Location-based mobile ads — ones that are supposed to be to your mobile phone based on where you’re standing — have been hyped for years, but haven’t taken off. Why not? One hurdle: Most phones don’t yet have GPS, so it’s hard to get a good idea of where you’re browsing from.
That is, unless your Web site is based on the idea that people are telling you where they are. Which is how mapping/directions site HopStop works: You tell it where you are and where you want to go, it tells you the best way to get there, via public transportation. So now HopStop and mobile ad firm Ringleader Digital have a new deal: Instead of relying on GPS to tell Ringleader where mobile Web users are standing, it’ll just tap into the address that HopStop users are searching for.
That’s a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem. And while it won’t work for everyone, we like it: Accurate enough, and unlike GPS, it works on every phone. And, by the way, immediately applicable for folks using, say, Google Maps, too.