In the next 5 years, $1.2 billion of mobile advertising dollars will come from local advertisers, forecasts Borrell Associates. U.S. spending for ads delivered by mobile apps will double from $305 million this year to $685 million next year and will explode to more than $8 billion by 2015.
Why so much marketing interest in mobile? Mobile devices offer highly targeted, innovative content never before available and is highly attractive for consumers and advertisers alike. The most powerful element of smart phones is its GPS capabilities to deliver this hyper-relevant content with incomparable precision. Here are five categories in the mobile arena innovating new ways to find and consume local content:
Real Estate: Zillow has one of the most comprehensive real estate databases around, and they’ve brought that incredible resource to mobile devices with its mobile app. The mobile app is approaching a million app downloads and based on its app functionality, it’s not hard to imagine why. Zillow’s mobile app delivers the same information from its online database (including year built, size, configuraion and estimated current value), but the real value is built in its GPS capabilities to locate and follow users on a map to find real estate wherever you happen to be. And if you’re not sure if you want to check out the real estate in person, check out their street view features.
News: People accessing news and information sites from their mobile devices more doubled in the US from Jan 2008 to Jan 2009, reports comScore. Roughly 63 million people access news and information from their mobile phones and about a third of them do so on a daily basis. Compelling user stats, right? DoApps thought so. DoApp is taking mobile consumer’s love for news and information and combining it with the GPS capabilities of smart phones to create hyperlocal content. The mobile app company has more than 120 local media apps built and 185 signed on.
Coupons: RebelVC’s DealBK app launched in February of 2010 and is one of many new coupon apps offering local discounts. Users can browse through multiple categories — including health, beauty, auto, restaurants, travel and more — to discover discounts on things they care about, find the store via Google Maps and the app even has sharing capabilities. So if you want to pass on the savings with friends, simply send them a message via email and / or social networking services such as Facebook. The app is easy for local merchants to use, as well. Although the app is only for Austin, McAllen and Honolulu only, it has ambitions to offer discounts nationally, so watch out.
Meeting Up: You might be familiar with Meetup.com, where groups meet locally to discuss topics ranging from single mothers with businesses to bonsai trees. The network has taken that local appeal to its free mobile app. The app uses your location to discover great new Meetups to attend, RSVP to upcoming meetups, see who’s coming, take and upload pictures, check in (a nod to FourSquare) and even get turn by turn directions using Google Maps. The GPS-enabled app truly makes getting together with like-minded people easier than ever.
Restaurants: FourSquare, Yelp, Urban Spoon have the capabilities to offer restaurant deals, but for whatever reason, it seems diluted in other features – such as “checking into” FourSquare to become the mayor, or giving your two-cents on Yelp or discovering new food on Urban Spoon. MealDeals focus only on discounts at local eateries. The app has over 7,000 discounts in restaurants in California, Chicago and New York to promote new menu items and specials. So if you’re in the mood for some Italian, you might choose Sapore Italiano Ristorante in California for its discounts, or that’s what its owner, Elio D’ Urzo, hopes.
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