LBS promises big business opportunities
VALUE ADDED SERVICESBy BiztechAfrica - April 25, 2012, 10:50 a.m.
Location-based services (LBS) have topped the global league as the mobile feature set to grow the most, after world leading insights consultancy TNS revealed over 60% of those that don't yet use the service globally want to start using them.
TNS's annual Mobile Life study – which explores mobile use among 48,000 people in 58 countries – shows the majority of people around the world now recognize the value of sharing their location to benefit from a range of services.
The key findings, released as a set of interactive visualizations (www.tnsglobal.com/mobilelife) show that the services and apps people use vary considerably from region to region.
Almost one fifth (19%) of the world's six billion mobile users are already using LBS, with more than three times this number (62%) aspiring to do so in the future.
Navigation with maps and GPS is currently the most popular motivation behind the LBS uptake (46%), but there is growing interest in more diverse activities, with 13% of current social network users 'checking-in' through platforms like Foursquare, or Facebook Places – a 50% uplift on 2011.
LBS users are increasingly using services to enrich their social lives, with one in five (22%) using it to find their friends nearby. Around a quarter use the technology to find restaurants and entertainment venues (26%) or check public transport schedules (19%) and 8% to book a taxi.
Savvy LBS users have realized that there is something to be gained from sharing their locations with brands and retailers – with one in eight (12.5%) sharing their location in exchange for a deal or special offer.
Beyond current users of LBS, a third of people globally (33%) who already or would like to use mobile voucher coupons, highly rate receiving deals when they are nearby a store that they like. One in five mobile users (21%) stated that they find mobile advertising interesting if it is offering them a deal near their current location.
James Fergusson, Global Head, Digital & Technology Practice, at TNS, explained: "We are really starting to see location based services 'come of age'. People are realizing that sharing their location often offers some kind of reward in terms of a discount or deal. It is the combination of time and context – directing people towards a deal when they can easily redeem it – that unlocks a powerful tool for marketers to develop precise targeting approaches."
While the study has shown an increasing willingness to engage with LBS, there are also significant variations in people's reasons for embracing the service across different markets.
Of all current LBS users, Latin Americans most use the feature to find friends, with 39% stating it as the top reason to share their location, compared to only 11% in India. Finding friends via LBS falls to just 9% in North America and only slightly higher in Europe at 20%.
Applications of LBS also differ widely around the world. In the technology-saturated markets of developed Asia 36% of people use location services to find restaurants and entertainment venues nearby, whereas in China this falls to 17%. This puts Chinese people just ahead of Sub-Saharan Africa, where 10% of LBS users use it to find places to go out.
James Fergusson continued: "These regional variations highlight the importance of having a targeted strategy when it comes to location based marketing. LBS offers marketers an unprecedented level of engagement and targeting, however it has to be done in line with how people in individual markets want to engage with brands to avoid being intrusive. Where brands get it right, we have seen significant rewards in terms of brand engagement, loyalty and sales."
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
Survey shows extent of multi-screeningMobile advertising network InMobi has revealed that 62% of mobile web users indulge in multi-screen activities while viewing TV. Read More
Netxcell, Funmobile to add to MTN VASTelecom technology services firm Netxcell and Funmobile are to implement new services for MTN in West Africa. Read More
MTN launches CANAL+/CANALSAT payment via Mobile MoneyMTN Cameroon’s new CANAL+/CANALSAT bill payment package allows consumers to make their re-subscription payment via mobile. Read More
BBM coming to Android, iOSBlackBerry plans to make its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service available for the first time to iOS and Android users later this year. Read More
Mobile content revenues to pass USD65bn in 2016Juniper Research has revealed that annual revenue generated from content delivered to mobile handsets and tablets is expected to reach USD65bn by 2016. Read More
Mahindra Comviva expands Africa mobile musicMahindra Comviva is expanding its mobile music offerings for Africa, in partnership with over 70 local and international content providers. Read More
SA’s Waytag shortlisted for BlackBerry Achievement AwardThe Waytag location app for BlackBerry 10, available in SA and Nigeria, has been shortlisted for a BlackBerry Achievement Award. Read More
Full stream ahead for mobile musicMobile streamed music revenues will rise more than 40% this year to USD1.7bn, says Juniper Research. Read More
M-PESA goes out to dinnerNow M-PESA users will be able to pay for restaurant meals using their mobile money, says Safaricom. Read More
FEATURED STORYICT opens doors for Kenyan slum dwellers
A Nairobi based group is equipping high school girls from Nairobi's slums with ICT skills to help them participate meaningfully in building the economy.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHDollar-a-month broadband can change Africa
The Microsoft-led 4Afrika TV white spaces project, taking broadband to rural people for as little as a dollar a month, is now expanding in Kenya and launching in Tanzania.
COMPANY NEWSBotswana innovates with SAP Business One
The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) has appointed local SAP Business One specialists 4most to implement an affordable, easy-to-use business management software application.Samsung puts the spotlight on enterprise solutions
Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced its support of the upcoming Enterprise Mobility Forum.Sage Pastel Evolution: the modern ERP tool for the modern Kenyan business
This week’s Sage East Africa Conference, entitled Innovation Beyond Boundaries, attracted over 100 existing and potential customers to the Sankara Hotel in Nairobi.