GeoMinds: Location Data Is The Key Factor For Driving Retail Foot Traffic
Mobile hasn't maxed out its potential, writes Sonata's Lara Mehanna. It's how tech companies and advertisers use it that needs improvement.
As we head into Q3, there continues to be debate about the discrepancy between time spent and mobile ad spend. Despite all of talk about the “Digital Revolution,” television continues to thrive on big ad dollars. What does this mean for mobile? Has this channel already maxed out its potential? Or do we as an industry need to take a step back and think about how to better utilize what has become the most personable medium to reach consumers? I tend to agree with the latter — it is not the channel’s potential that is lacking, but rather how mobile tech companies and advertisers use it that needs to be improved.
When I think about mobile strategy there is one “must” that comes to mind – make it relevant!
Mobile is more personal than television or desktop. Consumers take this screen with them and use it to organize all aspects of life — finances, schedules, entertainment, and, most importantly, communication. There is no better way to reach a consumer than via mobile.
Programmatic has allowed us to reach scale, but with scale, we seem to strive for as many data points as possible and yet ignore them all at the same time. Maybe a more simplified approach to building audiences should be at the forefront, specifically coming from location-based mobile profiles.
More than any other platform, mobile’s ability to target effectively can be relative to the known location of the consumer. Location data applied correctly can show the largest impact on a campaign’s performance. For instance, we know that most people (NYC excluded) are habitual in the places they visit within 10-15 miles. We also know that within 1-5 miles from a location, advertisers have the greatest opportunity to influence a decision to drive a consumer in-store.
Different Locales, Different Mindsets
Driving to a location may be common sense, but location data can be just as important for digital actions as well.
Location is just as important for audience profiling and further contextualizing the mobile consumer experience because it tells us a lot about who the consumer is in that location at that specific moment in time. It is this utility that makes location data so valuable for what ads one should see when at the beach versus when in the city. Similarly, ad consumption experience changes when on the go versus relaxing at home. Like with other advertising channels, ad engagement matters and understanding where a consumer is helps brands understand their level of willingness to interact with an ad.
To really take advantage of the opportunity to reach consumers in the palm of their hand, on what has become the “first screen,” location should be incorporated as a guiding principle when creating a mobile campaign strategy. How consumers interact and respond to different creative will depend on their surroundings coupled with other contextual factors such as weather, traffic, etc. Although it may sound obvious, I would venture to say that something as basic as setting an ad campaign for a movie theater to run only during excessive temperature or rain is not something that I think has become second nature within the industry despite the fact that it would be the most effective use of the platform.
The New Cookie
It is this type of common-sense thinking that needs to evolve and become commonplace within mobile. Should there even be a distinction between mobile campaigns vs location campaigns vs display campaigns? Wouldn’t it make more sense to target the right audiences using location as the most recent attribute to building that audience? Or using location as a key factor when trying to drive foot traffic into a place of business?
As we head into the second half of 2015, I encourage all mobile marketers to rethink their ad strategy. Location is the new cookie, not just the mobile cookie. How does this change your point of view on using location for targeting? Are you profiling and building audiences based on where they are? Are you developing creative engagements that tie to the motivation of a mobile user on the go vs in a sedentary location? As an industry it is time to focus on transparency and bring relevancy to the forefront. It is long overdue for us to turn the tide when it comes to mobile ad spend once and for all.
*Lara Mehanna is GM US, VP Sales & Business Development of SONATA, the first global mobile advertising platform focused on connecting online advertising to offline results. Previous to SONATA, she spent 2.5 years as General Manager of Mobile at DataXu where she was involved in building out omni-channel solutions and the Company’s mobile go-to-market strategy. Prior to DataXu, Lara spent almost four years leading mobile market development for Jumptap (acquired by Millenial Media), helping to build the mobile ad network and managing network and publisher relationships. Lara started her career in search and digital marketing, running the global search product/business team at AOL. Lara also started and is co-head of the local Women in Wireless chapter in the NYC tri-state area where she has successfully built an organization of volunteers that support, empower, and mentor women in the mobile and digital industry, created a giving back initiative to further assist women in need, and built a fundraising program that has enabled multiple events per year attended by many in the mobile and digital industry.
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