I had an interesting catch-up call with xAd this morning. We discussed a number of trends and metrics that the company is seeing in display campaigns running on its network. One of them, which really surprised me, was that “9 out of 10″ of its national advertisers are engaged in “conquesting.” That’s where geofenced messages are shown around competitors’ locations.
(See xAd’s Year in Review report for more.)
Marketing VP Monica Ho told me that national advertiser campaigns on the xAd network often feature one type of ad creative to reach people around the companies’ locations and a different approach and ad creative targeting consumers around competitors’ locations.
This can be highly effective, especially if the campaign creative is really strong.
I also asked Ho about the mobile ad creative they see and whether or how location is integrated. She said that about 90% of the display campaigns on their network feature location somewhere in the creative. Of that 90% about half of the campaigns show location in the ad itself (which can be done dynamically) and the other half show it on the landing page.
One of the reasons that location or local information may not be in the top-level ad creative, Ho said, is that advertisers want the click or store lookup for ROI/attribution purposes.
I think that generally speaking the practices Ho described are quite a bit ahead of the broader market. She noted, however, that national advertisers (with help) have come a long way since Q1 of 2012 in terms of their understanding of location.
Still, xAd is a specialized mobile ad network associated with location targeting. Accordingly the advertisers or agencies that already “get it” are using the company in creative ways. I don’t believe their data and experience is representative of the overall mobile ad market — yet.
Perhaps over the next couple of years the greater sophistication reflected in these xAd campaigns will become more mainstream.
Correction: I knew it sounded a bit high . . . Monica Ho sent me an email to qualify the “9 out of 10″ figure. She said that “Of the national advertisers that are leveraging place-based targeting, which is 67% of national advertisers who run on our network,” 9 out 10 are doing conquesting.
See related: Nielsen: Few Ads in Location-Based Apps