The big news in mobile technology this week is availability of Apple’s iOS 7 for iPhone and iPad users on Sept. 18. What marketers need to know is that Apple has a very high software upgrade rate for its mobile devices. In fact, Apple recently boasted a 93 percent adoption rate of iOS 6 for iPhone, and 83 percent for iPad. These impressive numbers blow the adoption rates for Android software updates out of the water. If previous software update rates are any indication, marketers need to move swiftly to take advantage of new features in iOS 7, especially as they finalize campaigns for the upcoming holiday rush.
The most important feature that marketers should consider integrating into their campaigns is iBeacons – Apple’s low-cost transmitters that it claims will be highly efficient at calculating exact location, including indoor mapping. The potential for this technology could have a powerful impact on retailers given the ability to send mobile ads to a consumer in their store. During the 2012 holiday season, showrooming was a hot topic among the retail community as more consumers opted for in-store browsing at their local retailers only to compare their favorite products online.
As ad technology continues to evolve, mobile advertising is becoming increasingly more important for reaching consumers hyperlocally. Advanced location-based technology, such as iBeacons, provides advertisers with greater targeting capabilities to reach the right consumers at the right time – when they are physically in a retail location or near a sale item.
Coupled with other advanced targeting strategies, location-based technology can drive mobile advertising ROI. For example, device detection is a valuable way to improve ad viewing rates. A recent ComScore study found that approximately 30 percent of desktop ads are not viewable. That number is even higher for mobile ads because of additional technical complexities. In other words, advertisers are wasting money on ads that are never delivered, never mind seen or clicked on. Through device detection, technology is able to detect the device on which a consumer is viewing content in real time, including hundreds of technical attributes. The content – whether it is a display mobile ad, streaming video, audio content or an image – is then formatted and customized to meet the device specifications. By leveraging this mobile technology, advertisers ensure that once an ad request is made, it can be delivered in the correct format. Device detection technology enables advertisers to reduce wasted ad dollars by delivering customized, targeted content.
The success of hyperlocal targeting, through technologies such as location-based and device detection, depends greatly on harnessing the power of Big Data. I recently spoke on this topic at the ad:tech London conference, addressing how Big Data can improve relevance if advertisers are equipped with the ability to decide what data will be most influential in targeting the right audience. Enabling technologies exist to make it practical to not only collect the data, but to use it to present a highly-customized message to each user in real time.
As the technology community debates how iBeacons will challenge current mobile technologies, such as NFC and QR codes, we are likely to see more brands leverage mobile advertising than ever before during the upcoming holiday season. iBeacons will certainly be among those technologies. The key, however, is for advertisers to leverage enabling technologies to deliver the right message, to the right audience at the right time. With this goal in mind and the technology to support it, advertisers will see greater success in driving mobile advertising ROI.