The Shift to Localization and Why It Matters for Advertisers


Market Forces at Play Include the Growth of Mobile and Advancements in Location Intelligence

In the past, the advertising industry as a whole tended to focus its spend on national campaigns. In recent times, the paradigm has shifted and advertisers have increasingly recognized the need to personalize and localize campaigns to specific target audiences. Targeting at the national level has simply become too broad. Savvy advertisers have long since realized that the key is reaching relevant consumers in the cities and locales where they live and play.

Just consider the following numbers. BIA/Kelsey forecasts that national brands will spend $62.7 billion to reach local consumers this year. That’s a $600 million increase compared to what national brands spent locally in 2018. Plus multi-location brands are spending 25% of their budgets on location-based marketing and more than 50% are using location data to target customers, representing billions of dollars, according to a survey of 500 marketers by the Local Search Association. These numbers will only continue to grow as advertisers get accustomed to utilizing location data in their marketing strategies.

To understand the market forces at play in this shift to localization, we need look no further than these two factors: the growth of mobile, and advancements in location data intelligence and insights.


The Mobile Explosion

The explosive growth in mobile usage is inextricably linked with the now ubiquitous smartphone. Mobile devices didn’t just change the way people find information and purchase goods and services—they also provided a new and highly effective way to reach consumers. The numbers speak for themselves. Even back in 2016, Cisco reported that the number of global mobile users was growing twice as fast as the global population. In 2018, programmatic mobile ad spend in the U.S. grew 25 percent, from $24 billion the year prior. Mobile will soon account for around 78 percent of the $46 billion programmatic ad market, according to eMarketer.

At, we’re just as focused on mobile as everyone else – our Data Network covers 90% of all smartphone users. We reach over 1.3 billion devices and serve ads on over 600,000+ apps. We see a staggering three billion records per hour and 500 million unique locations per day. And our data scientists are committed to ensuring we use only the highest quality location data. Even after rigorous scrubbing, cleaning and filtering of the data, sees approximately 600 times the amount of location data signals when compared to other in-market solutions. This passion for quality and quantity is mandatory for success in mobile marketing today.


Exciting Advancements in Location Intelligence

As consumers, we love our phones because they’re always there when we need them. They tell us where the nearest ATM is, what the weather is like, where to get great BBQ – all through the use of GPS. It’s these location services that make mobile phones great tools and make them so valuable for businesses that want to target at a hyper-local level.

Location data has become an essential tool for marketers because it’s a highly targeted way to reach the right consumer at the right time through the use of mobile data and location services.
Additionally, location intelligence is making the online-to-offline connection more trackable. Advertisers are buying in and believing in the value of location intelligence and insights thanks to the ability to prove out an ROI on their advertising campaigns. For example, in 2018’s location-based mobile targeting solution drove an average 391% increase in incremental physical site visits for clients from target areas as reported by Geo-Conversion Lift.

There are significant benefits to utilizing high quality location data based on actual GPS data (not derived). It provides insight into audience behavior and preferences, and helps gain an understanding of what drives people to a physical location. It also informs marketers which programmatic strategies are and are not working, and can serve as a gateway into dynamic location-based marketing tools like’s Geo-Fencing solution.

Advertisers aren’t the only ones invested in location data. According to Pew Research, 83% of users consider location-services crucial to their mobile experience. And despite privacy concerns, 90% of people keep the location services function on their smartphones switched on, and this number will only continue to rise (eMarketer).

Ultimately, it is the rise of mobile and the resulting location intelligence and location-based targeting that has driven the shift towards localization and forever changed the way advertisers approach audience targeting. At the end of the day, location-based data helps marketers go beyond targeting based on things like cookies and search data, and precisely reach the right consumers at that all-important moment when they are interacting with the digital and physical world together.

The need for advertisers to take action is clear. Check out more details around the importance of localized programmatic, key drivers of growth, and reasons for advertisers to consider localizing their strategy within our exclusive industry report, The State of Localized Programmatic. Email us at or continue the conversation with us on Twitter at @simpli_fi.