Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Thursday, March 03, 2005

100 Mobile Product Ideas...#22...
...User-requested ads...

Following on from my suggestion for electronic receipts, the second item I mentioned, namely using the receipts to access other information, is of greater interest to me than simply tracking my spending habits (useful though that is).

What I am going to suggest also has some resonance with my previous post about follow-up texts. There is also a relationship with sell-side advertising.

Let me explain...

When I thought of Halfords sending me a courtesy text after the fitting of a new wiper, it occurred to me that they could also advertise a related product or service. They could also send me an electronic coupon.

I then realised that anyone could send me an ad, provided they had access to my transaction information. They just need to know what I've bought....

That's where the electronic receipt comes in handy.

Imagine that I "publish" the receipt (XML, Web Services etc.) and that advertising engines can examine it and then advertise to me based on my purchasing habits. For advertising in general, this is better than some relatively arbitrary keyword-based ads.

If we return to the idea of the follow-up texts, we could think of being sent an advertisement that is precisely relevant to my purchase. For example, I buy a DVD recorder and might expect to get sent an ad for bulk-buy DVDs. At a supermarket check-out, I get sent an advert for a dietary supplement related to one that I just bought, and so on.

By default, because I am publishing my purchase information to the advertisers, this is a permission based system. In effect, I am asking for adverts that are directly relevant to me.

This scheme has even greater relevance to location-based services. Adverts, information and offers can be sent based on purchases and location. This has all kinds of interesting applications and implications.

Overall, the advantage of having the electronic receipts in my hand (on my device, in my domain) is that I can fully control the ongoing use of that information. This is better than having it dictated by any service provider.

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