Mobile: always with you, always a part of you

September 25, 2015

Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to attend the Mobile Location event at the IAB offices in Macklin Street. With the sun beaming down on this particular little corner of Holborn, a particularly busy and bustling event settled down for an afternoon of sessions and insight on a topic with a rapidly expanding interest pool. This writer is more than happy to admit that they are relatively unknowing when it comes to Mobile Location and this provided a fantastic introduction into this realm that proved to be both fascinating and complex.

There is far more to Mobile Location than simply a dot on the map. That was the underlying message throughout the event and it was shown in some style. There was a special emphasis with this when it came to Mobile Location fraud. The levels of media spend in this sector is naturally skyrocketing as brands look to target current and future customers based around the relevance. Unfortunately where spend and money goes, fraudsters and those looking to take advantage only naturally follows.

One aspect that was truly a surprise to was the different ways of how location data can be sourced. Naturally I always thought that everything was done by GPS these days, so when both Location Databases (based on IP address) and User Input (3rd Party data) came into play in how brands may analyse and feed back to me based on my location. Amy Fox from BlisMedia also pointed out that GPS data was thus the most ‘reliable’ as it was 1st Party data and Permissable, but that there are plenty of ways that ad fraudsters are trying to circumvent that. One of these is with Randomised Lat/Longs by Centroids, which can be attempted to be dealt with using heatmapping. It can make entire blocks in countries light up like a Christmas tree of data!

PlaceIQ then discussed the metric that they are working on called ‘Place Visit Rate’ in order to analyse the direct effect of Mobile advertising on store or location visits. Doing a control test vs a group that were being advertised to via mobile was crucial, so it was discussed that 10% of all users accessible via their platform would be ‘blocked out’ from receiving any sort of ads, to measure the ads vs. visits performances for both the target and the control group. Insight wasn’t particularly different to any sort of sensible estimations out there; interactions were highest on a Friday and Saturday and PVR saw its most active period of the day between 7-8pm. The real interest was in the demographics beyond that; the most engagement came with the 35 to 39 demographic, who were married with a salary of $100k+ annually. Not what this listener expected to hear, but clearly a shift in mobile audience for location based ads!

Tom Pearman from Weve also discussed the value in Geo-Fencing in Location Marketing too. By utilising data held within a customer’s phone contract, they are able to determine a vast range of demographics, alongside potential catchment areas and Suburban/Rural splits. Delivery of ad messages is then determined by habitual or live splits. Who can forget the incredible increases seen in the Mobile performance industry during the tube strikes, as desperate commuters dived onto their mobile to waste away the boredom as they sat in cars, buses, taxis and zeppelins to get to work. This results in a very different demographic than those found by PlaceIQ, however. Geo-Fencing saw huge catchments in early afternoon and by the 16-24 demographic, perhaps pointing to an age group that only has the interest in discounts and offers presented to them when in range of a store, outside of an opportunistic land grab.

Whatever the differences and outcomes in Mobile Geo-Location uses and preferences, there’s no doubt it’s vast, here and always with you.

Alastair Kidner, Senior Account Manager.


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