2B) companies. This typically means a more diverse multitude of users who might have very different needs. The challenge and the opportunity for UX designers lies in designing keyboard navigation and typography—all in service of superior user experiences that are not uniform. Thus, the UX designer’s ability to anticipate and meet all of the users’ relevant needs with one product design is tantamount to a formula for making your advertising platform more successful.

Efficiency Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Speed
People often conflate productivity with efficiency. Why take eight hours to design something when you can get the work done in two? Because there is value in taking your time to get the design right. If designers are truly serious about the user experience, spending the extra time pays off in the long term. A frictionless user experience could become their calling card. Being efficient while designing the right user experience requires balancing insights that you’ve gleaned directly from users as well as analytics data.

As UX designers, our job is often combining our gut instincts with just the right amount of pragmatism. This means breaking complex tasks down into simple digestible steps to help reduce the user’s mental load. You must design user experiences through your clients’ eyes.

Invest the time necessary to truly understand the users’ challenges and identify patterns that guide them in overcoming their hurdles. So much of effective UX design stems from delving deeply into user psychology. This thorough spade work prepares the ground for creating a user experience that meets users’ needs. Design a button and place it at the top of the screen where users can see it. Not because of some arbitrary choice that is based on your personal aesthetic.

Utility Plus Desirability Equals User Engagement
Creating desire among our users is our overarching raison d’etre because ad-tech users are human beings, not bots.
Utility, in and of itself, is not the be-all-and-end-all. After all, for those of us in the ad-tech business, our core purpose is to inspire, aspire, and persuade. Creating desire among our users is our overarching raison d’etre because ad-tech users are human beings, not bots. In these chaotic times, which offer so many different options, human beings engage with brands experientially. It’s not enough for a jeans brand to make good-looking pants; they must manufacture their products with respect for the planet and the ultimate wearer of their jeans. Otherwise, they’ll go elsewhere.

Desirability that is rooted in a company’s values is as critical in B2B as in B2C (business-to-consumer). We are living in a truly pivotal period of the ad-tech business and the broader world. Sustainability and purpose are words that are on everyone’s lips. I may be biased, but I think humane, ethical UX design must be a fundamental part of everyone’s mission going forward. And by the way, having a good user experience is also good business.
Originally posted on UXmatters

Meetup – Machine Learning Aix-Marseille S03E02 – Locala – 11 Oct 2017

AI in Aix-Marseille! Join us!

Algorithms: From theory to production & Machine Learning news!


Welcome, presentation of the news of the summer.
The Journal of Machine Learning: Laurent Cetinsoy will present a special newsletter of his newspaper with even more hot news on Machine Learning in industry and research.
From theory to production, by REX Locala: Augustin AMANN, Balázs KOSSOVIC, Vincent ARCHER, Maximilien Defourné.


Accueil, présentation des news de l’été.
Le Journal du Machine Learning : Laurent Cetinsoy nous présentera un bulletin spécial de son journal avec encore plus d’actus chaudes sur le Machine Learning dans l’industrie et la recherche.
De la théorie à la mise en production, par REX Locala : Augustin AMANN, Balázs KOSSOVIC, Vincent ARCHER, Maximilien Defourné.

DotJS 2016

Our front-end developers recently attended DotJS, an annual conference on state of the JavaScript world that happens in Paris. 2016 was its biggest year yet, with over 1200 attendees filling the enormous Pullman Dock venue. The talks ranged from high-level concepts of the latest and greatest frameworks, to an in-depth explanation of how memory works in Google’s V8 JS Engine. A common theme throughout the talks was the optimism for the future of JavaScript and the web, and the exciting things that are coming soon. Below are some quick recaps of several noteworthy talks:

Native apps vs. the web

The web is under threat from native apps, in the same way that it was threatened by single-vendor solutions like Flash and Silverlight in the early 2000s, said Microsoft’s Nolan Lawson. He wants to keep the web moving forward with Service Workers and delivered a very convincing argument for his case followed by a crash-course on how to implement it.

He argued that web developers can get loads of benefits from Service Workers and still maintain the native app experience! Basically, a service worker is downloaded and installed on the client and then activated. Once active, it runs as a background process that can receive and emit fetch, push, and sync events. That means web apps can continue to function offline, checking back in with the server periodically or when a network connection is available. They can also push notifications to the user even when the browser isn’t running and sync data to make sure everything stays up to date.

The spec is on the w3 site and as always, a good explanation of core concepts can be found on MDN.

Further into the future…

Ada Rose Edwards from Samsung spoke about a very exciting vision for virtual reality! She thinks the VR devices we are seeing today can be compared to clumsy and cumbersome mobile phones when was first introduced in the 1990s. VR is steadily making its way on to the web – there are even entire browsers that work inside VR headsets now – so 2017 is a good time to start thinking about how VR can improve websites, and how to bring the immersive VR experience to the web. There’s a nice example of what, developers will be able to create at, which makes great use of WebGL, WebVR, and finely-tuned lazy loading amongst other things.

Tools of the trade

Everybody’s seen the article on how it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016 – so many tools are popping up and quickly going out of fashion. It’s hard to know the obvious choice for the job at hand and the best way to avoid regrets later.

Github’s Zeke Sikelianos presented loads of great tools to make these decisions – to navigate what he termed JavaScript Userland. These included websites, CLI tools, and browser extensions. Some interesting ones that stood out for example:

DuckDuckGo’s bangs for quickly navigating to various docs – searching `!ng directives`, for example, leads users directly to the Angular documentation on Directives.

