August 31, 2015

Google Finds Ways to Promote Location-Based Advertising Using Map Technology

By Lauren C.

Google is known for working on secret gadgets and projects. Do they keep certain projects like Google Glass 2.0 under wraps to make more of a splash when they are finally revealed? Or maybe Google is so sneaky because they, like every other tech company, understands that certain ideas may be great in theory, but cannot work in the current market.

Such is the fate of Google Here, a secret project Google recently nixed. Google Here focused on locally-based advertising through the use of Google Maps and beacon technology. It provided a channel for businesses to communicate with customers based on their location. For example, if a person happened to be next to a restaurant, their phone could buzz to offer a discount or special deal for that location.

Google Here worked by sending a notification via beacons to a user’s lock screen as soon as they entered the location of a company partnered with Google Here program, such as Starbucks. A beacon is a method of ensuring apps and devices work more efficiently by providing them crucial, contextual information within certain locations. Beacons would have allowed participating partners to work with Google Here to send special deals that are specific to their store locations through Google Here.

Sounds great, right? Well, maybe in theory. There were several problems with this type of location- based advertising, including privacy concerns, and a lack of enthusiasm from retailers about the project. After all, imagine a mobile telemarketer that constantly sends messages all day long, informing users about special deals in certain areas. People would be more likely to throw their phones across the parking lot than take advantage of amazing discounts and freebies, no matter how great those deals are.

Because of the various problems that Google foresaw with the launch of Google Here, they decided to put a stop to the project before it began. But Google Maps has not given up yet on location- based advertising since they know how important it is in the digital age. Just recently, they launched Eddystone, a beacon program that gives location specific data and advertising information through a low energy Bluetooth technology. In layman’s terms, Eddystone will work by improving location-based communications through the utilization of map technology.

Location-based advertising will continue to thrive in the digital era, as map technology and retailers will work together to create lucrative, creative ways to communicate with customers. However, respecting privacy and people’s “personal space” will be the only way for this type of advertising to ultimately succeed, as the fall of Google Here so clearly demonstrates.

Why do you think Google Here failed? Do you think with modifications, location-based advertising can succeed? Let us know in your comments!

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