Imagine yourself walking around downtown in search of a place to eat dinner. You don’t have much preference as to where this place might be, but you know you aren’t out to break the bank tonight. All of the sudden your phone vibrates notifying you that if you come to Restaurant X first, you can get a special price for your meal. What I just explained was one of the driving influences behind a new feature for Loopt, a social network catered to mobile users. With this feature, companies like those found in the scenario I described above can detect when Loopt users are within a certain radius of their store. Upon receiving this information the company can automatically send out an alert or coupon to the user. These coupons can range from special meal prices to user-only coupons.
The new feature is called Reward Alerts and will be unveiled later this month. In hopes to define a new era of marketing, especially one that calls for more personal, direct messaging, the people behind the new feature believe it will greatly heighten reception. According to the article from the Wall Street Journal,
The announcements mark the next step in the evolution of location-based advertising. “Location is a key component of the future of marketing,” says Noah Elkin, a mobile analyst at research firm eMarketer. Companies are “still figuring out what’s going to be most effective, but if the ad is contextually relevant it tends to get better reception than other forms of advertising.”
I don’t believe there will be any issue concerning privacy or feeling bombarded by text messages due to the user’s choice to use Loopt in the first place. Reward Alerts could shape out to be a huge new step in marketing and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in the months to come.