The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

  • February 18, 2016

Waze: Auto’s mobile marketing, location and attribution

This week’s blog is a guest post from Mark Campos, Product Expert, Waze. Campos works on product strategy alongside some of the brightest minds in geolocated data and advertising, and has spoken on data and policy across the country. Formally trained in Architecture at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, his personal work explores the intersection of information design, robotics, custom fabrication, and public space.

The Auto industry will invest well over 7 billion in digital advertising in the U.S. this year, with mobile making up almost 50% of the total spend. If mobile Auto marketers are smart, they’ll deliver useful, relevant brand messages with context, driving more customers to dealerships. With a product with such a high consideration factor, they’ll recognize the importance of branding initiatives on mobile in addition to direct response campaigns.

Their ads won’t look anything like right-rails or mobile banners, and they won’t be measured by CTR. Consumer attention, followed by budgets, are shifting toward mobile, so it’s time to consider how the medium should be used, what makes it unique, and how we can prove it’s effective.

Context Matters in Mobile

Our phones are the only screen we carry from the bed to the bathroom to the boardroom. This screen is beside us more often than not, whether we're watching TV, or on dealership lots looking at cars — the list is endless. Therefore, it’s counterintuitive that the data we use to target and measure activity on mobile is so blunt.

Critical user signals are lost in mobile ad networks; marketers must find signals that are common denominators across hundreds or thousands of apps, which ultimately compromises their understanding of context and effectiveness. With a vague understanding of user behavior at the moment of an ad impression, we’re unable to deliver ads of value or measure their effectiveness.

Native ads today deliver an 18% higher lift in purchase intent over networks. And if there’s one signal that mobile marketing should always consider, its location. The only problem is it’s rarely accurate. Steven Rosenblatt, new President of Foursquare, said on this matter, “Anyone else who tells you they can use deterministic data programmatically while sitting on top of an ad exchange to reach someone in real time in a particular place is just full of it.”

Follow the True Signals

Location signals today in mobile marketing are undeniably valuable yet woefully misunderstood. Even with precise signals, real value isn’t found in reaching people simply because they’re nearby. There are marginal performance lifts in geo-awareness and geo-fenced campaigns, but again, context is king.

Native apps, by contrast, are a unique channel for marketing, with strong signals of user location, behavior, context, and goals. The mobile device is persistent throughout our daily routines, and as marketers, we should be able to see and take advantage of that data. Native location apps give us rich behavioral profiling, valuable context and an audience that sees and engages with ads.

Measuring Effectiveness

As the auto industry increasingly turns to mobile, it needs to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all for measuring mobile marketing at scale. There are standard ad server metrics, panel-based solutions, and third-party transaction solutions. All require some complexity to be appropriately established and maintained.

On a native ad platform, you aren't going to see the scale of impressions, clicks, and purchases you'll see with other solutions, but the results you do see will be authentic. First-party, native platforms with accurate location signals can provide ad effectiveness from impression to purchase, creating another reliable measurement solution for marketers.

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Photo courtesy of Waze

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