Beginner’s Guide to Location-Based Mobile Advertising

Location-based mobile advertising plays an important role in location-based marketing: You can directly target mobile devices of possible customers while they are on-the-go. According to a recently published report by location-based mobile advertising provider Verve, location aware campaigns can double your mobile Click-trough rate (CTR). This guide will give you an introduction on location-based mobile advertising, which types are available and why you should start now.

Overview of location-based mobile advertising techniques

Location-based mobile advertising is a complex system which is based on many parameters and different information that can be leveraged for reaching your target group. Some of them include:

Geo-Aware Targeting

Geo-aware advertising has been around since 2010 and can be seen as the origin of location-based mobile advertising: Using real-time location data, which is supplied by the mobile provider, the advertiser is able to display mobile advertisements when a possible customer is close to a certain location.

Place-Based Targeting

Place-based mobile advertisements make use of a certain area or location during a specific timeframe. Think of targeting sports-related advertisements during a football match in the area of a stadium for instance.


Geo-fencing allows advertisers to target users within a predefined area based on latitude and longitude information: A virtual “fence” is created within a certain radius to target users around your predefined location (your store for example). Usually it’s used to drive (foot-) traffic to a specific store within a shopping mall for instance.

Why Location Plays an Important Role in Mobile Advertising

Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets are – by definition – usually used on-the-go. We use them for many things like searching for nearby restaurants, checking social networks or comparing prices. Just think of yourself – how often do you really use your phone for calling and texting? Research has shown that smartphone users spend roughly 12 minutes a day making calls while spending 25 minutes to browse the internet, 18 on checking social networks and 15 for playing games.

With location-based mobile advertisements you are able to target possible customers that are close to your business. Just look around yourself when you are shopping – everybody is using mobile devices and it’s your chance to get them into your store!

3 Possible Location-Based Mobile Advertising Scenarios

  • Drive traffic to your coffee shop in slow times with special offers. Who wouldn’t accept a “50% off of any hot beverage” offer if it’s just around the corner?
  • Target bored husbands accompanying their wives while shopping and tell them about your special “bored husbands beer & burger menu”.
  • Inform women about your latest shoe sale and offer a free glass of champagne while checking out the latest collection.

I know I’m talking in stereotypes, but the possibilities are endless. Know your target group and get them to your business while they are around the corner anyways!

Why You Should Start Using Location-Based Mobile Advertising Now

Costs for mobile advertisements are still fairly low compared to other traditional advertising media and is expected to quadruple in the next four years. Test possible campaigns now to make use of the current low prices.

emarketer mobile ad spend in the next 4 years

With more mobile payment systems being available and big players such as Google, Amazon and Apple joining the market, it’s only a matter of time until your target audience uses mobile devices for payments like we use credit cards today.

With online companies heavily competing with small businesses, location-based mobile advertising is your chance to offer possible customers added value that they won’t be able to experience online. Make use of that!


Location-based mobile advertising enables you to actively drive traffic to your business. Combined with other location-based marketing techniques it will help you to generate more revenue and ultimately profit. Make sure to check our overview of mobile advertising networks to find the best network for you.

Did you use location-based mobile advertising in your marketing strategy yet? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

  1. Jami Whitehead says

    There are so many possibilities with mobile that are more affordable and targeted for the small business owner. Great article I’ll be sharing it !

    1. Philipp Greitsch says

      Thank you for sharing!

      Maybe this article could also be interesting for you?

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