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.