Thursday, September 16, 2010

Location, Location, Location

Mobile Marketer Daily recently published an article entitled 7 Key Trends Mobile Marketers Need to Know. This was a review of a keynote speech by Noah Elkin, senior analyst at eMarketer New York.

Go ahead and read the article. Or I'll give you the Cole's notes version here:

1) Mobile usage has become pervasive
2) Mobile devices and platforms have experienced dramatic evolution
3) The device market is shifting in favour of smartphones, and the US is driving much of the demand
4) Increased ownership of smart devices is driving mobile internet growth
5) Communication modes are undergoing a significant shift
6) The base of mobile content users will continue to see strong growth
7) Tablets are changing the face of mobility and computing.

Mr Elkin is correct in all respects. But I believe he has missed one large trend. He speaks briefly of location as a component of #5 above. I think it is more important than that, deserving of it's own category:

8) Location is everything, and marketers are starting to utilize this feature.

Most people, when they forget their wallet at home, borrow some cash from a colleague and get through the day. When they forget their phone, they go home and get it. People simply cannot be without their phones at all times. Since it's always with them, it offers marketers a way to know where their consumers are.

Although it sounds a little 'big-brother', in reality its a good thing for marketers and consumers alike. Location, combined with permission-based marketing, is a recipe for relevancy. Consumers will never complain about privacy or intrusion when the message sent to them is both requested and relevant.

For example, if you like to shop at the Gap, and you are always on the lookout for the latest jeans, you wouldn't mind a message from the Gap when you were near one that informed you of the latest product lineup or sale. You would only get this message if you agreed to receive them in the first place, and if you changed your mind you would be able to unsubscribe and never be bothered again.

Self-selected consumer messaging plus a device that's always on and always present with the consumer equals a whole new marketing ballgame.

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