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Two Miles to Twenty Five: Optimal Geotargeting Varies by Category

NinthDecimal’s new “Mobile Audience Insights Report” contains many interesting findings about mobile consumer behavior and ad performance. I’ve written up some of these findings at MarketingLand.

In general the report points to the need for marketers to capture and engage mobile users who are increasingly shopping first on mobile devices over PCs. The company found, for example:

  • Shoppers were 2X more likely to discover new products/brands on a mobile device in 2014 vs. 2013.
  • 86% of consumers reported that they were likely to discover new products/brands on their mobile device.
  • 54% shopped on a mobile device over a laptop before making a purchase — a 59% increase from 2013 (34%).
  • 34% of consumers that shopped on a device preferred to use a smartphone over a tablet or laptop
  • In-store visits increased 80% within 24 hours of mobile ad exposure and stayed above average store-visitation benchmarks for the following six days.

But I want to focus in particular on the proximity or geotargeting findings. The following chart reflects ad performance (as measured by CTR) in three verticals, by distance or proximity to store locations:

NinthDecimal proximity to store

You can see from the above the optimal distance ranges vary by category. Retail mobile ads performed best within five miles from the store. CPG ads did best within two miles of a store. And QSR-related mobile had a more elastic distance range, performing pretty well even up to 25 miles away from a location.

Past similar data (averaged across verticals) suggested the optimal geofence was one to two miles surrounding a business location. Later Verve data suggested the best range was two to five miles. (As an interesting aside, local SEO firm BrightLocal a year ago published US survey findings that indicated consumers were, on average, willing to travel 17 minutes to visit a local business.)

It’s pretty clear, however, that these ranges are going to vary by vertical and perhaps by ad/offer type. This is what the NinthDecimal data above reflect. These and other industry data start to form a repository of mobile ad best practices information around location targeting.

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