Mobile Spawns Location-Based Search

Gowalla

Social networks that revolve around following a user’s geographic location, such as Foursquare and Gowalla may soon become irrelevant, according to a recent Ad Age article (3/22/10 by Kunur Patel) which predicts that location-based marketing will become an integral part of all web sites and critical for advertisers.

Imagine if advertisers knew your location at all given moments, plus had detailed data concerning your likes, dislikes and purchasing decisions. It would only be a matter of time before mobile search could give you local answers and suggestions that matched some of your favorites and might even pop up with suggestions based upon your age, size and style tastes.

Kip Cassino, VP-research at Borrell Associates tells Ad Age, “What used to be called point-of-purchase is now called mobile advertising. Mobile can be an extension of a retailer’s storefront.” Once you begin tracking where consumers are, the barriers between advertising and promotion start fading away.

Mobile ad group product manager for Google, Paul Feng explains, “We think of location as a hugely important signal. Foursquare is really innovating for small businesses and that’s fantastic. But ultimately that’s just one piece of the opportunity.” Feng notes that about one-third of all mobile searches have local intent. With that in mind Google has recently allowed advertisers to add phone numbers to mobile ads so consumers can click to call.

Cassino predicts, “The demand for stationary computers is going to dry up on a consumer level. One quarter of Facebook’s 400 million users access its network from mobile devices and they tend to be almost twice as active as the non-mobile crowd. The article also suggests Facebook will introduce location-based features during April.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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