Commentary

Mobile Ad Targeting by Commercial Intent Signals

Targeting the mobile shopper and delivering relevant messaging get better each year.

Sometimes it can take more than a year to fine-tune how precise that targeting can get and how to make the messages most relevant to that person.

For a few years now, LocalResponse tracked all public posts and check-ins from platforms including Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram. The company then registered the activity, whether it was from a location-based service or social network where people were publicly posting either the check-in or the sentiment itself.

“We’re a B2B ad network, for lack of a better term,” LocalResponse CEO Kathy Leake told me at the time. “We realized that the data is incredibly valuable to marketers.”

Then, the goal of LocalResponse was to zero in on data related to intent, which was based on a number of factors. Once intent was determined, specific marketing messages were sent to the individual on location.

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That was a few years ago. It was when intent could best be determined by check-ins, either explicit, as in Foursquare (now Swarm), or implicit, such as by someone broadcasting their location over Twitter.

The company today has been renamed Qualia and has totally re-tooled how it determines commercial intent signals.

I caught up with Qualia CEO Leake yesterday to see what’s in the new toolshed and to check on some of the results so far.

“It’s always been about the data,” said Leake. “We still use the Twitter firehose, but it’s less important now.”

The company has been adding various types of business partners along the way to aggregate a rich platform of data feeds.

For example, they now include wish-list data. “Consumers are declaring by posting to a wish list,” said Leake.

Another data set includes product comparisons, typically sold to Qualia by other companies that don’t’ sell that particular data to anyone else.

And those are just a few of the purchase intent signals.

The platform can show multiple signals of a consumer at any given time so that more relevant ad targeting can occur. The idea is that the more that is known about what a consumer wants or plans to do, the more likely a contextually relevant ad can be served.

In one campaign, Qualia partnered with Placed in an attempt to increase traffic to Microsoft stores.

That effort drove 66,000 store visitors to a Microsoft store with a 10% lift compared to the unexposed population, according to Qualia.

Leake noted similar results with various other customers in retail cosmetics, financial services and health and wellness.

Companies in the mobile commerce arena are getting better at figuring out what a consumer is likely to want.

For their part, consumers are sending all the signals.

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