Location Matters… but Context is King

A few weeks ago we installed Proximity in a local branch of a national tire chain. For some time now the store has offered free wifi for their customers as they waited to get their cars serviced, and as you could guess it gets a pretty decent amount of use. Part of our initial installation was to gather analytics on usage of the wifi service to provide a better view of how their customers were using the internet in the store – and to provide more insight to better target information and relevant advertising.

Most of the guest traffic was fairly typical; facebook, twitter, pandora, local news with a mix of various (and some unmentionable) search terms. At a first, quick glance there didn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary.

But, as we dug, filtered and looked again, we began to notice a traffic trend that appeared to be very specific to this location. And as we considered the full CONTEXT of this location, it became very clear and obvious.

What were people doing so differently on the web at this tire and lube store as they waited…and waited…and waited for their car to be repaired?

They were looking for a new car.

Location-based advertising can be a powerful when done right. There are more than a few location-based advertising networks building a business delivering ads and deals based on where you are at any given time.

But location is only half the story.

I probably don’t even need to ask the question, but I will anyway. Knowing what we know about the web habits of our tire store customers, who do you think ought to be advertising on the Proximity wifi in that – or any – tire store location?

I now know, for a fact, that I’m not the only person who has decided it was time to get a new set of wheels while waiting in the shop, yet again, for my old junker to get repaired. In context it makes perfect sense – and it’s advertising gold.