Browser extensions OctoLinker and npm-hub enhance GitHub repository pages help users gather more information about a project and particularly its dependencies before deciding whether to use it or not.
NPM package `trymodule` lets users play around with packages in a Node REPL before installing properly. lists over 2 million open source libraries. It pulls in stats and the Readme from the library’s GitHub page and its NPM (or other package manager) page, and generates a tree of its dependencies.


Possibly the highlight of the day was Sam Wray and Tim Pietrusky’s performance. Sam makes 8-bit music with Gameboys, and he wrote the ModV JavaScript library to create music visualisations. He teamed up with Tim, who loves playing around with hardware and all things audiovisual on the web, and together they came up with an LED curtain that plays random live visualisations generated by ModV, as Sam makes music. All the visualisations, lights, and even a fog machine were controlled by JavaScript! The Youtube video is definitely worth a watch (the performance starts just before the 14 minute mark).

It a really inspiring presentation, and when asked if they thought the web was the best platform for it, they pointed out that they were using technologies they know and love – JavaScript and the web are much more accessible than more targeted technologies, and the Web Audio API can do some impressive things.


The final talk of the day was from the lead Angular dev, Igor Minar, who explained the journey that took the team from Angular 1 to Angular 2, and why they made this decision. After such a huge community backlash to the announcement that Angular 2 wouldn’t be backwards-compatible with Angular 1, Igor’s talk defended the framework’s stability and longevity.

Despite a lot of very public rivalry between the Angular and Ember teams, some of the core Ember developers met up with the Angular team and helped to create the new CLI, reusing a lot of code from Ember CLI. Similarly, despite competition between Microsoft and Google, Microsoft’s TypeScript team worked closely with the Angular developers to integrate TS into the heart of Angular 2. The new framework’s unidirectional data flow concept was inspired by ReactJS among many other influences from popular frameworks like VueJS and Redux.

Lightning talks

A five-minute presentation format on the mainstage, here are some quick roundups:

RxJS, a library for writing functional JavaScript code for async operations
Tips for using code linters with version control
How to carry out a NoSQL injection attack on Node/Mongo with ease (including the scary tidbit of information that a single injection could drop the entire database in Mongo 2.4>)
A static website generator useful for shared hosting or other areas where a SPA isn’t possible, based on React (
An explanation of functional reactive programming (a concept that several speakers acknowledged still remains undefined, but it’s a popular buzz phrase at the moment). Thomas Belin used the metaphor of the speaker being a website user, and the DotJS audience being the UI, that responds to what the user does – with time being the common denominator in all web apps
Using bitwise operations in JavaScript – which can vastly reduce the size of games and other programs that manipulate a matrix of tiles of pixels. The talk lost a lot of its effect however, when Gonçalo Morais finished by saying that binary JavaScript probably shouldn’t be used in production…
A system of distros for Vim: Bertrand Chevrier proposed a system similar to Linux distributions, whereby a developer chooses a set of Vim plugins and tools specific to a certain need (in this case, front-end JavaScript development), bundles them all together with an installation script, and makes them available online with comprehensive documentation.

All in all, there was a great range of content at DotJS this year. It was particularly interesting to hear JS experts’ opinions on the current ‘hot’ frameworks, as we’ll soon be making the framework decision for our next project at Locala – we’ll be doing mini Proof of Concept applications with at least Angular2, VueJS, and React // we’ll be better informed for making the decision now! //.

Written by Cassie Brooks (Front-end Developer)

Locala ranked among top 100 companies recruiting digital talents

This week Frenchweb released their ranking of the Top 100 companies in France that are recruiting digital talents in the coming year and Locala made the list at number 44!

In the first half of 2017, these companies in the ranking will recruit a combined total of more than 7,900 digital profiles; roughly 78% of these are permanent contracts. The even better news is that 52% of these hires will fill new roles that did not exist before.

Locala is proud to be among one of these French companies actively looking for digital talents! For us, these statistics do not come as a surprise. There are a lot of breakthrough projects happening in France and we need motivated talents that can think outside of the box!

2016 R&D Team Building

Surprise team lunch, escape game, and drinks in an arcade bar – just an average day at Locala with the R&D team 😉


At Locala, we host an annual team building event each year with all the teams including sales, marketing, adops, traders, account managers, and the R&D. This annual company-wide team building is important to exchange ideas across teams and took place right before everyone’s summer vacations. This year, our R&D team has grown to more than 30 members strong! So…for the first time, we organised a surprise team bonding event just for the geeks in the family!


After a whole month of anticipation, the R&D team had an exciting surprise on Thursday that started with a pizza lunch together on our terrace in the Paris office. After, we all headed to L’Antichambre to compete in an escape game. We split into 5 teams for some friendly competition, each team was in a room with a different theme ranging from voodoo, KGB, contagion, ghost and mummy. The first team to make it out of the escape room accomplished it under an impressive 30 minutes! After an intense hour, we headed to Le Fantôme to satisfy our thirst. At the Fantôme we played some old-school pinball, classic games like Street Fighter and Pacman…and our office favourite: table football (FR: babyfoot). All accomplished with generous servings of alcohol let’s not forget to mention!


Pizza team lunch at the office
Escape game winners!
A part of the team getting a drink!
At the Fantôme bar
Someone won!

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