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Trick is finding the treat within location-based ads

By Ryan Golden

With Halloween around the corner, it is time advertisers learn how to stop getting tricked by ineffective mobile ads and discover instead the treats of mobile location targeting. Want to make sure your store sells more Halloween candy than the market down the street? Hyper-local can help.

Today, the majority of mobile advertising spend is focused on very loosely targeted display ad inventory. It is a tricky situation because there is far more supply than advertising dollars chasing it, and marketers are, understandably, unwilling to pay much to serve advertisements to random mobile users.

So, how can you get marketers more engaged?

One way is by treating them to the hyper-local mobile ecosystem.

A record 170 million people are planning to celebrate Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight. That means advertising can be a big boon to retailers to the tune of about $8 billion in spending.

Getting a slice of that pie involves getting the consumers into your store and intelligent, location-based ads are one means of doing that.

Mobile users can instantly react to local ad impressions, and marketers can easily understand results, such as whether and how their ads and offers are working.

When results are not random, but are based on specific geographies and the behavior of mobile users within them, the value of these hyper-local and actionable mobile ads becomes clear pretty quickly.

Hitting the right block
“There’s no such thing as a national customer,’ a client once said to me. ‘Just lots of local ones.’ And it takes insight into local tastes, local demographics, local issues and local competitors to be relevant and win the consumer.” – Antony Young, CEO, Mindshare North America, in

Making sense of today’s mobile ad market means moving away from the old model of driving clicks, pushing play, rewind and repeating until the desired results are achieved.

Given the ability to influence consumer interaction with location-aware mobile devices, marketers instead should focus on inventory that has 100 percent attachment to location.

The explosive growth of mobile devices and location-aware technology provides an important opportunity for on-the-fly course correction and better monetized mobile efforts.

With hyper-targeting, marketers can cater creative to particular locations to serve a specific group of people at a specific location with a very specific ad.

When mass-marketing tools are used to achieve general awareness, the integrated layer of hyper-local targeting provides a meaningful and impactful way for continual reinforcement. It is all about making the ad locally relevant to an individual.

During Halloween season, the average consumer will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, according to NRF.

And when it comes to looking for Halloween costume ideas, consumers say their biggest source of inspiration is what they see in a retail store or costume shop, so getting them into the store is very important for profits.

Sweet rewards
“Location has become a facet in the constant stream of data that’s collected around us all the time.” — Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Media, Forbes

With the ability to act on-the-fly, marketers need to understand the context of a place in order to serve a more relevant mobile ad to a consumer at that specific location, based on the geographic space surrounding the customer at that time.

Speaking to consumers where they live, work or play is as important, as understanding how they relate to ads targeted at them in each location.

For example, the ability for an advertiser to find a consumer who has shown an interest in iPads or television sets in the past 30 days, or consumers who have expressed an interest for a new car, can be learned through data.

There are plenty of companies that are aggregating location data and leveraging vast amounts of data from a variety of partners.

Although it can get somewhat complicated when multidimensional insights and data sources are being used, the ability to organize and cultivate these insights in a geographically-relevant aspect is unquestionably the future of mobile ads.

The bottom line?

Intelligent location targeting in real-time is both the trick and the treat for results in mobile advertising.

The ability to assign data to a location and react on it immediately through instant delivery is evolving and providing new and exciting ways for marketers to better serve their consumers.

This is particularly true when the complete intelligent location targeting in real-time capability can be achieved through one source.

REMOVING THE OBSTACLE of marketers having to work with multiple vendors to achieve their local targeting objectives will ultimately provide the easiest way for marketers to embrace hyper-local.

Do your own discovery, talk with companies that are making hyper-local a reality, and learn how they can provide you with the tools that you need to solve your business problems and engage your audience.

Happy Halloween.

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