I went to a talk. I liked it. Let me tell you about it.

The talk was held in DIT’s School of Hospitality Management and Tourism. The event was organised by HSMAI Ireland Chapter (Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.) This organisation run what they call “Dialogue Evenings” and as such “Mobile and Location Based Marketing” (LBM) was this month’s topic of discussion.

Speakers: Colm Grealy (CEO of Digital Reach Group and Co-Founder and Dr. Theo_Lynn (Director of the L INK Research Centre at Dublin City University and Director of Industry Engagement at DCU Business School.)

The introductions where made by Mr. Alex Gibson.

Mr. Gibson began by acknowledging HSMA Chapter Ireland as being the organiser and prompted the audience to join their LinkedIn Group, which I have since done. (Gibson is also a Director of the Board at HSMAI Ireland.)

He continued with a brief introduction to the hospitality sector, the recession driven challenges it is facing and the opportunities which mobile/location based marketing may pose. He then introduced the speakers and introduced Dr. Theo_Lynn to the floor who would then discuss further, such opportunities.

Dr._Lynn gave an insightful speech which gripped the audience from beginning to end. It was rich in cost efficient and easily implementable suggestions which the audience (predominantly hotel managers) could relate to.

Next Mr. Colm Grealy stood to give his presentation.

Mr. Grealy is the CEO of Digital Reach Group and had formerly co-founded DigiServe – a new media group that included Online.ie, IrishAbroad.com and EDO Software Services.)

The whole event ran rather smoothly, and culminated in a Q and A session. I feel I learned quite a lot, as will now be discussed.

Upon hearing of this talk, I was instantly intrigued. I have a keen interest in Digital Marketing and feel Mobile Marketing and indeed Mobile Web, represent the future. A graduate of Marketing, Innovation and Technology, I find it really intriguing and exciting to witness the exponential growth of social media and of course, mobile marketing.

I had been watching closely the advances made in Location Based Services and Marketing. Upon entering the talk I had experimented with Facebook Places and Foursquare.

Although the internet constitutes one of my great loves, I do value my privacy very much. My limited indulgence, on a personal level is representative of my attitude towards privacy. Whatever personal information Re: Dara Boland is on the web, is for the most part; self published. And for what is not, I am very much aware of. As things stand, divulging my whereabouts is a step too far for me personally.

As stated in Dr._Lynn’s blog, “By broadcasting your location, you are also broadcasting your absence.” This is another aspect which frightens me, the threat of burglary is, in my opinion, a real one. Gruteser and Grunwal (2003) distinguished two types of privacy threats associated with LBS; communication privacy threats and location privacy threats. Just last year a website called pleaserobme.com emerged which used information from the popular location based site Foursquare to show when users are away from their house. This raised significant concern amongst the general public. MG Siegler. (2010).

Perhaps with time, I will become desensitized and I too will join the cluetrain manifesto but for now, I will opt out. This said, should I witness a significant increase in business use which results in very real user rewards, I may be tempted to reactivate my accounts.

I should also note, that should I be encountered with a relevant business opportunity, I would absolutely use location based platforms for commercial purposes.  As the number of users of location based services increases so do the opportunities for vendors. By comparing this check in data to customer spending trends location based marketing has the potential to bring the cost per click business model previously only possible in the online environment to traditional vendors. This is a huge opportunity. What is also very attractive to vendors in the current economic landscape is that location based advertising is nearly always free. I thus believe that vendors and consumers in Ireland could benefit enormously from the mainstream adaptation of Location based services.

I entered the talk with an open mind and even with my existing base knowledge of the subject, I was eager to learn more. I had known Dr._Lynn and have always known him to be a knowledgeable and influential character, particularly in the area of Digital Marketing.

I had not known Mr. Grealy however. Upon hearing of his interesting background, (co-founder of DigiServe – a new media group that included Online.ie, IrishAbroad.com and EDO Software Services) I instantly went online to follow him on Twitter. As I was doing so, he made a remark which adequately put in context his impression on the significant importance of mobile marketing; “if the web is important to your business, mobile is important to your business.” I was a little dismayed then, to find that he doesn’t use his Twitter account. With only one follower, I felt this could discredit him as a mobile marketer. But I was wrong. Mr. Grealy gave an excellent speech full of quality statistics. He now has two followers on Twitter, one of which is me.

