Location Marketing 3

Mobile Marketing Helps New Customers Check Out Your Business by “Checking In”

Mobile marketing is an increasingly effective way for small business owners to tap into a younger customer base. While it might not be a perfect fit for every business, Better Business Bureau recommends owners check out the marketing potential in geo-location apps like Foursquare, Facebook Places and Yelp.

As technology improves, cell phones continue to perform any number of functions beyond making calls. Many programs on mobile phones rely on geo-location and can tell you where you are and what’s nearby—including businesses. This technology creates a new way to market your business to customers when they are literally right around the corner.  According to a recent survey by JiWire, more than 50 percent of mobile users would like to receive location-specific advertising; another 39 percent would like to receive location-based coupons.

“Lacking the time, know-how and money to launch an effective online marketing strategy can make many small business owners neglect the whole endeavor,” said Kathy Barrett, BBB President. “The good news about mobile marketing is that you don’t necessarily need to dedicate a lot of time or money into a campaign to reap some rewards.”

Following are just a few mobile tools that small business owners can take advantage of to market their business to customers on the go. Even if you aren’t ready to launch a mobile marketing campaign, it’s still a good idea to take ownership of your business’s profiles on these sites to make sure the information is accurate and up to date:

With nearly 3 million users, Foursquare has been getting a lot of attention in the media lately for its explosive popularity among young adults. Foursquare is a mobile app that allows you to “check in” at locations—usually businesses—which tells other Foursquare users where you are. If you check in to a location a lot, you can become a “mayor” of that location—which can be a highly coveted achievement.

Some businesses have taken advantage of Foursquare by offering coupons to mayors or people who check in. Foursquare also provides a map to users so they can see what specials are being offered at nearby businesses. Foursquare prominently lists which businesses are the most popular, so an owner can benefit by encouraging patrons to check in. Foursquare also provides details and stats on the people who check in at your business which can help you learn more about customers.

Facebook Places
Facebook—which now boasts over 500 million users worldwide—recently launched Facebook Places as a competitor to Foursquare. Facebook users can “check in” and their location is published on their Facebook page. They can then see which friends have also “checked in”.

Similar to Foursquare, a business owner can create a new place or claim a location that already has a profile in Facebook. You’ll be asked to verify that you can claim the location before you’ll be able to add photos and business details. After an initial launch in a few cities, Facebook Places will be made available to more locations over time and the features offered to users and business owners will be expanded as well.

Yelp is a website that allows users to post reviews of businesses, services, locations and events. According to Yelp, 33 million people visited the site in June 2010. In addition to the website, Yelp also provides a mobile version with an interactive map and allows users to “check in” at locations. After “unlocking” your location, you can offer coupons through Yelp, update your business information and promote events.

For more advice on marketing your business on a tight budget, visit http://www.bbb.org/us/Business-Tips-Index/.

Kathy Barrett
Better Business Bureau

GREENVILLE, S.C.If you happen to sit next to Trish Cone while she’s eating at her favorite Greenville restaurant, feel free to address her as “the mayor.”

“It’s about bragging rights,” Cone told WYFF News 4’s Tim Waller. “I’m like, ‘I’m the mayor of Fried Green Tomatoes. Don’t take that away from me.'”

News 4 ‘Checks In’ At Foursquare In NYC:Part 2

Cone is the mayor according to a website called Foursquare, which allows users to share their location with friends. By “checking in” on her GPS-enabled smart phone, she scores points, unlocks badges and earns discounts from participating businesses.

Unfortunately, Cone says, most businesses in the Upstate still have no idea what Foursquare is.

“I would say 90 percent are totally clueless,” Cone said. “The owners don’t know that I’m the mayor of Fried Green Tomatoes,” Cone said. “And I’m giving (them) advertisement basically for free.”

How? When users check in on Foursquare, their location is shared across multiple platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Users also have the ability to leave “tips,” which on Foursquare is a review, that can be read by all their friends.

“Great meat and three,” Cone writes in her smart phone, broadcasting the message to more than 1,000 Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

But there is another reason people are checking in on Foursquare, and it has nothing to do with becoming mayor. Ariana Zariah, a local Realtor, is having lunch with the hope that her friends on Foursquare will join her.

“It’s all about connections, and ultimately friendships,” Zariah said. “We’ve gotten so involved in our computers and that virtual world that doesn’t exist. I’m hoping that Foursquare brings us back to a place where we’re sitting at a table like this and we’re having a conversation.”

