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How Waze is making waves in digital marketing3 min read

Here at Croud, we’ve already achieved some fantastic results as one of the first adopters to advertise on Waze in Australia. We’re excited to build Waze into our digital marketing approach for more relevant clients.

Back in 2013, Google, Facebook and Apple all had their sights set on the same prize: the super-popular navigation app Waze. After an all-out bidding war, Google secured the app for $US1.15bn in hopes of bolstering the search engine’s navigation and mobile businesses.

As it turns out, they made the right decision.

What is Waze, and what’s all the fuss about?

Waze is a community-based GPS and navigation app. Although it’s similar to Google Maps, it’s only for car navigation and has a bigger social network aspect, allowing drivers to share information about accidents, speed cameras, road closures, and more. Users can also send live route updates and ETA info to friends, and the app learns about frequent destinations, commuting hours, and preferred routes the more you use it.

In terms of advertising, Waze is transforming just how targeted brands can be when connecting with audiences on the go. SpotHero, for example, is a mobile app that helps drivers find parking and pay right from their smartphone. In New York, their Waze campaign saw an uplift of 111%, and in San Francisco a gain of 168%.

How can brands advertise on Waze?

There are four main approaches to advertising on Waze that can be utilised individually or together:

1. Branded pins

Pins, which Waze users can see as they’re driving by, act like digital billboards by marking businesses on the map. Businesses can also include calls to action such as rerouting to the destination, saving a place for later, or linking to more information about a location.

2. Promoted search

Businesses advertising via promoted search can have a branded, highlighted search result displayed when a Waze user searches for the business. Because users can add their favourite locations, businesses can also choose the ad timing to suit the users’ behaviours (like a supermarket advertising to a user on the way home from work, for example).

3. Zero-speed takeovers

Any time a driver is stopped for three or more seconds, Waze shows ads with information and promotions about a brand and calls to action such as “Drive There” for navigation, “Download App,” “Save URL,” “Download Coupon” etc. Ads collapse automatically once the car starts moving again.

4. Voice integration

Voice integration allows users to select a different voice to replace Waze’s standard one, and businesses can then geo-fence locations to feature calls to action when the user is near a specific location. For example, millions of Waze users switched their navigation to Arnold Schwarzenegger during a promotion for The Terminator.

How are KPIs measured on Waze?

Engagement rates by users can be measured on Waze by click-throughs, as well as “secondary clicks”, like saving places to visit later or real-time navigation based on interaction with an ad. There are also metrics available to measure brand performance even if ads aren’t clicked on.

What’s next for Waze?

Looking forward, the app’s advertising capabilities are likely to become more sophisticated as Google looks at ways to create a complete brand experience where pins, takeovers and other ads work together – allowing brands to even more effectively target the right users at the right time.

To have a chat about how we can help your brand achieve measurable results, get in touch with Croud’s digital marketing experts.