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The next phase of location-based advertising

The next phase of location-based advertising Lauren Weinberg

Location-based advertising is among the latest and greatest buzzwords for today's marketers, and there's no denying it can be a powerful tool. While many marketers think of location-based advertising as correlating ad campaigns to points on a map, there's more they can -- and should -- do to deliver better experiences to consumers in the moments that matter.

Mastering the art of location-based advertising starts with understanding the new potential and influence of mobile. There will be 250.6 million mobile phones by the end of the year in the U.S. alone -- 91 percent of adults. And, as many as a third of internet users rely on the phone as their primary internet access tool. This means consumers are not only consuming content differently, but also searching for information differently. In fact, it was recently argued by Forrester Research that people using mobile devices don't search for things -- they just expect them to be there. Marketers are now expected to understand a consumer's mindset, and surface the content they want, in real-time.

At Yahoo, we believe that location is no longer enough; marketers need to take a multidimensional look at location that takes several factors into account.

What are these factors? Let's dive in.

Exploratory search versus answer-driven search

The mobile searcher goes into their searching with a unique mindset; and generally, on mobile they're looking for quick and easy answers rather than deep exploration on a topic. This intent should ultimately drive the keywords brands buy, the type of creative that's produced, and how to answer the user's needs with your search experience.

The importance of where, when, and what time

Our own research found that 55 percent of searches on mobile devices happen while at home, and 77 percent of mobile searches occurred where there is likely to be a PC nearby. Adjust location targeting to cast a wider net and reach mobile searchers whether they're at home or a few blocks from your business. Similarly, targeting based on the time of day and day of the week will make your ads that much more effective. For example, retail searches are more likely to happen on the weekend.

Know who they are, not just where they are

Mobile search provides location data to help advertisers geographically target their message. But, the message is more likely to be embraced by consumers if it's personalized to them. Next generation targeting needs to understand not only what the consumer is searching for, but also who they are in the context of that data. A tourist? A neighborhood regular? Only 30 percent of smartphone users say they're being served ads that are relevant to them; and new research shows that 61 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that deliver custom content.

The next generation of location-based advertising offers massive opportunity for brand marketers to provide consumers with relevant and useful ads. Mobile is changing everything, and as marketers, we continue to uncover more and more possibilities.

Lauren Weinberg is VP, strategic insights and research at Yahoo.

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Lauren Weinberg is VP, Strategic Insights and Research at Yahoo, where she oversees global research in areas such as consumer insights and ad effectiveness, and is responsible for bringing insights to the marketplace. She was previously vice...

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