Localized Creative Improves Click-Through Rates, Engagement

Across channels, consumers increasingly find ads with localized creative to be more relevant, according to a new report from Opus Research advisory service Internet2Go.

“Engagement with locally relevant marketing will tend to increase as consumers approach a buying decision,” according to Greg Sterling, senior analyst at Internet2Go. “At that point, people want to know where to purchase the desired product or service. However, the data also show that locally relevant ads seem to be more engaging regardless of where consumers are ‘in the [purchase] funnel.’”

Even the simple mention of a location or city name in a mobile ad can improve click-through rates by 200%, according to mobile network ThinkNear. That specific finding is echoed by regional department store Gordmans. Last year, as Sterling notes, the company reported that it saw the click-through rates on Facebook ads increase by 200% when a city name was included in the ad.

“For national-local advertisers we've seen a lift of 70% on click-through rates for ads dynamically localized and optimized versus generic ads,” Victor Wong, CEO of display platform PaperG, told Sterling.  

Google recently reported that click-through rates are 6% to 8% higher on mobile search ads featuring local telephone numbers compared to those without.

As a point of comparison, Yellow Pages print display ads with local numbers have historically received about 40% more calls than those with “800” numbers, according to Sterling, who cited an analysis performed by CRM Associates last year.

“Ads in a ‘local context’ also get a boost,” said Sterling. For example, the Mobile Marketing Association surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults and found that more people “noticed ads while using location-based services” than while using SMS or mobile Web sites generally.

In addition, mobile ad network xAd recently published data showing that locally targeted mobile display ads saw 5% to 8% click-through rates versus 0.6% for typical mobile display ads.

What’s more, in early 2012 JiWire reported that based on fourth-quarter data, a full 75% of respondents said they had taken action after being exposed to a location-specific advertisement or message.

This high response rate is consistent with data from Google and Microsoft about mobile user behavior. Both companies report that after conducting a mobile search on a smartphone people tend to act much more quickly than PC users. Most of that action takes place offline, in the physical world.

Based on survey data, Google reported that 88% of people conducting a mobile search took some kind of action -- call, purchase, or in-store visit -- within 24 hours.

That said, the majority did so within a couple of hours. In 2010, Microsoft’s Bing team said that 70% of mobile search users initiated and completed “search query chains” within 1 hour, compared to 1 week for PC search users.

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6 comments about "Localized Creative Improves Click-Through Rates, Engagement".
  1. Pete Budlong from Retailigence Corporation , March 27, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.
    Excellent roundup of localized ad performance Gavin! I think you may need to make one correction though: The xAd study I've seen says that targeted local search (not display) has a 7% CTR. Targeted local display gets the 0.6% CTR which is about 10X better than typical desktop web display and about 5X better than typical mobile display (according to xAd).
  2. Corey Kronengold from CKPR , March 27, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.
    Great piece, Gavin. At Eyeview, we're obviously huge believers in localized and personalized content as well, with a focus on video.
  3. Stan Faryna from H&C , March 28, 2012 at 6:43 a.m.
    Driving response is the first step. Local and dynamic display ads will move this forward. Driving conversations and making the display ad social, however, is something that we need to be reaching for.
  4. Kerry Skemp from SnapHop , March 29, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.
    Is it possible to include links to some (all) of these studies in the posts? The stats are great, but I'd love to see more detail regarding how the research was conducted.
  5. Kevin Williams from Padvertisement.com , March 30, 2012 at 7:20 a.m.
    High end, well placed interactive Padvertisement ads give leisure travelers and business consumers instant smart phone deals to collect as they leave their hotels. Our CTR rates data coming out in September will substantiate this article. Nice read! www.padvertisement.com
  6. Kevin Williams from Padvertisement.com , March 30, 2012 at 6:32 p.m.
    Pete, Do you have the xad article available? Would love to read it. Thanks!