Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Checking out "Checking-In"

I was wandering around Facebook recently when I stumbled on one of my friend’s posts that appealed to my fashionista shopping instinct in a big way: “Continuing my inspection of Chanel boutiques around the world.”

My designer label envy was now at full throttle. I was hooked.

Below her post was a little square map showing a tiny section of Las Vegas. On the map, right below Caesars Palace, was a little orange dot that represented a Chanel boutique. I say “a” because apparently there are several Chanel boutiques in Las Vegas. Those of you who actually win money in Vegas can go Chanel hop-shopping the next time you are there.

The little map intrigued me so I clicked on it and was whisked away to another page (with more scoop on that particular Chanel boutique) powered by Foursquare, a location-based marketing company. I had heard the buzz about Foursquare but had not really delved into understanding what all the fuss was about.

Basically Foursquare allows you to share your location with your friends. Wherever you go you can “check-in” (Foursquare’s term) using your cell phone and your friends will see where you are on the handy little Foursquare map. There is also a game associated with it that allows you to earn points for checking-in frequently.

These fun and games are all well and good but location-based marketing is also serious business and is poised to be a game changer for those companies that choose to employ it in their marketing mix.

Foursquare is one of the first but certainly not the only player in town. Loopt, Gowalla, Brightkite and Yelp have great “lo-so” networks. Yes there is already an acronym for location-based social networks as they are officially called. And the big boys Facebook and Twitter will soon be helping you scout out your location as well.

Facebook will be adding a location-based feature this month. About 100 million Facebook users access the social network from their phones, according to Ad Age.

Shane Snow at writes that lo-so networks, “enable any business with a physical location to not only communicate with customers online, but actually get more of them to walk in the door — and that’s exciting.”

To read the complete article click here

It contains nine “Killer Tips” to employ for a successful location-based marketing strategy.

Major companies are already jumping on the lo-so bandwagon. Starbucks recently signed a deal with Foursquare — you can earn a "Barista badge" by checking in five times at the coffee retailer.

The Wall St. Journal, as part of its new focus on covering New York City, gives Foursquare users links to Journal stories about various locations they check-in at around the city.

Borrell Associates, a research and consulting firm that focuses on interactive advertising and marketing, forecasts that location-based mobile spending will hit $4 billion in 2015, more than 11 times the $34 million spent last year.

Ad Age reports that search engine giant Google will soon get in the act with new types of location-based mobile ads that can navigate consumers toward a store.

"Location-based services are a compelling audience engagement feature unique to the mobile platform. By providing more location-aware services and products, brands can now create a much more intimate presence in consumers' lives," said Jacqueline Rosales, EVP, Business Development & Client Service, Luth Research.

The team at BrightBlue Marketing would like to know your thoughts about location-based marketing. Have you tried one of the lo-so networks? What did you think? Would you consider using one to engage your customer? If so which one and how would you use it?


Michael Watson said...

You know those spam e-mails you get at 1:30 in the morning from whatever store you shop at informing you of 15% all merchandise? How often do you just delete them without even opening them?

Now... how effective would a text message be saying the same thing, only to have it come to your phone whenever you report being within X miles of a given store?

The e-mails I get from stores I shop at aren't effective - not because they come at odd hours, but because despite the fact that I shop online, my shopping time on the internet is extremely low in comparison to my total time online. However, if I show up at Firewheel Town Center in Garland, there's a VERY good chance I am there to shop. What better way to entice me to a certain store than pegging me in a given location through Lo-So and hitting me with a specific, targeted message?

It's almost to the point now where you could enable given stores access to your GPS and when your mobile device shows up within a one mile radius of the store, the store can send you a sale announcement. But that idea opens up a whole new can of worms... and possibilities.

AndreaDallas said...

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your comment! Yes I do know those spam e-mails I get at 1:30 am. They wind up in my trash unread (just as you said) right before the sun comes up when I do my early morning email check.

On the other hand if I was driving by the Krispy Kreme and my iPhone suddenly chimed with a text message saying, "Why not make a Uturn right now, whip into our drive thru and you'll get a free Dulce de Leche" I'd be looking for the first place to make that U-y!

I am looking forward to seeing how location-based marketing evolves and hopefully seeing an end to all those late night spam!