The Data Digest: Who Uses Location-Based Services?

Location-based social networks (LBSNs), apps that are downloaded on a mobile phone, offer organizations  a possibility of right-time, right-place marketing by connecting people and nearby points of sale with geotargeted media. Forrester's Technographics® data shows that only 4% of US online adults have ever used location-based social networks, such as FourSquare and Brightkite, on their mobile phones, with only 1% using them more than once a week. Although the uptake is limited to a small group, this doesn't mean that LBSNs are not useful.

Looking at the profile of location-based app users, we see that they are:

  • Influential.Geolocation users are 38% more likely than the average US online adult to say that friends and family ask their opinions before making a purchase decision.
  • An interesting target group.They are typically young adult males with college degrees.
  • Heavy mobile researchers.They are also far more likely to search for information about businesses and products, as well as read customer ratings/reviews of products and services

Marketers and technology service providers can't create a market; consumers have to. With the current uptake of these services, most organization have to realize that they can't run location-based campaigns and expect to reach a large audience. However, cutting-edge, male-targeted companies can test LBSNs now. Gaming or consumer electronics companies are good examples of companies that should start experimenting with LBSNs now. While these programs might not generate a critical mass of volume, they can reach an influential audience and give your company a competitive edge.


Women and Location Services

FourSquare must be delighted with these numbers but there is one glaring problem if they are to optimize their platform for social commerce. Only 20% of women. Getting to mainstream will be harder if women are not using the service.

Is privacy the problem? Women may not comfortable giving specific whereabouts in real-time. If game mechanics are not working to overcome resistance then higher value of coupons might work. More likely better privacy is required.

Check out Proxpro's CrossPathz, because of our privacy features is attracting 44% women. CrossPathz is a LBSN that allows friends to privately share future location.