I have been trying out a number of apps on my cell phone that geo-track my location and pop up offers for nearby businesses as I move around in their general location. In truth, I found a lot of the marketing messages annoying and have stopped using these kinds of apps. But others really like these things.
AT&T customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco will now be able to participate in the Shop Alerts program and have the same kind of deal-focused messages sent to their phones. Shop Alerts is an opt-in program so you have to first sign up to receive anything from the company. Once you’re registered, your cell phone emits a signal that discloses where you are. If you’re near one of their participating retailers, you will get hit with marketing offers.
Now, the offers may or may not be a real deal. That will be the true test over time with these kinds of service. Nobody wants to give up their location info just to get a dud deal. And of course the wireless carriers want their share of the revenue, so they have an interest in seeing that the deals are for real. A “buy one, get one” meal offer, for example, is something that might appeal to me.
Finally, there’s the issue of privacy. How much do you like having your info made available to others for who knows what purpose? Only you can make the decision what’s best and right for you on that one, just like I did!