Location-based services have popped up everywhere over the past few years. Most of us can look back to the first views of Earth from above with Google Earth (grainy, patchy images that our dial up connection struggled with) and laugh a little. Now, LBS is everywhere.
We think LBS is interesting, obviously. But I was flicking through the McKinsey ‘big data’ report and saw this.
What the…? How did McKinsey get to this number?
Turns out, McKinsey used their super brains and super computers to ‘look at the value chain of location-based applications‘. They looked at the amount of data generation and the potential value created.
- amount of data generated across regions, user behaviour, and frequency of use.
- the value chain of LBS. How do individual consumers use and benefit from LBS? How do enterprises or governments benefit?
McKinsey themselves say that their estimation is conservative, and it could well be more. But if you think about the process of using a personal navigation device, you’ll immediately see the value of time saving, fuel consumption reduction.
Other types of LBS like check-in services (Facebook Places, Foursquare etc), local information sourcing tools (LocalMind, Neer), and community noticeboards and news sites (EveryBlock etc) also add value and decrease costs in many ways. One of those is increased marketing relevancy. We can (and have) discuss the balance of personal data privacy vs openness, but the fact remains that as people become more permissive about what they will share openly, we marketers have more opportunities to communicate more effectively, meaning more ££ spent in the right place, less wastage, and better results. And that’s something we can all get behind.