MIXX Canada Highlights: Relevance, Usefulness and Real-Time Responsiveness

Relevance, usefulness and real-time responsiveness were themes that ran through several presentations at the IAB Canada Spring MIXX Conference on March 20, 2014. In particular, these key characteristics were shared by discussions on the topics of proximity and content marketing.


Proximity marketing was highlighted by two speakers from the perspective of different online channels: Juice Mobile’s Neil Sweeney on mobile display and Google’s Matt Lawson on mobile search. Sweeney offered that while 24% of in-store visits are influenced by mobile, 38% of store visits push back to online. Lawson demonstrated that 94% of mobile users have searched for local information; of these people, 51% visited a store in person, 48% called a store and 29% made a purchase in-store. Both speakers agreed that location is the lifeblood of mobile media and, as it evolves, the utility of the device must be embraced through advertising in a relevant and real-time manner.

Location-specific data is collected in order to target ads to the right user in the right place at the right time. Sweeney specified mapping as demonstrating user intent, in that a person mapping out a location intends to go there. Lawson also underlined the importance of optimizing toward locations, whether through geo-fencing ads around stores to increase foot traffic or engage customers at places of interest, such as airports, universities and downtown areas. Lawson also suggested that neighbourhoods could provide demographic clues, allowing advertisers to focus on areas where their target audience is more likely to reside or spend time.

Showrooming is another behaviour into which advertisers must insert themselves through mobile devices. Sweeney shared that 30% of Canadians showroom and 1/3 of shoppers prefer to use their phone than ask a sales person when looking for help. Whether through opt-in Passbook notifications or beacons tracking consumers in-store, he recommended that advertisers not simply push ads to consumers when tapping into showrooming behaviour but pull by being timely, useful and relevant to the intent users demonstrate.


The abovementioned key themes were also covered by LinkedIn’s Jonathan Lister on the subject of content marketing. They keys to native advertising, he explained, are utility, helpfulness and real-time relevance. Moving from information to insights creates relevance, which in turn can be leveraged to create better content. These kinds of executions, far from being simply push advertising, pull in users and engage them with content. More importantly, they allow marketers to build relationships and establish loyalty with their audience. Native advertising can also live on mobile devices, connecting content with proximity. Potentially due to the one-to-one experience afforded by smartphones and tablets, Lister says that LinkedIn tends to see higher engagement on mobile and that these devices accelerate content consumption.

As people become more accustomed to digital advertising formats, relevance, usefulness and real-time responsiveness will become increasingly important to stand out from the pack, grabbing and holding attention in a meaningful way.

Click here for a full list of all the speakers as well as a summary of their presentations.