Published on Tuesday November 13th, 2012
By Matt Klassen at The Telecom Blog
The problem with mobile advertising is, generally speaking, that it’s more annoying than helpful. Given the current carpet bomb marketing approach, in the statistically unlikely chance that an advertisement does interest you, it’s rarely delivered at a time or a place useful to you. But it looks like times are once again changing, with companies like sensewhere exploring the next generation of mobile (social) advertising: user targeted, location specific, and delivered to you when you can use them most.
While it’s not quite Steven Spielberg’s dystopian vision of the future laid out in the 2002 movie Minority Report, where personal ads are delivered by way of digital retina scanners placed in all public spaces, such technology might actually be on the same road, as Sensewhere believeshyperlocal consumer interactions are indeed the wave of the future.
This means that as more and more shopping malls, stores, and marketplaces come online with this new technology, the days of wandering from store to store to find the best prices or that coveted product will be over, as the latest and greatest deals will be delivered directly to you just as you set foot in the store.
Believing that the best place to advertise to someone is when they’re already within striking distance of your products or services, sensewhere has just released adwhere, a location-based mobile app that is able to determine the position of consumers who are indoors where they’re inaccessible by GPS.
“sensewhere uses a hybrid positioning technology that intelligently integrates GPS with wireless and electromagnetic signal based positioning, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. The technology intelligently switches among these, as well as building a real-time wireless positioning database,” sensewhere CEO Rob Palfreyman recently told the E-Commerce Times.
But location awareness and mapping is only one part of sensewhere’s ingenious advertising app, as adwhere is also able to tie in data mining capabilities, noting one’s online history of ‘Likes’ or tags of a specific product; information the app then uses to compile a list of user specific ads which are delivered to the consumer when they come into close proximity to that store.
While such technology ostensibly eliminates the useless and time-wasting ads that constantly pop up on our mobile devices, the downside is clear to me: you’ll never want to go to the mall again. The problem with a mobile advertising strategy such as this is its penchant for generating user fatigue, given the potential for advertising information overload, with new advertisements delivered to a consumer with every step they take.
It’ll be up to sensewhere, however, to effectively balance the potential effectiveness of its latest creation with its latent potential for frustration and anger, something market analysts don’t think will be a problem. In the current ecosystem of mobile advertising, heavy social networking users are already accustomed to a constant stream of brand messaging, meaning that this new location-aware data mine may be exactly what consumers want.
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