Using location-based information in advertising and marketing has been a big business for some time. Direct marketers routinely use geography-based targeting techniques in direct marketing, and marketing database companies and mailing houses use geocoding products extensively to check and improve addresses. Using mobile location services in marketing ranges from very subtle to highly overt.
An event-based service, such as a turn -key Mother's Day solution toolkit, could use location technology very subtly to improve the overall service delivered. For example, if you're using your WAP browser and notice that the Mother's Day toolkit has appeared as the second item in your mobile portal, you might remember that you haven't made any plans or bought any gifts. Clicking the link might present you with local flower shops to order flowers from, nearby restaurants you can make reservations at, or a local event guide. Being able to customize whatever application or service subscribers are using to include logical offers based on their location is location-based marketing.
The other extreme is the highly overt. The idea that when you walk by a store and a special offer advertisement might ring you on a mobile device might seem intrusive to many people. ZagMe launched an opt-in shopper alert service in the United Kingdom using a location-based system with alerting technology from Adeptra (http://www.adeptra.com) in late 2000. After receiving a message, users can either purchase an item immediately or have it held. This service might have limited appeal apart from teenagers, although Reebok used the technology to run a particularly interesting promotion. Reebok sent an alert offering a free pair of shoes to the first person who could get to the store and show a ZagMe message. More than 50 people had sprinted to the store within four minutes.