The Gloriousness of Geo-Location
September 24, 2009 § 1 Comment
Yes, I know “gloriousness” isn’t a real word, but that doesn’t detract away from the wonders of geo-location (and not just because it makes for the ultimate stalker-tool). Sure, you can, through Loopt, BrightKite, and similar applications, find your friends and people near you with similar interests. And with Twitter’s integration of geo-location into their API’s, developers can utilize it for a number of possibilities. But there’s one particular possibility which makes geo-location so great: hyper-local targeted advertising. Think about it.
If users are all of a sudden enabling geo-location on their tweets, posts, etc., it would make it that much easier to do targeted advertising. Small businesses contribute greatly to the economy, and often cater to niche markets that larger businesses and corporations are often unable to do. Currently, if a small business or local business were to advertise on the web on, say, unique ice cream flavors, and they just happened to be located in San Francisco, but someone in Los Angeles tweets/blogs/searches for unique ice cream flavors, that advertisement could very well show up. The problem with this is that it really doesn’t benefit the advertiser (or even the person receiving the advertisement). With geo-location, small businesses can ensure that they target users who are most likely to frequent their establishment (i.e., users that are in close proximity to them). Allowing for hyper-local advertising allows for businesses to maximize their success at reaching their target audience.
Hyper-local advertising also increases the interaction advertisers can have with users. Let’s say a user loves telecommuting and often finds themselves working out of coffee shops. With geo-location, a coffee shop could advertise free coffee with the purchase of a scone for an hour to everyone that’s currently in that coffee shop, and people in the surrounding area. The user that loves telecommuting would likely pay more attention to more deals (or in this case, a steal – if it’s a pecan scone!) that are advertised, and possibly frequent that particular coffee shop more often.
As geo-location becomes increasingly popular in the social networking realm, not only could advertisers utilize it to more effectively advertise to their target audience, but it would allow for a more personalized user experience through location. Geo-location could be used for location-based social networking, geo-tagging pictures and videos, and location-based searches, among other infinite possibilities. The effect of all of this is the increased information about particular locations for locals, by locals. Advertisers would be able to more effectively reach these people, and these users would be able to more effectively sift through information that’s more relevant to them.