Mobile moments: majority of marketers agree that location data boosts mobile ad campaign goals – but challenges remain

Mobile devices have become a central part of consumers’ lives, but to successfully reach them, advertisers are increasingly relying on location data to add contextual value. Indeed, location data helps direct consumers to stores and provides insights into their attitudes and behaviours. Yet, 38% of advertisers are finding it difficult to contextualise historical insights about consumers, whilst 37% are unable to target them.

Now, Verve has released a new report, conducted by Forrester Research, which discusses how mobile advertisers in the US are using location data and what challenges they are up against.

According to the answers of 203 marketing executives, top advertising objectives include driving up conversions rates (40%), retaining customers (33%) and improving ROI (31%).

However, the trouble comes with the execution. Indeed, advertisers are finding it difficult to deliver their campaign objectives due to challenges with actionable insights, data granularity and tracking. These issues make it considerably harder to deliver mobile moments. In addition, a lack of understanding is an issue for one third of respondents with 38% finding it hard to contextualise historical insights into consumers and another 37% not being able to target customers granularly.

Many advertisers nowadays appreciate that location data adds value to their campaigns by being able to effectively reach their intended audiences. Indeed, the majority of advertisers understand that location data can boost ad relevancy of mobile moments (74%) and helps to create audience attributes (70%) whilst engaging consumers at specific locations (60%). In addition, almost half of advertisers agree that it allows them to measure offl­ine actions and drive customers to physical store locations.

When it comes to location data ad effectiveness, 68% agree that it can improve ROI of a marketing campaigns, whilst 66% managed to retain or acquire customers. Another 64% believe that location data can boost customer relationships and 60% said it increases conversion rates.

However, as part of this study, respondents were evaluated on three elements from the Forrester Mobile Marketing Maturity Assessment: organisation, planning and execution, and measurement. Brands were then scored according to five levels of maturity with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. Overall, almost half of advertisers are still falling below the top two maturity levels. This may make it more difficult for them to execute their location strategy.

When it comes to the challenges associated with location targeting, advertisers have a lot to say. 34% said that inaccurate location data was an issue, whilst 33% are finding it difficult to understand how to use location data for relevant messaging and 30% lack clarity on providers.

However, when it comes to the benefits that location data can offer, advertisers are clear that it boosts relevancy of ads and increases targeting efficiency. Boosting ROI and brand awareness are also core features.

The research shows that location data is a powerful tool to optimise campaign goals. However, some key challenges remain which require careful planning and a greater understanding of the process.