Older consumers more concerned about privacy
Although more and more consumers are opting in to location services such as foursquare and Facebook Places, consumers under age 35 are particularly willing to share location in exchange for value, research suggests.
Q2 2011 data from mobile Wi-Fi hotspot provider JiWire indicates that 53% of all mobile Wi-Fi users are willing to share their location to receive more relevant content. Younger consumers are particularly responsive to location-based programs—60% of 25- to 34-year olds and 58% of those under 25 are willing share location.
When mobile Wi-Fi users engage with location services near a retail store, JiWire found that sales and promotions were the most sought after pieces of content. The survey also showed that location-based promotions become even more important at closer range. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said a deal was the most important piece of brand information for them if they were within 1 mile of the retail location, compared to 24% who said the same 10 miles away. Respondents also listed customer reviews, directions and product information as location-related content of interest.
Privacy may be what’s holding older consumers back from location-sharing. A Nielsen study showed that consumers under 35 are less concerned with privacy when using location services than older consumers, which may explain their greater tendency to share location data. Half of 25- to 34-year-olds told Nielsen that they are concerned about privacy when using location-based services, compared to 61% of consumers older than 45.
Because location services are often coupled with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, younger, more social-media-savvy consumers may be more likely to opt in. Moreover, the younger demographics may be more willing to give up personal data in exchange for things like promotions and sales.
Privacy concerns aside, location-based ad revenue is ramping up. Pyramid Research estimates that the worldwide market for location ads will reach $6.2 billion by 2015, growing 35% from 2010.
As location-based services and mobile marketers continue to educate consumers about location-sharing, privacy concerns may dissipate. Marketers, however, should tread carefully, keeping in mind that consumers will rarely exchange personal data without something of perceived value in return.
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Check out today’s other article, “Two in Five Mobile Owners Use Internet on the Go.”