Nearby Ads Serving Dynamic In Mobile Apps: A Pipe Dream Or Reality?

Nearby has become the buzzword for hyperlocal search advertising. What -- and where -- is the closest Italian restaurant? How far to the next Chevron gas station? Where can I get a cup of coffee? Several companies are working to perfect local search. One in particular extended its product line with an advertising platform that gives local businesses a way to reach into mobile apps and dynamically
serve advertisements.

Local marketing company ReachLocal now offers a ReachDisplay InApp display unit. The company says the platform programmatically serves ads into more than 4,000 popular apps like Pandora and GasBuddy, and more than 100,000 local and specialty apps, so marketers can reach more nearby consumers. (Pandora is not a ReachLocal partner. This is my opinion.)

The average consumer uses their phone 150 times per day, according to Colin Sebastian, analyst at Baird Equity Research. Attributing the number to Google, he wrote in a research note that "near-me" searches doubled in the last year to 80% from mobile, with 50% of users visiting a business that day, and 18% purchasing within 24 hours.

Local drives leads. Based on geofencing, the real-time targeting radius of ReachDisplay InApp reaches between 100 yards and 5 miles from an address, a business location -- even a competitor's location. The targeting also takes into consideration other data and lets the consumer know how far they are from the business.

Since ads dynamically display the distance to the business location, the platform also provides an option to open the location in a map for directions, which seems like a pretty nifty feature if it works as the company describes it. Each campaign includes the ability to offer a coupon or offer code, which consumers can save and share with others.

The ads offer multiple calls to action. Consumers can click to call, visit the Web site, view the business on a map, and save or send a coupon to a friend. Automated daily reports on click-through-rates, clicks and impressions, and ad engagement are available in ReachCentral.

Some 52% of smartphone users look for local information in the car or on-the-go, according to a Local Search Association (LSA) study released in March. Results of the study, The Mobile Fanatics – How Mobile is Transforming Local Shopping, also suggest that mobile apps are on the rise, with 45% of "Mobile Fanatics" using store apps to search for information about products and services while shopping in-store. Some 70% who view mobile ads make a purchase, and 80% complete the transaction within 72 hours of viewing a mobile advertisement.

More than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) participated in the Mobile Fanatics report from LSA to gauge their attitudes about the economy, how they spend their marketing budgets, what role social and digital media play in generating leads, and how satisfied they are with their providers.

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