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Waze Ads FAQs

Waze 1st party studies

What is the industry standard for discrepancies between first party & Campaign Manager 360 impressions?

Google lists that anything over 20% requires further investigation, but up to that point it is (to some extent) an acceptable discrepancy. The most common causes of discrepancies include: 

  • Reports that aren't accurate comparisons. For example, is the date range of the Campaign Manager report and the Waze report the same?
  • Improperly implemented tags.
  • Improperly implemented cache-busting.
  • Duplicate tags running across different sections of a site or app.
  • Different filtering methodologies for invalid impressions or clicks.

For discrepancies over 20%, please contact Google Marketing Platform support.

What is the Waze First Party Ad Recall Lift Study methodology and what competitors can be used?

The Ad Recall study poses the question: “Have you seen any of these brands on Waze recently?” to Waze drivers. Waze recommends using brands that have not recently advertised on Waze. The 4 options should include your brand, two competitors and an option for “None of the above.” Only a single response can be selected. The complete methodology for Ad Recall on Waze is as follows: 

  1. Establish control (10%) and exposed group (90%).
  2. Survey both groups, asking the question “Have you seen any of these brands on Waze lately?”.
  3. Compare the percent of “positive” responses in either group.
  4. A positive difference = lift; Negative difference = no lift.
  5. “Lift” is only reported if the data is statistically significant.

Depending on the category, your Waze account team can recommend several brand options for you to choose from.

What is the sample size used to determine the Waze First Party Ad Recall lift study?

Given the number of variables required to provide our advertisers with accurate results, Waze is not able to disclose the exact sample size as  this number will vary depending on a host of factors. 

The complete methodology for Ad Recall on Waze is as follows: 

  1. Establish control (10%) and exposed group (90%)
  2. Survey both groups, asking the question “Have you seen any of these brands on Waze lately?” 
  3. Compare the percent of “positive” responses in either group
  4. A positive difference = lift; Negative difference = no lift
  5. “Lift” is only reported if the data is statistically significant

3rd party tracking

What tags does Waze accept?

Waze is able to support Campaign Manager 360 Tracking Tags (formerly known as DoubleClick Campaign Manager or DCM) on Zero-Speed Takeovers and Branded Pins.

This allows advertisers to track daily impressions and clicks with Campaign Manager. Waze’s product team has prioritized Campaign Manager as Waze’s sole tracking partner given its wide adoption by clients and its ease of integration as a Google product.

Campaign Manager 360 Tags can be implemented at the placement or creative level. If tracking by placement, (1) tag per placement (Pin and/or Takeover) is required. If tracking by creative, (1) tag per creative per placement is required. 

For example if an advertiser is running (2) creatives, across (3) eligible placements (Pin or Takeovers), (6) tags total will be required. For additional information on Campaign Manager 360 Tracking tags, please reference a comprehensive guide here

Do you accept pixels?

Waze supports Campaign Manager 360 Tracking Tags  (CM; formerly known as DoubleClick Campaign Manager or DCM) on Zero-Speed Takeovers and Branded Pins to track  daily impressions and clicks via Campaign Manager.

Our system is not compatible with 1x1 pixels or any other non-Campaign Manager 360 provided tags. For additional information on Campaign Manager 360 Tracking tags, please reference a comprehensive guide here

How do you track Viewability on Waze?

Waze is 100% in-app, therefore always 100% viewable.

Ad serving

Can I A/B test creative on Waze?

A/B testing of creative is possible on Waze, with a few considerations. To ensure we have an effective setup for A/B testing, it's critical that a campaign has both sufficient scale and considerable campaign length. 

Without sufficient scale, a campaign cannot achieve a large enough sample size to measure the performance of multiple creatives and provide actionable insights. The campaign duration will not only affect ability to provide timely analysis, but also the ability to make creative optimizations during the campaign using the actionable insights.

Please reach out to your Waze account team to confirm A/B testing feasibility.

What is the frequency cap for my campaigns and can we customize it?

The default frequency cap for Zero-Speed Takeovers is 2 per day or 4 per week. Depending on the flight length, targeting parameters, and frequency cap goals, your Waze account team can adjust the frequency cap to Takeovers. 

