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Foursquare – transitioning to Digital Marketing


Posted on 25th May, by Tom Williams in Case Studies, Digital Marketing, ROI, Web tools. No Comments

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I logged into my FourSquare to check in at my office today and I saw something new! A little green button with “special offer” dropped down. When I clicked it, it took me to the following ad below as part of a marketing campaign that Starbucks was running.

Foursquare monetizing?
Foursquare monetizing already!

In case you can’t read this it says the following:

Welcome to Starbucks
650 S. Third St.

As mayor of this store, enjoy $1 off a NEW however-you-want-it Frappuccino blended beverage. Any size, any flavor. Over valid until 6/28

(Tue May 18 @ 1:45 PM) (2010)

What I like about this marketing plan is the ad was non-intrusive (as ads go).  I actually had to take an action on my phone to see the ad – good interactive marketing.  It didn’t just pop up in my face.  I also like the fact that it was highly relevant and the establishment was just down the street.  Clearly FourSquare is transitioning from Gaming only to marketing technology.  However, I think the ad is a bit misguided in that it only applies to the Mayor of that Starbucks.

Anyone who knows Foursquare knows that there can only be one Mayor…so essentially this coupon is good for $1 off for only one person.  Not exactly casting a wide sales and marketing net there.  Furthermore, many times the Mayor of a small shop like a Starbucks is an employee who works there.  For example, I am the Mayor at InnoGage.  Good luck trying to beat me…I’m here every day.

A better interactive marketing execution would have been for Starbucks to shoot me a coupon good for $1 off anything but good only for the next hour or maybe end of the day.  In that case, I probably would have gone over to get a coffee. Regardless, I’m glad to see FourSquare begin to move into digital marketing.

Personally, I love location based applications like FourSquare because I see amazing potential for generating local value and revenues.  Hats off to Starbucks for a good first e marketing attempt.

Related posts:

  1. The Power of FourSquare – Three amazing examples
  2. Report shows social media adds to financial performance of top companies in this down economy




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