Local Advertisers: What’s Your Smartphone Strategy for 2014?

Adam Smartschan

Partner & Chief Strategy Officer

Mobile-geotargeting_760If your company operates nationally, with local sales as an important component, or you’re with a small or mid-size firm doing business locally, marketing well via the smartphone is crucial to your success this year.

Everyone knows that smartphone use has been on a strong growth track, but as last year progressed and the research came in, it became apparent that mobile is “even hotter than we think it is,” as I told a regional Chamber TechFest audience recently.

For example, according to an eMarketer study, mobile online time among consumers actually surpassed desktop-plus-laptop time in late 2013, approaching three hours per day.

When consumers use their smartphones, studies show that more than half of their queries have local intent.

Think about how you use your smartphone. Do you prefer it for quick lookups and information over taking a seat in front of a desktop or laptop at home? Do you frequently use your smartphone when on the move for shopping, business, or recreation? Join the crowd. New research by the Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council shows that:

  • 79% of smartphone owners are “smartphone shoppers”
  • 90% of smartphone shoppers use their phones for pre-shopping activities
  • 84% of smartphone shoppers use their devices to help shop while in a store
  • Shoppers who use mobile more, buy more

The Smartphone as Lead and Sales Generation Tool

The smartphone is an ideal platform for generating calls, or answers to queries for directions to your business, or for business hours and other common requests.

For example, proper setup of a “tap to call” campaign on smartphones via Google AdWords will put your best offers and sales messaging front and center on consumers’ smartphone screens when they make a query in your region, while providing them with a super easy-to-use “call” button. And studies show that calls can be up to three times more likely to convert to a sale than a clickthrough to your website.

The tools we use for clients help us precision-geotarget very specific regions – down to the zip code level or even smaller with radius targeting, to reach virtually everyone seeking your goods or services in your area.

And that’s just the starting point.

Want to provide one offer to users in one region, and a different offer to users in another region? This can be effective when you understand the demographics of the targeted regions. You may also want to vary offers based on the type of location (a major airport geotarget, versus a major shopping mall geotarget, for example).

Mobile geotargeting may be effective in the B-to-B realm as well. For example, we increase bids for several B-to-B clients based on metro regions that are particularly important to their business goals, or show especially cost-effective conversion rates.

Want to promote specials or increase bids by time of day? This can make sense for restaurants, in particular.

Want to push an aggressive offer into a competitor’s territory (geo-conquest)? Geo-conquest use is growing among restaurant, retail, financial services, insurance, and travel advertisers, a recent study by xAd states.

Audience Reach Through Facebook and Twitter Mobile

Mobile search queries aren’t the only way to reach consumers as they use their smartphones. For example, Twitter states that 76 percent of its users access the service via smartphone. Facebook is among the top five most used smartphone apps. Altitude offers turnkey access to geotargeted advertising on these platforms.

Website Mobile Compatibility

While it’s possible to get clicks, calls, and business via smartphones from a website that isn’t mobile optimized, it will become increasingly difficult to compete without a mobile site, and a mobile messaging and promotion strategy. Consumers have different needs and expectations from mobile access, and depending on your business, you can meet those wants and needs to your benefit. Don’t try to bring your entire site experience into a mobile site. But that’s a topic for another blog.

If all of this has you thinking about creating or improving your 2014 smartphone strategy and tactics, contact me for a free consultation. Mobile implementation is one of my favorite topics.

Adam Smartschan

Adam Smartschan heads Altitude's strategic marketing and branding efforts. An award-winning writer and editor by trade in a former life, he now specializes in data analytics, search engine optimization, digital advertising strategy, conversion rate optimization and technical integrations. He holds numerous industry certifications and is a frequent speaker on topics around B2B marketing strategy and SEO.