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Location-Based Marketing To Mobiles and Portables

 2:45 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Location-Based Marketing To Mobiles and Portables [adage.com]
It's the ad served while you are reading the news in the morning on an e-reader that knows you're at home and three blocks from a Starbucks. It's a loyalty program on your phone that, through a hotel-room sensor, sets the lights and thermostat and turns the TV to CNN when you walk in the door. It's finding a restaurant in a strange city on a Tuesday night, discovering that a store nearby stocks the TV you're looking for, or that a certain grocery on the way home has the cut of meat you need.

Forget Foursquare or Gowalla: Soon every website and service will be able to tell where you are, opening up the floodgates for location-based marketing and blurring the budget lines for advertisers.

Are you gearing up for the opportunities, or is privacy going to cause it to stall?



 5:36 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Location-based marketing onto mobile devices has been touted for years at this point, repeatedly claimed to be the "next big thing" and "about to go hot".

So, what's kept it from doing so already?

Frankly, balance, control and value are all aspects which decide whether a consumer wants this sort of stuff. I might want occasional coupons or discounts, but not every 15 minutes. I might want to hear about shoe sales nearby, but not auto repair discounts. And, even if it's the content and frequency that I want, I still might not be thrilled if the discount value is only marginal.

It's clear that user opt-in and controls need to somehow be included for this stuff to really work -- otherwise, we all get irritated and tune it out.

So far, no one's really found a balance or a method that fine-tunes for individuals' needs, IMHO.


 1:11 pm on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree with silvery, its been "the next big thing" for so long its safe to assume its not.

Just because all of these companies want it and hype it doesn't mean the consumers want it.


 3:23 pm on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just because all of these companies want it and hype it doesn't mean the consumers want it.

Consumers want discounts and access to special events but the problem is the delivery method which is where I think location marketing is hung up.

People on the go don't want to be flooded with junk that devolved the SmartPhone into a digital can of spam with a touch screen.

However, when we want to find something, being able to tap into the location-based marketing is something we'll want to do in abundance.

The problem so far is nobody has connected all the dots to make it easy to make it happen.


 4:57 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, interesting. Incidentally a friend of mine and I were brainstorming this very recently. Not that I am technically gifted, thought there might be a way out to address the customization issue.

Say, you pool all the offers from different merchants in a database. Create application that lets a customer see on his/her smart phone, categorized offers from merchants based on his/her location. When he/she moves out another town, what s/he sees will be relevant to that town. Possible?


 5:24 pm on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting timing of this thread...

On the way back from the airport today, I happened to glance at the GPS in my car (I actually know the way to/from the airport very well- I just took it along because it also gives live traffic feeds and alternative route suggestions when there's congestion) and saw a little message at the top of the screen extolling a 20% sale at Sears. Huh?!? I did a double take and saw that the message had changed to one inviting me to check out Olive Garden. (There are both a Sears and Olive Garden at the mall 5 miles up the road from there.)

I repeatedly tried "clicking" on the ad several times to see if it would give me a coupon or some sort of instructions where I could actually download something of value. Alas, it was just a static ad- a mini-billboard, if you will.

The live traffic feed is supposedly free for life, so I wonder if these ads are a way of generating some revenue to pay for that. And I wonder if I'll be getting an e-mail from Magellan in the near future asking for my feedback about the ads and offering me a "paid upgrade" for ads-free GPSing.

edit- added
Ah, yep- just found this:
The free traffic solution is ad supported, where valuable offers and promotions of participating companies are delivered conveniently to the user.


 5:57 am on Apr 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

So here everybody is profited,user gets something of value and retailer gets profit.


 5:08 am on Apr 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

We've had location based mobile advertising for at least a decade in Japan.

Early versions used cell tower triangulation and they weren't all that accurate. With GPS in all the phones now they're quite accurate, and it's made the service much more attractive IMHO.

The phones I've used have always had an option to easily switch these sorts of ads on or off. A lot of restaurants and bars have really taken to this medium. It's a great way to get coupons when you want them, and then I'd switch the service off.

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