Missing the Target with Targeted Ads
There’s targeting by location and then there’s missing the location altogether.
At least that’s the impression given from an early morning presentation at Day 2 of the MediaPost Mobile Insider Summit here in Captiva, Florida.
Some somewhat surprising stats regarding location-based advertising were tossed out early in the day and resonated throughout various comments as the day wore on.
The effectiveness of ads near locations, such as quick service restaurants, delivered in a presentation by Eli Portnoy, founder and GM of Thinknear, were not all that surprising.
For example, a study the company conducted found that the number of people who clicked on a mobile ad were much higher the closer they were to the restaurant.
The majority (58%) of those within a half mile of the restaurant responded while fewer (42%) of those between one and one-and-a-half miles responded. Those four and a half miles away could not be persuaded.
However, the more interesting insight from the study was the lack of accuracy in judging location for advertising.
Based on intended location, much mobile advertising was not accurate. For example, the study found the following accuracy rates in ad messages sent to phones:
- 32% accurate within 325 feet
- 43% accurate within 11,000 feet
- 26% accurate within 6 miles
“As an industry, we have to get really, really accurate,” Portnoy told me after his presentation. He said the study data came from tens of millions of ads served and that the data came from ads served based on location at the time.
The company ran ads through a number of ad servers and then contacted recipients to enter their current location, which then were matched to the intended location of the ad being sent.
While the phone itself may have good location data, any given ad being sent to the phone may have, though various routes and location sources, may be somewhat off in presuming the location.
From a commerce standpoint, this could mean an intended ad for a shopper based on their store location could miss the mark. Even by up to six miles.