What’s On

Dispelling the misconceptions of mobile marketing

The advertising market in APAC is booming, with total ad spend in the region expected to grow over 10 per cent to exceed $210 billion this year. In addition, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea all sit among the top ten global contributors to ad spend growth.

The expansion of the market is largely driven by digital or, more specifically by mobile, which is set to generate a third of total ad spend in 2018. Yet despite the dominance of mobile marketing, many advertisers still don’t fully appreciate the potential of using location data and mobile devices to reach consumers wherever they are, with engaging messaging targeted to their immediate context.

In a region as diverse as APAC, with huge cultural and socio-economic differences, and many countries so large they must be considered as multiple markets, the ability to deliver hyper-local campaigns is incredibly valuable. But advertisers are being held back by common misconceptions of mobile advertising, which need to be addressed.

Misconception 1: Mobile marketing is limited to users who opt into LBS
Marketers often assume they can only target mobile users who opt into location-based services (LBS) using GPS, something that many consumers avoid for various reasons from maintaining privacy to conserving battery life. Yet this perspective fails to take into account the popularity of wifi: globally, 59 per cent of consumers used public wifi services to check their emails last year and by 2021 Cisco predicts the connection type will account for over 60 per cent of global mobile traffic. Wifi can be a useful means of filling the mobile gap, when used with IP-based geolocation technology to identify the locatable IP addresses associated with each connection and target accordingly. Plus, high quality IP geolocation data is actually more useable than one-dimensional GPS coordinates as it provides additional contextual information such as connection and device type without the need for opt in.

Misconception 2: Mobile device data is just about location
As mobile data delivers valuable geographic location insight, it is often assumed that’s all it has to offer. But this isn’t true. By tapping into mobile IP data, advertisers can identify how individuals are connected — via public wifi, a work hotspot or cellular network service — and the related carrier.

Armed with this information, they can enhance the user experience by increasing contextual relevance and minimising disruption. For example, if a consumer is using their mobile network connection in a library, an advertiser might serve a static voucher for discount books — rather than an auto play video that would interrupt their activity and absorb data. Additionally, data about mobile carriers also helps advertisers who are seeking to meet particular geographic and targeting goals by reaching audiences in certain regions.

Misconception 3: Good quality data is hard to source
With many IP geolocation vendors simply repackaging publicly available Whois registration data and combining it with some user-supplied information, marketers are often disappointed with the quality of the information available. But it is possible to source incredibly accurate and granular IP geolocation data that can detect the user’s location worldwide down to postcode level without them becoming personally identifiable. This allows marketers to deliver precise yet privacy-sensitive mobile targeting at scale. By choosing a vendor that uses multiple methodologies such as network infrastructure analysis and user-validated location feedback to ensure accuracy, and has data verified by reputable third parties, marketers can be sure of exceptional quality.

Misconception 4: Consumers move too fast for mobile targeting
With consumers accessing the web via a variety of connected devices, and mobile users unlikely to stay in the same place for very long, some marketers don’t see the value in mobile targeting by location. By the time users receive a targeted message they might have changed device or moved on. But, as discussed above, mobile data has many under-recognised applications. While the duration of connections themselves may be short, when added together they can provide significant insight into individual activity. For instance, data may show that an individual logs in to the wifi network of a specific café each morning before linking to a business hotspot, indicating a daily routine. Or an airport log in might precede a hotel connection, suggesting a holiday. On its own, this IP insight is already a useful driver for tailored real-time targeting, but it can be even more powerful when leveraged as part of broader location targeting that harnesses ‘proximity intelligence’ — such as lifestyle and demographic data — to deliver smarter and more personalised messages that instantly hit their mark.

Mobile is already a dominant force in the thriving advertising market. But if marketers can look past these mobile marketing misconceptions and appreciate the power of highly accurate and granular IP geolocation data, it could be used even more effectively to reach connected consumers with relevant and engaging experiences, whatever their location or context.

Steve Sawyer

Steve Sawyer is the Vice President of International Strategy at Digital Element.