Location Awareness

Jan 27, 2010
Oshyn Labs
The always connected consumer provides another unique opportunity. Smartphones can provide location awareness. For example, if the feature is enabled, Twitter users connecting via the application 'ber automatically tag their tweets with their location. Businesses can use the technology to further serve targeted-content to their visitors. Imagine you are walking around the mall shopping for a plasma TV, and you can get information from retailers at that mall about new models, best-selling models, prices and sales. What if retailers outside of the mall but in the vicinity could also serve that data to you? Retailers that use text message advertising could increase performance by directing text messages to consumers who are in the vicinity of something they can immediately act on. Part of the reason these messages are annoying, is that they are often received in the likeness of SPAM. You hear the text message alert thinking it's a message from someone you know, and it's advertisement for sushi delivery. That's really not useful if you are sitting in a food court eating lunch. But wait, what if you can't remember where that great sushi restaurant was that you went to a few months back. Well if you use iFlickr and took a picture that was geo-tagged, all you need to do is find your sushi pic!

In 2009 website experience became more dynamic especially with the changes via inbound marketing and increased popularity of social media. In 2010 technology will make mobile experience much more important and geo-tagging or location awareness will add context to make it valuable. For example, if you are at a business, wouldn't it make sense that your smartphone can easily collect information about the services or products provided there? As a side note, mobile users can opt-in and opt-out of location awareness to ensure they have control over privacy issues.

Perhaps in 2010 use of QR code technology will take off with more people being always connected. By taking a picture of a QR code with their mobile, the user can be taken to a website landing page. Some mobile applications actually just scan over the image with the camera function like a bar scanner in a store; it beeps and automatically takes you to the landing page. The technology is currently popular in Japan and Korea. Google has been including QR codes on business listings and apparently has plans to increase usage.