Location-Based Mobile Marketing: Interview With Verve’s Ian James

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. February 15, 2018

Location-driven mobile advertising has significantly grown in importance over the last few years. To discuss the current issues affecting mobile location marketers, we’ve spoken to Ian James, GM International at mobile marketing company Verve.
1. Why is location-based mobile marketing becoming more significant? What’s driving these changes?
More so than ever, marketers are searching for that quality toolkit that enables them to reach their audience at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. 2017 saw continued controversy in the breakdown of trust in the industry as consumers were targeted by adverts they deemed intrusive and irrelevant whilst, on the brand side, the reliability of digital metrics being reported by media agencies was questioned.
Location-based marketing, when driven by accurate and precise location data, provides a solution to this breakdown in trust as it gives brands an opportunity to tap directly into the path of the consumer at the optimum time for both consumer and marketer. In this way, location-based mobile marketing has the potential to redefine the face of digital marketing as it offers a new way of targeting consumers with adverts they are actually engaged with.  The figures certainly back this up – mobile is currently the fastest growing area of ad spend (up 38% year-on-year) and it has been forecast that as much as 43% of all ad spend will be location targeted by 2019.

2. How can marketers address bad location data?
Marketers need to be aware of the difference between good and bad data and the fact that its quality is determined by a wide variety of conditions and sources.
Location data has most commonly been derived from ad exchanges which are notoriously unpredictable; overflowing with location data sets, there’s no way of knowing what you’re going to get when it comes to the exchange pool. Its rise in popularity initially came down to quantity, not quality, and it’s this mind-set that needs to change. With a location-smart SDK (software development kit), the uncertainty is removed as the marketer is able to go directly to the source of the data. This direct link enables richer insights into the movement of the device, and with it the habits of the user, provided through smart metrics such as dwell time and a horizontal measurement of a user in a particular place. Marketers need to tap into the widespread availability of accurate and precise location data, to truly reap the awards of mobile storytelling.
3. What are your predictions concerning consumer adaptation to location-enabled services and apps on mobile devices?
There is no doubt that consumers are becoming more accustomed to the idea of sharing their device’s location with apps if they are able to have access to useful or personalised services in return. However, it’s also important that publishers are transparent about how the data is being used.
Verve’s recent research shows that in a survey of 2000 UK adults, 55% said they were happier sharing their data than they were two years ago, in return for relevant and targeted advertising. For too long, consumers have been subject to irrelevant and intrusive ads which compromise their experience. However, research shows that consumers are happy to share their location if it means they can get the best deals on products and services that matter to them, conveyed by creative messaging that is both relevant and convenient.
This being said, as GDPR comes into force, the focus on personal data, consumer content and transparency will be driving the future of our industry and only those investing in consumer trust and protection compliance will succeed.