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TikTok Announces New Data Partnership with Foursquare to Provide Insights into In-Store Visits

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TikTok Announces New Data Partnership with Foursquare to Provide Insights into In-Store Visits

Connecting the performance of your digital ads to physical, in-store visits has always been a key challenge, with various solutions like beacons, check-ins and proximity tracking all offering some level of insight, but also their own implementation difficulties.

TikTok’s trying out a new option on this front, via a partnership with Foursquare, which will enable TikTok advertisers in the US and Canada to utilize Foursquare Attribution to better quantify the effectiveness of their campaigns in driving people into stores.

Foursquare Attribution is able to connect user activity to a physical location by tracking mobile devices as they move through an area. The system then matches exposed devices with this data, and provides direct feedback on how many people who’ve seen your ad have subsequently visited your store location.

As per TikTok:

“With Foursquare, this integration will focus on the metrics that are critical to advertisers with physical business locations. Advertisers will be able to understand how effective their media plan on TikTok has been and discover new insights to optimize campaigns, ultimately tying their TikTok investment back to real-world visits at their business locations.”

Though there are some limitations with that.

The biggest factor that comes to mind is Apple’s ATT update, which could limit the capacity of Foursquare’s system to be able to track and report on physical visitors based on whether people have opted out of tracking.

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But then again, opting out of Foursquare tracking would essentially render the less useful, and with around 55 million active users of its own app, and its location technology powering elements of other platforms including Uber, Twitter, Snapchat, and more, it has a huge database of location insights to tap into, which could make it a good option for gleaning more insight into the effectiveness of your ads, and how they’re generating in-store visits.

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Essentially, Foursquare’s data capacity is much broader than its own tools, which could ensure that it’s able to provide accurate, valuable location insights, even with the potential limitations of people switching off data tracking in some apps.

And it could be a great compliment to your TikTok ads, providing more direct attribution between your online campaigns and offline performance.

You can read a case study of how McDonald’s utilized TikTok’s Foursquare attribution here.

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‘Crime not to help’: South Korean ex-SEAL has no Ukraine regrets

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South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber Ken Rhee told AFP he has no regrets about his decision to fight in Ukraine

South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber Ken Rhee told AFP he has no regrets about his decision to fight in Ukraine – Copyright AFP Jung Yeon-je

Cat Barton and Kang Jin-kyu

A former South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber who risked jail time to leave Seoul and fight for Ukraine says it would have been a “crime” not to use his skills to help.

Ken Rhee, an ex-special warfare officer, signed up at the Ukrainian Embassy in Seoul the moment President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for global volunteers and was fighting on the front lines near Kyiv by early March.

To get there, he had to break South Korean law — Seoul banned its citizens from travelling to Ukraine, and Rhee, who was injured in a fall while leading a special operations patrol there, was met at the airport by 15 police officers on his return.

But the celebrity ex-soldier, who has a YouTube channel with 700,000 followers and documented much of his Ukraine experience on his popular Instagram account, says he has no regrets.

“You’re walking down the beach and you see a sign by the water saying ‘no swimming’ — but you see someone drowning. It’s a crime not to help. That’s how I see it,” he told AFP.

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Rhee was born in South Korea but raised in the United States. He attended the Virginia Military Institute and planned to join the US Navy SEALS, but his father — a “patriot”, he says — convinced his son to return to South Korea to enlist.

He served for seven years, undergoing both US and Korean SEAL training and doing multiple stints in war zones in Somalia and Iraq before leaving to set up a defence consultancy.

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“I have the skillset. I have the experience. I was in two different wars, and going to Ukraine, I knew I could help,” he said, adding that he viewed breaking South Korea’s passport law to leave as equivalent to a “traffic violation”.

– Backlash in Korea –

But the reaction in South Korea — where Rhee shot to fame as a trainer in the popular YouTube series “Fake Men” — was swift and unforgiving.

“It was instant. People in Korea, they just criticised me about breaking the law,” said Rhee.

His critics claim the 38-year-old’s decision was criminally irresponsible, and point to his posting of war footage on his YouTube and Instagram accounts as evidence of showboating.

Rhee says he tries not to let the furore get to him. “I think it’s pretty obvious who the good guys are and who the bad guys are,” he said of Russia and Ukraine. 

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On his first day on the frontline in Irpin — which he describes as “the Wild West” and “chaos” — he says he witnessed Russian war crimes.

“I saw a civilian get shot. He was driving… and they shot him through the windshield and he died in front of us,” he said.

“It was like: there’s my proof. There’s definitely war crimes going on. It reminded me and my teammates what we were doing and why we were there,” he said.

Because of his military training, Rhee was told to set up his own team, so he recruited other volunteers with combat experience and set up a multi-national special operations group.

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“I was eating Canadian MREs. My gun was from the Czech Republic. I have a Javelin missile from the United States. I have a rocket that’s from Germany… but nothing is Korean,” he said.

He tried to take his Korean-made night vision goggles but was not given government export permission. Seoul has provided non-lethal aid to Kyiv, but Rhee said they could do more.

“Korea has state-of-the-art equipment… they’re very good at making weapons,” he said.

– ‘See you in Taiwan’ –

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Russia said this week that 13 South Koreans had travelled to Ukraine — including four who were killed. Seoul said it was trying to verify the claims.

Although Rhee did not know the fate of all his teammates, he said “a lot of my friends have died”.

“I don’t want my friends’ sacrifices to be forgotten,” he said, adding that he plans to write a book — and maybe a screenplay — about his team’s experiences.

But first, he needs to deal with the official repercussions of his trip. He is quietly optimistic South Korea’s new conservative administration won’t put him in jail.

Rhee is not allowed to leave the country until his case is resolved, and is receiving treatment for his injuries. But he hopes one day to fight alongside his teammates again, for a cause they believe in.

The joke as people left the frontline was: “See you in Taiwan,” he said, referring darkly to the risk that Beijing will follow Moscow’s lead and invade a neighbouring democracy.

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