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Top 10 location-based mobile advertising campaigns of 2013

The rise of geo-conquesting, navigational applications and an increase in sophisticated data made campaigns from Toys ?R? Us, adidas and Jack in the Box stand out in the mobile space this year.

Marketers significantly beefed up their mobile advertising this year with tactics that go beyond driving in-store traffic and instead use branded apps, search and integrations into third-party navigational apps such as Waze to lure in interested consumers. This will continue into 2014 as marketers tie in additional pieces of data indicating intent to make mobile campaigns more contextually-relevant.

Here are the top ten location-based advertising campaigns this year, in alphabetical order.

20pc of adidas mobile store locator visits result in in-store traffic
Adidas, iProspect and Google worked together earlier this year to measure the impact that mobile search has on in-store traffic.

First, adidas linked mobile search campaigns with location extensions to drive consumers who were searching for a store straight to the store locator page on the brand?s mobile site.

IPropsect then used adidas? internal data to estimate that one in every five clicks on the store locator page led to an in-store visit.

The companies then theorized that 20 percent of in-store visits result in a purchase with an average order value of $80, making each store locator click worth $3.20 and resulting in a 680 percent incremental lift in ROI.

Adidas? campaign underscores the importance that linking up mobile and in-store traffic is playing for marketers. As marketers look to better understand mobile?s value, similar tests will likely be done in 2014.

Best Western mobile ad generates 0.95pc CTR
Best Western ran a location-specific campaign in the state of Washington around airports and competitors to encourage consumers to book a hotel.

Best Western worked with PayPal Media Network on the campaign that let consumers either book a hotel instantly or view a map.

The combination of geo-conquesting ? or targeting consumers nearby to competitors? locations ? and geo-fenced ads around airports in Best Western?s campaign shows how marketers are making location the focal point of their mobile advertising efforts.

The campaign also shows the potential for mobile advertising to sway last-minute sales as consumers rely more on their mobile devices to make travel decisions on the spot.

Coors Light propels foot traffic via location-based mobile ads
MillerCoors? Coors Light took a unique twist to drive traffic into bars and restaurants.

The beer brand ran mobile ads inside sites and apps such as The New York Post and CBS News during the football playoff games.

When consumers clicked on the ads, a branded landing page with a map is brought up that shows nearby restaurants that serve Coors Light products.

Since Coors Light likely will not be selling a beer directly through mobile any time soon, a location-based ad is a smart way for the brand to drive consumers into locations to try one out.

Dairy Queen tries location-based advertising to increase summer foot traffic
Dairy Queen bet on mobile advertising this year with a campaign to show consumers where they can find Orange Julius locations inside the ice cream shops.

Banner ads within Fandango?s mobile site expanded when clicked on to pull in a map of nearby locations. The map could be zoomed in and out of to view directions and contact information.

In 2013, mapping data and location has increasingly become more sophisticated, and Dairy Queen?s ad shows the gains that marketers have made in terms of driving foot traffic through mapping.

Fiat helps Waze users find nearby relaxation spots to avoid traffic
Automaker Fiat was one of several brands to leverage the mobile application Waze this year to serve up location-based ads to consumers.

Fiat ran the campaign in Brazil and targeted drivers that were near rest stops. When consumers click on a branded icon, copy encouraged drivers to pull over and take a break from the traffic.

Waze was acquired by Google in June for $1.03 billion to help the company strengthen its location-based offerings, and other brands including Universal Pictures and Interscope Records have also leveraged Waze with local, relevant offers.

What is interesting about Waze as a marketing platform is that the app has its roots as a utility service that uses live maps to offer consumers turn-by-turn directions, making ads less of a distraction since they are surrounded by relevant information.

Jack in the Box delivers on mobile?s promise of location-based relevancy
In October, Jack in the Box ran a mobile advertising campaign that put location at the forefront. 

The campaign ran within the Pandora iPhone application and pulled in several pieces of information to eliminate the need for a landing page. Instead, consumers could type in their ZIP code to find a store location straight from the ad unit itself.

QSRs lead the pack of industries leveraging mobile advertising to drive in-store traffic, and Jack in the Box?s ad shows the gains that marketers are making in perfecting the location-based ad.

Outback Steakhouse leverages mobile location to target competitors' customers
Outback Steakhouse was one of many brands to take standard geo-fencing up a notch with geo-conquesting.

The steakhouse chain ran a campaign that generated a 78 percent lift in click-throughs for ads that were served within five miles of a competitor?s location.

Additionally, post-click activity was highest on the portion of the campaign that was targeted towards competitors. The campaign generated an 11 percent lift in conversion actions such as finding a nearby store than standard geo-fenced campaigns.

Outback?s campaign highlights the growing role of location for marketers this year in driving in-store traffic. As geo-fencing has become more mainstream in the past few years, geo-conquesting is a way for marketers to differentiate their campaigns and win over consumers with aggressive offers.

Peter Piper tries location-based advertising to build SMS database
Pizza chain Peter Piper rolled out a pilot program to several of its Texas locations this year that targeted in-app ads to consumers who were nearby stores.

The ads were day-parted to either serve lunch or dinner offers to consumers and included a call-to-action that prompts consumers to type in their mobile phone number to join Peter Piper?s SMS program.

To build an ongoing relationship with consumers after they clicked on the mobile ad, Peter Piper chose to start building up an SMS database, pointing to the need from marketers to load mobile ads with calls-to-action that drive long term engagement.

Piaggio Group Americas sees 4.69x increase in CTR for retargeted ads
Piaggio Group America ran a mobile advertising campaign this year that leveraged location data to serve up retargeted ads that drove a 0.75 percent click-through rate, more than four times what untargeted ads generate.

The brand used location data to identify consumers who had previously visited Vespa and Moto Guzzi dealers and then retargeted them with location-specific ads.

According to PGA, the average consumer buying a Vespa spends two to three months researching before they buy. Therefore, utilizing location data keeps the brand top of mind for consumers, and PGA was able to target only the consumers who are interested in its products.

Will brands latch on to post check-in foursquare ads?
Toys ?R? Us and Diageo were two of the first brands out of the gate to test a new type of foursquare ad this year.

The post check-in ads aim to serve up relevant offers and content based on the location of a check-in. The ads can either be used on the spot or saved to the app to be redeemed later.

Foursquare has been actively pushing itself away from solely a check-in app in the past couple of years since consumers are not as interested in check-ins if there is not a distinct value. 

With a growing number of advertising opportunities, foursquare is hoping to lure in some marketing spend from big brands that want to target specific consumers by location and could be a big area of focus for marketers in 2014 if behavioral or social data is layered into ads.

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