Over half of smartphone owners are now comfortable sharing their mobile device’s location with brands

Anne Freier | November 13, 2017

Mobile Advertising

Sharing your mobile’s location with advertisers used to be seen as creepy. Now, ever more people (55%) are comfortable with allowing their device locations to be shared, according to new research from mobile ad firm Verve.
Based on the answers of 2,000 consumers, 73% of respondents said they are already enabling access to their mobile location and one in ten (11%) said that they always allowed apps to do so.
However, that should not mean that advertisers should immediately take advantage. Instead, marketers have to ensure that user information is protected and remains uncompromized at all times. A third of consumers (34%) also said that they removed an app if they received badly targeted ads based on location sharing.
The research reveals some of the app verticals which consumers feel most comfortable sharing their device’s location with: 40% say they share their phone’s location with weather apps; and a third (33%) with transport apps. Many other verticals are fast leveraging the powers of location.
The majority of respondents (77%) also feel that its important that the app brand is known and trustworthy before sharing their location.
In addition, respondents said that it is important to them that their information is securely stored (60%), that they can control when their location is being used and shared (59%) and that their information is anonymized (55%).
52% of consumers would also like to know what their location information is being used for.
Ian James, General Manager of International at Verve, explains:

“It’s clear consumers are becoming more accustomed to the idea of sharing their device’s location with apps, in exchange for useful or personalised services. This information is extremely valuable and creates huge opportunities for publishers, but also advertisers who want to engage customers with memorable and personalised experiences.”

In exchange for sharing their location, consumers would like to receive money-off coupons and offers (38%), up to date travel information (22%) as well as spot offers (20%).
However, a whopping 64% of respondents admitted that privacy was a key concern when it comes to location sharing and 39% also cited battery drain as a main issue. James adds:

“But to retain consumer trust and permission, publishers must be transparent about how that data is used, and brands must ensure resulting ads are both well-targeted and relevant. Too often today, location data used by advertisers is not of a high enough quality to support this – the industry has to step up its game to truly unlock the power and value of location marketing.”

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