Location Based Services Smart for Business

I recently investigated Foursquare, Yowza and others. I’m not a game guy and definitely don’t use coupons but this mobile presence idea is intriguing to me and should be to you.


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In the science fiction movie Minority Report Tom Cruise walks by displays that identify him, present a product, and customize the ad with his name. With location-based services what would stop a business from doing this on your smart phone? “Hey Chris, Tony Pizzeria has a new pizza that we think you would like just around the corner from where you are right now.” Also, “Bill with XYZ company is already there eating. Isn’t that a LinkedIn contact you wanted to connect with?”

Location Based Services Defined
For those like me that had no idea what this technology was, wikipedia defines location-based service (LBS) as “information and entertainment service, accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile.”

It doesn’t take a business genius to see that getting relevant information quickly and, more importantly, delivering on it instantaneously is nothing less than pure marketing gold. Here are some of the implementations today.

  • LBS services can be used in a variety of contexts, such as health, work, personal life, etc.
  • LBS services include services to identify a location of a person or object, such as discovering the nearest banking cash machine or the whereabouts of a friend or employee.
  • LBS services include parcel tracking and vehicle tracking services.
  • LBS can include mobile commerce when taking the form of coupons or advertising directed at customers based on their current location. They include personalized weather services and even location-based games. They are an example of telecommunication convergence. The key result of convergence at a macro-business level is the merger of the telecommunications and media / entertainment industries.
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What’s the Potential?
Location-based services are a $1.9 billion business, projected to hit $3.8 billion+ shortly, according to research firm Gartner.

Strategy Analytics believes location-based services could become a $10 billion per year business by 2016 – The $10 Billion Rule: Location, Location, Location. They feel “Consumers are increasingly demanding services such as search, maps or navigation, for which location information is either fundamental to or provides greater context, utility and therefore appeal,” the firm said. “For advertisers, location data provides opportunities for ad targeting and optimization.”

Location-based search advertising could account for “just over 50%” of the predicted range of $10 billion in 2016 which is obviously something a smart business owner needs to be aware, and take advantage, of.

Now that inexpensive large broadband services and advanced cloud communications devices are so readily available, science fiction is fast becoming science fact.

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Chris Lott is a business solutions consultant with over 10 year’s sales management experience including business ownership, product management and marketing. He also owns and contributes to SalesBlog! and totallysales.


2 thoughts on “Location Based Services Smart for Business

  1. The sector is heating up and many different models are competing to get a foothold and find mainstream adoption. We're working on a model that doesn't use check-ins, coupons or game models- just relevant actionable info in peoples hands to enhance their consumer decisions.

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