Fifteen minutes after checking in on Foursquare, Zariah got her wish.

“It looks like I have friends here from Twitter!” she said.

Phil Webb, another Foursquare user who saw Zariah’s “check in” on Twitter, decided to stop at the restaurant where Zariah was having lunch to meet her face-to-face for the first time.

“We were going down Main Street and I saw the posting,” Webb said. “I was like, ‘Well, let’s go have lunch,’ and here we are.”

It was Zariah’s first encounter with someone on Foursquare.

“I would expect it in New York City I think. I hope as things go forward, it will be more of a commonality in Greenville,” Zariah said.

But in the city where the Foursquare idea was born, and where this red hot tech company is headquartered, Foursquare meet-ups are commonplace, and discounts for “mayors” abound.

Ben Conniff of Luke’s Lobster in Manhattan said Foursquare is an powerful marketing tool for his restaurant.

“There’s a clear incentive to keep checking in here, because once you get to that mayor status, you get 10-percent off on your lobster roll,” Conniff said.

News 4 was invited to “check in” at Foursquare headquarters in the Village Voice building in East Village. The website now boasts 4 million users, and is adding 20,000 new users each day.

Jonathan Crowley of Foursquare’s business development team said every business that has started offering discounts to Foursquare users has seen an increase in foot traffic.

“We actually saw that there was a café called Little Miss Café in Baltimore. They have a very popular brunch there with a big line around the corner. And they started to offer specials for the mayors. And ever since they started offering that special, they saw a 427 percent increase in check ins,” Crowley said.

Crowley said location-based services like Foursquare are “hot real estate” in the social networking world. He said Foursquare offers businesses valuable word of mouth advertising, because of how it works in conjunction with Facebook and Twitter.

“Let’s say I go to a local burger joint around the corner and I check in. I’m sharing that with 100 of my friends, and I’m pushing that check in to Facebook and to Twitter. I have 800 friends on Facebook, so they’re all seeing, ‘Hey, Jonathan’s over here at this great place, he’s checking in there all the time, I should go by and check that out,'” Crowley said.

Foursquare’s Harry Heymann, who is originally from Greenville, said young people especially are embracing location-based websites.

“Obviously, we’re focused on people in their 20s and 30s who go out a little more and socialize more because they don’t have kids yet,” Heymann said. “(But) successful things always expand to wider and wider age groups and demographics, and we certainly hope that Foursquare a couple of years from now, maybe not as big as Facebook, will be used by 10, 20 or 30 million people.”

While businesses in the Upstate have been slow to jump on the Foursquare bandwagon, a few offers discounts. Bin 112 on Trade Street in Greer gives a 5 percent discount to anyone who checks in.

“We’re all looking for free advertising,” said Allison Clark of Bin 112. “Every business, no matter how big or small, is looking for free advertising.”

Clark said while the response to her Foursquare discount hasn’t been overwhelming, she believes that will change as more people sign up, with dreams of becoming the mayor.

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News 4 talks how foursqure and others are changing social networking


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Check ins by the number

Drive-Thru Check-Ins: Comparing McDonald’s and Burger King

By Adam on March 28, 2011 — Comments (0)

Quick-service restaurants are one of the most popular types of venues for check-ins.  When it comes to quick-service restaurants, McDonald’s and Burger King are two of the most popular “fast food” chains in the world.

McDonald’s has more than 32,000 locations worldwide and does $24 billion in yearly revenue. (Easily the most of any brand we’ve examined on this blog.)  Burger King claims to have 12,200 locations and does about $2.5 billion in yearly revenue.

How does each brand compare when it comes to generating check-ins?  Let’s find out.

Total Check-Ins: The number of check-ins that each brand has received across all its venues.

McDonald’s: 1,008,493

Burger King: 579, 279

While McDonald’s has nearly 2x as many check-ins as Burger King, with nearly 3x more venues, this gap doesn’t appear as good as it could be.  Additionally, with 10x as much revenue, one would think that McDonald’s would have a much bigger lead on Burger King.  Let’s look at other factors leading to these check-in totals.

Total People: The total number of people that have checked-in.  Unique people will be fewer than total check-ins, as people may check-in more than once at a location.

McDonald’s: 529,141

Burger King: 367,721

Again, McDonald’s has a lead on total number of people that have checked-in, but it appears that Burger King may actually have more people per venue that check-in.