Although I do not have any immediate plans to work within the Hospitality sector, I do possess considerable work experience across various Hotels and Restaurants. Even if this sector does not feature in my ideal career path, considering it as a case study would allow me to take some key learning which may be applicable across different markets.

The reason I attended then was because I was a genuine Interest in mobile marketing and feel my future career, whatever that may be, will likely call upon digital marketing techniques. I spend approximately one hour a day reading various blogs which often cover innovations in mobile marketing, including such topics as near field communications and location based marketing.

Ultimately, I am very confident that mobile marketing represents the “next big thing.” This is backed up by Mr. Grealy’s observations. He began his pitch by setting the scene and giving Mobile Marketing some context:

  • In 2009, over 100 million was spent, In Ireland, promoting businesses on the web. At that time this was predominantly PC based advertising.
  • Next, he quoted a recent (July 2010) IDC study; “Within two years, 60% of digital advertising will be directed to mobile platforms- compared to 2% today.”

This shows me, that Mobile marketing constitutes marketing’s next frontier.

Specific to the Hospitality sector then, I can now say that Mobile marketing offers an excellent means of attracting business. Interestingly, I learned that 40% of International Travellers own a smart phone whilst 57% use a feature phone (with internet capabilities.) Of the Smartphone users then, 40% use them to get destination information. 34% of business travellers and 26% of leisure travellers use them to make booking changes during a particular trip. Also, 37% of international leisure travellers use mobile social networks.

Such figures give me an insight into the scale of the opportunity mobile marketing is faced with, especially when considering Mr. Grealy’s statement that there are currently 1.3 million Smartphone users in Ireland. This figure, he predicts will continue to rise, especially as more users are willing to move from pay as you go – contract billing and also more Smartphones will become available on pay as you go packages.

Within the app market, the Hospitality Industry is also well represented. As of 19th April 2011, there where 14,053 “Travel” iPhone apps in Apple’s Appstore alone, 2,677 just for the iPad. A search for “Hotel” in the android Appstore equivalent, showed 2,414 available apps.

TripAdvisor and Yelp where mentioned, but so too where quality apps such as Booking.com, Kayak and Jetsetter. He then showed Hotel specific apps designed for Jurys, Goffs, Fitzpatricks and the Bloomfield House Hotel.

I also feel that QR codes can be introduced into the Hospitality mobile marketing mix. Mr. Grealy highlighted several more lessons to be learned, this time with regards; ways which Hotels can use QR codes. He believed them to be of significance as they offer 1.) A call to action e.g. click to call 2.) Direct Response e.g. redeeming special offers / coupons and 3.) Customer Engagement e.g. better track marketing campaign. QR codes/tags will likely increasingly become prevalent on offline media but an interesting yet relatively suggestion was made by Grealy. He suggested that a QR tag be placed on Hotel websites, so occupants can scan a map of the hotels location. The example he then used, I feel resonated with the audience, it was re: a hotel occupant whom had been drinking and was therefore finding it difficult to find his/her way back to the hotel.

A relatively new initiative introduced by Morgans Hotel Group sees  hotel guests given free access to a bank of curated music downloads chosen specifically to reflect the personality of the property they’re staying in. This is facilitated by scannable qr tags distributed to the guests.

Also, it was noted that, for many people, their phone is the most personal device they own. I personal would allow most people to use my laptop, my iPod and Kindle. However, my phone stays on my person, almost 24 – 7. Another point which resonated with me then was a discussion on the more traditional forms of mobile marketing, specifically that of SMS. It was noted that unless this is opt in, businesses should refrain as otherwise it risks encroaching customer’s privacy.

This particular event and it’s content was especially relevant for a student like me with an interest in e-commerce and marketing. As mentioned above, Smartphones have reached a critical mass (1.3 million users in Ireland) and thus represent a ready market for location based initiatives. This coupled with other innovations e.g. Layer based Augmented Reality, QR codes and the overall adoption of social media should facilitate excellent growth.

I can link my learning to previous reading. During summer 2010, I was living and working in New York City. There, I purchased a second hand book named; The Cluetrain Manifesto. This book was a collection of pieces from web commentators and bloggers, which actually inspired me to apply for the Masters in e-Commerce.

