Does Mobile Marketing Actually Work in the Real World?

Wading through the murkiness of location data

When you walk into the mobile advertising firm xAd’s headquarters in New York, you'll notice a pair of digital screens showing maps of the United States. On the left, a map plots out more than 150 billion monthly pings from smartphone owners opening advertising-supported mobile apps and sites across the country. Meanwhile, the map on the right is zoomed in to show a small sliver of midtown Manhattan. Each time someone clicks to refresh a piece of mobile content, a dot lights up showing their exact location—down to the closest street corner.