location based ads don’t work all that well yet…

or do they ??

I thought it was kind of ironic to read stuff like this – 50% of all location based ads result in a clickthrough….REALLY ???

It’s funny because with no additional metadata about the customer a location based ad isn’t all that useful.

In fact – I will hazard a bet that without additional demographic information on a customer an advertisement blindly targeted on location alone is MORE LIKELY to be completely incorrect.

If you think about it – traditionally when a brand makes assumptions about marketing to a group it considers trends and demographics (because it lacks precise information about its target individual).
However if you seize upon a latitude/longitude as somehow representative of an individual – fairly quickly you realise the scenario is less accurate than the old school marketers assumptions.

On a given intersection in a bourgeois suburb like Beverly Hills who’s to say the person handling a mobile phone (with location detection software) is

(a) a cab driver
(b) a hollywood celebutard
(c) a blue-collar house cleaner to the rich and famous
(d) a tourist

and of course that’s just one example.
My point being that location data without any additional context (or demographic metadata) is actually a false prophet for brands.
Of course in a solution like echoecho you can make certain assumptions that are very useful for advertisers (e.g. that friends that are close to each might want a place to meet) – and we will certainly be exploring those shortly.

For now let me just add that there seems to be a big temptation to rush into location based advertising for many brands – including ones that have no real-world presence at all.
Ironically – it’s the other brick-and-mortar stores that took a massive beating at the hands of Amazon, ebay and many others – that stand to benefit the most from location based advertising…


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