Local-Mobile Ads: Search Behavioral Targeting Provides Biggest Lift

xAd-Mobile-Local-Audience-Targeting-Lift-Mar2013Close to 95% of national advertiser campaigns now use some form of location targeting in mobile, says xAd in its 2012 year-in-review report. The study notes that locally-targeted campaigns performed significantly better than industry standard metrics. Among the available audience targeting tactics, search behavioral targeting providing the biggest lift, at 60%. Close behind, place-based targeting showed a 55% lift over the benchmark.

Throughout 2012, though, place-based targeting (targeting users that are in or around specific places of business) was the most popular form of audience targeting, leveraged in 67% of campaigns. Comparatively fewer used search behavioral targeting (20%), although it grew 212% between Q1 and Q4, faster than any other form.

The study reveals that advertisers became much more sophisticated during the year: the percentage of campaigns using standard geo-targeting (zip, city, DMA) dropped from 64% in Q1 to just 13% in Q4. At the same time, the proportion using geo-precision (such as geo-fencing and geo-specific behavior targeting) tripled from 27% to 81%. Verve Mobile noted a similar trend in its year-in-review study.

Other Findings:

  • Restaurants were the top search category for 2012, followed by travel, health and beauty, retail, and professional services.
  • The top advertising categories for the year were telecom, financial services/insurance, and travel.
  • New York was the top city for mobile search activity, though the South led regionally with 4 of the top 10. And while San Francisco was the most targeted city for mobile ads (in terms of impressions served), the South and the Midwest tied for regional honors.

About the Data: Metrics and insights are based on xAd’s network and campaign data (January 2012–December 2012) from over 1.5 million advertisers.