As mobile computing continues its global penetration and cell towers and Wi-fi hotspots collect more and more user data, we’ll start to see a significant redistribution of advertising dollars away from mass media towards targeted buys. Not a huge redistribution, but an accelerated one. Mass media will always play an important role, but targeted marketing (not just advertising) will soar.
Search advertising has allowed us to target people searching for specific products. Behavioral targeting has allowed us to profile individuals, based upon what they search for scrubbed with other data, and serve up ads accordingly. But geolocation targeting will take that to a whole other level.
The hubbub about Google and Apple stealing our signals and locations from cell towers and hotspots and recording that data should be our first clue.
If you think there is class warfare in the U.S. today, wait until you see the difference in the advertising targeting people who shop at BMW showrooms vs. The Dollar Store. There will be a feeding frenzy for the former while the latter will be left somewhat alone. It will come to the point where high-income people will visit the Dollar Store just to fudge the data.
At first, the geo-location targeting thing will be cool as marketers use unique incentives to transact business. But then we’ll experience overload and it will become quite cumbersome. People don’t want ads and offers all over their mobile devices. People don’t want marketers to know more about them than their friends and family do. Should be an interesting ride. Peace.