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Opinion

Global marketers realise the power of location to supercharge mobile campaigns

03 August 2015
Global marketers realise the power of location to supercharge mobile campaigns

Ask any marketer which channel they have increased their investment in over the past five years and their answer will undoubtedly be “mobile”. Mobile has surfaced as the glue that can bind together online and offline offerings to create a seamless customer experience, opening up huge new revenue opportunities for brands.

Mobile is incredibly versatile. By overlaying a huge number of consumer touchpoints, it allows marketers to think about how each channel can complement the other to deliver a better experience to the end customer. But this doesn’t mean that cracking the world of commerce is an easy feat.

When consumers are only receptive to the most relevant and engaging marketing, the campaign tailored to a 21st Century consumer has to be intelligent. As a result, it is critical that brands use data to understand the time and the place where customers will be most receptive to their messages.

This where location comes into its own. Location data is becoming one of the fastest growing areas in mobile and it’s an important tool for marketers. Why? Because, now, real-time location data goes far beyond just informing where someone is, to define who a person is and what they might be interested in. Mobile holds a power to supercharge offline behaviour.

But, have marketers clocked on to this powerful data set? Do brands understand the benefits of harnessing this data? Are they using it to its maximum potential? And, if they haven’t joined this emerging troop of location-focused marketers, what is holding them back from doing so?

To understand the global state of location-based mobile advertising, xAd surveyed ad agency and marketing decision makers at consumer-facing brands in North America, Western Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Here are our three key findings.

1. Mobile is a priority for marketers around the globe

More than half of both ad agency and marketing decision makers view mobile marketing as a significant priority. One in five consumer-facing brands and one in four ad agencies worldwide report that mobile advertising is a top priority for their business.

North America is currently the global leader in mobile advertising, with marketers spending $28bn in the US alone in 2015. However, Central and Eastern Europe look set to close this gap with projections that they will have the fastest smartphone adoption rate globally. This shows their confidence in mobile as a tool to build one-to-one connections with consumers.

2. Location targeting is emerging as a channel in its own right

Of the 80% of marketers using location targeting for their mobile ad campaigns, the top strategy they use is audience targeting, designed to reach a specific group of people.

This surpasses the use of proximity targeting, where we try to reach people at or nearby specific businesses and points of interest. This tells us that marketers are maturing in their understanding and usage of location, not just to reach people based on where they are, but coupling this with understanding a person’s intent and interests.

3. Measurement perceived as mobile’s limiting factor

Three in 10 marketers worldwide said the inability to measure success was their top concern with mobile location advertising.

However, location’s ability to create a mobile-first attribution model has a great opportunity to impact the growth of location-based mobile campaigns. Other challenges to mobile location advertising include education, campaign performance and data accuracy, which provides opportunities to bring marketers, advertising agencies, publishers and data providers together to drive greater understanding and awareness across the global ad ecosystem.

This research heralds the rise of a new breed of global marketers as marketing and ad agency leaders; a group who realise that the power of mobile advertising will be unlocked by the context of the consumer.

With the rise of these location marketing champions, we are about to see a new set of marketers springboard to success by joining their online and offline campaigns. Not only will knowing the places people visit be the best indicator of consumer intent, but marketers waking up to the power of location data will also have an added layer of insights ready to engage potential customers at the right time and right place.

To find out more about the global snapshot and see regional findings on location and mobile advertising, download the full report here.

Theo Theodorou, head of EMEA, xAd

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