Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mobile Location is here (now for real)

In the last couple weeks I've been playing around with new mobile technology. This time, I came across this nice piece that enables marketers to learn their audience location as they view their mobile web pages.
Mobile location, it seems, has been the talk of the industry forever. Devices that don't come out with GPS chips installed seem to be the minority these days. Many applications have some form of mobile location awareness to them. Even Google has stormed in with Google Latitude, although the availability of that database for commercial purposes remains unclear. Has the real time location awareness made a dent in how marketers think of entering the mobile playground? questionable, I think.

One reason for not making a dent is that the effort associated in creating a mobile application is not insignificant. You need to consider coverage, features, maintenance etc. There's not an obvious easy entry point for marketers to test the ('mobile') water if the options are limited to mobile applications. If users' location were available on the mobile web, then with the development of a small portal, marketers can get huge reach instantly, and figure out the next step.

It seems that the technology is becoming available to create location-aware websites, and more specifically, location-aware mobile websites. I am hoping that this will really open a new path for marketers that wasn't available before, it is certainly an exciting opportunity for innovation!

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