iSign operates by detecting mobile devices within 300 feet, and subsequently sending coupons, videos, and other promotional media to potential consumers. This allows retailers to extend their reach to consumers while simultaneously drawing in new ones. For example, consumers within the 300 ft perimeter may not have thought to visit the retail location, but may change their minds upon receiving the coupon or advertisement.
The promotional media encourages, but most importantly influences consumer behavior, strengthening the marketing abilities of the retailer. In addition to actually contacting the consumers via location-based messaging, the retailer can collect valuable data.
Upon receiving the message, consumers can choose to accept or decline the promotional media. Retailers can use the acceptance/decline rate information, and overlay it with the physical locations of the consumers. For example, it may be determined that consumers 300ft away are more likely to reject a coupon than consumers 50ft away.
The ability of the consumer to refuse promotional media also counteracts arguments that iSign enables an intrusive form of advertising. Because consumers have a choice, iSign can only provide a win-win situation for both parties.
iSign is not only free of charge, but also informs consumers of sales and offers discounts in a convenient way. For retailers, immediate data becomes available to them, such as the number of people who accept or decline the request. This type of advertising with measurement is invaluable for retailers because they can accurately gauge how well their ads are performing.
Google has recently patented a location-based mobile alarm system that sends alerts to users based on the assumed location for that time of day. For example, the device may display local sports scores adjacent to the time if users are assumed to be at home, weather updates if on the commute, and stock prices if at work.
This system further personalizes location-based messaging to include time, which distinguishes it from basic “geofencing.” This allows brands to send more relevant and effective messages because users will actually want to receive these alerts at that time of day and at that place in time.
Despite this new development in LBS, the concern for consumer privacy has been raised once again. Applications will have to access personal information, and perform information tracking and storage, sometimes without our permission. With the element of time added, some users fear an even greater invasion of privacy.
But in an age of check-ins and push notifications, why not embrace LBS with open arms? Systems like location-based alarms provides users with notifications when and where they want, eliminating the hassle of manually looking up information or the need to be reminded.
Marketing requires the anticipation of consumer’s needs and wants. Successful marketing requires delivering these needs and wants at the right place and at the right time. With the advent of location-based services (LBS), brands now have access to valuable information by connecting with consumer’s through their mobile devices.
With the knowledge of time and place, brands can send powerful, more effective messages to consumers. For example, if an individual is studying at a college library, brands like Starbucks can choose to send messages, knowing that most college students run on coffee. The student will most likely respond positively to this message and is now more likely to make the trek to Starbucks in the near future. However, if Chanel sent a message to this student, informing her of new discounts or products, the message would be ignored and ultimately, ineffective. Location is everything.
News Apps recently announced they are using geofencing technology to automatically update the latest content on the user’s mobile device. A form of location-based downloading, virtual fences are drawn around certain regions, like home or work. When these boundaries are crossed, actions such as downloading content from a news app will be triggered.
Applications such as Instapaper and Paperboy have launched this feature to provide users with the latest news without having to manually download content, because who has the time really?
The benefits of geofencing are innumerable. Users can now browse through articles in an offline setting, such as the subway, and need not worry about loading content before rushing off to catch the airplane/bus. Furthermore, users of this feature have yet to see a significant change in battery-life, one of the largest concerns attached to this new technology.
Geofencing has propelled background downloading into a new age of technology. It is no longer limited to places of connectivity or bound by Apple’s once-a-day limit. Geofencing can even be applicable to location-based reminders, where once a certain boundary is crossed, say at a supermarket, the user can be alerted to run a certain errand.