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Google Wifi’s Connection with Advertising and Consumer Intent


Google Wifi’s Connection with Advertising and Consumer Intent

Ben Roodman August 8, 2013

Google announced it will provide free wifi in numerous public parks around San Francisco and replace AT&T as the Starbucks wifi sponsor across America. As a wifi provider, what level of measurement of consumer intent can you collect and provide advertisers?

When traveling, I’ve personally often found Starbucks to be a dependable and reliable internet connection in addition to my own hotspot. Google has ample experience sponsoring airport wifi connections as well administrating city wide wifi throughout it’s headquarter city, Mountain View, CA. Unlike many wifi sponsorships, Google wifi often doesn’t require watching a video ad or waiting 30 seconds while looking at a banner advertisement. To connect to Google wifi, simply click to agree to go online followed by messaging recommending to install Google Chrome to replace your current browser. Google will also push its Google Play store to patrons who connect at Starbucks locations.

Where Google sees the value of wifi, beyond public good and app downloads, is access to measure consumer intent by location. 40% of searches on mobile devices have local intent. Through mobile services and advertising, Google frequently knows the last location where you viewed an advertisement and what you’ve been searching. Matching your new location connected to a Google wifi hotspot with your previous location history and searches, provides measurement if you moved to closer the advertiser intended destination. Once closer to the restaurant or retailer advertisement featured in the original ad unit, you’ve successfully created a mobile path-to-purchase that will only become more precise with additional data points.

Results matter to both location based advertisers and Google search accuracy. Mobile ad network startup PlaceIQ, uses a similar method to Google location intent by tiling the US in to 100 meter x 100 meter segments and capturing what local places are within a particular tile with user location affinities from mobile ad measurements. The race is on to offer a scalable method of attributing mobile advertising to in-store sales by something other than a mobile coupon. PlaceIQ audience segments can be added to any mobile marketing campaigns. Google with wifi can now tout frequent Starbucks drinkers & park goers as part of it’s location based advertising segments. AT&T’s remaining most popular wifi base is now McDonald’s consumers, but has also recently joined Verizon in selling mobile consumer location data directly from its network.

Always on internet as a platform for consumer measurement is here to stay.

Ben Roodman

Benjamin Roodman
Senior Contributing Editor
Benjamin Roodman is an advocate for getting to the truth of what converts in mobile. Well versed in mobile advertising platforms with a notable aptitude and passion for analytics, he's currently putting deals together as head of partnerships at a mobile data startup. Benjamin has previously held Business Development positions at AOL Advertising and helped establish several funded location-based consumer startups.
Follow me on twitter @BRoodman

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