Forrester: Marketers Should Forgo Location-Based Services
A new report out today by Forrester Research says that marketers should give location-based services (LBS) the Heisman, for now.
According to a report in AdAge, Forrester analysts put the brakes on LBS mostly because they are still too small for major marketers and because the networks only make sense for brands who are seeking male influencers.
Forrester finds that only 4% of U.S. online adults have ever used location-based mobile apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt. Only 1% update these services more than once per week. What's more, 84% of respondents said they are not familiar with such apps, leaving the vast majority of Americans online still in the dark about location-based apps, which have had the marketing world obsessing over them in recent months, according to AdAge.
Almost 80% of location-based service users are male, according to the report. Close to 70% of them are between the ages of 19 and 35, and 70% have college degrees or higher.
AdAge also reported that Forrester found these LBS users to be influential (the report finds they're 38% more likely to say friends and family ask their opinions before a purchase) and they are especially receptive to mobile coupons and offers. This set is up to 20% more likely to consult their phones before a purchase, and are far more likely to research products and services and read customer reviews.
So while LBS might not be attractive to a Victoria Secret's campaign, the networks could be targets for brands in gaming, consumer electronics and sportswear.
In terms of test-driving these applications, marketers lead the way, according to Forrester. Despite the male-dominated user base, location apps aren't solely for male-oriented brands, as PepsiCo, Starbucks, Oil of Olay, Bravo and, most recently, Campbell's Soup have all launched campaigns with LBS.
What do you think of location-based apps and services? Do you use them? Why or why not?