Low Ad Recall but High Response for Location-Based Services

Mobile location-based services provide a variety of functions, including maps, navigation, friend finders and store locators. According to a study from Luth Research and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), more than one-quarter of US mobile phone users have used a location-based service, and 10% do so at least weekly.

Users of mobiles ages 25 to 34 were the demographic most likely to use location-based services at least once a week, at 22%. iPhone users also came in above average, with 63% using the services weekly. The most common activities were finding nearby points of interest, including stores, locating the user on a map and using navigation services.


Advertisers may not be taking advantage of the opportunities offered by such utilitarian services. A scant 9% of monthly location-based services users said they had noticed ads at least one-half of the time. In contrast, 35% of mobile Web browsers remembered seeing adds most of the time, as did 25% of mobile information searchers.


But among those location-based services users who did see ads, nearly one-half (48%) took action. Only 37% of SMS ad viewers and 28% of mobile Web ad viewers said the same.

“Consumers believe location-based services offer them significant benefits in functionality and relevance,” said Peter A. Johnson, vice president of market intelligence, MMA, in a statement. “Consumers’ significant adoption and appreciation of location-based services opens up enormous new opportunities for brands and agencies to leverage this unique virtue of the mobile channel.”

In Q1 2009, Brightkite found just 4.3% of non-iPhone users and 15.4% of iPhone users recalled seeing mobile ads on location-based services, indicating the ads may be somewhat more prevalent in 2010. A January 2010 survey from R2integrated found that nearly one-fifth of North American marketers planned to use location-based campaigns this year, but that could include non-advertising marketing components.

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