Forefront Communications

Mobile Phone Geolocation Data Comes to Wall Street



Alternative data provider Thasos Group approached us while still in stealth mode, quietly building out its technology and team and sharing its solution only with trusted industry contacts. The firm knew it had a cutting-edge product with the power to transform investment and real estate analysis, but struggled with finding the right words to talk about it and engaging key stakeholders. Our task was twofold: facilitating a successful launch out of stealth mode and defining mobile phone location data intelligence as a new category of alternative data.

John Taggart for the Wall Street Journal


When we began our work with Thasos Group, there was very little discussion of mobile phone location data as fuel for PMs and analysts. We saw an opportunity to stake out an early position as the leader in this space. This decision was complicated by the privacy and security concerns that come with mobile phone tracking, but we calculated that proactively addressing these issues and emphasizing that Thasos Group had nothing to hide would paint the firm as a straight-shooting first mover in what would likely become a crowded sector.

Similarly, we prioritized differentiation from other alternative data providers, leaning into the novelty of their solution as opposed to its comparability with other datasets. We also identified a need to demonstrate Thasos Group’s value in a tangible way, as many key stakeholders were unfamiliar with the concept of mobile phone location data and may not have grasped its significance from a press release alone.


To both promote Thasos Group as a company and foster recognition of their offering as its own distinct category of alternative data, we employed similar tactics designed to secure as much external validation as possible. We produced lead-generating reports on the most important trends and storylines reflected in the data, with a specific focus on topics that would drive media interest. Examples included the decline of brick-and-mortar and Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. We also targeted a wide variety of industry awards to serve as category validation. The final component of our strategy was making hay with Thasos’ formal launch, which we knew would be our best chance to build the momentum needed to achieve our goals. We began laying the groundwork by engaging our media contacts on a variety of ideas for company and product profiles.


Our report-based media strategy paid off with over 900 stories over the course of the two-year relationship. Top placements included the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Business Insider, Institutional Investor, Bloomberg and Reuters. Thasos Group also won several of the awards we entered them for, including “Best Newcomer” and “Product of the Year” at the WatersTechnology 2018 Buy-Side Technology Awards. These tactics led to significant recognition for Thasos Group, which secured non-paid speaking opportunities at premier alternative data conferences such as BattleFin, Quandl’s Alternative Data Conference and Newsweek’s AI Conference.


WSJ: Your Smartphone’s Location Data Is Worth Big Money to Wall Street

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR: The Next Big Source of Alpha: Your Phone?


BLOOMBERG: Amazon’s Whole Foods Lures New Shoppers From Wal-Mart, Sprouts