The Next Net

By Monday April 13th, 2009

In the March 9th edition of BusinessWeek, contributor Stephen Baker explored the concept of “The Next Net,” an extension of the Web 2.0 revolution. Over the past year, Sense Networks, a startup dedicated to leading edge market research, has been poring over data, trying to learn about consumer behavior. The figures they analyze are not... View Article

In the March 9th edition of BusinessWeek, contributor Stephen Baker explored the concept of “The Next Net,” an extension of the Web 2.0 revolution.
Over the past year, Sense Networks, a startup dedicated to leading edge market research, has been poring over data, trying to learn about consumer behavior. The figures they analyze are not the results of focus groups and targeted surveys. Instead, their subjects are you and me, via our cell phones.
Utilizing the wealth of “pings” that cell phone wi-fi networks and tower triangulation provide, the team at Sense, led by founder Greg Skibiski, has been watching people move around a digital map of the San Francisco Bay area and dividing them into “tribes,” according to their typical behaviors and preferences.

The technology is in its infancy and, short of providing real time data about what kind of people are in a given area and what they are doing, there are few practical applications. As it is, marketing companies can analyze the kind of people getting exposure to certain promotions and, based on their response, adjust their strategies accordingly.

The belief is that we are not far from a future in which we are sent a text message containing a discount code as we pass a store advertising said special. Currently, there is resistance to this concept, as cell users are sensitive to privacy issues, but there are many more practical applications in development, especially for those individuals who are open to the concept of ultra-targeted mobile advertising.
Accordingly, retailers and marketing companies are salivating at the prospect of using anonymous real-time data to track consumer behavior and learn how to reach them effectively through more traditional means. We would be remiss to ignore this new wave of market research, which has the potential to revolutionize how we sell our wares in under a decade.

Check out the article here.

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