Mobile Advertising and Geotargeting

Many of the big guys are looking to mobile advertising as the next ’big thing’. As more and more of us are using mobile devices like phones and tablets, then it’s inevitable that this is where people are going to be looking to advertise.   In fact there have been some studies suggesting that the spend on mobile ads would reach $4 billion in 2012, that’s a huge increase on the previous year of nearly 200%.

For a company like Facebook it’s even more important than the other internet giants.  Remember over 80% of Facebooks much criticised revenues comes from advertising and about 20% of that comes from mobile adverts.    This figure keeps rising and it’s a trend that no company can afford to ignore in this space.

However introducing your advert to a mobile devices must be done very carefully particularly if you have a brand reputation to protect.  There is no doubt that mobile adverts have the capacity to be really annoying to the consumer.  Look at the rage generated on some Iphone games and applications about intrusive adverts.

One of the main difficulties is targeting your adverts correctly, putting adverts for sewing patterns on a car site or game is liable to achieve nothing for viewer and adertiser.  The tactic for websites and blogs and used extensively by many advertisers is to use geotargeting.  However this is mainly only of use on location critical good and services.  Also the problem is it’s becoming unreliable particularly as many people now use things like a fake IP  – to try and access restricted or block content.  That means that the visitor that you think is from the US maybe from somewhere completely different, which can make a lot of advertising a complete waste of time.

It’s an issue that many on-demand services are having real problems with.  Media sites like Hulu, BBC Iplayer and ITV player try to restrict content to their home country, mainly due to licensing issues.  But you can see in this video how easy it is to bypass these restrictions by using some of the very sophisticated software available online currently.

However the age of social networking sites like Facebook means that targeting your adverts can be much  more specific than merely using location.  Getting as much personal information as possible means social sites can very specifically target users in a way that is simply not possible to a visitor coming to a website.  Although some choices and preferences can obviously be saved to cookies, this is no where near as accurate and detailed as is possible from analysing behaviours and profiles.