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Mobile Location-Based Ads Must Hit Audience Spot On

Mobile location advertisers focus on audience as much as location

August 6, 2015

Eight in 10 marketers worldwide use location targeting for mobile advertising, according to May 2015 polling by xAd. And responses indicated such campaigns are about more than location—it’s critical to reach the right audience members once they’re in the right spot.

Ways in Which Agency vs. Brand Marketers Worldwide Use Location Targeting in Mobile Ad Campaigns, May 2015 (% of respondents)

When xAd asked agency and brand marketers who used mobile location-targeted ad campaigns how they did so, respondents from both groups were most likely to say they leveraged the tactic to target a specific audience. Targeting consumers around businesses or points of interest ranked second among both groups—with agencies much more enthusiastic than brands about this option—while the more general activity of sending location-relevant messages was much less popular, landing in third.

Of course, mobile location targeting isn’t short of challenges. When xAd asked brands and agencies why they didn’t spend more on mobile location-based advertising, respondents from both groups were most likely to cite issues with success measurement—this, along with campaign performance and data accuracy challenges, could prevent marketers from determining whether or not they’re indeed reaching the right audiences with the optimal messages.

Primary Reason that Brands Do Not Spend More on Mobile Location-Based Advertising According to Agency vs. Brand Marketers Worldwide, May 2015 (% of respondents)

Mobile local ad dollars continue to flow. In April 2015, BIA/Kelsey estimated that US mobile location-targeted ad spending would rise 56% this year, vs. 37% growth for national (not location-targeted) placements. However, local ads were still expect to grab a smaller share of total mobile dollars, at 37% ($6.7 billion) vs. 63% ($12.5 billion).

BIA/Kelsey forecast that mobile location-targeted ads would continue to outpace national placements in spending increases through at least 2019, when investments were expected to hit $18.2 billion and $24.4 billion, respectively.

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