Waze came into the mobile app market back in 2006. Then, it was known as Freemap Israel before it was acquired by Google for a figure reported to be close to US1 billion. Since then, Waze has become quite a market mover in every country it runs in. With Waze, drivers are now able to manage their journeys better and more efficiently.

What is the buzz about Waze?

With Google Maps, there has been talks about whether Waze is still relevant and vice versa. Regardless of this, Waze continues to make considerable success in the markets it is in. This is where:

  1. in a recent report, it was found that brands that advertised on Waze experienced an average of more than 50% increase in customer traffic in those locations
  2. There are now more than 65 million active Waze (known as Wazers) users every month
  3. Waze is used in about 185 countries
  4. At average, Wazers use the app to drive about 10 kilometers each month
  5. Wazers spend at average of about 450 minutes on Waze each month

Is Waze suitable for advertising?

The answer to this is a resounding YES! If you are a marketer or brand owner that has yet to ride on the Waze wave, then you are losing out. Waze has already been working with renowned brands like Adidas and Shell since it came into existence.

This means that it has all the right reasons for brands to try and reach their target audience without being involved in social media like Twitter or Instagram. From another aspect, being able to measure the driving behaviour of the driver gives Waze an advantage that no other platform can.

When you know what time your user always goes to work and goes home from work as well as the distance travelled, you very much have all the information you need about that particular person. Multiply that with millions and you have some very important data every marketer or advertiser wants.

Its all about location

If you are planning a location-based marketing campaign, then Waze would surely be your first option. It could well be your only option! In whichever sense, Waze allows marketers to reach target audience in a unique space based on the locations they are in. This is one option that is not possible with other media. Among the features that marketers can consider include:

  1. Interaction rates – this is done based on click-throughs by the user
  2. secondary clicks – Where the user save a place to visit at a later time
  3. real time navigation
  4. performance of brands that are not clicked on

How does advertising on Waze work?

One thing for sure, Waze works with locations. It is all about showcasing brands as the user travel pass a place. Its main advantage is that it could all be visual with logos and images showing up in the map. After all, what other campaign works better than having visuals as your main communication medium and this pops up repeatedly too. Among the methods you can consider in using Waze for your campaigns include:

Speed control

Waze detects the speed the driver is moving on. During high speed travels, it might not be a good idea to pop up any advertising messages but if the drive is compelled to stop for more than a certain period of time say, 3 or 4 seconds, then it is a good time to show some high-impact ads. These are most common during traffic lights or traffic jams where the visually compelling ads can be of great significance to the brand owner. If you are using this, ensure that the brand message disappears once the vehicle moves.

Pins, pins, pins

This icon would most likely be one of the most influential image of our times. It stands among the top logos like Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram. The location pin is your best bet when it comes to marketing in Waze.
Brand owners should make use of this icon by sponsoring the location on the map. From there, work out a call-to-action which could involve routing to a different destination or even allowing the user to save the location. In other words, you are dropping so-called ‘billboards’ that are virtual within the Waze map itself. Take note that your pin should only appear when the user is around your vicinity (which makes this a great location-based campaign).

Voiceovers from celebrities

This has been done many times with great success. For this to work, you will surely need a larger budget than any other campaign you had previously done. While the generic voice is clear and good enough for Waze users, there is no harm adding in a novelty or two by integrating a popular voice from a celebrity to ‘direct’ you to where you want to go. This type of integrated campaign works very well if you have something that users are interested in like an upcoming blockbuster movie.

Sponsoring the search

Waze is not a search engine but it has a strong engine when it comes to users looking for the place to go. Brand owners can now sponsor the search and buy the ads at the search results page. Waze’s automated engine allows the system to identify when is a good time to sponsor the search as users have their own Home and Work locations saved in their respective accounts.