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Where you are defines you: Mobile in advocacy efforts
Gil Larsen
Gil Larsen
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advocacy

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in advocacy issues such as gun control and women’s rights. For these efforts, it’s vital that advocacy marketers activate members of the community who can impact change and spread awareness, but often it’s hard for these companies to know not only who their audience is and who will engage but also how to reach new segments.

Major government organizations like the CDC have historically had issues with placing pixels on their sites, but over the last few years mobile has emerged as a new way to identify key audiences who will respond to a call-to-action tied to causes dear to them. The idea of tracking location may ring privacy concern bells for consumers, but it is a safe and compliant way for brands and organizations to understand the effectiveness of campaigns and reach audiences.

Here are a few ways how marketers can begin to think about incorporating a mobile strategy into their advocacy efforts.

Privacy concerns debunked

When it comes to marketing advocacy efforts, privacy is at the top of the list of concerns–especially when it comes to health-related causes and HIPPA compliance. With mobile marketing, privacy issues can be addressed head-on: mobile phone users can be targeted by their device ID, but their identity and other personal information is kept anonymous from advertisers. Marketers can target device profiles but they don’t know who the person is thus protecting individuals’ privacy rights.

Here’s an example: we’re approaching flu season. If the CDC were to run an ad to remind people to get their yearly flu shot, the organization could geo-target pharmacies and serve consumers an ad as a reminder when they are physically near the location.

Advocacy doesn’t have to be limited to targeting people for vaccines; it can also be public awareness campaigns like a call to enroll in healthcare or for a hurricane preparedness campaign (trigger-based advertising lets marketers ping everyone in the impacted area when a hurricane alert is sent out by the weather stations). The possibilities are endless.

How to develop your mobile audience

By using location indicators, marketers can identify target audiences and understand new approaches to reach them. This is especially true when it comes to historical movement data, which enables marketers to make logical connections in regards to which devices belong to consumers who likely have children or work in the education or medical fields where it’s required to have the shot (to go back to our previous example tied to flu season). A device belonging to an adult shows up at a school every day at 8am and 3pm, we can reasonably deduce that the owner is a parent or some type of caretaker. If the device stays at the school throughout the day, every day, the likelihood is high the owner is a teacher or other type of educator. The same can be said for a device seen at a hospital every day for multiple hours being a medical worker. All these candidates are very likely to need flu shots and, thus, likely have a higher conversion rate when presented the ad.

Looking at contextual mobile browsing is also key: done by identifying devices who have searched “where to get the flu vaccine,” for example. Once these audiences are identified, marketers can set up strategies to reach them. Whether it’s geo-fencing schools or targeting these segments once they get home and are able to act on the call to action, there are plenty of location-based strategies to ensure that the campaign reaches the right people at the right time.

Measuring a successful campaign

Marketing efforts to identify and reach their ideal audience are meaningless unless the results can prove a change in awareness.

One strategy we recommend is measuring foot traffic. How many people are going to the desired location after viewing the ad? Going back to our previous examples, perhaps measuring the foot traffic of how many people visit pharmacies after seeing the flu shot ad would work for that campaign.

Not every campaign is looking to drive traffic to a certain area, though; some are looking to have people engage with the content. A strategy for them is to look at click-through rate, which can show marketers if the messaging is captivating to their audiences and if they are reaching the right audiences at the right time.

Advocacy, especially around health-related topics, can be tricky for marketers to navigate. With privacy laws like HIPPA and GDPR, marketers are in a hard position to get out important messaging. With the use of mobile and location-based strategies, though, these concerns can be addressed while executing on a very successful awareness campaign.

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Gil Larsen

Gil Larsen

VP, Americas | Blis Gil is an Advertising sales / business development executive with 20 years of experience in building strategic media and marketing partnerships with brands. He is responsible for engineering a successful go-to-market strategy and driving Blis’ ad sales revenue in the U.S.