The mobile channel is an integral part of the marketing media mix, a process which is made easier by the growing smartphone adoption and increasing mobile media participation. One of the key developments in mobile advertising is the increasing integration of location-sensitivity, which opens the full potential of the mobile channel with real-time location based advertising (LBA). Targeting by real-time location advertising uses specific location information which is gathered when an ad is delivered to a mobile user. Such location based advertising programs and campaigns leverage the same type of technologies to determine user location as other LBA services. Common methods include GPS, Cell-ID and Wi-Fi positioning which are all based on real-time data. Targeting by location in combination with other contextual and behavioral segmentation greatly enhances the relevance of mobile advertising. It has been demonstrated that location-targeted ads generate considerably higher return than conventional mobile advertising.
FourSquare, is a location based free mobile app that enables users to “check in” their locations, and making the most of where they are at any given moment. This app is used for traveling, a night out on the town, or just finding the best local restaurant, foursquare is designed to be your personal local guide. It is more a social network complement than a social network as you share and save the places you visit. They also offer personalized recommendations and deals based on where you are and where you have been. With the rising interest in and use of location based marketing and services-not to mention a smartphone in every pocket–FourSquare is a service that businesses should be evaluating.
According to their website: foursquare by the numbers (last updated April, 2012)
- Community: Over 20 million people worldwide
- Over 2 billion check-ins, with millions more every day
- Businesses: Over 750,000 using the Merchant Platform (more information at foursquare.com/business)
- Employees: Over 100 between headquarters in New York, an office in San Francisco, and a lovely outpost in London.
We have seen some location based websites come and go, such as brightkite, loopt, and gowalla. So while these other players who have all either shut down or integrated with another social site, foursquare is uniquely positioned to become more popular and perhaps even richer, thanks to forthcoming apps built off of the location-based network’s API. The NYC-based start-up recently unveiled a developer preview for Connected Apps — “developer-crafted experiences that exist within Foursquare”— for iPhone and Android smartphones and one for the Blackberry is on the way.
Soon, more third-party apps will function directly within Foursquare, adding value to core features such a check-ins, photos and tips. Already, you can get recommendations about what to order after checking into a restaurant via integrations with Men’s Health magazine’s Eat This, Not That app and Food-spotting. Similarly, integration with Un-tappd will suggest beers; integration with Sound-tracking will enable you to discover songs shared by your friends at a place; and integrations with Instagram and Path will allow you to cross-post photos shared on Foursquare to those apps, respectively.
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