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Waze reveals roadmap for internet advertising

Nav­i­ga­tion app Waze has launched a dou­ble attack on the mobile adver­tis­ing mar­ket by adding new devel­op­ments designed to enrich social media expe­ri­ences and mon­e­tize mobile marketing.

Waze’s nav­i­ga­tion app was one of the few map­ping solu­tions that flour­ished ear­li­er in the year, as bad press and gen­er­al apa­thy reigned in the wake of Apple launch­ing its own map­ping ser­vice.  Fly­ing in the face of pre­vail­ing trends, Waze saw a growth in its mar­ket­share of Unit­ed States iPhone busi­ness, with the num­ber of users leap­ing from 7 to 10 percent.

Now it has built on recent suc­cess­es by offer­ing updat­ed maps and Face­book specs that enable users to share their routes and road sta­tus as they dri­ve.  This devel­op­ment has seen the com­pa­ny’s con­fi­dence bur­geon, lead­ing to a new appetite for mon­e­ti­za­tion as it attempts to give mobile adver­tis­ing a shot in the arm and a user-cen­tered focus.

Their big idea is decep­tive­ly sim­ple: Waze wants to offer tar­get­ed ads that reach cus­tomers show­ing real intent but tie them in direct­ly with their route of trav­el.  In effect, this is a loca­tion-tar­get­ed approach that means peo­ple search­ing for a restau­rant, for exam­ple, get adver­tise­ments direct­ly rel­e­vant to their location.

Waze seem con­fi­dent that they know that there’s enough enthu­si­asm amongst users to sup­port this approach.  Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Michal Hab­dank-Kolaczkows­ki, says that the results of polling users has revealed that 20 per­cent of peo­ple who use the app start search­es for restau­rants, with 15 per­cent opt­ing for fast food.  Whilst 10 per­cent hunt for local cof­fee shops, the real area of inter­est for mobile adver­tis­ing spe­cial­ists and mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies is the raw stats sug­gest­ing that more than 50 per­cent of peo­ple make stops on their jour­ney.  These can be for a vari­ety of rea­sons includ­ing shop­ping, eat­ing and fill­ing up on gas.  Armed with this knowl­edge, local busi­ness could well get a plat­form for instant­ly boost­ing brand pro­file and grow­ing cus­tomer numbers.

Pull this off and the rewards of lever­ag­ing more than 30 mil­lion users – who each spend an aver­age of 7.3 hours using the app a month – could be size­able for the com­pa­ny and its clients.

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