We live in a “big data” world, where staggering amounts of personal information including our locations, search histories, emails, posts, photos, and more, are constantly being collected and analyzed by Google, Amazon, Facebook, and many other web services.
Google Location History launched silently not long ago. You can click here and, if you have a Google account and Google Maps installed on your smart device, see everywhere you have been and the route you took to get there. This data is collected in the background without the app actively running and is ultimately obtained for optimizing Google AdWords’ customer reach. Here’s an example of my log from one day last week:
Right now Google AdWords customers can track impressions, clicks, phone calls, downloads, etc. to measure success of ad campaigns. In the near future, routing and location data like what you see above will be utilized to track through-the-door conversions. This means an ad impression or click at home, office, or while mobile that resulted in you going to the location of the business you were exposed to will be interpreted as a potential conversion. Pretty impressive - and it’s just the beginning.
Advertisers will soon target based on how often and where you get fuel. They’ll know when and for how long you have lunch and how far you’re willing to travel for each meal within separate geographic areas; i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now consider this information applied to other habitual activities like grocery shopping or trips to the movies. Large ticket items such as homes or vehicles? Imagine the potential!
Take a look at the amount of information collected with 14 days worth of data:
While many will find this method of information collection invasive and go to great lengths to keep big brother at bay, others embrace the technology. This may be the marketer in me but I do not mind data collection designed to monitor my lifestyle. It results in target advertising that I find of interest and should add value to my everyday life.