Smart Phones and Location-Based Services

Have you ever been nervous thinking about the notion that advertisements could one day be on your mobile phone? Don’t be, because its already here. The innovation of Apps have allowed for a tiny cottage industry of software developers to erupt into a multi-billion dollar industry that creates and distributes games, utilities, business productivity tools, and thousands of more micro-programs for your cell phone many of which come with advertising.

So what’s changing in this young industry whose sales are projected to surge past .5 billion by 2012? Its called location-based services, or LBS, and it’s fast approaching. With LBS, programmers have found a way to add a twist to the social networking obsession of consumers; instead of users posting updates on what they’re doing, LBS providers are betting users will want to post updates on where they’re doing it, too.

LBS Apps are supported by GPS technology that allows users to track just about anything these days, and on the cheap: costs associated with developing GPS products have tanked as demand has soared. You can buy a people-locator App on the iPhone for .99. This kind of scale has created a niche opportunity for many small local businesses to drive traffic through their stores while driving their promotions, brand, and sales through the roof.

Small business owners can harness the power of LBS by simply getting involved with a few applications and services out there. You can post coupons and give away points that are redeemable for your products or services by asking customers to share the fact they are at they are in your store, eating your food, or reviewing your business online.

The next wave of disruptive forces in small business advertising and global consumer trends is unforeseeable and unpredictable. But by thinking ahead, staying quick on your toes and acting early, small business owners can leverage emerging trends and technologies in advertisement and customer communications and interaction to create and contend able Web present.

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