For our Job Training and Employment campaign with Goodwill, we knew we needed to target communities on the local-level. That’s when we brought in xAd to engage people who went to Goodwill stores, and could do more to help the campaign. We speak with Monica Ho, xAd’s Head of Marketing Infrastructure, to explain how it worked, and provide best practices for other organizations out there hoping to use location-based strategies.
This post is part of our series leading up to ad:tech San Francisco 2015, where we’ll host a workshop on reaching and engaging the next generation of teachers. Our friends at ad:tech are offering AdLibbing readers 20 percent off tickets with code 20ADCOUNSF15, and we hope to see you there!
Ad Council: For those who aren’t familiar with your involvement in the Goodwill campaign, can you give us some background of how xAd was implemented and used to augment its reach?
Monica Ho: As specialists in mobile location, our technology is focused on helping clients reach and engage their audiences leveraging the most accurate place-based insights available in the marketplace today. Goodwill set out with a goal to raise awareness of Goodwill locations among key community audiences and encourage donations. Our data uncovered a high Hispanic population surrounding and frequenting Goodwill locations, and therefore we leveraged our Audience Targeting solution to focus ad placement on the everyday, in-device activities of Hispanic mobile users in the areas surrounding Goodwill stores. A second targeting tactic–our Proximity Targeting solution–was leveraged to capture both the online and offline activities of mobile users surrounding Goodwill locations and donation centers. By combining these powerful solutions, we were able to greatly impact foot traffic into local Goodwill stores–increasing visitation among Hispanic audiences by 43 percent.
AC: What are the best practices of location-based ads/campaigns? Are there any organizations that are doing it particularly well?
MH: Location is such an inherent part of our mobile activity that its principles must be applied throughout the entire mobile ad campaign. The data leveraged must me accurate, and the strategies and solutions employed must effectively leverage that data to focus on locations or location-audiences that are most relevant. The ad creative placed should leverage those same insights in providing users with a relevant and convenient experience related to where they are at any given moment. And finally, the action available to users beyond the ad click should round out a location-centric experience with elements including map and driving directions to a nearest locale, click to call, or more localized info. This also provides advertisers with a deeper understanding of their mobile audiences and how they prefer to interact with the brand or organization.
AC: How can nonprofits leverage location-based campaigns like Goodwill did? Are there “lean” ways to test and implement on slim budgets?
MH: When location data is accurate, there is little testing and trying necessary to pinpoint the correct locations or location-audiences relevant to a campaign–a major budget buster in many situations. Our advice for non-profits: start small! Focus on a specific city or region with a focused, single strategy and solution in order to get the biggest bang for the budget. Slicing up dollars available with multiple zones and multiple strategies may spread your money too thin to make a real impact. With ROI and intel gained from that small, focused test campaign, take successes and lessons learned to another city or region.
As Head of Marketing, Infrastructure, Monica is responsible for developing and leading xAd’s marketing and research functions, as well as overseeing the company’s communications and strategically positioning it in the location based mobile marketplace. Monica’s tenure in the industry includes 14-plus years of marketing and advertising, including a solid foundation in online advertising, sales, strategy and account management. Prior to xAd, she served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at TMP Directional Marketing, where she helped launch a digital-marketing division called 15miles. Well regarded in the space, Monica is currently on the board of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and is founder and chair of the MMA’s Location Committee. Most recently Monica was recognized as one of The Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising by Business Insider and was named one of Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Women to Watch.