Toyota targets shoppers with location-based mobile ad tool

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Toyota is using a location-based mobile ad tool to supercharge its annual clearance sale.

The tool, Opera Mediaworks’ Dynamic Sales Event platform, enables Toyota to target shoppers who are intent on making a purchase with banner ads on Web pages and apps that display the annual percentage rate for loans at dealerships in their regions. The ads sometimes also include cash-back offers.

The tool uses a mobile device’s latitude and longitude to determine whether potential buyers are near a dealership in real time.

Toyota knows a shopper is actively looking for a vehicle thanks to data from its Audience Management Platform.

The real-time aspect is vital because consumers are won or lost in the few seconds after viewing an ad, Scott Swanson, president of global advertising sales for Opera Mediaworks, wrote in an email. If shoppers have to type in their location to get an offer, which used to be the case, then fewer shoppers will receive the offers, Swanson wrote.

“Being able to reach users based on where they are in that moment or where they have been provides a new type of behavioral targeting that is very effective at reaching specific audiences,” Swanson wrote.

“People shopping for cars go to dealerships, professionals go to offices, sports fans go to football stadiums -- the places you go say a lot about who you are as a person, and hyperlocal mobile ads allow advertisers to place themselves into that real-time context to zero in on the most relevant moments for their brand and customers.”

The targeted ads are getting a 44 percent boost in response from active shoppers compared with nontargeted ads. The targeting campaign began Aug. 6 and continues through Monday, when the sale ends.

In a statement, Dionne Colvin-Lovely, Toyota’s director of traditional and digital media, said a constantly evolving mobile advertising environment means the company has to “strive for innovation every day” to reach shoppers who are intent on making a purchase.

Colvin-Lovely wrote in an email that the goal of the “uniquely simple” targeted mobile ads is “to influence consideration from a competitive model to a Toyota vehicle and increase purchase intent.”

Colvin-Lovely said location-based ads themselves aren’t a novel idea, but Toyota’s campaign uses data to drive creative, personalized messaging.

Swanson said in a statement, “Stretch your imagination. What if the dealer could take a picture of a car sitting right there on the lot, populate the ad unit with it, and serve it to a customer that was shopping for that exact model -- and happens to be right across the street? That is where advertisers can and should go with this technology.”

You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at vbond@crain.com. -- Follow Vince on Twitter


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