In the book, it was argued that social media marketing, as carried out by the mainstream, is still based on predominantly on the AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) model (which it describes as “a relic from mass communication”). This model, which I had learned in my undergraduate marketing studies, implies that consumer action is a result of awareness which stimulates interest and desire. However, the book, suggested that social media technologies in fact, should be used to provide actual services that have not been designed simply or exclusively to generate conversations. The implication then for brands, is where they create products or services that people actually want to talk about. I could now add to this. I learned it’s also important to incentivise people to talk. Badges and rewards are an excellent means of encouraging engagement and in creating unofficial brand ambassadors. I learned that, where hotels can facilitate consumers, they may themselves spread a marketing message on the hotels behalf, create a buzz, offer referrals, and what’s important, is that its often customer to customer, word of mouth.

A key component of the talk was the importance of trust. The concept of trust has allows been important when considering financial transactions, in this case hotel stays. However, this concept is also evolving. Not only has it evolved alongside the natural shift in emphasis from traditional – digital – mobile marketing, but it may also be interpreted differently across demographic types.

Dr._Lynn emphasized the importance of trust in marketing regardless of whether it’s traditional, digital or mobile. Interestingly, it was discusses how “we sell round the social graph” and that “nine times out of ten we buy off people we know.”

With the exponential rise of e.g. Social media, the Hospitality Industry, has become highly transparent. It is now easier for customers to review and make informed decisions on purchasing decisions, i.e. to stay at one Hotel or a competitor’s Hotel.

So, as can be viewed above, trust can be gained or lost through e.g. Social Media. However, whether the particular Hotel itself is active or not, the fact remains that they will likely be discussed online. The suggestion then, is that Hotels themselves get involved.

Gefen, Karahanna, and Straub (2003) identified lack of consumer trust in companies as a major factor inhibiting online purchases. Trust plays an essential role for facilitating online and indeed offline transactions between consumers and companies and realizing the development of web based activities to consumers in the long run (Sonja, 2002).

Past studies have demonstrated, with empirical evidence, the important role of consumer trust, particularly in Internet shopping (Gefen & Straub, 2004) and argued that the most significant long-term barrier to the success of the Internet as a commercial medium in mass markets is a lack of consumer trust in the Internet (Jarvenpaa, Tractinsky & Vitale, 2000; Hoffman). It is unclear as to a companies existence on foursquare will impact for derived trust yet it is evident that consumers are often likely to trust their peers. The amplification that Location based services allow for is thus quite significant in terms of trust building.

Dr._Lynn also introduced the concept of Generation’s X and Y and “boomers”, using images adapted from a viral Youtube campaign sponsored by Apple.

Drawing from my Marketing Undergraduate Studies, I was aware of the various societal cohorts. E.g:

  • GI Generation (born between 1901 and 1924; conservative and civic-concerned
  • Silent Generation (1925 to 1945); conforming, raised families at an early age, concerned with youthfulness
  • Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964); personal acquisitions important, high levels of disposable income.
  • Generation X (1961 to 1981); somewhat cynical, great economic power, feel somewhat lost and alienated
  • Generation Y  (1976 to 1981); subset of Gen X; interested in urban style, tech savvy
  • Millenials (1982 to 2002) multicultural; well educated, more used to violence and sex as a part of life

It was discussed that Boomers and, although to a lesser extent Generation X like to “be seen and be heard.” The Generation Y population then prefer to live as “be seen,be found”. The older generations often perceive formal as superior. The example given here was attire, for a Boomer, a suit and tie may represent a high level of trustworthiness. On the other hand, Generation Y often perceives formal is being stuffy or boring and may prefer to conduct business with like minded individuals. These people leverage trust whilst Boomers are concerned with building trust.

Although many countries, including Ireland have witnessed a surge in “Silver Surfers,” those internet users aged 60+ it is likely that particularly; location based marketing may be most highly dispersed amongst the younger generations. The implications, for the Hospitality Industry are significant. If Hotel chains can positively engage with influencers, they may act as salesmen or brand ambassadors. This may be realised e.g. through direct or indirect referrals through online/offline social networks. This is made possible through Mobile and location based marketing as such new age Influencers have two vital abilities at their fingertips; 1.) Amplification and 2.) Ability to Publish.

For example, Dr._Lynn himself is a particularly influential character. By him posting online that he attended the Gresham Hotel Bar after the talk, it is likely that 5,000 network contacts could view this.

