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Retailers gradually using mobile store locators to drive local foot traffic: study

Retailers and auto dealers are increasingly looking to mobile store locators to help drive local traffic into their locations, according to a new report from Millennial Media.

The Millennial Media May SMART Report reveals that the number of mobile campaigns featuring a store locator grew by 48 percent in May compared with the previous month. The results speak to mobile’s important role in how retailers reach local consumers.

“Mobile is becoming a crucial way for advertisers to reach local market consumers, and this last month, we saw 49 percent of all targeted audience campaigns use Local Market targeting,” said Mack McKelvey, senior vice president of marketing at Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD.

“Advertisers are also going after local consumers by implementing store locators into their campaigns,” she said.

Click to call grows
Retail and automotive brands drove mobile users into retail outlets and dealerships with promotions for their target audiences around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation during this period. 

Click-to-call was also a popular strategy for marketers, per the  report.

“The top post-click campaign action on our network last month was the ability to place a call from the ad,” Ms. McKelvey said.

“This was used in 42 percent of campaigns, as advertisers leveraged an action that is unique to mobile to give their ads another level of depth, not possible in other mediums,” she said.

Marketers in retail, telecom, and entertainment are looking to gain social media followers and get feedback on new products, a trend that was reflected in the growth in the number of campaigns in May that gave users the option to take a social media action.

The number was up 36 percent compared with the previous month.

Marketers are increasingly looking at targeting as an important mobile strategy as well.

Campaigns that target by demographic grew 12 percent in May and represented 38 percent of targeted audience campaigns. 

Behavioral targeting also grew, increasing 20 percent month over month and representing 12 percent of the targeted audience mix in May.

Retail and pharmaceutical advertisers used behavioral targeting to target moms with product messaging.

The report included a spotlight on automotive.

The findings show that 33 percent of consumers who accessed auto content on their mobile device accessed it once a week while 22 percent accessed the content almost every day.

Auto advertisers used a variety of tactics to drive customers into dealerships to test drive and purchase news cars. Store locators were featured in 67 percent of all auto campaigns. Site search and view map features were used at the same rate.

The report also shows that auto intenders can be reached not only via auto-focused sites and apps but also on a variety of content channels at a higher rate than the overall mobile audience, including mobile weather, tech news, movie information, news and sports information.