OPA Intelligence Reports

Posted in News on 02/25/2013 By Mark Glaser & Courtney Lowery Cowgill

Targeting, location to boost mobile ads

Mobile advertising is expected to soar this year, mainly because marketers are thinking beyond simple display and search and adding targeting and location-based ads. eMarketer predicts display, search and messaging ads on mobile devices will grow to $7.19 billion in 2013, up 180 percent over 2012. According to a poll of U.S. marketing professionals conducted by Inavero for staffing firm Aquent and the American Marketing Association (AMA), 2013 is going to a big year for the continuing migration from traditional to digital media – with mobile leading the way. All this means big opportunities for companies poised to capitalize on the boom and specifically, with targeted ads. Sprint, for instance, just announced a partnership with European telecommunications firm Telefonica to serve targeted ads to the network’s more than 370 million users across the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Brazil. As John McDermott reports for AdAge, “The network plans to build a taxonomy of users based upon apps and mobile websites they traffic.”

For others though, the approach is all about location. Verve Mobile just closed a $14 million series C round to build out location-based mobile ads. TechCrunch reports that the company has now raised $21 million and boasts 108 million monthly uniques and 6 billion monthly impressions. The key to reaching those users is by knowing their location. As Kim-Mai Cutler reports for TechCrunch, “Verve says that having a location-targeted component to an ad campaign can double the effectiveness of a mobile ad campaign.” And, they very well may be right. According to a study from BI Intelligence, “Data from several mobile ad networks and ad exchanges tell the same story: location-enabled ads see a lift in CPMs.” So targeting might just prove the early skeptics of the mobile ad industry wrong. Dan Polk, Sprint’s director of New Ventures tells AdAge, “The reason you’ve seen concerns regarding the efficacy of display is because the targeting hasn’t been there on mobile.”