Wi-Fi Automotive Marketing & Location Based Advertising

The availability of built-in Wi-Fi on new cars could expand automotive marketing services that deliver location-based advertising to drivers.

Chevrolet is rolling out what it calls the “largest deployment of vehicles with built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi in the market this summer,” and the move will help open up opportunities for automotive advertising to in-car services.

“Chevrolet is committed to offering consumers advanced technologies that enhance the vehicle ownership experience,” a Chevy rep says. “Offering in-vehicle 4G LTE connectivity will allow Chevy owners to have a strong and consistent Wi-Fi connection that can pair up to seven devices.”

Chevy certainly isn’t alone in offering in-car services like Wi-Fi.

Audi, too, has an in-car Wi-Fi offering, and a Tesla rep says its Model S includes 3G connectivity.

Google announced the Open Automotive Alliance in order to develop Android-based in-car entertainment and information systems for manufacturers like Audi, Honda, and Hyundai.

According to Joe Laszlo, senior director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB, the addition of automated data services is a natural evolution for in-car services like GM subsidiary OnStar, which provides subscription-based safety, security, and mobility offerings to more than 7 million consumers.

“What was interesting to me at least was one of the things [Chevrolet emphasizes] is a potentially better connection because a car is a bigger thing than a mobile device and has a bigger antenna,” Laszlo says. “Car-based services may be faster and more reliable, but, again, even if the end user discovers that’s the case, they’ll have to do the mental calculation to determine whether it is worth setting up a new monthly wireless data plan.”

There’s a tremendous amount of information automotive marketers can glean from location, which, once privacy issues are sorted out, could help marketers determine where consumers drive, as well as how often and how frequently. It could also give them key information about their daily habits, such as whether they, say, stop at McDonald’s every morning or often visit country clubs. That, in turn, could open up opportunities for brands to target specific groups of consumers or to target consumers by habit.




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