Being Useful, Not Creepy: Mobile Geo-Tracking Lessons from Disney, Coke and Google

Being Useful, Not Creepy: Mobile Geo-Tracking Lessons from Disney, Coke and Google

There are few to no absolutes in mobile. Not real is the notion that cash will be universally replaced by the mobile wallet in the near future. That likely won’t happen in our lifetimes. Just ask the tellers who are still employed because a large enough segment of the population continues to want to hand checks to human beings. Do you think those folks will ever be happy without printed currency?

Just as incorrect is the claim that wireless users will do anything and everything to keep their location from brands. The easiest way to refute that is to look at Disney, a company that is seeing record attendance in its parks in part because of its revolutionary use of a MagicBand wearable device and app that keeps track of the location of users – roughly half of the more than 18 million annual visitors.

The app, as Wired reported, enables park attendees that pay in excess of $100 for a day pass to “skip long lines, preorder food, and charge purchases to their Disney resort room. And it kind of feels … fun.”

According to Wired, visitors use the app to pre-select three rides for which they can enter express lines. Taking into account ride availability and proximity, the app plots those choices into itinerary options. The app also offers updates on wait times for every ride.

Visitors can also reserve a table and select a meal at Be Our Guest. When a visitor with a MagicBand crosses the bridge to the restaurant, a host greets him or her by name and the kitchen is alerted to prepare the food. Sensors in the tables let the servers know where the patron is.

There is nothing creepy about any of it. Instead Disney is transparent while providing value and actually enhancing the experience.

It’s a lesson for all mobile marketers. Whether it is to opt-in to a text-based mobile VIP club to receive offers and exclusive content or to receive push notifications, a large number of mobile owners will exchange what some perceive as personal information, including location, for something that they want.

“If it’s creepy and abusive and not adding value and damaging, you lose,” says Tom Daly, Group Director, Mobile and Search, for The Coca-Cola Company. “If it’s value-add, addictive, making my day easier, making my life better, then I’m in.”

“The old strategies simply aren’t going to work anymore,” Jason Bigler, product management director for Google, said at a recent MMA event. “We have to rethink how consumers experience these brands in the context they are in. It’s a very personal medium.

“Mobile will force us to find the right blend of content that leads to an action.”

These words of wisdom are especially applicable when it comes to mobile applications. And to be useful, marketers need to consider context. That topic will be discussed on July 22, 2015 in a free webinar that FollowAnalytics is co-hosting with the Mobile Marketing Association.

Titled, How to Evolve Beyond Broadcast Push Notifications – Learn What 1:1 Contextual Marketing Can Do for You and Your Business, the webinar will enable attendees to learn how they can employ emerging technology and smarts to drive sales, engagement and innovation to differentiate their businesses from competitive brands and products.

Sign up to learn:

  • How to impact your business with real-time contextual campaigns and build loyalty with your customers
  • Best practices on how to use technology to innovate and transform your business
  • Tested examples and use cases from industry innovators

One of the speakers will be Jeff Hasen, who will share insights from leading mobile marketers that are included in his new book, The Art of Mobile Persuasion.

We hope to see you there. We promise to not be creepy