It seems a week doesn’t go by without an announcement about a new location-based services platform, while the so-called incumbents (Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, etc.) are tying desperately to add new features to generate revenues and grow their user base.
Agencies and brands however, are still “just experimenting” with location based services and not making significant investments, hindering adoption and mass market consumer appeal.
David Fieldhouse, co-founder and director of strategy at Lucidity Mobile, said, “Large agencies and brands rely on scale to make their business work, so when it comes to emerging services it really is difficult to convince them of the value.”
“When you talk to brands about using mobile vouchers they initially get quite excited, but then it gets really technical and you just see the clients’ eyes glaze over and the whole thing gets dropped,” he said.
One of the key reasons for this slow to adopt approach is the lack of analytics tools designed to help agencies measure reach, frequency and ROI.
Well, it appears we’re making progress. In the last month three new analytics platforms have entered the market.
FortiusOne and Appcelerator announced the first location based analytics platform for mobile applications. This platform captures, analyzes and illustrates real-time data from mobile devices and social media services, helping application developers easily understand where, when and how their mobile apps are being used.
Termed ‘Titanium + Geo’, this platform helps enterprises, marketers and retailers get real-time data and measure its impact on their company’s bottom line.
Developed by award-winning New York agency Deep Focus, the system provides two key metrics. 1. Competitive Foursquare: A measurement of mayorship turnover at a specific venue. 2. Check-in Foursquare: An index of how the volume of check-ins at a venue compares to others in the venue’s category.
Finally, this week home-grown (Vancouver) Geotoko launched the commercial version of their application. It’s a powerful, yet simple platform that gives brands and agencies the ability to run location-based contests around checkins on all the major platforms, including Facebook Places.
The best part is their “LBS heat map” which provides real-time analytics to measure ROI, customers’ behavior, and campaign and location performance.
We are still early days in the location-based marketing evolution. I like to say we are still in the first half of the first period of the hockey game. There are many more platforms to come, but at least we’re finally getting some metrics to support it.