What is User-Centric Advertising

Advertising is a marketing practice of presenting a promotional message to a target market audience. Modern technology allows companies to expand their reach within a target market audience in a way that traditional marketing practices would not make possible. The focal point of an advertising campaign is to present a promotional message that provides a benefit to a specific market segment or works to resolve a pressing issue that is currently troubling that market.

Advertising campaigns are traditionally site centric, which means the measurement benchmarks focus on how a website responds to a promotional message. In recent years, advertisers are starting to move towards a more user centric campaign approach. User centric advertising focuses on how a target market audience responds to a specific advertising campaign.

Site-Centric Focus

As the name implies, a site-centric advertising campaign takes a look at how well a website performs in regards to a particular promotional message. It looks at benchmarks such as page views, unique browser visitors and the time that a new user spends on a website as a result of coming into contact with a promotional message. Monitoring the website statistics is the responsibility of the website owner, not the marketing director that is handling the advertising campaign.

User-Centric Focus

User-centric advertising focuses on a target market audience by monitoring how this group responds to a promotional advertising message. All of the advertising activity works to capture the attention of Internet users as opposed to website responses, as is the case with site-centric advertising. By taking a more human connection focus on advertising, marketing departments are receiving responses that help direct upcoming trends in regards to upcoming industry trends.

As advertising practices move towards encompassing what users have an interest in seeing, companies begin to understand the importance of providing products and services that provide a benefit or resolve a problem. By placing user response ahead of website performance, companies are able to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. Every marketing action these companies take place consumer needs at the top of advertising priority lists.

The Human Truth Factor

User-centric advertising allows companies to focus on three primary human truths that allow them to look at consumers as people with thoughts and feelings instead of as a means to increase sales revenue. By focusing on these human truth factors, companies find tremendous value in taking a user-centric approach with their marketing practices.

  • Consumers Want a Voice

The rise in social media popularity illustrates the importance of allowing consumers to have a voice. Every consumer has a story to tell and they seek out companies who will take the time to hear that story. A company may not be able to provide a benefit or a product or service that matches that story at the moment.

However, listening to the consumers voices provides a company with a starting point for making that happen. User-centric advertising can set the tone for how the company is listening to that story and taking the appropriate action.

  • Consumers Want to Express Needs

Consumers are not shy about sharing information on products or services that they need and those that they simply want to add to their world. The internet is a great platform to make that happen. The social media channels are full of information that gives companies insight into what consumers need to receive to be happy. Each channel gives companies the ability to utilize algorithms to monitor customer responses to new products, services and industry trends.

Those companies can then take that information and create user-centric advertising campaigns that work to give consumers what they need. As a result, consumers appreciate companies taking the time to meet their needs and work to make those needs a reality.

  • Consumers Want Convenience

Consumers are constantly on the go, moving through their day trying to finish everything before the day comes to an end. That means their smartphones, tablets and other relevant electronic devices are never out of reach. Companies need to create technology based advertising campaigns to ensure that their target market audiences come in contact with user-centric messages. These advertisements need to be easy-to-read on various mobile devices and work with consumers who are continuously on the move.

Taking a user-centric approach to advertising campaigns works to make this happen. It allows companies to take promotional messages to where consumers are at, without interrupting their day or making them take extra actions to respond to those advertisements.

Engaging in site-centric advertising practices place the focus on website performance and results in a company overlooking the needs of its customer base. Website performance provides limited details in how well a market segment is responding to a promotional message. Consumers may visit a website only to leave without taking any further action with a company. User-centric advertising, on the other hand, places consumers at the center of the marketing functions that a company takes to promote products or services. It provides specific details on how a target market is responding to a company’s advertising campaign. Working to meet the needs of consumers first naturally lends itself to an increase in website performance as well.

5 Mobile Marketing Terms You Should Know


In our key term articles, we’ll discuss some important mobile advertising lexicon and keep you updated with the latest features. Feel like you’ve missed the train? Don’t worry – we’re here to catch you up. Ready? Set? Go!

First, here are a few facts for you to wet your beak and see why mobile has become such a powerful media to reach consumers:

  • For the first time in 2015, mobile marketing out shined investments in web marketing channels. In the US during 2015, 52% of total digital ad spending was made in mobile.
  • 65% of US smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of rising and 64% check their phones within 15 minutes of going to bed.
  • 87% of millennials always have their smartphone at their side, day and night. 78% of millennials spend over 2 hours a day using their smartphones.
  • 78% of Facebook users are mobile­ only.
  • 64% of decision-­makers read their e­mail via mobile
  • By 2017, mobile devices will make up 87% of the total sales of Internet-enabled technology.

Sources: Emarketer & COM Council

Now, to better prepare you for tackling the complex mobile advertising landscape we’re here to provide you with some essential key terms. You might’ve heard some terms and already be wondering, “what in the world is a hyperlocal RTB DSP”? Well get ready to learn; we’re here to help!

1. Mobile Marketing Channels

  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)

One of the most popular channels for mobile marketers just starting out, social media advertising platforms make it easy to zero in on your exact target demographic. With powerful filters such as exact age, language, favorite locations, interest, level of education and many more unique targeting options, these platforms make it easy and simple to reach your target demographic. While one of the advantages is highly specific targeting, one of the major disadvantages is that it is only one single distribution point. Another disadvantage is that in terms of price, they tend to be on the expensive side.

  • Search Engines (Google Adwords, Bing Ads, etc.)

