Mobile advertising and crowded locations

Mobile advertising and crowded locations

July 25, 20181 min read

As marketers look for new ways to target consumers on their smartphones, they are capitalizing on the ability to use location for mobile advertising. Today, retailers send mobile coupons and alert shoppers to sale items as they roam the aisles of the store. New research from Michelle Andrews, assistant professor of marketing, and coauthors Zheng Fang (Sichuan U), Anindya Ghose (NYU), and Xueming Luo (Temple U), investigates the impact of another type of location on mobile ad effectiveness. The authors studied real-time data from one of the world’s largest telecom providers, compiling responses to mobile advertising by 14,972 mobile phone users on crowded and noncrowded subway trains. Surprisingly, commuters in packed subway trains were twice as likely to respond to and make a purchase from a mobile ad than travelers in less crowded subway trains. The researchers write, “A plausible explanation is mobile immersion: As increased crowding invades one’s physical space, people adaptively turn inwards and become more susceptible to mobile ads.” The research indicates that “hyper-contextual mobile advertising” needs to be a bigger consideration for marketers looking to improve their mobile advertising.


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  • Michelle Andrews
    Michelle Andrews Assistant Professor of Marketing

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