How Location Data is Changing Mobile Advertising & Attribution in 2017

Location intelligence has been the stealth player in mobile advertising, while search, social and video have gobbled up the attention of advertisers over the last couple of years. But don’t underestimate the power of location. According to Pew Research, 77% of Americans now own a smartphone, which means advertisers now have lots of information about real-world behavior at their fingertips.

Location data gives advertisers the ability to tailor ads to respond to people’s unique experiences and behaviors — where they are and what’s happening in their world. Highly targeted audiences result in better ROI and more personalized ad experiences that make people feel like a business is speaking directly to them as individuals.

Mid-way through 2017, we’ve already seen a lot of marketing teams implementing location data in their mobile ad campaigns to improve performance and effectiveness. For the first time, BIA Kelsey reported mobile advertising has even replaced radio in the top five media types contributing to local advertising revenue (see chart below). At Skyhook, we expect mobile advertising and location based marketing to continue skyrocketing.

Through the remainder of 2017, we’re anticipating more businesses will want to use location data to improve their ad targeting and over the next six months, we’ll see the following in an effort to improve marketing performance and attribution:

Demand for location intelligence will only intensify as the growth in location-based advertising revenue and mobile marketing encourages more businesses to invest in location intelligence.

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Projected to reach $174B by 2021, according to BIA Kelsey’s June 2017 Forecast, location-based advertising makes up an increasingly important share of overall ad revenue. From improved targeting based on user location to in-store advertisements triggered by geofencing, location intelligence helps unlock greater advertising potential by responding to people’s behavior and tailoring ads directly to individual experiences.

It’s no surprise that as location-based advertising revenue has grown by almost 12% over the last 5 years, according to the Magna Global Advertising Forecast, the demand for location data continues to grow along with it.

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Location intelligence will increasingly help advertisers improve their ad campaigns by creating highly contextualized ads built on real-world observations.

Cardstar, (now Express Checkout) is a great example of a business that is using geo-fencing to drive ad sales. By knowing the time and location of a user’s visit to a store, Cardstar can tailor their promotions to each individual customer, resulting in an increase in both daily active users of their app and sessions per day. As other successful examples of location-based advertising get increased attention and demonstrate lifts in engagement, more brands will invest in using location data and mobile advertising to sell products inside and outside of their stores.

Businesses will invest heavily in combining video advertisements and location data together to reach audiences on mobile devices.

Mobile advertising isn’t all about cross-selling from mobile apps – it also involves paid social media platforms. The talk of the town in advertising right now is mobile video, which gives advertisers the ability to create more immersive and engaging campaigns. Mobile video ad spend is even outpacing desktop and is expected by the International Advertising Bureau to grow more than +45% in 2017.

For both in-house and agency advertising teams, mobile video ad spend is on the rise and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Location data will be used to create video campaigns for paid social ads that engage audiences on a deeper level and lead to driving more revenue.

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Mobile apps will continue to play an increasingly important role in helping retailers attribute online advertising to offline spending.

Location data is not just about delivering highly targeted ad experiences. It can also help retailers figure out how to better attribute revenue to the right marketing channel. After pushing an ad to a mobile device, advertisers can track whether a person actually visits a store by using location data provided by their mobile app.

With online advertising sales projected to grow by 14% this year, there is more pressure than ever to improve online to offline attribution frameworks. An app’s ability to connect ad impressions to user behavior will make it a popular choice for solving the attribution problem.

Here are our four predictions in a nutshell:

  1. Demand for location intelligence will continue to grow
  2. Ad experiences are going to get better with personalization
  3. Businesses will continue to expand their exploration into mobile video
  4. Location data will play a major role in solving the online to offline attribution problem

In 2017, location data will stop being the stealth player behind the scenes that it has been for years and will instead take a more prominent seat at the advertising table.

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