McDonald's and Capital One are among the national brands running campaigns aimed at local audiences through a new mobile division of Cox Digital Solutions. The local media firm, which has launched the division with three dedicated mobile salespeople, offers rich media units that can be dynamically generated to include geographically tailored ad messages and coupons.
"We're particularly focused on dynamic ads or database driven ads," said Leif Welch, general manager of CDS Mobile.
The mobile arm extends Cox's online network, comprised of inventory from local news media firms like Gannett, Tribune, McClatchy and Belo, into the mobile realm. "We're leveraging what we already do online," said Welch. Advertisers can target using geo-fencing, latitude and longitude points, radius, device, carrier and day-part.
"Mobile has some very unique nuances in terms of how mobile is bought and sold," he said. "There are unique user behaviors in terms of mobile always being on and really local."
McDonald’s and Capital One are running campaigns now across all digital platforms including mobile. "I expect that early on the bulk of our revenue will be tied to our dedicated mobile sales team.... They will be going after bigger budgets there," said Welch. The McDonald's campaign will run through December.
At this stage, advertisers interested in buying cross-platform are typically asking for 10 to 15 percent of campaigns to be in mobile environments, and buying through Cox Digital's 20-person sales staff. "It's more of an up-sell so the dollars tend to be smaller," he said.
While advertisers can buy online and mobile together, measurement of cross media campaigns remains a challenge. "It's difficult to identify a user online and then find them again in mobile," said Welch. "We're going to be probably announcing some tests in the coming months on how we're approaching that."
The company also expects to offer a real-time automated platform for mobile ad buying, expanding on its current online RTB service.
Note: The story originally stated that McDonald’s and Capital One were running mobile-only camapigns.
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March 19, 2014