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Next-Generation Mobile is Already Delivering Local Marketing Triumphs

It doesn’t take much people-watching to realize just how ubiquitous modern smart phones and tablets have become. And, as people continue to coalesce with their mobile devices, the desire to tap into the marketing potential of what are essentially pocket-sized billboards has reached a fever pitch.

But, until recently, all marketers could do was watch idly by as the whole world gazed at their screens. Due to a lack of data and attribution, there was no way for them to draw real, measurable results from Mobile—all of last generation’s mobile solutions were just shiny toys that couldn’t amount to anything substantial.

But the mobile tipping point has now been reached, and the floodgates are wide open. What was once considered a black hole for marketing dollars is now one of the smartest ways to apply them. Through a combination of attribution and data sources like new identifiers from app inventory, up-to-the-minute advertising technology, and old-school web cookies, brands can identify the behaviors of people likely to convert on their ads—which, by the way, through rich media and other innovative formats, look really cool.

Given the dynamic format and unique data such as location and carrier, creative marketers can engage with audiences in ways they never have. “Marketers are recognizing more and more that even though a smaller screen, mobile provides a compelling stage for storytelling that moves brands closer to their consumers than ever before,” said Greg Stuart, CEO, Mobile Marketing Association.

The result? 63% of marketers have already boosted their mobile advertising budgets this year, as total global mobile advertising spend is estimated to reach $18 billion. And, as the highly desirable affluent, tech-forward consumers consume more and more media on their mobile devices, the demand will only continue to grow—some say to the tune of 10.8 billion by 2017.

But, of the whole new frontier mobile opens for marketers, one of the most exciting opportunities (and one already showing stellar results) is local. According to Lionel White, VP of Technology Operations at Magnetic, “Search on mobile indicates immediate intent. When you combine mobile search with the ability to reach consumers with display ads across apps and the mobile web, this opens up a world of intricate, real-time targeting opportunities.”

And the proof is in the pudding—or at least the pretzel-wrapped hotdog. Auntie Anne’s used Rocket Fuel’s dynamic mobile platform to boost coupon downloads for their new “Mini Pretzel Dog" 368 percent with nearby mall shoppers, hungry folks just looking for an excuse to convert.

“This was the first time Auntie Anne’s used mobile geo-fencing technology, and it worked extremely well, said Mullen Communications Planner Robert Shanahan. (It) let us serve coupons to consumers in a tight radius of store locations.”

Aircraft engine manufacturer CFM exploited the versatility of mobile using the same Rocket Fuel technology. They geo-gated the Paris Air Show to reach qualified audience for their new CFM LEAP engine via topic targeting. Before the show, they chose “CFM” and “GE Aviation” as content categories, then switched to Financial and Local News, Weather, and Events afterwards. The result was a click-through rate 75% higher than industry average, and a way to simultaneously reach a highly specialized audience in real time.

With companies like these already developing best practices for mobile, and using its dynamic and flexible nature to drive real business results, the surface of what the platform is capable of is just being scratched. Stay tuned to find out what’s in store, and how mobile advertising will continue to grow along with this burgeoning platform.