If you reached this post because you clicked on our ad on your mobile device, welcome to the world of hyperlocal targeting. Hyperlocal targeting—or contextualizing physical location to transform how we interact with ads—is one of the biggest trends seen in advertising in the recent past..
After chancing across this 2016 analysis by Timothy Whitfield, director of technical operations at Group M, we decided to take the challenge of testing our own hyperlocal capabilities. With the theme “Mobile is Everything” (and it really is, if you are still laboring under any doubts), there can’t be a better testing ground than Mobile World Congress!
But first, why the hype about it?
Since digital marketing and mobile took off, it has evolved to primarily mean ads served within a specific location (such as within a 50-meter radius of Fira Gran Via). This evolution happened with the happy marriage of satellite-based location services and advanced wireless data in mobile devices, a marriage that has allowed content to effectively become real-time.
It is done through location tracking, using either GPS, WiFi mapping, or cell tower signal strength. Typically, location sharing needs to be turned on for your location information to be shared and used within an app or mobile website.
Why is it so exciting?
With mobile devices being so personal, hyperlocal's potential is captivating. On one hand, it promises an advertising utopia, where advertisers reach people who are most likely to engage with their products and offerings because they are genuinely interested. On the other hand, people see personalized ads that are relevant to their context, usually their physical location.
While most savvy advertisers know about geography or location, it is also appealing because it can be complemented with more refined criteria, such as:
- Device type
- Unique advertising IDs
- Video and native capabilities
- Choice of publishers
- Interest categories
If your goal is to drive traffic to your website and increase signups or installations, these nuances matter: they increase the chances of engaging someone who is keen about your product or service. By also knowing where they are, you have the ability to tailor your ad to speak to their context personally, increasing the likelihood of their responsiveness.
Beyond acquiring new users, hyperlocal offers interesting choices for unique re-engagement strategies. How often do you get to reach out to an old customer, when they are walking past your store, for example? In the past, almost none—unless you had some very dedicated retail staff willing to run after them!
Unlike re-engagement by email, hyperlocal offers the advertiser the opportunity to re-engage with your old customer on the spot. More so, it also offers you the ability to do this at scale. So while you can specifically message an old customer, you can also target many similar customers at once if they all happen to be around.
Sounds too good to be true? What's the catch?
Firstly, as with any advertising technology, the advertisement is the heart and the technology, a tool. While having a great creative is fundamental to any good campaign, in hyperlocal, it is the essence of a successful campaign. Show that your ad is aware of your customer’s current moment—taking advantage of your audience’s context is the whole point of hyperlocal!
Secondly, no technology is perfect. Having accurate location data is the key that unlocks the magic of hyperlocal. While GPS is a much welcomed improvement to IP addresses, there is quite a bit of catching up to do before the industry can confidently boast complete pinpoint accuracy.
So tell me, how did I get this ad?
Hyperlocal, when done well, is really simple.
We configured a campaign with the specific coordinates for the venues of MWC in Barcelona. Specifically, we restricted the scope of our media buying to areas near the MWC venues. We enhanced our reach by also targeting mobile websites and apps typically used by technologists, marketers, and thought leaders—the expected profile of an MWC attendee.
By restricting our campaign this way, you would only see our ads if you are near any of the MWC venues or looking for the latest news and hints for which booth to visit next.
Your device told the app or mobile website where you were by sending information about your current latitude and longitude.
When the opportunity to place an ad presented itself, we quickly matched it with our campaign. We issued a bid for the ad placement and, seeing that you’re reading this post, clearly won it!
Of course, there are some nuances to effectively managing the campaigns.
Hyperlocal is something close to our hearts at Pocketmath because it is at the heart of advertising with an M: Mobile advertising, relevant to the Masses, and promotion of Meaningful advertising.
That we can make it happen at MWC—that’s a welcome bonus!
Are you interested in Pocketmath's targeting capabilities?