Finding the “L” Spot: The Importance of Localization to Mobile Ad Performance



The long awaited “year of mobile” is finally upon us. Approximately 85 million people access the mobile Internet (in the US) on a daily basis. Consumers now spend more time with apps than on their PCs. And consumer response to mobile ads is typically stronger than to PC ad campaigns.

Local is the “sweet spot” for mobile advertising, with a majority of users expressing a preference for localized ads. But local targeting can be challenging and elusive. Mobile ad networks offer different definitions of “local” and some even misrepresent their capabilities. Despite the capacity of smartphones to precisely locate their owners in space and time, most networks can’t match that precision for ad campaigns.

We wanted to test the hypothesis that local targeting improves mobile ad performance with a real-world "apples to apples" comparison. Accordingly, we ran the identical hotel ad campaign on three major mobile networks and two specialized local-mobile ad networks to compare performance. The attached report contains the complete results of the study. 

One local ad network came out on top; the other did not. The campaign also revealed the importance of multiple forms of tracking and how online impression and "CTR" metrics are not enough to capture and communicate true mobile ROI.  

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