There are clear and measurable propositions for advertisers to consider location-based advertising (LBA) as a medium to reach the increasingly out-of-home and mobile customers. However, advertisers must be mindful of the medium's intrusiveness, since most wireless users carry their wireless phones throughout the day. Advertisers must also respect the consumer's right to decline receiving such messages.
Privacy issues surrounding location-based advertising and facing wireless users can be separated into two main categories:
Over time, historical location data is collected and stored in databases; this information may enable advertisers to deliver helpful, location-specific information to wireless users. However, this information also enables a service provider to build a very detailed and invasive dossier of wireless user's travel patterns, movements, and other habits.
Unanticipated Incoming Messages
The second issue is related to the real-time location data that would be used to send advertising messages to the wireless user supposedly at the right place to make the message relevant, which could be very intrusive if such advertising is unanticipated by the user.
To address these issues, advertisers should work with location-based advertising service providers to ensure the following parameters are met before beginning any location-related campaigns:
Users Must Opt In to Receive Incoming Messages
The legalistic approach to mitigate users' likely frustrations as they receive unanticipated advertising messages is to ensure that they categorically accept to receive such messages. This is known as "opt-in" whereby mobile users willingly accept the option to receive the messages. For example:
Invariably, any mobile user who chooses not to reply within a fixed period of time or opt out from receiving LBA messages, will not receive any SMS from the advertiser.
Managing Users' Acceptability to Intrusive Messages
Since the objective of an LBA campaign is to deliver a marketing message near an actionable location where buyer behavior can be most immediately influenced, it is therefore important that the users' "buying psychology" is not negatively impacted by untimely LBA messages and risk non-conversion of a potential sale.
Thus, advertisers working with service providers must:
This is described in the following sections:
It may sound complex for some advertisers (and presumably service providers as well), but the principles behind the thought process is to ensure that the mobile receiver (i.e., target customer) remains the focus of any LBA service. Having the latest LBA technology is a great start, but it is how an advertiser or service provider designs the service to minimize the service's intrusiveness and maximize the "influence" of the contextual message that is key to the success of LBA services.
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With more than 10 years experience in the Internet, mobile, and more recently, digital media/advertising in companies such as Singapore Press Holdings, SingTel, Cisco Systems, and Dell, Darren Yan can be described simply as a business and product development professional in all things digital. At DBS Bank, he was tasked to grow the awareness and use of mobile banking services in Asia. Darren has successfully developed and launched pioneering mobile Internet initiatives such as subscription-based mobile news services, location-based advertising, and behavioral targeting using database analytics.
Darren's experience and accomplishments in mobile marketing are recognized and validated by his peers on LinkedIn as one of the many selected sales and marketing experts in Singapore.