5 Self-Serve Solutions for Creating Location-Targeted Mobile Offers

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CardStar_Case_Study_150x150The numbers don’t lie. Locally-targeted mobile ads are expected to reach $4.5 billion in the U.S. this year — an increase of $1.6 billion in the last year alone, according to BIA/Kelsey. As merchants search for creative ways to take advantage of location-targeted advertising, many are turning toward self-serve solutions for creating location-based mobile promotions.

Location-targeted offers give merchants a way to reach out to consumers directly based on their geo-locations, while going the self-serve route often helps decrease overhead costs for businesses with tight marketing budgets. Here are five options for merchants who are interested in creating their own location-targeted mobile offers.

1. mFlyer: Promote messages to the right audience at the right time.
Designed specifically for small businesses, mFlyer is a mobile advertising platform from Moasis that combines traditional paper flyers with location-based mobile technology. Businesses are able to create DIY promotions on the fly, and they can select the locations where they’d like to target potential customers directly. (In most cases, businesses opt to target customers nearby their stores or in the surrounding metro areas.) Location-targeted ads appear in more than 10,000 consumer apps, including Pandora, The Huffington Post, and Words with Friends. Finally, Moasis provides businesses with reports that offer feedback on their campaigns and show where their ads are performing best. Pay-as-you-go pricing for mFlyer starts at $15 per month.

2. AdLeads: Create ads that appear on top mobile apps.
AdLeads has created a way for businesses to run both local and national mobile ads, based on their individual goals. Businesses decide who they want to see their ads—going down to the neighborhood level—and they use AdLeads’ ad builder to create their own promotions. The mobile ads they’ve designed appear on top of mobile apps in many categories (including music, entertainment, and education). Businesses pay based on the number of people who actually sign up to hear more from them based on their mobile ads. Although actual costs can vary, most businesses pay between 50 cents and $2 for each customer who opts to receive their offers.

3. ZettaMobile: Design and maintain location-based mobile ads.
A self-service, location-based, mobile advertising platform for small businesses, ZettaMobile allows users to target customers within specified perimeters around their stores with mobile display ads that are distributed across a number of popular mobile apps and sites. Advertisers have complete control over the look and feel of their ads, and they can adjust the message or the timing to boost ROI at any time. For business owners who’d prefer a bit less work on the creative end, ZettaMobile can dynamically create mobile display ads, including graphics and text, for its clients. ZettaMobile is designed specifically for local businesses that want to reach local customers on mobile devices. ZettaMobile offers free 30-day trials, along with monthly subscription plans.

4. Placecast: Use dynamic content to tailor real-time messages.
Placecast’s ShopAlerts geo-fence marketing platform gives small businesses, along with brands and advertisers, a way to create, publish, and track their own location-based mobile promotions. With a self-serve UI, ShopAlerts offers a way for merchants to send messages to the smartphones of opted-in consumers when they’re inside geo-fenced areas. These messages can come in the form of SMS, in-app push notifications, or mobile wallet alerts. ShopAlerts integrates with existing loyalty and CRM programs, as well. Placecast’s pricing includes a “monthly fee that varies by the number of messages a business sends and other factors.”

5. FunMobility: Create relationships with customers through their smartphones.
Focused on independent retailers, national chains, and ecommerce sites, FunMobility offers a suite of mobile marketing tools that businesses can use to direct traffic away from competitors at specific times of the day. Using the company’s “Ad Builder,” businesses can design mobile ads that appear on FunMobility’s premium ad network, which includes mobile sites and apps like Shazam, Topix, and Pandora. With geo-targeting, clients are able to target their ads down to the radius, zip, or city level. They can also use day parting to deliver ads during specific periods of time. Businesses that opt for trial accounts can try out mobile coupons and social publishing tools for free for 30 days.

Know of other tools that businesses can use to create location-targeted mobile offers? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.