#SFSNYC: Verve’s Mark Fruehan Talks Being a Tactician in Location-Based Advertising

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Rather than trying to simply storm into the market like a raging bull, advertisers can pursue more effective approaches to local and location-based advertising.

Mark Fruehan, executive vice president of enterprise platforms at Verve, came to the Street Fight Summit in Brooklyn to discuss the importance of what his company calls “movement science” and “the art of programmatic.” Verve, a sponsor of the daylong conference, is a location-powered, mobile marketing platform that connects advertisers with customers.

Fruehan framed the nuances of reaching consumers through location-based ads as the difference between the boxing strategies of Jake LaMotta and Sugar Ray Robinson. Whereas LaMotta had a reputation as more of a brawler, Robinson took tactical approaches in the famous bouts between the two, Fruehan said. “Do you want to be a bull or a tactician?” he asked.

Location-based marketing generates greater responsiveness from the public, Fruehan said, but this impact only materializes when finesse is applied. Local television service providers, for example, have garnered trust from and relevance to customers by getting them to download brands’ apps, he said. Verve works with such companies to augment their efforts to build that connection with audiences. 

Mobile and local offer huge opportunities in potential revenue to advertisers smart enough to capitalize on them. Mobile, location-powered display ads have the potential to do $40 billion in the U.S. and $75 billion globally by 2021, Fruehan said.

Tapping into those possible deep wells of revenue takes the kind of expertise Fruehan said Verve offers. Companies like Verve can identify and decipher the movements of consumers, whether they are fitness seekers, urban professionals, or members of other demographics. Verve takes location data and applies its understanding of movement science to generate insights applicable to marketers. “Movement science is key to our platform,” Fruehan said.

Location data will ultimately hold value for marketers only if its collection and analysis rests on accurate audience identification. “It’s all meaningless unless you get the measurement,” Fruehan said.