With smartphone penetration edging 50% in the UK and the US, marketers are spending an increasing amount of time thinking about how to harness the relevance and immediacy these devices allow, by reaching out to peoples at the right time and, crucially, in the right location.
Ahead of his October appearance at Apps World in London, MarketingTech checked in with Omid Ashtari, director of business development at Foursquare, one of the leading location-based platforms for marketers, with upwards of 25m users and over 40m venues listed worldwide.
With its most recent update, specifically introducing an ‘Exlplore’ tab to the user experience, Foursquare has moved from a social check-in app, to become the true discovery and recommendaton service it’s always aimed to be.
It’s that, combined with location awareness that enables businesses to create engaging experiences for customers based in their vicinity. Marketers can incentivise users to visit their physical location using gamified promotions and special offers specifically targeted at Foursquare users.
“Domino’s pizza chain is a brand that uses this well, by rewarding Foursquare users that spend more than £15 with a free garlic bread,” says Ashtari.
“Brands, on the other hand, can use the platform to create mindshare in various places.”
So it’s not just businesses that depend on footfall that can benefit. With almost 5m check-ins a week, each of these Foursquare interactions offers opportunities for marketers to engage users in clever ways. Your brand doesn’t have to be tied to a physical location for it to engage people through location marketing.
“For example, we’ve been talking to a lot of publishers in the UK for them to take their content and add it to foursquare,” says Ashtari. “The Guardian for instance has created a list of ‘Guardian recommended independent bookshops’. The Telegraph has taken their ‘36 hours in North Norfolk’ story and added all the places and the content to foursquare.”
Also, using Foursquare tips, The History Channel has left interesting content at all historical sites in the UK. Content that is made available to the user when they check in to a particular site. Every time this happens, the History Channel has an opportunity to create engagement and awareness for its brand.
“This happens in a very natural way as the content is contextually relevant and useful,” says Ashtari.
“Think about how you can create additional engagement through the handset that is useful and natural for the user.”
Omid Ashtari is appearing on the afternoon of day one at Apps World in the Mobile Marketing & Advertising track. “The line up of presentations and speakers looks great,” he says. “Can’t wait to network and mingle.”
The panel session also includes experts from Forrester and the TheLMBA, it’s called “Leading Location Based Marketing Strategies”. To learn more about how to attend Apps World, click here: http://www.apps-world.net/europe