Israeli group Trendit might be the future of advertising

By Oliver Smith 25 February 2016

With marketers scrambling for our attention, will this new technology bring high-tech smarts to billboard ads?

Imagine being able to quickly survey the people around you. Find out where they live or work, what their daily commute is, how much money they earn…

In the worlds of marketing and research that’s the dream, and it’s exactly what Israeli tech group Trendit is promising to do.

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“To put things simply, our company is built around a statistical technology that takes a very small sample of anonymous data from [mobile phone] operators, combines it with knowledge of the geography and tomography, and use it to create an amazingly accurate survey in real-time,” Trendit’s CEO Benny Saban told The Memo at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

What can you learn and who would use these samples?

“Where are people, where do they live, what is the socio-economic range of these people, where do they work and more,” Saban says.

An advertiser’s dream?

To demonstrate Saban pulls up a screen on his laptop that looks something like Google Maps, he zooms in on Israel and clicks on a small town.

Information pops up with an estimated number of people living in that town, based on Trendit’s access to real time data of a small sample of smartphone users (around 15% of the population in Israel).

In one past project, Saban explains, a San Francisco mall used the information to find out where its customers were coming from, how often they visited and to track the impact of marketing campaigns day-by-day all in real time.

“For marketers and researchers they can use this data to create campaigns or create more accurate reports. Our other big market is the move towards smart cities. How a population travels around a city, which areas have the highest income inequality, and use this data to plan smart services.”

Despite Saban’s obvious enthusiasm for the business and some pretty incredible technology, Trendit has yet to explode in popularity.

In January Trendit listed on the London Stock Exchange, raising £4m to grow and expand the business, but while its customer-base is growing Saban says the eight-year-old company has yet to turn a profit.