By: Dan Wittmers
Location, location, location! We’ve all heard or used this phrase in a multitude of fashions over the years, but the mobile platform has taken this to an entirely new level. Location is one of the key differentiators that separates mobile from any other medium available to marketers today. Often being dubbed, "The Holy Grail" of marketing, location data provides marketers the best possible chance to serve a consumer the right message at the right time.
In recent months, the conversation surrounding location for mobile marketing and advertising has been abundant, yet fairly unchanged. Innovators are still searching for new ways to increase the sharing of this data by consumers, as well as, testing new ways to utilize the data already being generated.
Many mobile ad networks tout geo-fencing or hyper-local targeting capabilities, but few have the ability to execute with a high degree of success. There are, however, a few companies that have taken location to new depths. For example, Jumptap recently announced a partnership with PlaceIQ to deliver hyper-local ads for a retail client of Hill Holiday. Paran Johar, CMO at Jumptap, was quoted as saying,
“Our exclusive relationship with PlaceIQ goes beyond standard geo-fencing to offer hyper-local audience targeting to connect brands and advertisers with a larger group of a specific audience type.”
The campaign was able to generate a 41.21% CTR lift in New York and 51.47% CTR lift in Chicago (over non-hyper-local targeted ads) by layering third party data over the consumers’ location data to target on a level of context that was unmatched in the industry…until now.
On the 15th of August, JiWire launched The Location Graph TM. The location-based mobile media company is now using their vast amounts of user data to show just how close the connections are between a consumer’s physical location and their behavior. JiWire’s data is fed by the largest pure latitude and longitude network in the industry and includes more than 3 billion location tags. The company says this database continues to grow by more than 16 million tags per day.
JiWire is able to analyze this data to build anonymous user profiles based on consumers’ past and present locations. For example, a mobile user may visit a children’s park, grocery store, zoo and maternity store within a given month, which could ultimately qualify that user as a parent. Granted, this could also qualify the user as a 17 year old babysitter, but that is why the company continually updates these profiles; to generate a much clearer view of each individual.
How do they accomplish this?
JiWire's proprietary algorithms leverage 3rd party data to continually refine and improve the profile. So far, JiWire has profiled over 500 million devices across its network and this patent-pending process has the makings of being one of the most sophisticated forms of audience targeting that the mobile industry has seen to date.
JiWire has publicly stated that defining audiences on mobile is nothing new; in fact, most mobile audiences are defined by using content or geo-fencing as a proxy. However, JiWire believes that this type of location creates a better proxy for intent.
This is because where a person has been is more important than which mobile apps or websites they visit and geo-fencing tends to eliminate potential consumers based on the fact that they might be standing 100 meters outside a pre-determined area. The Location Graph helps provide deep insights into consumer patterns; defining similarities, frequency, loyalty, and more for brand marketers. It’s not just about where you’re standing, but where you’ve been and where you’ll most likely to travel to next.
While the immediate reach on the Location Graph is approximately 150MM impressions/month, lat/long impressions typically only represents about 10% of their mobile traffic, which is why The Location Graph becomes so important. By using those lat/long patterns to build audience profiles, JiWire can essentially unlock the other 90% of non-lat/long impressions by applying back-end consumer modeling through their machine learning technology.
In a recent blog post by Jiwire’s VP of Engineering, Lenny Blyukher explains,
“After the offline machine learning activities are done and the Data Science team believes it has come up with the right models for our test or live campaigns, the team produces a custom Java library that encapsulates a serialized modeling logic. The ad platform team can easily plug this module into the ad stack. The new targeting rules then become a part of a live ad platform.”
He goes on to say,
“…there is no question that we have a long and exciting road ahead for operationalizing and improving our ‘big data’ audience profiling platform. However, the industry has been disrupted and there is no looking back!”
One of the most important pieces to the puzzle is that The Location Graph is certified by TRUSTe, the leading provider of privacy management solutions. This partnership helps to ensure consumer’s privacy on mobile devices through the TRUSTe Mobile Ads privacy management solution. This allows anyone to easily opt-out if they don’t want to receive targeted ads and guarantees that all data is stored and handled in a way that protects the user’s privacy.
Assuring privacy and making the opt-out of these targeted ads simple for consumers is such an integral key to the long-term growth and success of these types of platforms. If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that consumers will not stand for the mining of private data or the serving of ads that leverage personal data without their knowledge. If you’re looking for an example, just ask rootkit maker, Carrier IQ about their recent lawsuit troubles regarding unauthorized consumer tracking.
JiWire’s relationship with TRUSTe should help avoid any major privacy issues, while making consumers feel more comfortable about sharing their location data. In fact, eMarketer and JiWire reported yesterday that more than six in 10 mobile Wi-Fi hotspot users tagged their social media status updates, photo uploads or other posts with their location in Q2 of 2012. Even Instagram’s new update seems to be heavily pushing consumers to geo-tag their photos more often, by allowing users to view the uploaded images on a map of the world.
When asked about the new offering, Gabriel Cheng, Group Head of Media Solutions at Ansible Mobile was quoted as saying,
“JiWire's Location Graph is a huge step forward in moving beyond geo-fencing physical locations to apply location history as a means of gaining insights into discrete audiences. The additional context provided by location history, coupled with the other targeting criteria we rely on, is a great example of how innovation can add to proven methodologies and ultimately elevate the true value of mobile. This is poised to be a game-changer for the mobile ad industry."
While we’re still in early days of the platform, mobile developers are feverishly innovating new ways to target consumers with more relevant ads. JiWire’s Location Graph is definitely a step in the right direction and I’d venture to bet we’ll start seeing more proprietary technologies such as this in the very near future.
JiWire is the leader in connecting advertisers to today's On-The-Go Mobile Audience, using the world's largest location-based interactive media channel. JiWire's platform enables advertisers to identify and deliver ads to audience segments based on a person's physical location while taking the venue type and brand into account.
Dan Wittmers is the Founder & CEO of the Mobile Leaders Alliance. He has a natural understanding of the entire mobile ecosystem, and during his tenure, has had the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 brands and agencies across North America. Educated in media, messaging, development, SaaS tools and predictive analytics, he is an emerging thought leader in the mobile industry.