Qriously: The Marriage of GPS Technology and Advertising

You know when you’re playing a free version of a game on your Smartphone, and you get those annoying static advertisements on the top or bottom bar of your screen? What if instead of those random ads, you were prompted to answer real-time questions about your surroundings?
As you’re driving to school, you look at your iPhone and see, “What do you think of that new billboard on University?” You have lunch at Jimmy Johns, and as you’re walking out your phone asks, “Which do you prefer: the ‘Pepe’ or ‘Totally Tuna’ Sandwich?” It may sound a bit creepy, but that idea is along the lines of what new sentiment analysis mobile application, Qriously, is trying to accomplish.

While similar to the question-asking model of Quora, Qriously is a service for measuring location-based public sentiment in real time. This mobile application would use GPS technology to pose these types of questions on Smartphones where static ads might normally appear. This would allow marketers, advertising/PR agencies and researchers to ask questions to users in a real-time setting based on where they are located.

In this article from Social Media Today, the author notes that 2011 has been coined “the year of the mobile”, and discusses how automated sentiment analysis software is the future where advertising and mobile technology may merge successfully.

In the age of Twitter, where customers can Tweet positive or negative feedback the moment a transaction occurs, Qriously might be a step toward putting some control back in to the hands of the businesses. Rather than waiting for focus group feedback or public reactions, businesses can hit the ground running the moment they release an advertisement and ask “what did you think of that ad?” as the customer is seeing it.

There’s a part of me that cringes over the idea of having a personal GPS tracking device, and that part of me believes the invasive nature of this application may be detrimental to reaching its goals. However, if Qriously does catch on, this could mean big things for market research, logistics and strategic planning. If Qriously tells Jimmy Johns in Denton that the ‘Pepe’ is far more popular than the ‘Totally Tuna’, perhaps they will look into buying more supplies for the former? If a new billboard is a hit in Denton, but fails to impress in Lewisville – that company may save a ton removing the latter.

Those are just a few examples that popped into my mind, but I have a feeling a lot more could be done if Qriously catches on. I’d recommend keeping an eye on them in the next year or so.

By: Katy Hartwick

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