Last year, CDD and USPIRG filed a complaint on mobile marketing, privacy and deceptive practices at the FTC.Â We know that it woke up the commission to the issue–but they are acting too slow.Â The recent decision by Apple to expand its data gathering for location ad targeting on the iPhone (and do a about-face on the privacy issue, really) is just one example of why safeguards are required immediately.Â As Mobile Marketer explained in an article about what Apple is doing:
â€œLocation is an important element that illustrates the promise of mobile and social,â€ he said. â€œLook at the way that the mobile environment is developingâ€”proximity marketing is really the direction that weâ€™re headed [Noah Elkin, senior analyst at eMarketer].
â€œBeing able to marry data about a userâ€™s location and data about a userâ€™s likes and dislikesâ€”being able to present a relevant offerâ€”raises the bar in terms of the relevancy of the advertising messages.â€…Apple acquired Placebase and Quattro recently, which gives it a mapping platform and an ad network.
â€œCollecting user positioning data is the next necessary ingredient for â€˜location intelligence,â€™ which will bridge the gap between these two acquisitions and enable them to deliver a really relevant experience based on place and time,â€ Mr. Goodman said [Alistair Goodman, CEO of 1020 Placecast].
Meanwhile, companies like Loopt that merge social and mobile marketing techniques are extending how they target consumers, inc. data collection.Â Loopt explains in its new “mobile rewards” service for marketers that:
Loopt Star offers retailers a virtual loyalty card, allowing them to connect directly with their customers when theyâ€™re out and about, driving foot traffic and encouraging repeat visits. It offers retailers and businesses a unique â€œcost per visitâ€ business model.
â€œHyper-local advertising should be about much more than simply clicking on a banner adâ€”it should be about connecting with brands and getting rewarded for loyalty. Brands want to turn their existing customers into better ones,â€ said Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of Loopt. â€œLoopt Star enables brands to create customized campaigns that reach their customers in a completely targeted, interactive way that rewards the behaviors they want.â€
In addition to brand-specific customized rewards, Loopt Star will also allow the person with the most check-ins at a specific place to become the â€œBossâ€ of that location. Leaderboards allow users to compete with their Facebook friends to for the most check in points. Dozens of hidden Achievements will also be available to Loopt Star game players at launch â€” to be won when certain check-in actions are performed.
Loopt Star adds a key social component by being the first mobile location App based purely on Facebook Connect. Users can share their current location in real-time with all of their friends on Facebook, and alert friends via their Facebook News Feed about special offers they see on Loopt Star that are available to anyone. With its close integration into Facebook, Loopt Star allows Facebook friends stay up to date on where friends are and what theyâ€™re doing…
Brands can use Loopt Star to create fun, engaging campaigns that deliver foot traffic, connect with customers, build a strong community and increase their Facebook fan base. Customized brand campaigns can specify:
- The qualifying retail locations
- The qualifying time of day, day of week, or time span
- The qualifying number of check in times
- Whether they need to check in with friends, and the number of friends
- Which rewards are available to friends through the Facebook newsfeed (for example, â€œthe next person to check into Joeâ€™s Restaurant today gets free dessertâ€ can appear on the newsfeed to all Facebook friends.)
- Specific and virtual rewards, such as Achievements, special titles, discount coupons, etc. Special titles allow retailers to offer a custom â€œBossâ€ title and graphic to the person who checks in the most at an individual location
Loopt is working directly with top brands to customize all aspects of Loopt Star, from the activity needed to earn the reward, to the type of virtual or real-world reward earned.
For example, Loopt Star users can check into any bar in the United States with two Facebook friends, and everyone instantly earns five free songs from leading popular music recording artists. (To see the songs available to win, go to http://www.amplified.com/loopt.)