• In-App Monetization

How to Find New Customers: Top Ways to Use Location Based Mobile Ads

Matt Kaplan
Matt Kaplan
Content Strategist
5 min read
Posted on September 20, 2018
How to Find New Customers: Top Ways to Use Location Based Mobile Ads

Consistently, mobile marketing professionals struggle to accurately target their ideal customers, even through location based mobile ads. According to one recent report, which surveyed 2,000 marketers, 60 percent of respondents said they experienced difficulties with finding and reaching target audiences through mobile ads.


However, when done right, location based mobile ads can yield huge dividends for marketers, far greater than anything from word of mouth, content marketing or social media marketing. After all, it can be a great way to provide messaging and offers targeted to where people are, shop, live and work, ensuring creatives provide real value to key audiences.

So why do mobile marketers have a hard time finding new customers? Why do they struggle to effectively target their customer base? Part of the issue is in how they approach location based marketing. But, by rethinking current approaches to customer outreach through mobile, marketers can more effectively use location data to reach and engage target audiences.

Ways to Reach Mobile Device Users: Mobile App vs. Browser

For too many marketers, mobile ads are mobile ads. It doesn’t matter where they run, so long as they appear on a mobile device. But, this kind of thinking is a recipe for disaster, especially in the realm of real time targeting.

Mobile in-app advertising is a very different beast than mobile web advertising. These differences are especially stark with location and targeting. On mobile web, targeting occurs primarily through cookies, which come with limited geographic data. IP addresses help somewhat, but lack specificity and aren’t always available to mobile marketers.

Plus, some features of cookies may soon no longer be available in iOS 12. Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Protection 2.0 requires websites to specifically have users opt in for cookie-based tracking. And, the new default setting is for Safari to delete all cookies after 30 days, unless the end users has specifically consented otherwise. Previously, Safari by default recorded and tracked cookies for everyone for up to 24 hours after a site visit.

In contrast, mobile in-app provides a wealth of more accurate options. Particularly, SDKs enable marketers to have over 75 data signals at their disposal, which ensures the creation of highly accurate user profiles.

How Does Location Based Advertising Work on Mobile?

When mobile marketers run campaigns through apps, they gain access to a variety of markers that help with geographic targeting.

Through the built-in GPS within just about every mobile phone, locating users by latitude and longitude is possible. This is ideal for providing advertising based on where a user is actually located at that moment in time, as opposed to where they are most frequently.

How GPS signals help marketers:

    Places of interest highlight key locations for users, along with signals that indicate when someone is located at a small business, workplace or another key area.

    Geofencing establishes parameters and extends the reach of a place of interest. For example, a geofence can be used to determine when someone is in the vicinity of a high-interest location like a mall or an airport.

    Polygons take geofencing one step further, by defining more clear boundaries. For example, marketers can use polygons to only show display ads to people within a stadium or a parking lot while also excluding anyone who lives nearby or is just passing by.

Location Verification

How can marketers be sure the location data signals they have access to are indeed accurate? For business owners and marketers, it’s critical to ensure the location data is trustworthy and verifiable.

Understanding this data is key, as it’s a major challenge marketers face. One study of 250 global marketers found that “ lack of visibility into data used to define audiences for targeting” was the most common reason they didn’t meet their marketing goals. Forty percent of survey respondents said this was a major challenge. And another study showed that 94 percent of senior marketers “had difficulties working with location data.”

Third-party verification can help here, to ensure that any location data meets or exceeds industry benchmarks. Of course, any data captured also needs to pass the scrutiny of the privacy policy, as misuse can lead to even more problems.

Location Based Mobile Advertising Examples

So how do marketers use location data to advertise a product or service? Here are a few location based mobile advertising examples to consider:

  • Samsung successfully used location data as part of one of its mobile ad campaigns for the Galaxy S7 smartphone when it first come to market. For example, targeted users would be shown ads highlighting the phone’s waterproof nature if it was raining where they were located. The campaign, which reached 600,000 people in total, had an average click through rate of 3.74 percent, an average session time of 90 seconds and an average interaction rate of 6.67 percent.

  • Europe-based telco Orange leveraged location data to help increase traffic to its stores in Poland in one especially successful campaign. The goal of the campaign was to use mobile ads to drive traffic to physical stores, and to promote Orange’s financial services business. The campaign utilized location data to via ad creatives, driving people who viewed an ad to the nearest Orange location. Later, once the campaign came to an end, device ID data was analyzed to determine if that person did indeed go to one of Orange’s 781 stores in Poland after being served an ad. Of the 1.3 million people who saw an ad during this campaign, close to 6,500 ended up visiting a store after viewing a mobile ad. Indeed, people who were served these ads were 2.5 times more likely to go to a store then those who did not see these ads, helping the campaign to far exceed initial expectations around cost per lead.

  • A location based mobile ad campaign can be especially beneficial for promoting a singular event like a sporting game. For example, in one mobile ad campaign for a major sporting event in the Middle East, different audience profiles in target geographies would receive native and interstitial ads with interactive video creatives highlighting different aspects of the match. The campaign, which reached 2.9 million people throughout the Middle East, increased awareness of the event by 1.83x and boosted brand uplift by 1.7x. The event’s organizers used footfall attribution technology to determine the campaign’s success in reaching over 13 percent direct purchase intent from ad recipients.

If you’re interested in more insights on our location targeting capabilities, go to https://www.inmobi.com/advertising-cloud/targeting.

Stay Up to Date

Register to our blog updates newsletter to receive the latest content in your inbox.