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Jack in the Box delivers on mobile's promise of location-based relevancy

As marketers move from dipping their toes in mobile to making it a more prominent part of the marketing mix, a new Jack in the Box campaign provides valuable insight into how to take the location-based ad to the next level.

The new Jack in the Box mobile advertising campaign puts location front and center, delivering on the hype of providing the right offer at the right and place. The new ad incorporates a built-in map, day-parting and directions to trigger immediate foot traffic to a location. 

?Most advertisers including QSRs view location as a way to send a mobile ad to a large group of consumers once they enter a geo-fence,? said Dirk Rients, senior vice president and director of mobile at DDB Chicago, Chicago.

?Considering that most purchases are planned, advertisers need to analyze the available location data to learn more about consumer behavior which will help deliver relevant ads,? he said.

Mr. Rients is not associated with Jack in the Box. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Jack in the Box did not respond to press enquiries.

Quick-serve mobile
Jack in the Box is running its new mobile advertising campaign within the Pandora iPhone application to promote a new line of late-night menu items, including a stacked grilled cheese burger.

The menu items are available at Jack in the Box after 9 p.m., which is when the ad began popping up in the app, whether intentionally or not.

A picture of the item menu appears next to a call-to-action in the creative of the ad to promote consumers to listen to a branded radio station.

Within Jack in the Box?s branded radio station, expandable ads feature a box that consumers can type their ZIP code into to find a nearby location. Once consumers enter their ZIP code, a map automatically pulls into the ad to show consumers the nearest restaurant.

From there, consumers can click on the location itself, prompting the Google Maps app to open if consumers have it downloaded. Otherwise, users can download Google Maps to view directions.

Centering a campaign around a location is a tactic that many quick-service restaurants use, but what makes the Jack in the Box ad different is that the brand is not driving consumers to a campaign-specific landing page.

Instead, Jack in the Box is loading the actual ad itself with mapping information, which is likely more effective for the brand in driving quick bursts of foot traffic.

Jack in the Box?s campaign also points to the growing move towards marketers to pack multiple pieces of data into a mobile ad to serve consumers a more contextually-relevant ad.

In particular, QSRs are one of the most active verticals in the mobile space and have been leading the charge with location-based mobile campaigns.

Although not specific to Jack in the Box, a majority of marketers are still struggling with the type of data to use to target consumers at the moment when they are most likely to make a purchase, per Mr. Rients.

This means that for location and data-heavy mobile advertising takes off, brands have to have a better idea of the types of data that is available to them.

?Educating brands on how to utilize the data will play a significant role in the growth of mobile,? Mr. Rients said. ?This insight will help increase relevancy and drive a higher ROI from mobile advertising campaigns.?

More than location
Even though location data is becoming savvier, mobile advertising still has a ways to go when it comes to leveraging pieces of information outside of only location.

For example, an ad from Coca-Cola that solely focuses on location will likely not be effective in converting a die-hard Pepsi fan to try a soda from the competitor.

Instead, Coca-Cola would benefit from pulling in a few different pieces of information about a consumer, such as loyalty program information or past purchase for a more personalized mobile ad experience.

Additionally, the growth in programmatic mobile ad buying is influencing location targeting, according to Eric Mugnier, Los Angeles-based senior vice president of North America at M&C Saatchi Mobile.

?Real-time bidding is all about drilling down to very specific people of value, and if you have someone's locale then it significantly adds to the relevance and the subsequent value of that customer in terms of how much a brand is prepared to bid at that moment in time,? Mr. Mugnier said.

Competitive advantage
As more marketers harness the power of geo-fencing and location-based mobile advertising, mobile is also beginning  to live up to its promise as a more aggressive form of marketing than other forms of advertising.

Marketers are increasingly moving away from loosely geo-fencing locations to geo-conquesting around competitors with compelling offers that deter a consumer from buying something on the spot.

For example, a recent campaign from Outback Steakhouse that leveraged geo-conquesting saw a 78 percent increase in the click-through rate for ads that were delivered within a five-mile radius of a store (see story).

?Mobile admittedly has some gaps on the measurement and trackability front,? said Jessica Sanfilippo, group media director at 360i, New York.

?However, what keeps clients and agencies interested in investing in the channel is not what it lacks, but what it adds to the marketing puzzle,? she said.

?A big component of that is the ability to target by unique approaches, such as by location. It provides an opportunity for marketers to be extremely personalized and precise in their messaging.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York