Aligning Creative and Location to Make Better Mobile Ads

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Identifying mobile consumer audiences for a brand, product or service is not a cut-and-dry exercise.  Along with the obvious creative restrictions that are the burden of small-screen ads, there are the additional challenges of location restrictions.

But simply placing creative to reach everyone within certain a ZIP code or DMA isn’t the solution — in fact, it shows a lack of understanding of the relationship between location, creative, and call-to-action.

A company’s ability to effectively micro-target an audience gives the marketer lots more flexibility when connecting to a consumer in a particular location. Tying together location and creative with a call to action – some call this “dynamic creative” – is very powerful, and it vastly improves the chances of achieving great results.

So how do you tie in location as a criterion for your mobile advertising efforts? Local advertising and platforms offer many options. Here are some important aspects of the question to ponder:

Consumer Consideration Set
According to a recent IAB study, mobile users who click on ads “are mostly not immediately interested in buying. They want to learn more about a product or service. Many also want to see related products or services.”

If a consumer considers your offer, the chance of that consumer actually engaging with your company or product rises. Consumers often remain unaware of something they might consider at some point in the buying cycle. It’s the, “I wasn’t aware of that, but now I am and I might contemplate it,” mentality. If your marketing effort relates to the consumer near his or her location, it could provide an advantage over any other company the consumer could consider.

For example, if your company sells earphones and ear buds, you might look at location to penetrate the consumer’s consideration set by targeting business travelers at airports for noise cancelling earphones. Or, you might target the precise location of a 5k road race for earphones that don’t get tangled. Similarly, you might target a popular beach area with the “perfect” beach earphone.  Positioning your message at the right location can match your consumer’s consideration set at that time.

Impulse Behavior
“Mobile is more important than ever because it is a device that is with you at all times,” said B. Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Kraft Foods. “We also believe mobile drives impulse buys.”

When it comes to location, being able to suggest a message at the time when a consumer can visualize the offer and see the destination where the action might take place is one of the most compelling aspects of mobile advertising.

For example, Bucks Coffee targets bus stops in a two-block radius in the morning, offering “A large coffee for a price of a small.” Consumers who didn’t have a chance to grab a cup of coffee before leaving home are likely to take advantage of the deal. It’s the right message at the right time at the right location… and it was the location selected by the advertiser.

New Tools Must Usher in a New Way of Thinking
The ability to break creative down to where the consumer is interacting with location is already emerging as the next big trend for mobile marketing. Content and ads make more sense when they are tied to the places we live, play and work.  Even in our free time we select our activities based on our connection and attributes to location, such as a favorite park, beach, restaurant, festival or ballpark.

Hand selecting where you want your creative to reach your customer makes a lot of sense.  The more you make it common practice, the more successful your mobile marketing efforts will be.

Ryan Golden is the CEO of Moasis Global, a company he co-founded with Steve Golden and Jason Mascari. The former adman and marketing consulting executive helped create Moasis to provide creative tools that power the future of location for advertisers large and small. The company was launched in July.