Location-Based Marketing: Strategy & Insight for Brands & Agencies

June 29, 2010 – 9:29 am

Foursquare mayorship

There’s been several great articles recently on location-based marketing that I’d like to share.

The first is a blog post from Soical Fresh: 21 Unique Location Examples from Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl and MyTown

In the article above are some great examples of how brands, large and small, are utilizing the various location-based services out there. While not fully exhaustive, as new campaigns are launching all the time, I think it provides the best compilation of projects to date.

There are a few other projects I’d add to the list, including the Tasti D-Lite loyalty program, Red Bull (Whrrl) and Intercontinental Hotel Group that integrated Gowalla into their loyalty program.

There are some companies that didn’t make the list either that I’d add, like Loopt Star and Brightkite.

There are plenty of active projects by all location-based companies, and in some cases, you’d be better off working with a smaller player to have more influence over the end product. Keep in mind that several of the companies are growing so fast that they’ve had some growing pains along the way, including downtime, but don’t let that turn you away.

Yelp is another organization that I think needs more attention. They’ve got the scale, both on mobile devices and the web that puts them towards the top of the list for restaurants and retail, at least.

  • 32 million unique website visitors in May 2010 (top 100 website)
  • 1.4 million unique iPhone users
    • 27% of all Yelp searches come from the iPhone app
    • 500,000 phone calls
    • 1 million point-to-point directions

Pepsi, which ran one of the first branded campaigns on Foursquare and the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partner, has launched their own location-based checkin service called Pepsi Loot, which allows users to find locations where Pepsi can be purchased and rewarding users for checking in.

Launching a private location-based network is not a small undertaking, but for Pepsi, I can see it as a viable project, especially considering the value of the consumer data they will collect.

One thing I’ll point out is that there has been low recall (but high response) for location-based services (eMarketer), but it’s still an emerging area, so I think that will evolve with time.

There was also an article from eMarketer (Privacy Concerns Fail to Slow Social Activity) that shows while privacy is still a concern, it hasn’t slowed down users from being active in social media.

There are rumors of a significant venture capital investment in Foursquare (with a $100 million valuation by some), but there have also been rumors about buyouts as well.

Mashable had another great article with tips on location-based marketing:

  • learn the platforms
  • determine goals
  • establish your presence
  • customize & implement compelling promotions
  • engage, track & adapt

Lastly, there was a great article from ReadWriteWeb Why We Check In: The Reasons People Use Location-Based Social Networks – another must read for those trying to understand location-based marketing.

They grouped the venues into food, travel, parks, education & nightlife.

The reasons for checkins were serendipity & connection, to win some kind of prize or reward (mayorship, sweepstakes, etc) and for maintaining a personal history (a “lazy diary”).

I’m excited about where this space is headed – so claim your venue, check in and start learning and sharing with your peers.

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