Mobile advertising platform Opera Mediaworks has announced an interesting new partnership with Unacast, a specialist in proximity marketing.

Opera’s mobile advertisers can now run retargeting campaigns using beacon and proximity data, which can register consumer behaviour down to a “precise aisle, shelf or product”.

Up until now the company’s location-based marketing offering has been ring-fenced by GPS data, which potentially limits its reach by relying on users being out of doors and active on devices.

The agreement between the two companies allows advertisers to segment and target groups of people based on in-store behaviour, where beacons can be configured with “centimetre precision”, explains Opera.

“For instance, a fashion brand might identify someone with an interest in shoes, down to a particular size and style, based on his or her activity within the shoe department of a shopping mall.

“Then, they can serve the customer relevant ads for a new line of shoes based on that interest in the evening, as they browse their favorite news or social app.”

Rise of beacons

With its Unacast partnership, Opera Mediaworks is looking to ride on a surging adoption of beacon technology across the US in 2016. A report by Business Insider predicts that 85% of the country’s top 100 retailers will be deploying it by the end of the year – despite mixed results elsewhere.

Commenting on the partnership, Opera Mediaworks’ director of product strategy, Andrew Dubatowka said the “real value” of data lies in its high accuracy and granularity, hence the need for beacons.

“Until now, that has simply meant targeting a shopper in the moment, as they walk down the aisle about a nearby product on sale.”  

Commenting on the Unacast deal, Dubatowka added: “With this partnership, marketers can extend the life of that beacon data beyond the confines of the store and, with a detailed understanding of a shopper’s interests, apply it in other contexts, such as audience targeting and even return-on-ad-spend measurement.”

Unacast has partnered with more than 40 of the world’s largest proximity providers and is on track to have 100 partners on board by the end of this year.