Verve Mobile is introducing a new white-label service geared to small and medium-sized businesses for serving location-based mobile offers.
By utilizing Verve’s programmatic API (application programming interface), marketing partners would be able to provide small businesses with a self-serve solution for location-targeted mobile ads, as well as ad creative and campaign management tools.
The company also promises access to inventory through its own ad network reaching over 100 million mobile users and third-party mobile exchanges and sell-side platforms.
“All the things that Verve is good at we now help other companies do that want to build location-based offers for their customers,” said Verve Mobile CEO Tom MacIsaac in an interview. “Verve does all the hard stuff in the background.”
Among the initial partners that have been testing the white-label service over the last six months is Circle Street, the local mobile advertising arm of direct advertising giant Valassis Communications. Among others, Verve has also been working with a large Internet publisher that MacIsaac declined to name, to power local offers.
Based on feedback from partners about the 2,500 campaigns that have been run using Verve Local Merchant Offers, MacIsaac said results have been on par with search and better than online display. “Mobile is getting local budgets at the expense of online display,” he suggested.
Locally targeted mobile advertising in the U.S. will reach $4.5 billion this year -- up from $2.9 million in 2013, according to local media research firm BIA/Kelsey. The bulk of that spending will come from national brands and retailers trying to reach local markets.
“We built the white-label equivalent for anyone that wants to compete with Google Offers,” said MacIsaac, referring to Google’s platform for delivering discounts from local businesses or brand-name stores. So far, that includes a lot of restaurants as well as auto, retail and professional services businesses.
Verve is paid based on the number of impressions it delivers per campaign, as well as a monthly fee for using its technology. The company targets mobile ads by a user’s real-time location, geo-fencing or audience-based criteria. In that vein, it allows marketers to reach specific categories, like soccer moms or tech enthusiasts, down to the neighborhood level.