by Amy Vale
We know how useful and effective a “local” campaign can be to mobile advertisers, but it is also critical for publishers to get on board and ensure that they are ensuring mobile devices can be used to their fullest potential. Location was a big mobile ad buzzword last year as mobile advertisers placed more emphasis on location-based advertising. Locating a user’s specific location using the mobile device made everyone realize how critical mobile is to the future of marketing. Geo-location offers the promise of “real-time” mobile advertising that is geographically relevant to a consumer according to where they are at a particular moment in time.
A mobile user’s location can be identified in two main ways, either via a location aware app (where the user has consented to sharing their physical location) or via the area of their IP address over a Wi-Fi connection. GPS-enabled apps have gained significant attention recently and we have started noticing that consumers are increasingly willing to “share” their location, opening themselves up to geo-location targeting. Mobile advertising has latched onto the concept, and capitalized on the fact that mobile users are inherently always on the go. They do this by enabling advertisers to pin point consumers while they are on the move, and tap into their vulnerability to make spontaneous purchase decisions based on deals and offers that are close to them. The growing popularity of social media location “check-in” features, on sites such as Facebook or Foursquare, has made hyper-local advertising even easier and more appealing.
So, what are businesses and advertisers doing? Businesses are using Geo-location services to find ways of targeting users with services or offers that are going to appeal to them because it is within close proximity to them. We are seeing local service-based businesses, such as plumbers or attorneys, testing geo-targeting to get their brand message out to local audiences, for whom the message will be most relevant. We have also noticed increasing interest amongst national and multinational retailers looking to target different regional audiences with relevant, specialized messages. It makes perfect sense to target your audience specifically, with ads and offers that are relevant to them at that moment in time. As an example, McDonalds recently launched a new geo-targeted mobile ad campaign for McCafe. It used an iPhone app from Pandora to provide smartphone users with ads and information about McCafe hot beverages, along with directions to the nearest McDonald’s restaurant.
Mobile advertising is also using location services to create dynamic ad campaigns. A great example of a recent mobile ad we have talked about before, because it is so clever, is The Westin Hotels & Resorts ad. It appeared within the Weather Channel and let consumers literally wipe the screen to wipe away their current (wintry) weather condition, which was dynamically generated based on location, and then browse and book a vacation in the climate of their choice.
This is important for publishers because the much-talked about HTML5 programming language is critical to the success of Geo-targeting campaigns. Ads powered by HTML5 can use GPS technology; enable common app gestures such as swiping and double-tap zooming; and play, rotate, move and resize video to give viewers greater control.
We are definitely seeing some exciting, and highly successful, mobile advertising campaigns as a result of Geo-location targeting, but it is essential for publishers to get on top of the functionality and services so it is not just advertisers that are capitalizing on the latest advancements in mobile.