Branded Pins serve as a utility to users, acting as digital store signs signalling to nearby drivers that your store is open for business to nearby drivers. The  nature of the product, coupled with the goal to increase location awareness, prevents Waze from  frequency capping Pins.

If only 4 Branded Pins can be shown at a time, how are those 4 determined? 

The ad-serving methodology for Branded Pins is based on a number of signals including proximity, targeting and pacing.

  1. The strongest of these signals is proximity, or the Pins distance from the user’s route. Proximity is based on a number of factors including , the driver’s speed and current map zoom. 
  2. The next signal that would determine the Pins shown is daypart targeting. Open and closed hours typically vary location to location, so  depending on the brand’s activated dayparts, a Pin may or may not be eligible to be shown.  
  3. Finally, pacing will surface brands based on impressions needed to deliver in full. An advertiser that is spending more will have more contracted impressions to deliver, and would serve more pins compared to an advertiser spending less.

Can I have more than one creative running at the same time?

Yes, advertisers are able to run multiple creatives at the same time to show the right message to the right audience. The number of creatives a campaign can have running simultaneously depends on the volume of contracted impressions and the length of the campaign.

Please reach out to your Waze account team for a recommendation. 

Can I serve different creative every day?

Your Waze account team prioritizes your campaign's success and we understand that creative is a large component of driving results. On Waze, your brand  is able to rotate creatives to align with the goals of your campaign. Please note, it can become challenging to measure ad efficacy if creative is rotated more than 1x per week. 

Billing & invoicing 

Why does my invoice not match my final delivery report?

Waze’s ad server intentionally over-delivers a small volume of impressions to ensure full delivery of the campaign and those impressions may  be reflected in your final delivery report.  Since Waze will never bill advertisers for any overage outside of the contracted budget, any final reporting with over-delivery may not match the invoice. If you do need the final delivery report to match the invoice, your account team can update the report to reflect this alignment.

Impression share & Share of voice

How is Waze impression share different from share of voice (SOV)?

Waze Impression Share is the total number of times an ad was shown out of the total number of times an ad was eligible to show.  Impression share does not impact Share of Voice (SOV), or share of screen, as that is measured separately. 

On Waze, inventory capacity is primarily determined by an advertiser’s location footprint. This means that no two advertisers will have access to the exact same inventory capacity.  This is different from most publishers where the pool of inventory is shared across all advertisers.  The higher the impression share, the greater the visibility of an advertiser’s locations. Unlike SOV, a lower impression share doesn't necessarily equal a more competitive landscape. Instead, a low impression share indicates that there is untapped inventory that if reserved could unlock more brand visibility.

Impression share is not related to the SOV on the Waze App screen. SOV on Waze is an estimate based upon the share of screen for our Branded Pin and Zero-Speed Takeover ad products. Takeovers will always be 100% SOV as only one Takeover ad placement is eligible to serve at any given time. 4 Pins can be served and displayed on the map at any given time, resulting in a 25% - 100% SOV for the ad unit. 

Placed Powered by Foursquare (PPBF)

Why does Placed Powered by Foursquare (PPBF) have more store visits than Waze has navigations?

A ‘navigation’ is a Waze-specific metric, whereas a ‘store visit’ is specific to Placed.  On the Waze platform, a navigation is counted when a user initiates a drive from an ad within the app. This means that Waze’s navigation metric does not capture the majority of actual in-store visits that occur as a result of ad exposure. 

Placed methodology matches users that have been exposed to Waze ads with users in their own user database, to establish a store visit lift. This allows Placed to measure if seeing and/or interacting with an ad on the platform leads to a store visit, whether it be in-the-moment or at a later time. 

For more specific questions regarding Placed methodology and store visits, please contact your Waze account team. 


How are Pin and Takeover Navigation Rates calculated?

  • Pin CTR = Ad Unit Clicks / Impressions
  • Pin Navigation Rate = Direct Navigations / Ad Unit Clicks
  • Takeover Navigation Rate = Direct Navigations / Impressions
  • Takeover Save Rate = 'Save' Clicks / Impressions

Because Pin and Takeover Navigation Rates are calculated differently, Waze advises against blending or averaging the Navigation Rates of those two ad units. Instead, Navigation Rate analysis should only be done between the same ad products.