This prompted me to research further, the user base of location based services. To my knowledge, the area has yet to be studied in detail in an Irish context. I did encounter one research paper which mentioned the Irish Market trends but the study was taken from a European lens. That research predicted that by year 2014 the Mobile Location Based Service market will amount to approximately US$ 24.61 million in Ireland alone. Furthermore, it gave Dublin a world ranking of 114th, in terms of Location based service usage. It stated that of its use, 73% of the services within Ireland (as of 2009), are seen in Dublin (Parker, P,M. 2009.) Meanwhile American users have embraced LBS to a higher degree.

I expect that in the coming years Ireland will see a significant increase in usage of such services.

As, most of mobile marketing and an even higher proportion of location based marketing is targeted towards Smart Phones, I sought to discover, who is using such devices. My research then suggests that, as of Q1 2010, the highest users can be found in the 18-35 year old bracket.  This particular group is said to boast the highest share of ownership of the android and IOS devices. This is significant as Android and IOS are said to be the two most prominent operating systems used to run Location based services. (Kellogg, D. 2010).

I also encountered the findings of a study (based in US) published via slideshare. Again, it highlighted that particular age segment as being a key characteristic for those adopters of location based services.

Dr._Lynn gave an excellent description of the competitive landscape encountered by the LBS providers. Google Latitude, Facebook Places and Foursquare where highlighted as being the main players. Other location based services are offered by companies such as; Gowalla, Loopt and Brightkite. According to Dr._Lynn, Latitude and Facebook places have not yet seen much success, Foursquare is becoming a major force. Foursquare, he said, is sweeping across the United States and is beginning to take hold within Ireland. He noted the commercial benefits and emphasised Foursquare’s robust analytics which can facilitate better customer relationship management.

As for the ongoing battle amongst the various Location based platforms, I believe Foursquare holds an initial upper hand. One report I found, a collaboration between Forrester Research and GSI Commerce was concerned with analyzing data which had been captured from online retailers between November 12 and December 20, 2010. The results showed that, in this case social media rarely leads, at least directly to online purchasing. It suggested that fewer then 2% of online purchases arose from social media click troughs. According to that research, with Facebook, (even in light of innovations e.g. by Vendershop) the idea of buying is probably 10th on a to do list of the average Facebook User. With Foursquare’s game theory model, it is slightly different, and with the rewards available (e.g. virtual – badges or real – discount coupons) combined with the practicality to being in a certain location, the user is more likely to respond to business outreaches.

A recent study (Zickuhr K, Smith A, 2010), based in the US, found that 4% of online Americans use location-based services. Other key findings of their research included:

  • 7% of adults who go online with their mobile phone use a location-based service.
  • 8% of online adults ages 18-29 use location-based services, significantly more than online adults in any other age group.
  • 10% of online Hispanics use these services – significantly more than online whites (3%) or online blacks (5%).
  • 6% of online men use a location-based service such as Foursquare or Gowalla, compared with 3% of online women.

Considering that Social Media activities may pose excellent opportunities, it is important to not only gain dedicated top management support, but also to better inform/educate those of its merits.

If it where the case that attendees, prior to the seminar, held a feeling of falling behind, unable to keep abreast of advances in the social media space, Dr._Lynn in particular brought them back up to speed and offered a clear roadmap for which to follow when considering mobile and location based campaigns.

Many suggestions where put forward which could become ingredients of a mobile marketing “strategy.” However, I feel it unnecessary in many cases to adhere to a thorough strategy. Hotels can instead seek out what works for them and invest accordingly. Especially in light of the economic uncertainty in this sector (many Hotels have recently been subject to administration) Management may be preoccupied with reactive day to day management of their Hotel’s operations. Even if one were to assume that the merits of e.g. Social Media marketing where non contentious (which may not be the case) management activity and resources may still, instead, be directed towards more immediate problems.

Hotels are operating in high-risk, dynamic environments, which can be accentuated via online sites such as tripadvisor.com. Where Hotels can use the seminar to succeeded then, is in using the background information and then following the various relatively simple measures outlined. Adopt what works and deploy in a measured and focused way.

Dr._Lynn concluded his part of the seminar by showing the future of mobile apps. The Yelp and Trip Advisor Augmented Reality apps where greeted with awe. Already, such sites which facilitate user reviews are influencing users propensity to purchase but with such innovations, I feel an even higher level of transparency may be in store.

