Data Back-up

David Murphy

Greg_3_WebBlismedia CEO Greg Isbister argues that for marketers to be able to deliver relevant, location-targeted campaigns at scale, they will need the data to support them. 

Smartphones are everywhere and consumers are using them at every step of their daily lives. Just go out in the street or look around your office – we are all staring through the Looking Glass. And just like Alice, we’re discovering an amazing world of new possibilities for marketing – one where mobile location is connecting the physical and the digital environments.

Mobile location is fundamentally changing the nature of marketing communications, and how we interpret and analyse the relationship between brands and consumers. Consumers are walking around with GPS-enabled supercomputers in their pockets and new data sets are being created at every stage of a consumer’s’ journey.

Relevance and timeliness
Brands should be letting go of old habits from the desktop-centric world and investing in experiences that are meaningful to mobile users. It’s a new model of relevance and timeliness – one that requires a greater understanding of the user than ever before – an understanding available in real-time, but also based on historical behaviour.

We think that where you go says a lot about who you are and the mobile device is about as personal and ubiquitous as it gets. But media brands need to understand more about how mobile location-based targeting works. It’s moved on a lot from basic proximity targeting. It’s now about using historical and real-time location data to predict future behaviour and receptiveness to brand messaging across multiple devices.

Mobile moments
The insights it can uncover on consumer behaviour allow brands to create campaigns that have real impact because they can be structured to meet the ‘moment-to-moment’ needs of smartphone users. Every time someone picks up their connected device to view content or engage with an app, they are creating a ‘mobile moment’. Ad brands are becoming interested in these ‘moments’ and regard them as opportunities to share relevant ads.

These ads should be serendipitous – like a friend who appears at just the right time with a relevant offer or message of help – rather than a cold-calling salesman. Successful brands will fit into the user’s day and ads will appear at the right moment in just this way.

For some that change will be painful - we are unlearning habits that from a marketing perspective, we’ve become accustomed to over decades, never mind years. But the future is mobile moments - being there when the customer is ready, rather than the other way around.

This may mean targeting smaller, more relevant audiences. But with an increase in responsiveness and brand interactions based on ‘moments’ that reflect what the individual user is doing or has just done as that moment in time.

The agencies and advertisers that pivot to buying audiences using data and technology as enablers, will win. The first building block to realising this vision is trust, and that means working with reliable tech partners.
Starcom and Airbnb have done just that, working with Blis using Play, our location-powered video display product, to increase brand awareness among home-owners in three key European cities.

The campaign utilised Path re-targeting to reach and identify the selected audience segments located in London, Dublin and Amsterdam. Blis looked at specific locations (real-life behaviours), including airport lounges, international train stations, business hotels and districts, art galleries, exhibitions, fashion quarters, sports clubs, theatres, concert halls, and museums.

We then combined these with demographic and contextual/behavioural targeting (online behaviours), according to each audience segment. A video display ad was served across mobile, tablet and laptop devices, depending on the connection context of the intended ad recipient. The 30-second, skippable video performed incredibly well, with a 79 percent completion rate and 90 percent viewability – tracked by Innovid. Over 1.1m completed views were recorded.

We know from years of data analysis that mobility correlates to location relevance. For marketers to be able to deliver relevant, location-targeted campaigns at scale, they will need the data to back it up. That means accurate, first-party geo-data will only continue to grow in importance — and companies will be seeking the best possible providers to work with.

Mobile has been playing a complementary role to PC-based ads for the better part of a decade. But as consumers’ time spent with their portable devices has exploded and marketers’ general attraction to capturing consumers’ smartphone screens increases, ad spend is finally starting to follow.

Greg Isbister is CEO of Blismedia. This article first appeared in the February 2016 print edition of Mobile Marketing. You can read the whole issue here.