Adnews: Location is all the rage, but what about those WiFi hotspots?

11 Sep 2013 by Wenlei Ma

The industry has been extolling the virtues of location-based advertising for years. Think of the possibilities! But the lack of WiFi hotspots in public places is limiting its growth.

SoLoMo. Social Local Mobile. It's a guiding light (or apparently should be) for the marketing fraternity. With smartphone penetration in Australia at 65%, it's seen as a no-brainer for marketers to target consumers on their favoured device. And what could be more relevant than doing that with a localised offer.

But the mechanisms of location-based advertising still present challenges in Australia. In a Mobile Trends Report paper released by IAB Australia, Ikon Communications Sydney digital director David Thanisch identified the lack of free WiFi in public spaces an impediment to the expansion of location-based advertising.

Thanisch said in the UK and US, the high number of WiFi connection spots has seen WiFi become the preferred form of targeting over GPS. However, in Australia, our public WiFi networks are not as built up. Mobile operators don't share its customers' location data with publishers, he said.

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