Mobile Users: Fans of Personalized Location Based Services

Mobile tech gives developers power to offer a lot of “magic” features for the user experience given the data known about a user based on GPS location, time of day, and other info. While some folks, myself included, thinks there’s a limit to how much a person will want their phone to “smart market” to them based on this information, according to a new survey, two-thirds of mobile users around the globe are interested in “smart” services that would do just that. And mobile marketers who play the game right can use this acceptance to innovate in smart mobile marketing for brick-and-mortar businesses.

To be fair, the survey didn’t ask if the users wanted to be marketed to based on their location, time of day and social setting. It asked if the users would be interested in receiving information based on those pieces of data. But information rarely comes free without some form of marketing or advertising involved.

The survey by Tellabs conducted by The Nielsen Company says that mobile users expect the smart services from a variety of providers, including mobile operators, other Internet application providers and other sources. Based on this survey, anyway, consumers seem to trust their mobile carriers to protect their personal information and offer smart services that they’d want to receive.

eMarketer’s latest writeup on the survey notes that while mobile users believe mobile operators are the “best source of location-based services,” when it comes to mobile shopping services, consumers trust advertisers a little more to give them relevant information. On the forefront of this location-based shopping technology is 1020 Placecast — a company we write about frequently because they’re helping prove the ROI on location-based marketing for advertisers and winning accolades as they go.

According to 1020 Placecast, their ShopAlerts program — which sends messages to consumers in a certain radius around a retail location — has been received well. They claim that 79% of consumers using the program were more likely to visit the store, and 65% actually made a purchase. Also, 60% said the location-triggered messages were “cool” and “innovative.”

While the location-based messaging is “cool” and “innovative” now, in the future we may see LBS fatigue. How many messages can a person receive on their phone before the individual messages lose their value? For specific brand loyalty — if a consumer picks a few retail establishments they want messages from — the LBS technology could ultimately provide huge value for both the retailer and the shopper. But I still wonder at what point (and message quantity or screen clutter displaying nearby deals) “cool” turns into annoyingly uncool. For now, there’s plenty of room to show off what’s cool.