The trouble with geolocation

Geolocation could transform mobile marketing, but we need to turn the hate into love for it to fully realise its potential


Geolocation is – in theory at least – the holy grail for marketers, offering the context, relevance and proximity needed to drive user engagement.

However, despite being around for a few years now, the technology has never realised its full potential. That needs to change because we stand at the edge of a revolution in the way we market businesses to consumers.

Forrester predicts that by 2022 mobiles will influence $1.4 trillion in offline sales within the next five years. Getting your mobile marketing strategy right will be critical in determining your brand’s future success.

The issues with geolocation have never been far from our minds as we developed Bubbl, an ‘off the shelf’ drop in solution for mobile proximity marketing.

Privacy and the consumer backlash

Before GDPR became a reality, the backlash against marketers’ unfettered access to consumers’ personal data had already begun. Ad blockers have been on the rise for a while now and consumers are increasingly sceptical of marketing messages delivered via their mobiles.

The reason? Our industry has too often taken advantage of what should have been sacrosanct and delivered irrelevant, impersonal or assumptive messages. Many people today just don’t feel comfortable sharing their location data, unless there is a clear benefit in them doing so.

This is why we decided from the offset not to gather any personal data. Users targeted through our geofencing technology remain anonymous. We put the power back where it belongs – in the hands of the consumer. But this isn’t something to be fearful of as a marketer – by enabling a dynamic, rich media environment, brands can use our tools to deliver more creative campaigns that build relationships and drive loyalty. Creative marketing means working harder sure, but the impact on your customer engagement will be far greater.

The Complexity myth

Many marketers also assume geolocation technology is too complex to use, too time-consuming or requires additional resource to manage day-to-day. We’ve set out to challenge that myth by creating a simple interface that gets your campaign live within minutes.

Built with marketers in mind, the platform doesn’t need developer input to create geofences and takes seconds to plug in. As tech developers, we need to move away from this perception that all things mobile are a ‘dark art’ and get simple tech solutions out to the industry.

Reliability of data

One of geolocations biggest stumbling blocks to date has been around the reliability of its data due to factors such as WiFi and GPS signal or types of device. Getting this right is crucial – if marketers can’t trust the data, geolocation has no future.

We’ve spent a great deal of time on testing and iterative development to make Bubbl one of the most reliable geofencing platforms on the market, consuming almost no battery power. Data comes direct from the mobile device, making it far more reliable than other sources of location data.

The industry now has an opportunity to capitalise on the exciting opportunities afforded by geolocation data but education is key. The stigmas around location data will take time to overcome but if as an industry we work together, the possibilities are limitless!

Find out more at or request a demo.