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Location-Based Technology Delivers Targeted Ads and Discounts/Mobile Advertising Grows at an Exceptional Rate, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

LBS:  LBS (Location-Based Services) refer to the use of GPS features in smartphones in order to display information relevant to a user's location.  For example, GPS-enabled smartphones can provide family members with the current location of children.  Also, LBS can provide users with information about nearby restaurants and other local features, including retail stores, which can utilize LBS to alert shoppers to merchandise specials.  Location-based social networking is growing in popularity, since subscribers to LBS may elect to enable other subscribers to know their locations in real time.
Augmented Reality via Smartphones:  Augmented reality is any technology designed to enhance a user's experience by adding to the environment with computer-generated means.  Nokia engineers have introduced a prototype of a Mobile Augmented Reality Application (MARA) that uses a GPS sensor, a compass and accelerometers on a mobile phone.  The system allows a user to aim the phone’s camera at a place such as a building and retrieve information about that building and nearby businesses and landmarks from an external database, downloaded via fast wireless internet access.  For example, a phone aimed at a sports venue such as the Staples Center in Los Angeles could display information about Lakers professional basketball tickets and schedules, nearby parking lots and prices, plus restaurant menus and prices inside the center.  Dozens of excellent augmented reality apps are available for the iPhone and for Android-based phones.
Mobile ads face multiple challenges, due to the nature of the platform.  That is, smartphone screens are vastly smaller than desktop monitors.  This can make ads seem more intrusive or even annoying.  Ad producers are being challenged to make them more relevant or entertaining, or to deliver high value via discount offers and coupons.  Smartphone browsers may not accept cookies, which can make it more difficult to track or retarget a consumer who clicks on a link in a mobile ad.  These problems are among the reasons that advertisers pay lower fees for mobile ads than full size online ads.
One of the mobile sectors with the greatest potential is the display of ads to mobile users of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.  Here, ads can be positioned as part of the overall social media experience.
GPS technology is allowing advertisers to push information to mobile consumers based on their locations.  For example, GPS-equipped smartphones have the potential to alert consumers on the go to nearby restaurants, entertainment attractions and special sale events at retailers.
One noteworthy example is GPShopper, which offers mobile app features with which retailers can build customer loyalty and drive store traffic.  A key part of the firm’s technology is the use of “beacons” that its retailer clients place within their stores.  These beacons send a message to nearby smartphone users, alerting them to the fact that they are near special merchandise or enabling them to get special discounts on nearby items.  GPShopper is owned by Synchrony Financial.
In the U.S., smartphone owners must opt-in or be viewing an internet site before they can be subjected to ads.  However, there are many offerings that U.S. consumers may find compelling enough to get them to opt-in.  To begin with, millions of American smartphone users are now buying subscriptions to smartphone TV programming, music programming, games and sports programming, which may contain ads.  Virtually all digital consumers use their smartphones to access internet sites that contain ads in addition to their primary content.
At Heathrow Airport near London, and in London’s train stations and shopping malls, consumers carrying Bluetooth-enabled smartphones may come within range of transmitters alerting them to digital ads and offers.  The smartphone ads may be combined with nearby billboards for greater effect.  Content often includes interviews with musicians or entertainers, spots about new cars, or travel-related services.  The spots tend to be about 30 seconds long, and high levels of consumers who are in range, about 10%, have downloaded the ads.
China’s Changsha IFS mall offers a 5G Mixed Reality shopping navigator for smartphones called iGO.  It combines 5G, augmented reality and interactive marketing tools to help users find their way around the nine-level mall, engage in personalized shopping (including special offers from different retailers) and an interactive treasure hunt game.  iGO opens directly from WeChat so users do not have to download a standalone app.

Mobile Advertising and Marketing Companies to Watch:
AdMob,, owned by Google, is a mobile phone ad distributor that offers both advertisers and publishers an opportunity to target and personalize smartphone advertising for more than 1 million advertisers around the globe.  It offers mobile web users access to business listings, sports scores, weather, flight information, movie times, mobile downloads and more.
InMobi,, headquartered in Bangalore, India is a performance-based mobile ad network.  Agencies and advertisers leverage InMobi platforms to create HTML5 rich media ads.  In late 2020, Google led a $145 million investment in InMobi’s social media startups Glance and Roposo, both of which are divisions of InMobi’s mobile app marketing business.

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