From transparency to creativity, TabMo UK head of trading and platform sales Dan Read shares his top tips for making the most of location on mobile.
Mobile offers advertisers a unique proposition: the ability to target consumers based on context and location. Location data can help to significantly eliminate campaign wastage – key for agencies as they strive to maximise ROI for advertisers. But while this data is readily available, getting location advertising right is far more complicated.
Know your history
Targeting audiences in real time when they are in the vicinity of a specific place can play a key part in an advertiser’s mobile strategy, especially if the objective is to drive people to a certain location. But it’s also essential to ensure that the audience targeted has been pre-qualified as relevant to that advertiser – and this is enabled by historical location data.
Looking at where a device has been used over a period of time gives anonymous insight into where the device owner lives, works, shops and so on. Mapping this with personally unidentifiable offline data lets advertisers begin to paint a much clearer picture of who they are reaching.
Use expert input
Campaigns will perform better if they are executed by experts, whether in-house or via a third-party provider. To establish which location vendors to use, marketers need to articulate a clear brief outlining what they want to achieve with their location-based campaign. At the same time, while it is important to trust the advice offered by the expert, when working together it’s important to ask questions as required, to further both transparency and knowledge.
Keep it clean
It’s no secret that fraud is still endemic in the online advertising industry. Mobile advertisers must not be reticent when it comes to asking difficult questions about the source of location data, in order to be as confident as possible that it is not fraudulent. This requires ‘looking under the bonnet’ of the data supplier to ensure they undertake essential processes to provide clean location data.
These may include cross-referencing location data provided by different sources, such as GPS, beacons and phone operators, to ensure it all matches. Or it may involve algorithms, and possibly teams of data scientists, analysing device location patterns to ensure it’s plausible that a certain device was in the given locations across a certain timeframe. If it’s unlikely, then the publishers providing that data should be monitored closely and removed if found to be fraudulent.
That said, it must be acknowledged that there is no silver bullet when it comes to targeting online advertising fraud. Clean data and non-fraudulent marketing is a work in progress. The key is remembering that everyone has a role to play in tackling the problem.
The importance of good creative cannot be underestimated. Having gathered the location data and honed the targeting, the visual element is the final piece of the jigsaw – and often the deciding factor in whether or not people engage.
Improvements in technology and location data mean that advertisers have a real opportunity to deliver highly relevant, engaging creatives to a very specific target audience, not only at the right time and in the right context, but in the right place.
Incorporating location into the creative can maximise the advantage of these advances. Sequential messaging, for example, could be used to advertise a new film release. The audience could first be reached with the film trailer creative when they’re using wi-fi at home, and those that engage could be retargeted when they’re later seen in proximity to a relevant cinema.
Dynamic location adverts are also a highly effective way of making creative more relevant to consumers. Tactics such as referring to local weather or traffic conditions help advertisers to connect with users in a way that hasn’t previously been possible.
Transparency is key
Advertisers should always ensure they know exactly where their creative is appearing. The use of private inventory marketplaces or whitelists and blacklists is now an essential element for advertisers that are using mobile to its full potential. This, coupled with the ease of partnering with AdSafe verifiers, means complete brand safety should be achievable.
Alongside inventory, advertisers should also expect full transparency around the data being used, as highlighted above. To maximise returns, they also need full visibility on cost, to ensure they aren’t paying inflated prices because of high margins being applied by vendors.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into force on 25 May 2018. While there is still much uncertainty about what is required and how it will work, the main aim is to give power back to the consumer, by enabling them to see the data companies have stored about them.
This should be seen as a positive development, as it will allow brands to build stronger, more transparent relationships with their consumers – creating an unprecedented level of trust. In turn, this should drive higher engagements and a better ROI for advertisers.