Choosing a Location-Powered Mobile Marketing Partner? 5 Critical Questions

Know the right questions to ask when it comes to the playbook your location-technology partner uses to reach audiences. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the best of location-powered marketing … before you partner up.

We’ve reached a pivot point in which mobile traffic — both direct and referred — is on par with desktop traffic, and time spent on mobile far exceeds desktop, worldwide.

Along with this surge in mobile consumer engagement — double that of desktop by average minutes spent — mobile ad spend is also on the rise, expected to gain a greater share of dollars than all traditional channels combined, representing 43% of total media ad allocations by 2020. A significant chunk of that spend will go to location-based advertising, with total spend predicted to reach $32 billion in 2021. Add to that, when the supercharged 5G pipeline gets here, location-powered experiences will become even more advanced, allowing for an entirely new generation of engaging, meaningful moments for consumers — plus enabling deeper insights into customer behavior for brands.

With all this opportunity out there on the field, it’s important to know the right questions to ask when it comes to the playbook your location-technology partner uses to reach audiences. Mobile consumers are hungry for relevant, nonintrusive moments on their devices. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the best of location-powered marketing … before you partner up.

1. Can the Platform Do More Than Just Geofence?

Nine in 10 smartphone owners are using location-based services on their devices. There is a huge chance, here, for brands to better serve consumers relevant content instead of messaging that interrupts.

Delivering content based on location is a no-brainer, but location-powered marketing delivers so much more than just geofencing. Ask your mobile-marketing partner about the signals they’re ingesting. Is their data mix rich with both foreground and background sources? Are they bringing data to the table on the order of tens of millions of devices, and does the signal density of that incoming information include cell towers, GPS, WiFi, IP addresses, and beacons? Ask your partner about their POI database: is it also tens of millions of locations deep?

And, as always, the demands of the game never let up. Once you’ve confirmed that signal density and quality are in place, your data still needs to be analyzed, scored and — especially when it includes third-party data for scale — cleaned-up and de-duped. It’s not enough to put your players on the fifty-yard line; you need an A-team!

2. Does Your Location-powered Partner Enable Meaningful Consumer Experiences?

As smartphone users bounce from app to app, it’s becoming increasingly important to reach people not only when they’re outside a store — the hey-day of beacon-based prompts is probably over, although beacons are still hugely important for building signal density. The moments when they’re actually in need of information can be anytime and anywhere … in advance of the big shopping trip, when they’re at the game, whenever the data reveals their decision-making moments. You’ve got to reach them at these times. You can’t take over their screens. Location-powered marketing isn’t just right place, right time — it’s right approach, right mindset.

With data driven by device IDs and consumer-granted data permissions, brands can tap into the power of shopper behaviors and habits. Building on what we’ve just looked at, when your mix, density, and data quality are at premium levels your campaigns can leverage the promise of those nine in 10 smartphone owners. Further, when you link data to households and truly evaluate behaviors against a POI database that reveals movements and patterns, your brand can start to reap the real rewards that real insights bring.

3. Can Your Mobile Marketing Partner Successfully Pinpoint Real Device-place Visits?

To make it all work, your partner needs to bring complex algorithms to the table — the kind that highlights a cluster of location signals that are most likely to represent store visits. Demand to know how they’re incorporating elements such as domain knowledge of the store, its visit peaks during a day and across a week, its vertical location, and more. From that data set your ideal partner then delivers a visit score — this is a ranking that shows you each instance as representing actual, measurable visits. If you suspect that your partner is cutting corners, switch to one that doesn’t!

4.Will Your Location-based Marketing Partner to Help You Find New Customers?

With deeper insights and understandings of your customer’s movements, behaviors, likes, and choices come even brighter outcomes. Be sure that you can turn to your analytics and identify candidate profiles of new customers. Ask whether your mobile-marketing partner is ready to leverage audience extension — using look-alike modeling to extend the reach of your developing campaigns even further.

5. Are Your Partners Ready for the 5G Revolution?

When 5G gets here, there’ll be a heaping amount of revenue opportunity—up to $12.3 trillion globally, across all industries. 5G will provide faster streaming and downloading capabilities with low-to-zero latency and better performance, actually making AR, VR, and mixed reality more natural and common. There will also be better accuracy in positioning with 5G, making physical location ever more important to marketing. Can your mobile marketing partner forge a relationship with the mobile network operators to take advantage of that data? Is your mobile marketing partner ready for 5G and on track to match the big increase in velocity?

Ready to Decide?

When selecting a mobile marketing platform, there are many things to consider. Will your new partner be a consultative partner, right down to helping you set your KPIs? Knowing the right questions to ask —  like the ones above but also considering needs around creative, analytics, dashboard UI, on-boarding, brand safety, and privacy — will front-load you for a good start.

Striking a balance between nuance and simplicity, optimize your digital-marketing by minimizing point solutions and maximizing one-stop shopping for dynamic and expandable solutions. Pursue robust platforms. Keep privacy and data-use safeguards close to your heart. Get out there and win by bringing your relationships with publishers, ad tech, and agencies into the future.

Mark Fruehan is EVP, Enterprise and Platforms at Verve.

This article first appeared at AdMonsters.

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