Similar ads will appear on car satellite navigation systems as soon as the company that owns the technology is able to figure out how to prevent the ads from distracting drivers. All too often when asked by market researchers to recall where we were, what we did and how long we spent doing it, the mind goes blank. Location-based marketing – whether it be harvesting information about your whereabouts or simply sending you ads – is the next boom area for marketers. Jason Buchanan of GPS Innovations, a company specialising in satellite positioning technology, said devices can be fitted on handbags, suitcases or simply clipped on to a person to help market researchers track their movements as they move around the city. Increasingly advertisers are opting to have their location shown on Google’s map products so that when a query is typed into Google’s search engine on a mobile phone up comes an address and phone number for that business and, most importantly, how to get there. By the end of the year ads for fast food operators, petrol stations, hotels and pharmacies will begin appearing on mobile phones that have opted in to receive advertising messages. ”Location is the new demographic. In trials Navteq ran in Europe for a fast food chain, recipients were 14 times more likely to click through for more information than a regular banner ad on a mobile phone. ”Now an advertiser can reach consumers when they are in a geographic position to buy and, in many cases, compel them to do so with coupons and special offers.”

Google reports one in three searches made by people on their smartphones is for information about services close to their location. Mobile phones and satellite navigation systems are emerging as tools for companies to help them investigate shopping habits as well as serve up ads based on your location.   The technology could be used to track young people’s safe driving habits so that they could get better deals from insurers. But marketers are also considering the use of global satellite technology to verify market research. It’s not just about age, gender and socio-economics,” said Kirk Mitchell vice-president of sales at Navteq, which is behind the new technology. Furthermore 39 per cent asked for directions to their nearest restaurant. WHERE you are rather than who you are appears to be what the marketers want to know.