The year: 2016
The scene: a busy tradeshow floor in Chicago
The situation: almost half of the exhibitors at the show are welcoming visitors to the show, who are ‘checking in’ via Foursquare (or some similar app – who’s to know what will survive that long). After then check in at the booth, they’re rewarded with a couple of spiffs. Maybe a free download just for show visitors, a store discount, or a chance to win something cool. Maybe they get a free one-on-one with the CEO. Doesn’t matter, could be anything of value. By checking in, they also automatically are asked if they want to opt-in to receiving special offers via text message or old-fashioned e-mail.
When visitors check the stats in Foursquare they see that hundreds of visitors have also checked in at the booth, as well as many others. There’s a thriving online community of people who are also connecting face-to-face thanks to location-based-marketing apps. It could be Facebook, could be Foursquare or any other of the LBS (location based services) apps that are thriving in the new, increasingly connected world. With the deep personal profiling that has grown in the past few years, it’s easy to connect with people who are interested in the same things, or have certain characteristics in common, such as location, similar job titles, or even off-job interests like golf or skiing. Meetings are arranged either by users or companies who have an interest in bringing these small groups together. Kind of like a Tweetup on steroids.
The scene is not that far from reality. Location based marketing is exploding. Mobile marketing is right behind. Some people are already starting to use the mobile and GPS tools to great effect. Sarah Perez writes on Read Write Web that the key to success for your location-base app is to find a way to reward people for their activities. So what’s your reward?
Indeed. Give something of value to a group of people that are hungry for that item and you’ve started opening the door to a new client-customer relationship.
While Lopez refers to a recent study by Forrester Research that shows ‘only 4% of U.S. online adults have ever used location-based apps such as these, and only 1% out of those that use them do so more than once per week’ – just think back to the middle part of the last decade where people were just getting excited about podcasting and blogging, both of which are now well established. Web 2.0 was the new buzz. Since 2005, the incredible growth of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has been the focus of countless media spotlights.
The world is going mobile, and GPS-related services and location-based marketing is poised to take off big time. There’s huge potential there for the masses. And even now, as the Forrester research points out, the current small group of users of Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, MyTown, Brightkite are all very influential. People look to them for opinions and leadership. Friend ask what they’re up to and who’d they buy from.
It may not be the time to jump into location-based marketing quite yet for a tradeshow, but if you did you would not be too far ahead of anyone.