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For Hyperlocal Ad Targeting, Authenticity Trumps Data

by: Dick OHare, on Mar 22, 2013 in Hyperlocal Advertising, Market Musings

TargetedAudience-based media buying is here to stay in digital media.  With so much supply of ad impressions flowing into ad exchanges, and the evolution of so many data companies able to deliver data overlays to these impressions, it is hard to argue with the efficiency this provides to marketers.  However, similar to manufacturing, mass automation can have its limits on the quality of a product.  A mass produced lamp by Ikea will usually not have the same quality as a hand crafted one per se.

The same can be true in data driven, audience-based buying.  Take geo-targeting, for example.  Most digital marketers understand that traditional geo-targeting is executed through a user’s IP address code.  Typically, this has been a good enough solution for marketers.  However, the quality of this (mass produced) data can erode as you look to target more granular geographies.  Attempting to target hyperlocally through IP address code can yield massive swings in data accuracy.  For example, an employee of Local Yokel Media who lives in Menlo Park, CA has an IP address in San Francisco (approximately 40 miles north).

In addition to wasted impressions due to poor quality of targeting, geo-targeting also lacks transparency into the publisher content associated with an IP targeted ad campaign, calling brand safety into question for larger marketers.

We consistently hear marketers looking for ways to authentically embed their brands within the minds of customers close to their locations.  Authentic, local content is created at the grassroots level.  Well-executed hyperlocal blogs and  community newspaper websites are examples of authentic, local content that attract small, but highly engaged audiences since their entire focus is on life in and around a specific geography.  And, we have learned that local ad messaging embedded in authentic, local content generally performs orders of magnitude better than “mass produced”, IP based geo-targeting.  We call this geo-contextual relevance.  And, it works.

Sometimes it takes a bit more work to achieve quality results.  But, Local Yokel Media is building a scalable, real time platform for marketers to reach local audiences more authentically, through hyperlocal and local publisher content that has been properly organized by geography.  The prospect of assembling authentic, hyperlocal media plans for marketers in near real time is compelling.  We look forward to delivering this more authentic form of geo-targeting to more marketers. 

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