Emerging TechnologyMobileNavteq Doubles Audience for Location-Based Ad Network

Navteq Doubles Audience for Location-Based Ad Network

Handset makers RIM and Samsung join LocationPoint mobile ad network.

Location-based ad provider Navteq is doubling the reach of its LocationPoint network through partnerships with major handset manufacturers RIM and Samsung. It has also signed with location-based app providers Appello, CoPilot Live, Navigon, NDrive, Poynt, and Telmap.

Navteq’s platform delivers ads to users’ mobile and location-aware devices based on their location, delivering branded calls to action including coupon downloads and navigation options on a cost-per-action model.

“These partnerships should put us in the region of doubling our reach,” said Navteq’s director of publisher relations, Shawn Gunn. He estimated the network reaches around 150 million users a month globally at present, resulting in “tens of millions” of impressions a month.

Navteq’s ad platform consists mainly of location-based mobile apps, as well as products from parent company Nokia such as its Ovi Maps service. The addition of major handset manufacturers RIM and Samsung appears to be a big step forward for the firm as it tries to gain traction in the increasingly competitive mobile ad space.

Throughout 2010 the company conducted trial and commercial campaigns for brands including Puma, Domino’s, and Best Western. In one of its most successful campaigns, McDonald’s made use of the network to drive users in Finland to nearby restaurant locations. The campaign resulted in a 7 percent click-through-rate, of which 39 percent of users went on to request directions, Gunn said.

“Our primary focus is offering lead-generation for businesses and advertisers with physical locations. That includes numerous verticals, including quick-serve, retail, and banking,” Gunn added.

Aside from its advertising business, Navteq provides mapping, navigation and traffic data to a range of customers including GPS manufacturers and mobile application developers. Not all of Navteq’s location data customers use the LocationPoint monetization opportunity, but most customers for the ad platform use both.

It’s that location data that Gunn argues sets his company apart from other location-based marketing opportunities. An advertiser could, for example, use the platform to geo-fence (define) a region as small as a few feet in diameter, providing brands with numerous outlets the ability to target extremely accurately.

Gunn also emphasized coupons, describing that opportunity as a “huge part” of what it’s currently offering, potentially competing with services such as FourSquare and Facebook Places.

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