A blog entry (DMC.co.uk) entitled; “Is Bad Engagement Better than None”  complemented the insights spoken in the seminar, specifically, as it was suggested that the emerging social media platforms, give the new generations a facility to amplify their thoughts and opinions. Web 2.0 allows for outspoken amplification of observations, evaluations and opinions. This blog cites the work of Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, both Forrester Researchers, and their book named; Groundswell.

The cited; “ladder of engagement” aims to segment, as shown above, social media users, based on a degree in which they may create or consume content. However, what the blog and indeed the ladder model fail to address is whether it is, in fact, better to not engage at all, than to do it badly. I feel this important, especially, as often Hoteliers are wary, afraid or unwilling (due to resource/time constraints) to dedicate strategic planning to the web. This point is further developed upon below. It was highlighted that it is usually better to engage, especially as whether the Hotel is active or not, they will still feature. It is not wise to ignore. Dr._Lynn also put forward some really practical and cost effective measures, which sympathised with the increased financial pressures with which the Industry is experiencing.

I did not find many contentious points in the presentations. However during the Q and A session, the question of how much it would cost to design a Hotel Specific App was put to the panel. The answer returned was it depends but for a decently designed app it will likely cost aprox 5,000 – 10,000 euro. Any cheaper then that, it was implied, would result in a poor quality design. It was noted however, that this price will likely drop I the coming years and may reach the point where average users themselves may design their own apps for a nominal fee or potential without any cost.

Dr._Lynn stated here that, in light of the economic strain that many Hotels are facing, there is often no imminent requirement for an investment into an App, as long as they are well represented on Third party Apps such as Trip Advisor.

Mr. Gleary stated said he disagreed. I am of the view that yes, a Hotel specific Smartphone/Tablet app may offer some value but for the amount of rooms which would need to be sold to recuperate the cost, it is not an obviously attractive option.

Mr. Gleary discussed designing web-based apps and this prompted debate. On the one hand, Dr._Lynn was of the expressed opinion that limited resources may be better spent on cheaper initiatives. The point was well made as Mr. Gleary, the proud owner of many apps, admitted to having only two such web-based hospitality apps. Cheaper, yet effective measures can be realized via e.g. mobile search engine optimization, campaigns such as foursquare or even just to add the hotel as a business on Google Maps.

My take on this is as follows. Investment should not be made for the sake of investing. Initiatives in mobile marketing should be made after conducting feasibility research / business impact research. Initiatives should be traceable and measurable and thus should be clear to what extent they offer value.

Clever initiatives have been realized. E.G. Hyatt Hotels developed an online concierge service called Yatt’it. This effectively aggregates and lets user’s rate travel tips which are posted by Hyatt’s customers and concierges.

The result then is seen in a reduced burden to the concierges and also the offering of tailored, extensive city information to holiday residents whether before or during their stay. This App has effectively cut down on waiting in line to see the reception/concierge.

For the most part however, I believe that Irish Hotels can spend resources more wisely elsewhere as part of their overall digital strategy.

Location based platforms, as discussed are part social media, part mobile, part GPS, some are even part game. They pinpoint the user’s location using the GPS on a smart phone and enable the user to share their location with their friends across social networks. Recently, businesses have started to catch on to the marketing opportunities such services can potentially offer them. When users are geo tagged in or close to a location, a vendor can use Location based marketing to attract, engage and reward customers by offering compelling promotions e.g. making special offers to them. However, an example discussed showed how problems may occur. The specific example discussed a BB’s coffee shop initiative via 02 treats. This generated massive footfall but the electronic point of sale staff where unaware of how to deal with the coupons and thus the result was a point of sale disaster.  Furthermore, the problem of duplicate coupons was also in evidence. As such any similar campaigns to be run by Hotels may best be targeted at voucher/coupon redemption during periods of negative fluctuations in demand e.g. mid week Hotel Rooms or “Specials” e.g. free coffee in Hotel restaurant after the lunchtime rush. Hotels can create custom badges to reward activity e.g. tweets/shouts and should consider rewarding the mayor with e.g. a complementary drink with his/her meal.

This also highlighted group/collective buying platforms as a vehicle for digital marketing. Meteor have recently launched an alternative to 02 treats, as have many other industries including e.g. Insurance company; AXA. Websites such as Groupon (CityDeal), Living Social, Steal the Deal, Wowcher, Buy with Me and Pigsback could be explored, and could especially useful during times in lagging demand (seasonality fluctuations). What is more is that many of these sites are utilising social media platforms, which allows for extensive amplification.

