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Location-based services (LBS) are hot on the mobile scene this year, but they’re just the beginning of a much larger trend about attention data and intelligence.
Mobile has long been lauded as the medium that best allows content providers and marketers to understand a user’s context; new applications and services on mobile are now making this much richer – both in terms of consumer experience but also in terms of the data they make available for delivering targeted, relevant messages.
Over the past few years, smartphones with GPS mean we have gone from being able to say “This user is in Lambeth,” to “This user is on Bankside in Lambeth.” The addition of a gyroscope has enabled us to move one step further to: “This user is on Bankside, facing the London Eye and the Thames, with County Hall behind them.”
Marketers and content providers alike rightly jumped on this to provide mobile sites and applications (including great augmented reality apps) that provided all sorts of information – nearby pizza shops, cashpoints and even in the case of a certain app, the nearest person looking for a “date”.
Question of relevance – what do people really need?
But… there’s little use telling someone where the nearest pizza places are when they’re not looking for food, or telling them about all of the local news when they really want the history of the tourist attraction they’re contemplating visiting.
Foursquare, GoWalla and others have added the ability for users to confirm the location they’re in. This is a big step towards being able to target user with far more relevant information than has been possible in the past.
However, place is only one part of a user’s full context and a number of new services are entering the market and are trying to build a richer picture of consumers’ full context but looking at what they’re paying attention to.
The ability to target relevant messages based on a user’s location and what they’re looking at, listening to or even the speed they’re moving at or how they’re feeling will be tremendously powerful. Simply put: if a consumer’s location is valuable, then their location and what they’re paying attention to is far more valuable.
The value to consumers in this area is already being proven, but the commercial value of the B2B market for this data should not be underestimated. Businesses like Nielsen and Billboard have built businesses providing B2B data on what consumers are watching and listening to and these new services could create a strong strategic advantage by providing this data live for a huge user base.
Below is a roundup of a few of the apps and services that are making headway into this space:
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