Why is my cost per navigation so high?

The cost-per-navigation metric can range greatly depending on vertical, targeting, seasonality and numerous other factors. To properly evaluate this metric, a comprehensive analysis of the campaign as a whole must be executed. Please contact your Waze account team in order to request an in-depth analysis of your campaign’s performance.

Why can't we use a cost per navigation to measure success?

Due to the complexity of the cost-per-navigation metric, Waze does not recommend using it as a standalone measure of campaign success. Unique to the Waze platform, navigations are counted only when a user initiates a drive from an ad within the app.

Waze First Party reporting does not include latent navigations that were influenced by a Waze ad, but took place at a later time or different store location. This means that Waze’s navigation metric does not capture the majority of actual in-store visits that occur as a result of ad exposure. With latent navigations unaccounted for in reporting, cost-per-navigation can be a misleading metric for measuring success. 

What is the difference between direct, history and total navigations? 

A direct navigation is a navigation that a driver takes from searching for a location to navigate to, or navigates to directly from an ad. A history navigation is a navigation that a driver picks from their latest Waze driving history. In the app, if you click on the search button in the bottom left corner, you can see the most recent navigations. When a driver clicks on one of those latest locations, that is considered a history navigation.

Total navigations are direct and history navigations totalled together. 

Why is my Branded Pin navigation rate higher than my Takeover navigation rate?

To understand the difference between Branded Pin Navigation Rates vs Zero-Speed Takeover Navigation Rates, it’s important to remember that the two ad units function differently and have different Navigation Rate formulas. 

Branded Pin: When a user is served a pin, they take two sequential actions; (1) Tap, then (2) Navigate. Before a user is prompted to navigate from a Pin, they must first tap on it so that it can expand on their screen. Once expanded, Pins have a CTA button for users to tap “Drive There”. 

Zero Speed Takeovers: On the takeover, a user is able to tap the “Drive There” CTA button immediately upon being served the ad unit. Takeovers do not incur a CTR metric because the first tap on the ad unit’s "Drive There'" button initiates a navigation. 

The Nav Rate formulas for Takeovers and Pins are as follows:

  • Pin CTR: Ad Unit Clicks / Total Impressions 
  • Pin Nav Rate: Direct Navigations / Total Ad Unit Clicks
  • Takeover Nav Rate: Direct Navigations / Total Impressions

Due to the inherent differences in functionality and Nav Rate formula, Pin Nav Rates are often higher than Takeover Nav Rates within the same campaign because Pin Navigations are ‘pre-qualified.”  Users who have seen a Pin and tapped on it have already expressed interest in the location and are more likely to navigate versus a user who has seen a Takeover but not yet expressed interest in that location. 


What is the value of Search?

Because the majority of searches on Waze are intended to initiate a drive, a tap on a promoted search result typically results in a user navigating to the promoted brand’s location.

Given that 85% of searches on Waze are brand agnostic, the platform’s search functionality provides brands with the opportunity to inform users of their business’s proximity at the moment of truth. This digital real estate is inherently valuable as only one advertiser’s business will be promoted for each search query.  

Why is Search driving the majority of my campaign navigations?

On the Waze platform, there are three touch points through which a user can initiate a drive to a destination: Branded Pins, Zero-Speed Takeovers, and Search. To initiate a drive on Waze, a user must use the Search functionality to input their end destination. 

Since all Waze drives must be initiated through Search, it will inherently drive the majority of the campaign’s navigations. Once a drive has been initiated, a user can then opt to initiate a navigation through a Pin or a Takeover ad unit.

Can we buy search terms? Can I choose the keywords for Search?

At this time, Waze Search is not a paid ad product. This means that brands cannot: 

  • Purchase search terms/keywords
  • Bid on search terms/keywords

Our product team has categorized, non-branded search terms for each vertical that will serve as your keywords for Waze Search. 

Added Value Sponsored Search is exclusively offered in conjunction with the execution of a Branded Pin campaign. Sponsored Search results are prioritized based on:

  1. Location Proximity
  2. Branded Pin Investment level   

Brands can optimize their Sponsored Search presence and/or increase their share of the Sponsored Search results by increasing their investment in Branded Pins.

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