Mobile device display a modal with the text: Geo-targeted mobile ads. and the buttons Creepy? and Convenient?


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.

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

  • Because geo-targeted campaigns are relatively new, they’re not well regulated. Many feel that allowing marketers to access individuals’ highly specific location data crosses the line.


Lots of people welcome geo-targeting.

  • 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.

  • Tech-savvy consumers welcome geo-targeted ads. For Hartmann luggage, Pappas_DMI targeted business travelers inside airports and hotels, as well as near Hartmann 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).

  • Geo-targeting helps people 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.

  • 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.