While mobile use is continuing to skyrocket, mobile advertising is comparatively falling behind. Enter location-based advertising, a technology that’s not necessarily new, but has been recently utilized as a tool for mobile advertising. Location-based advertising, or LBA, uses geo-targeting and geo-fencing to serve ads to consumers based on their current location or frequented locations.
With location-based advertising there are two different types of ads that can be served: push ads or pull ads. The push category involves ads sent to a user based on their device’s location. If provided with more data about any given user, these ads can be more finely targeted. Pull ads are deployed when a user “pulls” for information by Googling keywords or using search apps. Say a user is within a few miles of a Macy’s department store; if that user searches for store hours, they could be served an ad about a sale at that Macy’s.
In the past, LBA could have been as simple as a billboard advertising a steakhouse “ONLY TWO EXITS AWAY!” But now, when applied to mobile, the technology allows marketers to essentially track the activities of their target audience and serve ads based on their closest or most convenient location. As cell phones become more and more a part of daily life — not only for communication but for entertainment, e-commerce, search and GPS uses as well — the relevance of tracking app usage for effective advertising equally grows.
While there are many potential uses of LBA, allowing companies to track your activities, shopping preferences and general location can sound more like Big Brother than successful advertising to the average mobile user. To avoid any negative attitudes towards location-based advertising, it will be important to maintain openness with consumers about how safely and privately this research is being conducted and applied to advertising.
One particular platform, AdMatch, brings together location data and behavioral profiles of users in order to accurately predict and build audiences for particular ads. This not only helps organize consumers, but creates a data compilation of an individual based on their own behaviors.
Despite the ability to point out deals and sales at nearby locations or at their online equivalents, simply targeting a consumer based on their close proximity to a store may not necessarily gain their interest. However, by compiling location-based data, much as AdMatch does, it’s possible to develop profiles of consumers, which can then be organized into the marketers’ desired audiences. For example, if there is a demographic of businessmen who drive Toyotas and frequent the same carwash chain in a given area, marketers could store this consumer profile and target them for specific advertising campaigns.
Companies such as NBCUniversal, Google and Expedia have seen success using LBA as a way to specific target audience groups and serve them specific content. As this location-based technology advances further, its effectiveness in advertising will only continue to increase.
[Sources: Forbes, MarketingLand, AdWeek]