Location Targeting Doesn’t Equal ‘Location Messaging’

One way is to use geo-data is to aim a placement around a location; another is about influencing the message. Mixpo’s David Cole wants publishers to succeed at both.

Mixpo's David Cole
Mixpo’s David Cole

David Cole is video ad platform Mixpo’s VP of Sales & Business Development, Publishers. In essence, his job is to connect digital newspaper and TV station sites to brand advertisers who want to target consumers with online video.

He’s worked on both the traditional broadcasting side at Fox and CBS and on the digital sales management side of the business. We recently caught up with Cole to talk about the company’s approach to geo-marketing.

GeoMarketing: How would you describe your role at Mixpo?

David Cole: I run the sell-side business here. Specifically, [my focus] is all around how do we work with our publisher partners and ad network partners. In an essence, the goal is to deliver a better performing ad solution to publishers.

As it relates to video, that’s our core competency. Our interest is on bringing the simplicity of extending the on-air assets — i.e., television spots — to digital audiences. Every media company, whether they are television-centric or not, is trying to figure out how to use video and [reach the right] audiences. That’s the problem we’re solving.

How does Mixpo solve those problems?

We have a team of sellers that are aligned in different categories of media companies. We work with local television stations, cable operators, [and] newspaper companies with digital divisions. Then we have national media companies. We also work with the national TV networks and their local affiliates. It all comes down to being able to leverage their TV advertising assets and extend it to digital in a targeted way.

What’s Mixpo’s sense of the opportunity in the local ad space when it comes to video advertising generally, and then more specifically,  in the mobile- and location-based space? 

Part of the way to look at it is that national media companies want to deliver a more relevant experience [to consumers]. They want to have their ads personalized based on a geo-messaging basis verses simply geo-targeting. That’s an important determination that sometimes gets missed.

There is one way to say, “We’re going to serve these ads in this market, or in this DMA, or in this zip code.” But geo-messaging is all about ensuring relevance. It’s basically saying, “We’re going to sell a national campaign, and depending on who the user is and where that ad call is coming from, we’re going to make sure the communication is appropriate at all levels.”

Many of these national media companies have set up local spot sales teams to take advantage of regional marketing. There is a certain empowerment in having a geo-targeted campaign that gets down to the specific marketing area around a retailer’s outlet. We can then take a step back, and use the same media company’s national campaign and transform it to make it locally relevant.

Can you offer an example of how this national creative is transferred to the local level?

Sure. There could be a campaign in the Northeast for an auto dealer association. We can dynamically layer a message throughout that region, one that has individual local features that can be geo-targeted to the zip code level. Another marketer might have different prizes for a sweepstakes contest across the country. We can easily send those separate messages to 17 different areas.

Are there any categories that Mixpo sees leading the charge across that national/local, cross-platform video ad divide?

Without question, automotive is a huge percentage of the spending. When you look at the various tiers from the national brand level to the local space, about 30- to even 40 percent of revenue has four wheels associated with it. At the same time, retail is a very big category. You’re seeing more and more shopper marketing, and when you start thinking about ramifications from dynamically messaging interactive video ads based on a retail [Key Performance Indicator], there’s some really interesting things that can be done.

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.