For Location Ads, Creativity And Targeting For Offline Brands Need To Happen ‘On The Fly’

Time and place is one thing. But for mobile ads to resonate with on-the-go consumers, it has to look right as well, says Jivox's Diaz Nesamoney.

Jivox's Jack Daniels Tailgate ad — roughly 3,000 personalized versions were created 'dynamically' in a test last fall.
Jivox’s Jack Daniels Tailgate ad — roughly 3,000 personalized versions were created ‘dynamically’ in a test last fall.

Over the past two months, interactive ad platform Jivox has been spreading the word on the ability of marketers to target individual consumers by appealing to what they personally might find “creative.”

The primary tool for Jivox’s promise of “programmatic creative” is the Dynamic Canvas, which crafts targeted ads in real-time according to pre-set rules that select the text and graphics that are most likely to resonate with a person and drive store visits and purchases.

The San Mateo company employs certain “data triggers,” which can include temperature conditions, nearby events, and, naturally, a person’s location, notes Diaz Nesamoney, Jivox’s founder and CEO.

The triggering of personalized ads targeted to users based on their location, among other attributes such as the user’s hobbies and interests, was first tested by Jivox on behalf of Jack Daniels last fall. The ads, for Jack Daniels’ honey-flavored whiskey, had roughly 3,000 potential varieties, leaving few consumer types uncovered.

GeoMarketing: How does the role of data and creativity play into Jivox’s position in the online ad marketplace?

Diaz Nesamoney: We are essentially focused on using data to enable creative to be much more effective and targeted. The marketplace is starting to be talk about things like “personalized advertising” or “programmatic creative,” and it’s indicative of programmatic platforms being used more and more and rich data sets that allow analytics to influence creative.

Historically, when it came to dynamic creative, or creating different types of ads trying to match up to users’ intent or interests, it was mostly guesswork. You just really didn’t know anything about the user whatsoever. Our idea was you could take different creative, different messaging, test them and see what was working well.

Over the last few years, obviously, there’s a phenomenal amount of data available; very, very fine grain data that tells us a lot about users’ interests, preferences, and location, etc. The one big, big factor that has changed everything has been the use of mobile devices. Consumers are always on the go, always doing things that tell us a lot about when they are likely to make a purchase decision or walk into a store or do something.

So we’ve been able to tap into that by building out a technology platform that can tap into all of that data and use it to deliver the right creative message or visual creative to an individual at the right time — all at scale.

How does that work from a practical sense?

We can plug into everything from first-party data from the retailer’s website. Perhaps a consumer was on the retailer’s webpage looking at various products, but didn’t happen to buy while they were browsing the site, may decide to go with their friends shopping. We can determine whether those kinds of connections happened.

For the most part, what most companies have is some data on that user in terms of their preferences. You can certainly use that and deliver targeted messaging to them. That’s just one example of online to offline transitions that happen.

The questions we want to answer are: How do you reach users digitally? How do you deliver relevant messaging about particular products? For that, we tap into data-management platforms, which have aggregated up profile and behavioral data from a variety different sources, as well as programmatic platforms themselves, which provide a very rich amounts of data.

Jivox's Diaz Nesamoney
Jivox’s Diaz Nesamoney

How does that translate into the creative aspects of advertising that Jivox provides?

Our technology takes that data and dynamically builds these ads sort of on the fly. Each ad is uniquely constructed based on the data triggers that we see and that’s baked into the creative design that’s in our system based on the pre-set rules of the marketer, brand, or agency.

The marketer and agency would design the visual creative by loading up all the asset combinations. They could be 10, 20, a few hundred, a few thousand, a few hundred thousand — it depends on the type of product.

A big retailer, like a Walmart, could have hundreds of thousands of products and items. A small retailer may have a handful. Once all that’s set up, you specify the rules.

For example, if the consumer we’re trying to serve the ad to had looked at a certain product or number of products and put it in a shopping cart on the retailer’s site, you can set up rules that prioritize which data signal is the most important.

How does the idea of using location influence the ad creative that Jivox crafts and serves?

Offline retail is incredibly important to us. For example, we’ve run campaigns where we’re actually pointing the user to the nearest retail store. Imagine, for example, Macy’s, or if you have a user who’s perhaps at a Starbucks having a cup of coffee with their friends. They’re just chatting, looking at their phones and browsing, and an ad pops up there from Macy’s. That ad based on their geo-location can suggest that they go visit the Macy’s store two blocks down.

We calculate that this is the store, maybe even have a tap to see a map of how to get there, the directions to get there. That’s one. Then secondly, you can also put an offer there saying, “Hey, for the next hour, there are these specials.” The specials, of course, will be targeted to that individual, like something that they’re likely to buy or perhaps they browsed earlier on.

Location is incredibly important because a lot of these buying decisions are being made on the go. That’s why this kind of personalization has become real time. Personalization has become very important because the traditional model of how people researched and learned about products and bought them has changed quite a bit. It’s not a very linear sequential process. It is a somewhat chaotic and random process. Being in the moment where the user is and the consumer is and essentially being intelligent about how you message them can make all the difference in terms of getting them to the store or getting them to buy a particular product.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.