Business Technology

Majority of the world's marketers use location-based targeting for ad campaigns

3 min read

28 July 2015

Former deputy editor

According to data from advertising marketplace xAd, 80 per cent of marketers globally use location-based targeting when advertising on mobiles in order to reach the right audience, which is set to result in big expenditure in the UK.

The firm surveyed decision makers from brands and ad agencies in Western Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America to determine the results. Location targeting was named a key tool for connecting with specific people and outshone the use of proximity targeting, which serves ads to people that are near particular venues or companies.

Use of location has been demonstrated as a rising commodity in the UK this year, with the likes of Gatwick Airport embracing beacon technology – which powers proximity targeting – to catch travellers during downtime and redirect them to stores and restaurants with deals.

According to xAd, use of specific locations ahead of proximity among marketers is a result of a maturing market. The company suggested more marketers now “understand a person’s intent and interests” rather than relying on their precise whereabouts.

“This research from xAd emphasises the central role mobile plays in the modern marketer’s role,” said Jonathan Mew, COO at IAB UK. “Here in the UK, we have seen mobile ad spend balloon from just £28m in 2008 to £1.6bn in 2014, where now £1 in every £5 spent on digital advertising is mobile spend.

“This rapid growth has much to do with the unique technology that mobile, such as location, offers to advertisers. Location technology gives marketers a layer of relevance, context and data that will no doubt push mobile ad spend past the £2bn mark in the UK in 2015.”

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Indeed, the data showed that mobile marketing is a significant priority for more than half of respondents. By regional breakdown, US marketers are set to spend $28bn on mobile advertising in 2015, which makes North America the leader. 

That said, Central and Eastern Europe have been helmed as locations to watch as they boast the fastest smartphone adoption rate.

Theo Theodorou, head of EMEA at xAd, added: “This research heralds the arrival of a new breed of marketers and advertisers around the world who are using the power of location to gain an advantage against the competition.

“Knowing the places people visit is the best indicator of consumer intent, and location data takes that one step further by enabling marketers to use those insights to engage people. 

“As ‘location’ evolves as a channel in its own right; able to reveal “who” and “what” a person might be interested in to an unrivalled degree, we’ll see these marketers springboard to success with even more join-up on and offline campaigns.”