The Good and Bad of Location-Based Advertising

The Good

One of the best uses of location-based advertising has to come from Jeff Bezos-owned Whole Foods. Even though it is incredibly basic, their strategy is very effective. Surrounding their stores are “geo-fences”, a GPS or RFID software that tracks and triggers a response to mobile devices that enter the digital fence line. Understandably, forcing notifications of all cell phones in that area would be highly illegal, they send forced advertisements only to mobile devices that have the Whole Foods App. They have also set up these fences around competitor stores, so that when a Whole Foods customer crosses the digital threshold, they are sent an offer like 15% off your total bill to entice them into Whole Foods instead.

The Bad

Although not specific to a brand, many consumers would say that the worst form of mobile advertising has to be what happened during the 2016 US Presidential Election. The issuing of “fake news” served up through Facebook advertisements to specific psychographic and location-based profiles negatively affected Facebook’s brand in the eyes of the average user. Yet from a B2B side, one can argue that the Cambridge Analytica scandal actually proved the effectiveness of the advertising platform, which is something that Facebook itself has failed to do over the years. According to Statista, Facebook’s worldwide advertising revenue grew by nearly $5 Billion between 2017 and the start of 2018.


U.S. Facebook advertising revenue 2018 | Statistic. Statista. Available at: [Accessed July 22, 2018].

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