PMG Digital Made for Humans

High Impact Testing – Waze App

4 MINUTE READ | January 23, 2017

High Impact Testing – Waze App

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Mason Suess

Mason Suess has written this article. More details coming soon.

When looking into potential high impact, outside-the-box testing ideas for a client, it is important to vet potential vendors by asking the right questions with your campaign goals in mind. Ensuring that the partner has the targeting capabilities to meet your client’s target market is imperative, but a successful campaign is also centered around finding the appropriate channel and ad format to reach them through.

When looking for potential high impact testing ideas for my client, I began by researching the available options. My client’s target demographic is 15-25-year-olds and are primarily female, so I wanted to find out more about how we could leverage apps to reach this market in a new way. In addition to reaching that demographic, another goal of my client is to drive in-store traffic. One of the ad platforms I came across in my research and wanted to dive into a bit more was Waze.


Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app – essentially the social media of maps. The platform offers advertisers three different ad units: Branded Pins, Nearby Arrows, and Zero-Speed Takeovers.

  • Branded Pins

Branded Pin
  • Nearby Arrows

Nearby Arrow
  • Zero-Speed Takeovers

Zero-Speed Takeover

Deciding which ad unit to use depends on the goals of the campaign (awareness, drive-to-store, refined targeting, etc.) as well as the budget. I was extremely interested in learning more about advertising on Waze because my client has 1200+ stores nationwide and is very focused on driving in-store as well as online sales. As I walked through some of the ad options, it was obvious that Branded Pins would be the best fit for us.

To capture a quality test within our budget, we were specifically interested in earning the most impressions possible at the lowest cost. Because Branded Pins are the least expensive unit, we felt this would be the best option. Branded Pins hover over store locations, giving users a clear idea of what stores are nearby. Now, when driving past a mall, you may think that you would see 30+ pins on the map. However, Waze limits the amount of Branded Pins served to a user at once to 3. This specification gives your impression a better chance at being noticed by users.

If a user clicks on your pin, they have two options: Drive There or Save for Later. The Drive There option routes the user directly to your store location, while the Save for Later option saves that store location in the user’s inbox on the app. If a user saves your ad, you are then able to send push notifications to those users.

Another impressive advertising feature on Waze is Promoted Search, which is an added value feature. After starting a campaign with Waze, you have opted into Promoted Search on the app for no additional cost. As you can see below, if someone searches for “fast food” on the app, a McDonald’s banner appears. They are one click away from driving an in-store sale.

Promoted Search

Promoted Search

Lastly, the feature  I think to be the most interesting is how Waze can calculate brand recall from its users. After some users are served an impression, a quick survey will appear. The survey will read something like, “Which brand have you seen on Waze?”. Only one of the four options given in the survey would have actually appeared on the user’s screen. If the user can identify the brand they saw on Waze, it is considered a positive brand recall. This information is particularly beneficial to the client because driving in-store traffic and revenue is something that is becoming much harder to calculate. Being able to know if the impressions you are paying for are resonating with users is extremely useful in evaluating the success of the campaign.

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For more information about how you can utilize the platform, visit: Waze Ads.