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Why Location Data is the Most Exciting Mobile Opportunity of 2016

Why Location Data is the Most Exciting Mobile Opportunity of 2016

At some point in our lives we have encountered an ad on the web that is just plain annoying. My personal experience illustrating this, is when I was looking for a gift for my wife and then continually being retargeted after her birthday with very obviously female products and services like waxing deals or hair treatments. Working in ad tech means I at least understand to some degree why this is happening. If I didn’t, like most people this tells me that a brand doesn’t know me or my motivations. However, this can easily be avoided with technology utilising the right insights, which makes it easy for marketers to correctly match the right products to the person and engage customers for their next purchase in the right context. 

The opportunity for marketers to improve the relevance of their campaigns is particularly evident on mobile.

Mobile is redefining the way we interact with one another. It has changed the way we eat, shop, travel, exercise and connect. According to xAd’s latest Mobile Path to Purchase Report, 59% of people in the UK are smartphone users – 56% of consumers who research goods and services in-store convert to purchases on location. It’s therefore a great time to be thinking more about how to engage with ‘on-the-go’ mobile audiences.

So, what is the solution? How can we understand consumer movements in a more sophisticated way? 

Location, location, location

The area of greatest strategic importance has to be location. According to an Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) survey, 66% of marketers see it as the “most exciting” mobile opportunity for 2016. Location is cementing its role in our everyday lives. Think about the last time you checked into a restaurant on Facebook, tagged the bar you visited with your friends on an Instagram picture, ordered an Uber, or even looked for nearby ‘matches’ on Tinder. Location data is holding increased value as a currency.

We will see location-targeting tactics evolve this year as marketers fully embrace the unique value proposition of mobile. The very mobility of this connected object – which travels everywhere with consumers – makes it the most versatile communication channel for marketers. However, the challenge is picking the right moment to connect with your mobile audience; depending on where they are and what they are doing. For example, the impact would be limited if a nail salon decides to advertise new treatment offers to a 35 year old football fan while he is enjoying watching a Manchester United v. Arsenal match. This kind of marketing mishap can be avoided if accurate location technology is used to filter and segment data to properly engage with the right person at the right time and in the right place.

With knowledge to target customers and prospects in real-time, as well as the ability to analyse an individual’s footprint in the real world, location data helps brands to go beyond the ‘what’ and the ‘where’ to determine ‘who’ their audience is. 

Programmatic potential 

Programmatically powered campaigns which combine data from the offline world with other important online behaviours (e.g. visits to mobile apps), will open the doors for even more engaging marketing campaigns in 2016 and beyond. When modern consumers are looking for interesting and well-timed marketing – location data will provide brands with a crucial competitive edge. In a recent IAB survey of 301 marketers, half said that they use programmatic for buying smartphone inventory, however 44% reported having little or no knowledge of it. This suggests that a large proportion of marketers are yet to unlock the full potential of mobile contextual targeting. 

For example, KFC used xAd’s programmatic location-based technology to promote its new burrito product range and drive additional store visits. The three month-long mobile location targeting campaign successfully drove nearby consumers into KFC stores through proximity targeting and conquest targeting at competitor locations. In addition to an uplift in store visitation, the campaign showed that engaging with customers nearby KFC stores drove a click through rate 40% above the industry benchmark. As location data holds the power to deliver more personalised customer experiences, xAd’s technology was able to target quick service food consumers by identifying and reaching the relevant target audience. Though this, the chain found that the most receptive demographic to location-based targeting were busy parents with families. This insight drove the chain to tailor its campaign for this segment, with dynamic creative which also showed the distance to the nearest store – perfect for ‘on the go’ families. 

It’s time to be ambitious in the delivery of hyper-relevant campaigns which make audiences feel valued as individuals – rather than part of a mass marketing group that brands target – and location data will be instrumental in achieving this goal.

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Imran Khan is Head of Programmatic and Partnerships, EMEA at xAd. Imran joined xAd in April 2015, focused on developing key partnerships with programmatic partners, publishers and data providers. He also works with xAd partners to educate them on how the intersection of programmatic technology and location data insights can bring greater efficacy to mobile marketing. Prior to xAd, Imran was Director of Business Development, EMEA at both Millennial Media (now acquired by AOL) and Inmobi. 


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