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MEC exec: Location in mobile content still an untapped opportunity

NEW YORK ? An MEC executive at the 2014 MMA Forum said that while location?s role will only grow in terms of mobile advertising, there are still significant opportunities to include location in mobile content.

During the ?Mobile 2.0: Why the Industry is Just Getting Started? panel, executives from Thinknear, Mobext, Ansible Mobile, Metamorphic Ventures, BOLDStart and MEC spoke about the growing opportunities for marketers to incorporate richer sets of location data into mobile campaigns. According to data presented during the session, only 10 percent of ad impressions in 2012 included location data compared to the 65 percent of requests this year that request location, showing how getting location right with mobile advertising is becoming more important.

?I think location is going to become one of many very standard, contextual layers that you?re almost always going to take into account for advertising purposes because knowing where someone is married up with other data that you know about them ? whether it?s cookies, whether they?ve supplied it directly, whether it?s through a loyalty program ? that tells you a lot more about where they?re at in the customer journey,? said Rachel Pasqua, mobile practice lead at MEC, New York.

?I also think we?re going to see it more factored into content and user experience, and I think that plays into the storytelling angle,? she said. 

Making mobile contextual
Ms. Pasqua used a hotel as an example of how mobile experiences need to leverage location to create contextual content.

A hotel guest is likely looking for a completely different set of information while they are on a hotel Web site?s at home versus when they are standing in the lobby with a smartphone.

In addition to simply offering different content, signing into a loyalty program should significantly change the experience that consumers have across any device.

Guests and members have drastically different needs, meaning that the brand should tailor experiences to a variety of factors, including device, time and location.

Ramping up in-store engagement
Another issue discussed during the panel was the rise of beacons and in-store tracking for marketing.

Per Ms. Pasqua, as more marketers look to collect consumers? data, consumers are becoming more aware of the value of the data that they are forking over.

Beacons specifically offer retailers and marketers a significant opportunity to tap into mobile?s promise of exchanging value for data.

?Odd enough, people are going to become more and more aware of that value exchange, and once that really becomes acceptable where I tell you where I am, [and] you give me something beneficial to me, that goes beyond just getting traffic data or an address,? Ms. Pasqua said.

Instead, marketers can start pushing out coupons, video and other pieces of content that consumers may be interested in receiving. 

However, Andrew Hoffman, associate director of mobile marketing at Mobext, New York, pointed out that marketers need to think beyond solely pushing out offers for beacons and in-store technology to stick around.

?We?re pretty excited about beacon technology in general ? I know we?re talking about it in very specific use cases right now, especially as it concerns in-store shopping ? but really what it does is enables the communication between you and your device,? he said.

?All these different things that Bluetooth was a little bit clunky in, and now with iBeacon [as a more] usable experience, we?re going to see a lot more opportunities for this."

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