interview


Keeping it relevant

Jonathan Milne, general manager of Europe, Celtra

As mobile adverts progress beyond basic buttons and banners, location enablement is at the forefront of that evolution. Jonathan Milne, general manager of Europe at Celtra, a web-based platform for creating and tracking mobile ads, believes that location has the opportunity to be seen as “the most important thing in rich media advertising.”

Milne identifies the biggest problem with most advertisements as the lack of relevancy to the viewer, and as a result claims that his business is seeing unbridled appetite and demand for location capabilities. “The purpose of location enablement is to make the ad relevant to the consumer,” he says.

“We get involved in around 50 per cent of campaigns created on our platform and use our own tools for embedding store finders and dealer locators and we’re seeing growing interest in check-in functionality too.

“The broadest use of location will be through ad targeting, where the ad server decides which advert a viewer will see depending on their location. But in the future, most ads will be location aware in some sense, either by GPS or through triangulation of the user’s location. Then we can look inside the advert and add location services like a map to find your nearest store or check in services like Foursquare. The big questions are ‘where am I right now and what can I do here?’ Or ‘how can I get there?’” Milne says. In another example, he highlights the popularity of location sensitive content, in that ads are dynamic and able to show different content based on location, such as an automotive advertisement for a car with an image gallery that shows a user in California a cabriolet but a user in Alaska a 4×4.

But on a wider scale, the greater use of smartphone capabilities are around messaging, that is to say advertisers can craft a call to action to the local culture, making for more effective and efficient ads. “Unless brands can specifically target the right content relevant to each market, it’s like dropping a needle into a haystack. But as the guys who sell the ad inventory concede, the ad buying market’s only just getting to that point and at present, location sensitivity is working best on regional or city basis rather than on a micro granular level.

Check out more comment from Jonathan and other mobile advertising experts in our feature: Death of a salesman?


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