Brands that have allocated budgets to location-marketing are likely to be encouraged by findings from a new survey of US consumers, which suggests they are mostly comfortable with the experience despite some privacy concerns.

According to business news portal The Manifest, which polled 727 US adults for its State of Location-Tracking Mobile Apps in 2019 report, nearly everyone (96%) has seen an ad that references their location.

And two-thirds (66%) of these app users are comfortable with apps that fill in their location from previous visits because they value the time and effort it saves them.

For example, it can be difficult to type long questions on a small smartphone screen and, consequently, users are open to the convenience that auto-completion offers them. Just 7% of consumers are uncomfortable about an app filling in their location based on past searches, the report added.

Furthermore, another advantage for marketers is that adding predictive text to a mobile app can motivate users to stay in the app longer because it becomes less frustrating for them to find different products and to ask questions.

Mobile American consumers also appear unfazed by geo-tags, which allow people to mark their location on social media and share what they are doing with their friends.

According to the survey findings, nearly four-fifths (79%) of people have used geo-tags to indicate their location on social media apps, including 18% who always do and 19% who do so often, despite the potential risk of announcing online that they’re not at home.

“Most people exercise caution when they use geo-tagging on social media, realising the potential benefits and disadvantages of doing either. Businesses, however, recognise the advantage of using location-tracking to create more effective advertising for their users,” the report said.

Elsewhere, the survey revealed that more than a third (38%) of mobile consumers have accidentally shared their location via a social apps without realising it.

Of this group, almost half (46%) stopped sharing their location, but kept the app on their phone while a full 40% continued to share their location through the app.

This last finding prompted the report to conclude that “most people are not concerned with accidentally sharing their location because the benefits of the app outweigh the potential dangers of sharing their location with a stranger”.

Sourced from The Manifest; additional content by WARC staff