Retargeting 2.0 in the mobile age – how to overcome the generational shift

Right now the advertising industry is undergoing a generational shift, as brands and advertisers follow their audiences onto their tablets and phones.

A recent survey by marketing agency Tecmark found the average mobile user carries out 221 tasks with it every day: that’s 1500 times a week.

And if we’re not checking our phones, then we’re probably using a tablet on the couch or at work - meaning that we spend far less time sitting still in front of a PC screen.

For advertisers, this shift in habits means there’s a lot more data available about where people are when they are browsing and using apps, making it possible for campaigns to be much more focused and effective.

Retargeting in a desktop-based world is about retargeting the 98 per cent of people who leave a site without making a purchase at a later date. Whilst this makes retargeting pretty straightforward, it is a very one-dimensional view of a customer that misses the opportunity that this new stream of data provides.

The location data that mobile offers can tell marketers a lot more about individuals than a simple binary flag on whether someone has been in the checkout process of a site.

At its most basic, a mobile device tells us the location of an individual. Although a very basic usage of location, there are plenty of examples of campaigns that make use of this proximity data to geo-fence and target users to drive much higher interaction based on their current location.

There are some very well established data sets out there that take this basic geographic data a step further, such as Experian.

It provides marketers with detailed demographic views of consumers based on location, so by crossing ISP data with latitude/longitude and post-code lookup, it’s possible to massively enrich the value of the location data with a trusted partner already used by many brands in other channels of marketing activity.

At a more detailed level, working with companies like Factual enables marketers to target consumers based on observed behaviours over a period of time in the real-world.

Audiences are built looking at the recency and frequency of visits to different retailers and points of interest, which helps build much more accurate pictures of consumers.

Our behaviour in the real world is typically governed by social custom, and as such is more reliable.

How many of us live out our ambitions online - for example browsing for a supercar - yet we would be distinctly unlikely to walk into a supercar showroom in real life to spec our dream car!

Taking profiling a step further is beacon technology.

This is hyper-local advertising using beacons that can determine someone’s exact location, typically within a specific department or area of a shop.

Any retailer can install beacons in specific parts of their stores to transmit messages via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to communicate with customers who have certain apps installed.

Whilst still in its infancy, both from an industry and a consumer perspective, there are plenty of examples out there of consumers and brands benefiting from this interaction.

In the not too distant future, we expect to see proximity marketing reach much higher levels of adoption. This will create not just the opportunity to send marketing messages in very small geo-fenced areas, but will also create incredibly value streams of data that can be used to enhance audience profiles with a much deeper level of understanding on consumers shopping habits.

For all the advantages mobile gives to advertisers, ultimately the shift from desktop to mobile isn’t an either/or decision. With so much expertise out there, mobile is also enhancing existing technologies.

Companies like TVTY are already able to monitor offline moments - such as TV ads or programs, weather, sporting and stock related events - and trigger the delivery of campaigns in real-time.

By blending these capabilities with mobile’s location-based intelligence, existing advertising technologies can become even more powerful on mobile. In this new era, marketers now have the opportunity to blend data and create the richest possible picture of their audiences.

The result should be advertising that is delivered in the right way to the right person at the right time - every time.

Gavin Stirrat, chief operating officer, StrikeAd