Launched in 2009, Grindr has grown into the largest and most popular all-male location-based social network with more than two million active daily users in 196 countries across the world. Grindr uses a mobile device’s location-based services to show users the men closest to them who are also on Grindr, making it a great candidate for the geospatial targeting capabilities in Google Maps.
Grindr users make up one of the most engaged social networks with the average user spending 54 minutes per day actively engaged with the application. As one of the largest global social networks, Grindr saw the potential to both bring its users better, more location-specific information and drive its revenues by selling highly coveted advertising space within its application.
Grindr’s advertising model already allowed advertisers to reach national and international audiences in a more targeted, customized way than other mediums.
“When a campaign is geo-targeted to a smaller, more specific area using Google Maps APIs, the engagement rate of that campaign is significantly higher.”– Steve Levin, Head of Global Sales, Grindr
However, Grindr was looking for a way to fine-tune and better monetize advertising campaigns by segmenting its audience based on location. This would open up additional advertising opportunities to regional and local businesses interested in targeting specific geographic areas, such as a retailers seeking area clientele or a restaurant looking to highlight a special night or event.
Grindr connected with SADA Systems, a Google Cloud Premier Partner and 2015 Global Google Maps Partner of the Year, to develop a solution that would provide a way to geospatially target ad campaigns in order to deliver a highly targeted message to a narrower audience. The goal was to increase overall engagement rates to improve campaign effectiveness and maximize value.
Grindr leveraged the expertise of SADA’s Google certified geospatial team to develop a solution to enable location-based ad campaigns. SADA’s solution was powered by a strategic combination of Google Maps APIs – Geocoding API, Maps API, Distance Matrix API and Google Maps Drawing Tools – to allow advertisers to map out exact regions within which to target their campaigns.
“We are one of the first applications to actively sell mobile advertising in such a direct and strategic way. Utilizing the tools we have, including Google Maps API, has allowed us to grow at a much faster pace than we anticipated.”– Steve Levin, Head of Global Sales, Grindr
With Google Maps APIs, Grindr has the mapping capability to visualize where its users are in two ways: internally to provide location-based business intelligence to support overall strategy, and externally to expand and maximize revenues for its advertising model.
Results and benefits
With the implementation of Google Maps APIs, Grindr has demonstrated the power of its mobile and location-based platform and is delivering results for advertisers to engage with its user base.
By leveraging Google Maps APIs, a company/organization can run a campaign on Grindr’s platform in numerous major cities, for example in New York, San Francisco and Boston, without making the ad appear like a generic national campaign. Instead of creating and running one campaign, the company/organization is able to produce several using Google Maps to target specific communities, towns, cities and states that they are keen on reaching AND tailor the campaign messaging to better suit that market. According to Levin, “When a campaign is geo-targeted to a smaller, more specific area using Google Maps APIs, the engagement rate of that campaign is significantly higher.”
With geo-targeted campaigns, Grindr has seen much higher click-through rates exceeding industry standards, resulting in more significant ROI for the advertiser, as well as higher value for Grindr. “Simply put, we provide the platform for an advertiser to speak to a user in a more local fashion, resulting in a more successful campaign,” said Levin. “We will continue to seek out creative ways to utilize those tools to create even more successful campaigns for our advertisers.”
The Grindr team has been extremely pleased with its solid traction as a local, as well as national and international, advertising platform, experiencing rapid growth with its current roster of advertisers and expansion into new advertising categories. “We are one of the first applications to actively sell mobile advertising in such a direct and strategic way,” said Levin. “Utilizing the tools we have, including Google Maps API, has allowed us to grow at a much faster pace than we anticipated.”