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Top 5 reasons for mobile ad security

February 13, 2012

By Jonathan Treiber

Marketers have often referred to the mobile device as both highly personal and highly social. This is true, depending on context. 

Texting, emailing or calling a friend would qualify the mobile device as highly personal. 

On the other hand, sharing a picture of your latest overseas trip on Facebook would render mobile a device for social sharing.

In many instances, mobile marketers need to execute extremely targeted ad campaigns that remain highly secure. 

In other cases, mobile marketers want viral sharing of content and offers with the masses. 

Marketers need to decide on a campaign-by-campaign basis the type of mobile engagement they’re looking for.

I will try to illustrate my point with several different examples.

To wit
Campaign #1 is a targeted mobile display ad campaign to wealthy individuals in the New York market. This ad campaign contains a high-value offer for an exclusive stay at one of the best New York hotels, which is part of a national chain with sister hotels in other cities. 

Given the hyper-targeted ads and high-value exclusive offer, the offer requires security elements to prevent consumers from sharing the offer link with friends via Facebook, email or other methods. 

Ad security for this campaign is a must to retain the exclusive nature of the ad and offer, as well as to mitigate any financial liability resulting from the offer going viral.

Campaign #2 is a geo-targeted mobile search campaign providing users who search for a specific keyword phrase with a high-value coupon offer for that product. 

The goal of the campaign is to entice consumers to try this new product that is being launched in a specific geographic market. 

The success of the campaign is contingent in part on consumers not being able to access the coupon offer from non-search channels and from outside the designated markets.

Campaign #3 is an email campaign to 10,000 households, which represent a segment of a retailer’s best customers. 

As part of the mailing, the retailer wants to thank these 10,000 customers with a $50 rewards certificate on their next purchase. 

The retailer wants to enable consumers to print the voucher and redeem in-store. 

Furthermore, the retailer wants to avoid abuse by preventing consumers from sharing the offer with others online or via mobile phones. 

Given that 76 percent of smartphone owners use their mobile devices for email, the retailer was going to disappoint many people by not making the offer readily accessible from a mobile device.

In all three real-life examples, the marketers needed some form of security to help them accomplish their advertising goals. 

The advertisers needed to control how, when and where consumers were accessing the promotional content. 

Marketers need to understand that mobile marketing does not exist in a vacuum. 

If the content is worth sharing, consumers will try to share across the entire Internet via all available channels. 

High five
The top 5 reasons for why marketers choose to employ different forms of ad and offer security for their mobile campaigns are: 

1) Loyalty targeting: Ensure exclusivity of offers to loyal customers. Widespread availability of these exclusive offers can dilute the value of a brand’s loyalty program.

2) Geo targeting: Keep geo-targeted offers within designated markets and avoid sharing of offers between markets

3) Channel targeting: Ensure that an offer targeted to a specific audience via a display campaign cannot be shared in Facebook, coupon blog or email channels

4) Device-level targeting: Ensure that ads or offers extended via a mobile campaign cannot be shared via email or Facebook or be accessed by the broader Internet community via the desktop. Similarly, block desktop ads or offers from being shared and subsequently accessed by consumers via their mobile devices

5) Audience targeting: Ads can be targeted to consumer segments based on mobile ad networks or platforms, for example, iAds on iPhone). Why spend the time and money targeting ads and offers to specific audiences if one click to “share on Facebook” can gain national mass exposure, for better or worse?

THE KEY TAKEAWAY is that mobile is an increasingly meaningful part of how consumers interact on the Internet today and marketers need the ability to launch integrated marketing campaigns with the power to segment and control mobile and non-mobile content. 

As mobile ad dollars increase, tools enabling better control over ads and offers will prove useful to marketers looking to extract maximum value from this emerging channel.

Jonathan Treiber is cofounder/CEO of RevTrax, New York. Reach him at 

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