Looking at check-ins per user will provide some context around just how loyal these brands customers are.  (Higher is better.)

McDonald’s: 1.9

Burger King: 1.57

Based on check-ins per user, McDonald’s customers appear to be slightly more loyal than Burger King’s customers.  (Customer Overlap data also supports this.)  While Burger King may have more people per venue that check-in, McDonald’s customers appear to visit and check-in more often.

Customer Overlap

Using detailed check-in analysis, we can also compare each brand’s customer and determine the overlap in their customer bases.

McDonald’s: 11.8%

Burger King: 25.9%

Both of these numbers are large.  We typically only see customers overlap in the single digits. However, these numbers tell us a lot about each brand.  Primarily, the fact that nearly 26 percent of Burger King’s customers also check-in at McDonald’s indicates that Burger King’s customers are less loyal to Burger King and are willing to try other restaurants.  This also supports the idea that McDonald’s customers are more loyal.

Finally, let’s take a look at average Social Influence, which is an indicator of how influential a brand’s customers are in the social web.  (Max score is 10.)

McDonald’s: 1.7

Burger King: 1.7

1.7 is typically the average social influence we see.  It’s no surprise that with such large customer bases, both brands attract a “typical” customer in terms of social influence.  More niche brands like In-N-Out Burger are much more likely to attract a more influential customer base.

Closing Thoughts
While it appears that McDonald’s dwarfs Burger King in terms of absolute numbers, it does look like Burger King is doing a good job at getting its customers to check-in.  McDonald’s has an opportunity to extend its reputation as a digitally-savvy brand by encouraging more of its guests to check-in.  However, it appears that neither brand has become the preferred fast-food establishment for check-in programs, and both fast-food chains have an opportunity to become more closely associated with this growing audience.


Increasing the Average Coupon Redemption Rate

By Adam on March 16, 2011 — Comments (0)

Offers, deals and coupons are an inherent part of location-based marketing. One of the most common methods retailers and restaurants use to draw customers into their stores is to offer customers coupons for their visits.  The industry average for coupon redemptions is right around 1%.  Yes, that’s right.  Only 1% of coupons received by consumers are actually used and redeemed.

Why is this redemption rate so low?  Here’s the biggest reason

Lack of timeliness and context

Lack of timeliness and context occurs when I receive an offer when I’m not ready to redeem act upon it.  If I receive a coupon to save $5 on my next haircut, but I just had my hair trimmed, I’m likely to forget about the offer.  Timing, and context, are everything.

Retailers and brands can leverage location to eliminate this problem. That is, retailers can leverage location-based marketing to deliver the right offers to customers at the right time and place.

For example, if I opt-in to receive offers and deals from a a clothing retailer, I’m going to be much more likely to redeem an offer when I’m in a shopping mindset.  What type of location would signify that I’m in a shopping mindset? My checking into a mall would be a great signal that I’m shopping.  So would checking into a store like Target or another major retailer.

Brands and retailers that know when their customers are in the right mindset to buy their products are able to deliver the most effective offers at the right time.  When brands do this, coupon redemption rates can increase ten-fold, enabling marketers to increase their ROI on marketing spend and their overall revenue.

What else?  What other ways can retailers leverage location-based marketing to increase coupon redemption?


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Geo-tagging and Location are Unique Mobile Marketing Capabilities

Geo-tagging and Location are Unique Mobile Marketing Capabilities.

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Check out Takeout Online – Business Opportunity in the Restaurant Industry

Check out Takeout Online – Business Opportunity in the Restaurant Industry

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Social Sites

http://kodingen.com/ Free cloud developing site for web apps.

web article on location based advantages



Toilet paper entrepreneur helps entrepreneurs connect with journalist.

LBS can include mobile commerce when taking the form of coupons or advertising directed at customers based on their current location.

