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One-third of mobile campaigns leverage location for in-depth user understanding: report

Marketers are increasingly interested in incorporating location into mobile advertising campaigns for a holistic understanding of what a mobile user is looking for, according to a new study from xAd.

XAd’s Mobile Location Insights Q1 2014 report takes a look at how the company’s campaigns broke up by vertical and tactics. One of the main implications from the report is that marketers are finally getting a grasp on how to use more sophisticated features, such as location, to target specific groups of mobile consumers.

“This report showcases one of the most powerful applications of mobile location – reaching a target audience,” said Sarah Ohle, director of marketing intelligence at xAd, New York. “Location creates context around an audience by providing context and clues that allows us to define an audience based on true intent.

“Ultimately the key to driving clicks, and more importantly secondary actions, is relevance,” she said. “This is exactly why audience targeting through accurate location is so important. If a marketer is able to reach their target consumer with a message that resonates with them, that consumer is more likely to first notice the ad, and then click to learn more, visit a store location and ultimately make a purchase.”

Better mobile targeting
Seventy-nine percent of xAd’s campaigns during the first quarter of 2014 included geo-precise targeting, which is up a considerable 36 percent from 58 percent one year ago.

While these kinds of numbers would be expected during the end of the year when marketers run location-based campaigns to drive foot traffic, it is interesting that the bulk of first-quarter campaigns also include geo-precise targeting.

Unsurprisingly, this move towards more targeted mobile campaigns is coming primarily from the retail, restaurant and automotive verticals, which have already established themselves as leaders in the mobile advertising space.

Other key findings from the study include that xAd claims that campaigns leveraging audience targeting performed 14 percent above the standards for mobile advertising.

Building mobile awareness
XAd’s report also includes a case study from a Goodwill campaign that ran during the first quarter.

Goodwill wanted to leverage mobile advertising to drive foot traffic into donation centers to target two groups of consumers: Hispanics and pre-identified likely donors.

As a result of the location-based ads, Hispanics were 60 percent more likely to visit a Goodwill location.

Additionally, Hispanics and the likely donors drove more than 13,000 visits to stores, per xAd. Overall, the campaign resulted in 43 percent more visits to stores.

“Mobile is in many ways the most disruptive force in media in recent history,” Ms. Ohle said.

“However, rather than this being a hurdle, marketers have harnessed the personal and on-the-go nature of mobile to reach their audiences in new ways,” she said. “Now a marketer doesn’t just have the opportunity to talk to a consumers when they are at home or in front of their computer.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York