ILM West: National Experimentation in Mobile Drives Local Growth

BIA/Kelsey Senior Analyst Mike Boland began the ILM West mobile superforum by sizing the magnitude of the mobile-local advertising opportunity (while also noting its current shortcomings): $5.8 billion by 2016, or 58 percent of the total mobile market.

Much of the early mobile ad trial that carries the hope of driving higher premiums (and thereby closing the mobile supply/demand delta) begins upstream with national brands ‘locationizing’ their messages and offers to convert local consumers. Brand experimentation is quickly migrating to dynamic location targeting and deep ‘place profiling,’ with ad networks, platform providers and distribution networks all introducing new location capabilities.

Local ad network xAd offers a ‘smart fence’ that dynamically changes geo-fences around campaign criteria in specific locations. Greg Hallinan, CMO of Verve Mobile, described its Location Service as combining location data with geo-aware data to customize the ad execution and creative to maximize relevance.

National-local network JiWire produces a Location Graph that connects locations and audiences. President David Staas says this can “reveal the relationship between locations,” and the audience segments that align with those locations. Locu, meanwhile, focuses on mobile content distribution – specifically menus – rather than targeted ad placement.

For SMBs, the challenge can be more rudimentary, starting with optimizing a mobile presence (website, landing page and/or app). Duda Mobile’s Itai Sadan noted the confusion that SMBs reveal in mistaking their traditional website for mobile compatibility. Tobias Dengel of WillowTree Apps reminded the audience that many brands still struggle to optimize for mobile platforms, even with larger budgets, bigger marketing teams and dense destination traffic.

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