Pic of how many moblie services have users


Loopt: It provides a cellphone-based GPS sharing system that allows users to visualize one another using their cell phones and share information. Loopt also enables users to explore the world around them by connecting users with integrated content from Citysearch, Zagat, Bing, Zvents, Metromix, SonicLiving and others.  Loopt is available on over 100 mobile devices across all the major US networks

In April 2010, Apple announced iOS4.0, which will allow background real-time location updating on Loopt iPhone app. Loopt has indicated they will support this as soon as Apple ships OS4.0 for the iPhone ships in summer 2010. Apple’s OS 4.0 Announcements – Loopt’s Perspective

  • Website: Loopt provides a web portal which is synchronized with the mobile version of the service.
  • Twitter and Facebook integration: Status updates with a location link can be sent via Loopt to a user’s Twitter status or Facebook status.
  • Loopt for the iPhone: In addition to location and status updating, Loopt for the iPhone incorporates content from partners Zvents, Citysearch, Metromix, Bing, SonicLiving, and Zagat.

Foursquare: Location based social network. mobile. 6 million users.

Foursquare edges toward future of commerce

SXSW-exclusive partnership with American Express is awesome for businesses and customers

Earthcomber: location search

Yelp, Inc. is a company that operates yelp.com, a social networking, user review, and local search web site. Yelp.com has more than 39 million monthly unique visitors as of late 2010. Yelp released a free REST– and JSON-based application programming interface.The API provides access to business listing details, reviews, photos, and ratings and can be used to add business information to a website, widget, or mobile application.[29] The API has been used to integrate business reviews into existing Google Maps applications such as on Zillow.com and HotelMapSearch.com Business ratings and reviews

  1. Yelp was founded in 2004 to help people find great local businesses like dentists, hair stylists and mechanics
  2. As of January 2011, more than 45 million people visited Yelp in the past 30 days
  3. Yelpers have written over 15 million local reviews, 83% of them rating a business 3 stars or higher
  4. In addition to reviews, you can use Yelp to find events, special offers, lists and to talk with other Yelpers
  5. Every business owner (or manager) can setup a free account to post offers, photos and message her customers
  6. Yelp makes money by selling ads to local businesses – you’ll see these yellow, clearly labeled “Sponsored Results” around the site
  7. Paying advertisers can never change or re-order their reviews
  8. Yelp has an automated filter that suppresses a small portion of reviews – it targets those suspicious ones you see on other sites
  9. You can Yelp on your phone at http://m.yelp.com, or use Yelp for iPhone, Yelp for BlackBerry, Yelp for Palm Pre, and Yelp for Android
  10. The Weekly Yelp is available in 42 city editions to bring you the latest business openings & other happenings

Whrrl: Location based discovery game and social networking. Moblie app


Blippy is a fun, free and safe site that lets you share your purchases and see what your friends are buying online and in real life.

What does it do?

Blippy lets you communicate about and share purchases with friends by syncing already existing e-commerce accounts to Blippy such as iTunes, Netflix, Woot, eBay and more.

buzzd is your source for up-to-the-minute ratings of restaurants, nightlife & venues in your city. See what friends & others are saying about places right now and know the most popular spots on Twitter using the “buzzdmeter.”

It’s your city, in real time.

Instantly locate nearby places & use the “buzzdmeter” to see the real-time buzz from social networks like Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp & more.

Weplug is a new social networking site out of France that aims to combine the best parts of Twitter, Facebook, and geo-location.

A few years from now we’ll use our mobile devices to help us remember details of people we know, but not well. And it will help us meet new people for dating, business and friendship. Imagine walking into a meeting, classroom, party, bar, subway station, airplane, etc. and seeing profile information about other people in the area, depending on privacy settings. Picture, name, dating status, resume information, etc. The information that is available would be relevant to the setting – quick LinkedIn-type information for a business meeting v. Facebook dating status for a bar.

That requires a social network that has presence, location and contextual information about you. It needs to know where you are (via GPS or triangulation), if you are in business or personal mode, and similar information for the people around you. It also needs, at a basic level, the ability to sort and browse the people around you based on their picture and name, and what they are looking for (dating, investments, job, friendship). Once this network is established, you’ll know everyone’s name who’s around you (if they choose to share it), and enough basic information to jog your memory if you know them, or meet them if there’s mutual interest. Poking someone on Facebook is great, but “poking” them when you’re in the same bar as them can result in much more immediate social gratification.

Shownearby: Singapore

ShowNearby’s mission is to empower the world to answer this simple question: “What’s nearby?”ShowNearby was one of the early adopters of Android, by late 2009, ShowNearby on Android was the #3 application globally, beating Facebook, Twitter and the likes, trailing behind Google Maps and Google Earth.Through ShowNearby, you are able to reach out to over 1.1 million smart phone users and many more internet-savvy information-seeking individuals on the web.


Needs to be continued

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