Location awareness is one of the unique strengths of mobile devices. Its application to both advertising and search form some of the most exciting current uses of phones. Navigation company NAVTEQ and mobile search provider Poynt have combined the two – and are reporting some pretty great results.
What’s the background?
NAVTEQ is a digital mapping company. It provides maps and live traffic information to anyone who’s willing to pay for it. Nokia bought the company up two years ago for 8 billion dollars, with competitors including Samsung paying them for access to NAVTEQ data. Since then, the company has been moving quite heavily into mobile advertising. The LocationPoint as network allows brands and retailers with a physical location to appear on NAVTEQ maps – when a consumer accesses any map that is powered by NAVTEQ, they’ll see that location on their map alongside other points of interest like landmarks, petrol stations, etc. These locations can also be served through the services of anyone who buys location data from NAVTEQ.
Then you’ve got Poynt – a company that has been moving from strength to strength within the mobile local search category. When you run a search on Poynt, it only returns locally relevant results, ie. somewhere you can walk to from where you are (or drive to – the distance it searches out to is changeable). Through a combination of new services, smart patent grabs and buying data from local business directories, Poynt has tripled it’s revenue in a single year.
What’s the news?
Poynt is one of the companies that uses LocationPoint. When you run a search on Poynt, along with your search results you’ll also get an ad from NAVTEQ from a location nearby you – but since Poynt is a search service, it allows LocationPoint to choose an advertiser that might be relevant to your interests. It already knows what you’re currently looking for, thanks to the content of your search. It’s a basic, but extremely effective, form of targeting.
The two companies have announced that these mobiles ads have seen a Click-Through Rate that is significantly higher than the industry average. According to the release, a .49% CTR is standard – and the average Poynt/LocationPoint campaign has been 2.68%. And after the click, between 5% and 11% of consumers fully engaged with the advertising campaign.
What we think?
Hyper-local search advertising really does seem to be a winning combination in mobile. There’s always a problem of when to serve ads to someone – no consumers ever really want to see advertising. But with mobile search, you can be pretty confident that whatever the person is searching for is probably something they want right now. You can’t guarantee that with on-line search; when someone Googles something, it could be for ANY reason. Maybe they’re bored, or they’re researching something they want to buy in a couple of weeks. It doesn’t have the same immediacy that mobile does. Christopher Rothey, vice president, advertising, NAVTEQ actually sums it up pretty nicely: “LocationPoint is the way to reach consumers when they’re in a mindset to buy.”