Location-based advertising almost here

John Shinal · September 18, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/41c

Panels says advertisers not spending money right now, but tipping point soon to come

Advertisers haven't yet embraced ad targeting that combines location-based information with consumers' search history and behavioral information, but a tipping point isn't far off.

That was the consensus of a panel at the GigaOM Mobilize conference that looked at when the proliferation of location-based services will start making money.

"Big advertisers aren't interested in location based today," said Lee Ott, Global Director, Yahoo oneSearch. "They just want to get in front of their customers." But then he added that "making location an attribute of targeted advertising is on the way."

Paran Johar of JumpTap said his company is making money off of search and local search services, but advertising that combines location, search and context is "not there yet." But he added that we'll soon see a tipping point.

A quarter of JumpTap's search queries are for local products or services, and 40% are about where consumers want to go.

Google has seen a doubling of usage of Google Maps on phones that have location-based services on their platform. 

Loopt, for example, provides that information to iPhone users. 

Location services are changing usage patterns, said Google's Steve Lee.

"It takes a minute to type in your current address. They don't have to do that" when they have LBS. 

The combination of data provides a highly accurate picture of where people in a certain zip code go during the day. 

"There's a number of ways to start making money off it," said Ted Morgan, CEO of Skyhook Wireless.

Coffee shops and other retail stores would love to get in front of mobile users who are looking for one, for example, Morgan said.

Consumers will soon expect the same capabilities on their laptops and navigation devices.

When one member of the audience asked about privacy, JumpTap's Johar said "if you add value to the experience, consumers will readily give up their information."

Google's Lee added that the key is giving them a good reason to give it away.

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