The below link shows an excellent case study on how hotels can use Groupon for marketing efforts.

http://bloggertone.com/marketing/2011/06/15/groupon-case-study-derrynoid-centre-draperstown-northern-ireland/

Attendance at this seminar prompted me, to revisit location based marketing through my own marketing programmes which I am or have been involved with. For example, an ongoing project of mine relates to science communication. I have a specific interest in DublinScience2012. As I ran the social media here, I sat down with the team and management as far back as last summer to discuss Foursquare. We had felt at that time that not enough people where using it, and it would offer only minimal value to the campaign. One year on, and I will seek the introduction of location based marketing into the mix, as I know realise their merits, particularly in amplifying a message to an audience. Public engagement has been my ultimate goal, and thus I now feel location based services offer me a fresh inroad in achieving this.

Furthermore, I will take Dr._Lynn’s advice and ensure that the associated website is optimised via mobile SEO. Similarly, Mr. Grealy’s discussion on QR tags will be embraced. As the PR officer and Webmaster to DCU Amateur Boxing Club, I will ensure QR tags are used effectively in future. For example, I will ensure all promotional material displayed during next year’s Clubs and Societies day will display QR codes.

In a personal capacity, I have embraced QR codes. For example, I have inserted them into my CV where it will bring the user to any number of my personal or professional websites. I have also displayed them across my personal and anonymous blogs.

Earlier I mentioned sites which facilitate user reviews. I also mentioned earlier that I have considerable experience in Service Industry. As an experiment, I searched for some of my previous work places on sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet.

I worked at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links for many years and decided to search for it online. I did find it on Trip Advisor and it required little searching within the site. A search using the term “Portmarnock” saw the Hotel return on the first page, ahead of competing Hotels. Upon finding the profile, I found that the user reviews lived up to its four star rating, and where predominantly positive.

This prompted me to consider another previous work place, but this time I didn’t expect to be greeted with such quality reviews. P.D. O’Hurley’s bar in New York was a lot of fun to work at but really I would not recommend a friend to eat there.

The service was below par, the food was sub standard and the pricing did not allow for value. Low and behold, the Yelp reviews were negative.

Management here had told me that revenue has fallen year on year for 3 consecutive years. I pondered then, with the rise of user generated location based content, would this spell further negative returns for that establishment. As Dr._Lynn said, “Reputation Management is a big issue” and this establishment is being hurt, yet still, they themselves remain inactive in the online space.

I have since followed relevant pages on Twitter and joined LinkedIn Groups. One such LinkedIn group; that of AllThingsSocialMedia offered me a fresh insight into the direction of location based services.

A post there suggested that companies need more than just a good geo-app with a strong user-base. They need access to other data sources to understand questions like who/where/why/what. It said that it appears that Foursquare and other platforms are not yet focused on the predictive analytics side.

I believe this is the next logical step and will constitute a massive market potential for predictive analytics, most notable in geo-location marketing.

Geolocation Marketing being used to drive predictive analytics…knowing more about where people are going to be, and modifying marketing/sales efforts to support it. I suspect operational efforts can be modified as well on the fly according to geolocation data on apps like foursquare. Imagine if an airport restaurant could determine the number of passengers that might be stranded at the gate across from their restaurant on a given day at a given hour…in real time. Perhaps there is some sort of rapid ad that can be pushed to those pop their smartphone on instant they land.

I think location based services will continue to gain traction, just as smart phone deployment is also on the rise. I thus envision extensive growth in this field. The case study on that day was of the Hotel Industry yet, these concepts may be applied across a range of disparate Industries. Retail and entertainment, I feel are the most notable alternatives. I also envision adoption amongst Industries which support passenger loads, e.g air, train and motorways.

I mentioned retail above. One study I encountered (wirelessandmobilenews.com) found that 9 out of 10 mobile Internet users have logged on while in a store. Importantly, most of them (50%) did so in order to research their buys and, for just over half of them (51%), in-store mobile research had directly led to a purchase.

My optimism for the growth of location based services is shared by Constellation Research Inc (nextweb.com) whom predict such services will grow, generating up to $10.7B in revenue by 2013.

Watch this space, no, wait, get yourself involved 😉

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