TeleNav, which offers branded and white-label navigation apps for a wide variety of mobile phones and carriers, just announced the launch of its own mobile advertising platform. While most mobile ad platforms now offer some form of location-aware advertising, TeleNav has a number of unique advantages, including the fact that its users are obviously willing to drive to a real store, and that it can provide turn-by-turn directions to stores without taking users to a different interface.
TeleNav's software is already available on over 500 mobile devices and, according to the company's own data, its users currently perform more than 40 million mobile searches each month. Even more importantly, 84% of the company's users are in their car when they are using TeleNav's products. Because of this, one of the major new metrics that TeleNav offers its advertisers is a "drive-by-rate" that measures whether a user actually chooses to drive to the advertiser's location.
Whenever a user searches for a business or service, TeleNav will display relevant ads from its partners as the top listing and users can then click on the ad to get more information about the business (coupons, menus, etc.) and either place a call or receive turn-by-turn directions.
A location-aware ad that a user clicks on is one thing - but a user who then actually drives to the location is clearly worth a lot more for the advertisers and should allow TeleNav to charge its advertisers a premium. According to TeleNav's own data, it is seeing 3.8% click-through rates from its users and a conversion rate (that is, users who then drive to the advertisers location) of nearly 24%. These numbers seem rather high and should be taken with a grain of salt, but there can be little doubt that this will be an attractive platform for many advertisers and local businesses.