Fresh from announcing $5 million in new funding this fall, LocalResponse, a mobile advertising network, has been ramping up its advertising client base and it's also opened up a new Chicago office.
The new advertisers include major brands, including Audi, Verizon, Walgreens, General Motor's, Kmart, Coca-Cola, General Electric, McDonald's and many more. Besides leveraging the LocalResponse ad platform, all these advertisers have one thing in common: They all want to engage with users at the moment they make a tweet.
For instance, if a person says, "I'm going to Walgreens," or something less explicit, like "I'm heading to the drugstore" the retail chain might want to reply to that tweet with a promotion. You can see the flow in the above example.
In another example, Verizon has a six-figure agreement with LocalResponse to reach out to anyone who tweets statements and variations of "I hate AT&T," said Nihal Mehta, CEO and founder of LocalResponse, in an interview. If a person tweets this, LocalResponse will reply to the person using the standard Twitter "@name" function with a text ad that might say: "Why not try Verizon if you're frustrated?" Verizon pays $2 for every click that LocalResponse gets them. So, far the response has been incredible, said Mehta. The click-through-rate (CTR) for the Verizon campaign has been 135%.
Incredible indeed. And, it's clearly an anomaly in the online world where CTRs are single digits, if even 1% for most ad units. Mehta says the average CTR is in fact, 60%. Of course, a lot of this clicking probably has more to do with the novelty of it all and the fact that there isn't much "marketing-like" advertising on Twitter, just yet.
In Q1, LocalResponse also plans on offering display ads. So, the same Verizon reply to your frustrations about AT&T might be a colorful banner wooing you to make switch.
It's an interesting and novel ad opportunity as clearly every marketer is trying to understand just how to capitalize on the comments streaming on Twitter. It begs the question, will Twitter want a third-party to monetize their tweets? And, what's in it for them?
Mehta, who was on his way to Twitter offices as we spoke, said that Twitter is well aware of the activity but is also very supportive of any company that supports its ecosystem. Indeed, unless it's a service they can offer themselves. No wonder LocalResponse is seeking a "tighter" integration with them.
It'll be interesting to follow LocalResponse's progress. The company started off as Buzzd -- which was a similar service to Foursquare, only a couple years too early -- and like many companies restructured after a couple years and re-launched as LocalResponse.