Thank you Google.
Like most fan boys, I bought the iPhone 5 as soon as it came out. I don’t apologize, I love Apple products. I know much has been made about their recent mis-steps with Siri, but since I was pretty much only asking her stupid questions, I didn’t care – they could do very little wrong in my eyes. Until the maps fiasco.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know everything wrong with Apple maps – so I’ll skip it. I still loved my iPhone 5, but I do rely on maps – especially the traffic feature to help me with my commute – and was VERY disappointed with Apple. So, I was waiting with baited breath the hope that Google would make an iOS version of Google Maps – and they did – and in case you really have been living under a rock, the app is now available on the App Store. It’s great and I love it and I started using it immediately and that is when it hit me – the mobile advertising war is over before it began.
Here’s the thing about mobile advertising – it’s mobile. Duh, right?! But what that means is that mobile ads are best served based on location. What’s the one thing I’m using on my phone that pinpoints my location? Google Maps.
If I’m doing a media buy for a client, I can put up an ad on ESPN or Zillow or wherever, but I need people to opt-in and and have it enabled and then hope they are using the app while near my call-to-action, but Google Maps can serve up advertising based on a variety of factors, including location. Imagine I’m driving to Austin and using Google Maps to navigate. Based on my location, Google can send me a special offer for food right off the highway or a specific gas station with an incentive based on a fill-up. The possibilities are endless!
There are really two things at play here in regard to mobile advertising via a map app. The first is which app will people use? Well, that’s been settled, because the Google Maps App shot to the top of the carts so fast that you would think it was a lead to gold app. Advantage – Google. Now iPhone and Android users are using Google Maps. The second is advertising within an app. The thing about apps is that they are designed for a specific purpose, so short of games, most people don’t leave apps open all the time. I know there are exceptions to the rule, but generally. So any app that people leave open a long time is really, really awesome for advertisers. Combine that with an app that has a good chance to be open to align with geo-targeting and it’s gold.
And that’s why it’s game over. Everyone will be using the same app – that they keep open – and is already designed to be used while in motion. If I had the money, I would snap up every available slot from Google and resell it Hotels.com style.
Well done, Google, well done.
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