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How national advertisers can penetrate mindshare at the local level

By Ryan Golden

Advertising agencies and brands are constantly bombarded with new advertising tools that promise to aid their clients or themselves. But the pace with which technology moves versus a client’s readiness to adopt it can sometimes present challenges for forward-thinkers in new media.

While more advertising dollars are flowing into digital solutions, mobile advertising is still lumped in with “new media” digital solutions, with more focus on the “newness” and less on its potential cost-effective benefits.

So, the question becomes whether brands should focus on defining new buckets versus existing defined buckets and dollars.

Progressive agencies and brands are now exploring the different aspects of local mobile advertising such as location capabilities and creative formats, and treating them as separate objectives within mobile. This forward thinking is enabling the affordable and effective steps of testing the local mobile space.

Test and refine
Local mobile advertising provides an affordable and easy testing ground.

Both digital and mobile mediums provide great opportunities to assess scaling of programs, test creative, refine targeting, assess measurement and communicate to specific audiences.

Running these tests helps provide great insight on where to allocate future budgets or how to course-correct campaign objectives.

“Data show that locally relevant ads seem to be more engaging regardless of where consumers are ‘in the [purchase] funnel’.” – Greg Sterling, senior analyst, Internet2Go

Creative teams should now consider where their work will showcase as part of the design scheme.

A variety of studies have shown that ads with local relevance perform better and provide lift.

Simply adding some locally-relevant design or copy can make all the difference when using the mobile or social medium, such as providing a coupon for a coffee shop when the potential consumer is walking on the street where it is located.

Effective advertising strategies will consider various mobile platforms that draw customers into stores or strengthen their brand preference in a given area.

Location ads are forecasted to lead ad revenue in the next four years. The chance to be a leader with the brands that agencies represent is huge, but getting there means getting past the traditional metrics and holding patterns.

Local learning
“The mobile-first principle will come from location targeting, as its congruence with the use case similarly boosts performance and thus ad rates. For that and other reasons, I’ve forecast location-based ads to lead mobile ad revenues by 2016.” – Michael Boland, senior analyst and program director, BIA/Kelsey

Localized mobile advertising can provide an education on how targeting subsections of the population helps people engage with a brand.

Learning how to maximize the impact of creative on a local level helps prevent wasted ad spend, since ads can be adjusted and refined quickly as more data about consumer interaction with the ads becomes available.

With consumers rapidly embracing mobile technology, the need to be “anywhere and everywhere” will quickly shift to being “exactly there.”

NOW IS THE time to explore and grow with the mobile medium.

With so many options for mobile advertising available to them today, advertisers who want to effectively compete should educate themselves on the variety of solutions available, and then match those solutions to their objectives.

Ryan Golden is CEO of location engine Moasis Global, San Francisco. Reach him at [email protected].