Section 508

September 28th, 2015

Geo-Targeted Mobile Ads: Creepy or Convenient?

When it comes to geo-targeting, there are valid arguments on both sides.

If you find geo-targeted ads creepy, you’re not alone.

Geo-targeting can feel like an invasion of privacy. If marketers know you like vanilla lattes and are standing in front of a coffee shop right now, what else might they know?

Older consumers tend to be warier of geo-targeting than their younger counterparts. Only a fraction of people 35 and up say they would be willing to share their location data for discounts.

In the past, companies have been sanctioned by the FTC for failing to disclose how users’ location data would be shared with advertising networks and other third parties. Because geo-targeted campaigns are relatively new, they’re not well regulated and many feel that allowing marketers to access to individuals’ highly specific location data crosses the line.

People don’t like what they don’t understand. Since the average consumer may not understand how geo-targeting works, they feel uneasy when they see an ad for a product they just viewed.

Lots of people welcome geo-targeting (and here are the stats to prove it).

52% of searches for local information done on mobile phones now occur while consumers are away from home or work. People want info while they’re on the go and tech-savvy consumers welcome the relevant ads. For Hartman Luggage, DMI targeted business travelers inside airports and hotels, as well as near Hartman stores.

70% of consumers are willing to share their location data to get something of value, like coupons or loyalty points, according to the Local Search Association (LSA). Sharing the location data can also help them discover new things. For the International Spy Museum, we served up mobile ads not only to people near the museum, but also at other DC tourist attractions.

Lastly, 60% of consumers report using their smartphones often or every time while shopping in malls, grocery or retail stores, according to Thrive Analytics’ 2015 Local Search Report.

Our Take

However you look at it, we think geo-targeted ads make our lives easier.

Some people are hesitant to share location data with marketers and consider geo-targeting an invasion of privacy. But this reluctance results in a huge missed opportunity.

When done right, geo-targeted mobile ads provide incredible utility, alerting us to relevant deals, nearby stores and more. Location based ads do a great job of delivering exactly what we need in the moment, essentially doing some of the work for us.

Let’s find the right mobile strategy for your business.

More Reading

Learn more about how we used geo-targeted mobile ads for our client, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. Go to case study.

Audrey Hartland, Marketing Manager, Brand Marketing & Customer Experience


Tags: mobile marketing Mobility Strategy

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