Where GPS has Been & Where GPS is Going
The technology isn’t exactly new; it’s been available to the public since 1983, but has really become utilized and abundant in the last two years. With companies like TomTom , Garmin, and Magellan bringing this technology to more households, it stands to reason this is the next giant wave of online marketing. GPS is quite popular overseas, and has been for a number of years, and is now finally catching on here in the US.
Prices on these devices are dropping rapidly, and depending on the unit, can run you anywhere from $150 to upwards of $1000. Sales on these devices are expected to exceed 5.4 billion this year. Automotive and hand-held GPS devices are losing some of its exclusivity among the upper echelons and becoming affordable and available to the general populous.
Search Engine Land told us that Google Maps is now allowing users to download locations to their Garmin or TomTom device. And there are more and more POI (Point of Interest) sites popping up out there that allow GPS device owners to download to their device.
Some Popular POI Sites:
The Next Wave:
Even with the proliferation of GPS devices, and stretching field of the consumers you can reach, there’s more in store for GPS. Let’s start with branding.
I’ve already seen, on a couple of GPS systems, company branding being included like McDonalds logo, instead of the staple “knife and fork” icon. That’s a lot of branding power in an icon world. We’ve contacted TomTom and Garmin about this, to include a couple of our larger clients in corporate sponsorship. (NOTE: Neither TomTom nor Garmin will respond to site contact forms, you have to mail them directly) We’re still waiting on a response, but I’ll keep you posted.
Detailed Company Information:
Submitting to POI sites can give you an edge over the competition by allowing you to enter detailed company information. Those GPS systems with Bluetooth capability, will be able to access your website and download anything they need, including product information and coupons.
Audio (MP3) Messages:
I haven’t seen it yet (rather heard it) but many of the newer model GPS systems have the ability to play MP3′s. Think about the extended branding you have if consumers/users are within, let’s say 10 miles, of your client’s location. Once they breach that 10 mile radius, an alert goes off on the GPS device and begins to play a 10-15 second audio message to the driver letting them know they are within range and turn-by-turn directions! Amazing.
Folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And the time to get on your boards and ride this wave is now. It’s one of the last frontiers to be completely saturated with competition.