Maps and Navigation Apps

Discovery, Exploration Features Open Up Ad Opportunities

About This Report
Maps have always been a key mobile feature for consumers, but they’re more prevalent and ad-friendly than ever. This report looks at how advertisers and marketers can use maps to reach consumers in new ways.

Maps and navigation apps have been a central feature of smartphones since the first iPhone, but new advertising options and map integrations have made them more prominent to consumers and accessible to advertisers. Marketers have a range of options for using maps and navigation platforms to promote discovery or a better user experience.

  • We estimate that about two-thirds of US smartphone owners will use map and navigation maps at least once per month this year. Other studies show that more than 90% of US consumers ages 50 and younger use map apps.
  • Google Maps has over 154 million US users, more than six times the amount of Apple Maps users. Most but not all of these users use Google Maps in their smartphones. Even among iOS users, Google Maps is the preferred map app.
  • Alphabet has introduced a variety of advertising formats within Google Maps and Waze. Roughly 6% of Google mobile search clicks for brand queries occur in Google Maps. Even so, monetization of map apps is still in its early days.
  • Google redesigned Google Maps to make it better for discovery and exploration. In doing so, it’s taking some cues from social media companies, such as Snapchat and Instagram, which have used maps or location tags to help users discover and explore locally relevant posts.

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Table of Contents

  1. Maps Are Fundamental to the Smartphone Experience
  2. Major Map Advertising Formats
  3. Marketing and Maps
  1. Maps in the Advertising Background
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Ryan Chapman
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed January 19, 2018
Peter Lenz
Senior Geospatial Analyst
Interviewed June 19, 2018
Lauren Sanborn
Schafer Condon Carter
Director, Social Media
Interviewed June 28, 2018
Anasofía Sánchez Juárez
Director General, Operations and Country Manager, Mexico
Interviewed July 9, 2018
Bhumi Bhutani
Co-Founder and Vice President, Sales
Interviewed July 3, 2018
Robert Blatt
Chairman and CEO
Interviewed June 22, 2018
Anthony Koziarski
Resolution Media
Head of Media Solutions
Interviewed July 19, 2018
Tom Kuhr
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Interviewed January 11, 2018
Ky Tang
Executive Director, Strategy
Interviewed July 2, 2018
Andy Taylor
Associate Director, Research
Interviewed June 11, 2018
Herve Utheza
Here Technologies
Head of Media, Advertising and Telco
Interviewed July 2, 2018
Mai Shi
Kung Fu Tea
Marketing and PR lead
Interviewed June 26, 2018


Yoram Wurmser


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Matteo Ceurvels
Research Analyst
Chris Keating
Research Director

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