Although the most complex, search engine advertising is essential, especially for on-demand businesses. Focusing the budget on mobile ensures you’ll catch people at a time when they truly need the product or service they are looking for. This works by targeting an audience using complex algorithms that account for keywords, search history and location. These ad platforms will also integrate directly with mobile apps and mobile website traffic to provide a diverse distribution. The cons? The biggest one is that these platforms are very complex and require a good amount of knowledge to simple get a campaign started. Optimization is whole other story.

  • Mobile Ad Networks (Programmatic RTB, DSP, SSP, etc.)

Mobile ad networks work by matching ads with a specific audience available via mobile apps and websites. Depending on the type of ad network, advertisers bid for space in specific apps or simple set-up a maximum they are willing to pay for placement and let programmatic buying take care of the rest. The best part of using mobile ad networks? The distribution is very large and a lot of the process can be automated. The worst part? While it is usually very easy to start a campaign, advertisers need to keep a close eye on traffic sources to ensure their spend isn’t being wasted. Have you ever seen those annoying pop-up ads or inconveniently placed promotions on your phone where you will accidentally click? Unfortunately there are almost always traffic sources with ads like these that can make it seem as though you are garnering a lot of interest but truly it is only a toned-down form of click fraud (this will be its own key term in another article). We will talk more about the different types of ad networks below.

2. Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

Real-time bidding is a programmatic way of buying and selling mobile inventory via instantaneous auctions through connection with millions of placements in different mobile traffic sources. RTB allows the advertiser to promote on multiple placements at the same time with the audience that best fits the advertiser’s client. In essence, the transaction is triggered when a user visits a website or an app and their demographic info (age, gender, location, etc.) is released and an algorithm matches this information with the advertiser’s specified targeting. The winner of the auction purchases the placement and the banner appears. This is all programmatic and happens in milliseconds.

The general idea of RTB services is that everybody is winning. The publisher wins because they receive the best price for the available ad space. The advertiser wins because they are placing their ad in the most effective location which matches their target demographic.

3. Ad Exchanges, DSPs and SSPs

Now that you understand what RTB means, let’s move on to breaking down the tools that make RTB services a possibility.

  • Ad Exchange: In essence, this is the software connected to multiple ad networks, affiliate networks and app publishers. By using their own algorithm as well as providing software for app publishers to install in their own apps, ad exchanges are able to provide advertisers with demographic information to allow them to place highly targeted ads.
  • Demand Side Platform (DSP): In order to access multiple ad exchanges in one interface, DSPs were created. DSPs make it easy for advertisers to manage bids for target audiences. Essentially, DSPs are connected to multiple ad exchanges and aggregate demographic data from all the different traffic sources in one easy to use dashboard. Advertisers can easily control their targeting and optimize based on data that the DSP collects from all the different ad exchanges.  There are many DSPs on the market. In order to choose the best DSP for your marketing plan, it is important to weigh what is most important. Some DSPs are able to target location very specifically while others can only get as specific as a country or city. Some DSPs only allow a few creative sizes while others provide many different options. Others might force you to create ads using their own interface. Some highly specific DSPs only specialize in certain audience types. It’s important to choose a DSP that best fits your business. One of the advantages of using RAIN is that it integrate with many DSPs, making it easy to use the large variety of targeting options available in one place.
  • Supple Side Platform (SSP)

SSPs are a way for publishers to manage their advertising inventory in one easy to access dashboard. SSPs allow publishers to easily interact with advertising networks or exchanges that their app or mobile website is providing ad space for. Through a SSP, publishers can automate the selling of their available ad space as well as optimize to earn the most possible revenue.

4. Mobile Ad Creative

Creatives are the banners you submit to DSP services which are used to advertise your products and services on mobile apps and websites. They represent your business and must catch the attention of mobile users or they will easily be looked over. The design must communicate the message you want to deliver but the unique challenge with mobile is that it will be displayed on a mobile device. It is difficult to have a clear, concise advertisement in such a small space that both communicates your message effectively and still catches the user’s eye. It is important to spend time on mobile creative and always be testing in order to optimize results. Another difficult of aspect of designing for mobile is that they are so many different phones types and screen sizes. Creative might look good on an iPhone 6s’s large screen but it won’t look the same on an Android Galaxy S5 Mini. For a complete list of common accepted ad sizes, check out the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) list located here.

Mobile advertising utilizes three distinct formats.

  • Banner ads are embedded on a small portion of the page.
  • Interstitial ads pop-up in the device while a user navigates.
  • Native ads appear to be part of the app itself.

The picture below helps outline how each format appears:


5. Digital Wallet

Utilizing the digital wallet is a great way to send location-based notifications to a user who has already shown interest in your product – even when they aren’t actively using their phone. The two most widely used digital wallets are Apple Passbook and Android Pay, both of which integrate payment information as well as deals. Let’s say you are promoting a specific deal for a product or service. Someone on their phone sees your ad and is interested in your deal. They click to visit your website and learn more about your product. While they’re browsing, they realize they are late to an important meeting. As they get ready to abandon your website and disappear back into the audience abyss, they notice a button: “Click here to save this deal”. Selecting this allows them to save your promotion to their digital wallet. Now, even when they’ve finished their meeting and long forgotten about your offer, they will receive a notification of your available offer when they pass by a pre-determined location. This can be your storefront, a competitor’s storefront, a high-traffic location such as a mall or sports area or even a specific street corner in your target area. The best part about this? You can attach multiple locations to a single digital wallet deal and the notification appears even when the user isn’t using their phone.

We hope this post has helped you learn more about the capabilities of mobile marketing and how it all works. Keep an eye out for another post next week to learn more about common mobile key terms and lexicon. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the RAIN team at support@rainlocal.com or 1-800-431-5015 if you have any questions. We’re happy to help. Ta-ta for now!

-RAIN Team