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Weekly Mobile Breakdown: Location-Based Advertising On The Rise

Tina Products/Markets Analyst
August 2, 2012

Last week, eMarketer released a chart (with data pulled from Nielsen) illustrating that young smartphone and tablet users in the U.S. found ads with location-based offerings more useful than traditional ads. Yesterday morning, eMarketer released data (originally from the Pew Internet & American Life Project) on location-based services usage in the U.S. that show a significant increase in location-based services usage within a 10-month time frame. Additionally, a certain location-based mobile advertising company released data pulled from its Wi-Fi advertising network. Their findings show that “Wi-Fi usage has increased by 240 percent over the past year, led by growth on mobile devices” and the number of Wi-Fi locations has increased 12% YOY to 776,556 locations worldwide.


What does this all mean? It is clear that location-based advertising is becoming an increasingly important aspect of mobile advertising–the use of location-based services is becoming much more common.  The number of public Wi-Fi spots is increasing to meet demand.  As more consumers are accessing Wi-Fi through their mobile devices from more locations, marketers will have to think about how to best utilize the opportunities generated.  Mobile advertising isn’t just about reaching mobile users with the right type of ads at the right time anymore, but about seizing the opportunity to target these users with impactful ads most relevant to the user’s location.


















Based on the charts above, below are some key highlights and takeaways I think are important for mobile marketers & advertisers to consider.


  • Usage of location-based service and information is on the rise
  • Those aged 13-17 were most likely to find location-based ads more useful than traditional ads.
  • The amount of U.S. smartphone users using location-based information increased 19 percentage points between May 2011 and February 2012
  • The amount of total U.S. adults using location-based information increased 18 percentage points between May 2011 and February 2012


  • Older smartphone/tablet users are less comfortable with location-based ads most likely due to privacy issues, the perception of intrusiveness, etc.


  • The data show that an increasing amount of U.S. adults are using location-based services


  • Consumers are growing more comfortable with location-based advertising


  • More and more mobile users are accessing Wi-Fi through mobile everywhere from shopping malls to cafes to hotels, etc.


  • Targeting users in the right location at the right time will be key to effective mobile advertising

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