Jed Rice, vice president of market development for Boston-based Skyhook Wireless, which provides location information, says it’s important to find ways to measure the effects of these and other campaigns. Rice says that location-based services have a lot to offer small local businesses, which can make sure their ads are going to customers who are close enough to actually act on them. However, he says big brands are needed for the industry to take off.
In order to capture big brands’ interest beyond throwaway experiments, Rice says, it’s important to be able to analyze campaigns effectively. For example, even when a location-based ad campaign isn’t likely to cause an impulse buy, services will need to show that the advertising was useful. He estimates it will take at least another year before businesses discover ways to measure the effectiveness of location-based ads.
Goodman noted that small businesses can watch for changes in foot traffic, but large businesses might have more trouble measuring how a campaign is affecting sales. Products such as Coca-Cola or Pringles are already being purchased by many consumers in many locations, and location-based services will need to find ways to demonstrate the value of adding the element of location to the companies’ national marketing campaigns.
Andrew Turner, chief technology officer of Arlington, Virginia-based Fortius One, which offers a Web-based location analysis platform, says other types of information might make location-based advertising more effective and measurable. His company’s software tracks how fast a person is moving. If she is going at walking speed, this might suggest she’s open to receiving suggestions of things to look at in the area. But if she’s traveling at driving speed, it’s much less likely that an ad targeted to her location will be effective.