Verve’s network is made up primarily, though not exclusively, of newspaper publisher apps and mobile websites. It also operates the Verve Local Marketplace, which goes beyond the company’s traditional publisher network to other third party mobile sites and apps.
The overall message of the Verve report is that locally targeted ads and ads with localized content outperform other types of mobile ads. The company offers a range of location-based targeting types and segments campaigns according to those categories.
In the chart below we can see that the three most popular forms of location targeting were DMA, audience and geo-fencing, accounting for more than 75% of Verve campaigns.
The following charts reflect the verticals using Verve geotargeting. As represented above, DMA-level targeting is the most popular form of location targeting in the majority of these verticals.
Perhaps most interesting among the data released are CTR metrics by targeting methodology. Geo-aware ads and geofencing produced the best results according to Verve. Both involve proximity targeting based the distance of the user from the advertiser.
The campaigns that Verve showcases in the report generated clicks (CTR) of 2% to just over 4%. These are considerably better numbers than overall mobile industry averages. However CTR is a dubious metric. It may or may not reflect the actual performance of the ad.
Some users who see an ad are influenced by it but don’t click and some who click may do so inadvertently or not take later action. Calls, in-store visits, map lookups and actual sales are better mobile metrics.
Finally Verve compares the CTRs of various inventory types. As you might expect its “premium local” inventory outperforms national and exchange/remnant inventory. This is a self-serving message but it’s also supported by a wide range of data from third parties and by research that I’ve done.
Reports like this and others help open national advertisers’ eyes to location targeting and its rewards. However it will take more time than most analysts suggest for ad budgets to migrate and for location targeting to be fully understood, let alone widely adopted.