Saturday, October 2, 2010

Location-Based Technology and Marketing

I attended the Location-Based Technology and Marketing panel sponsored by AWNY (Advertising Women of New York) during Advertising Week 2010. I attended many events during the week as part of the conference and I think this may have been one of the best regarding Social Media.

Moderator: Jennifer Preston, Social Media Editor, The New York Times
Panel: Eric Friedman, Director/Client Services, FourSquare
Chris Mahl, SVP/Chief Brand Alchemist, Scvngr
Seth Goldstein, Founder of Stickybits
Jaime Lefkowitz, Group Director, Wireless Strategy, Sprint Account, Mindshare

1) The first question was regarding how do clients best use these services as part of their social media strategy and according to Eric Friedman from FourSquare, the answer was to "Start with a core objective-no matter what your business is -regardless if your business is a restaurant chain or bar. I.e 1) Are you trying to drive new customers or 2) are you trying to award loyal customers"

In my opinion, I agree with Eric as the basis for any business planning that will guide Marketing directives starts of course with a defined strategy. Without the strategy, the tactical approach can be mis-guided.

Additionally, there has to be some sort of measurement to track the success of your tactics against the business objective. For example, according to Eric, "FourSqaure works with Google analysis and you can see data on where your customers are so clients can target individual deals" He also was able to provide a case study using Radio Shack as an example. For instance, 1) Clients can claime their place, 2) RadioShack cans see what their customers are doing and 3) The tracking results from their loyalty offer. Radio Shack was able to offer anyone that came in for the first time a 10-15% discount. The analytics that FourSquare was able to track included: time of day purchase, M/F breakdown, the most visited store, and average sale data such as Transaction amount.

Another great case study was Jimmy Choo "Catch a Shoe" campaign in London. FourSqaure set up an account as a shoe. The Shoe would check into places all over London. The first person to show up at the location would win a free pair of Jimmy Choos. As a result, the brand was able to 1) gain awareness for Jimmy Choo and their stores, 2) they claimed their stores as places and 3) 33% lift in sales during that period.

The above is a great example of how to effectively monetize location based tech marketing.

2) SCVNGR is an example of an online service that drives offline experiences. Similar to Some of their clients have included retail chains such as Journeys. By using social objects -such as images or pictures taken from cell phones-they were able to drive engagement in their stores.

By using QR codes in the checkout process-they were able to drive purchase. Teens came in and took pictures of their favorite back packs and then were able to get discounts at point of sale. According to Chris Mahl, this creates "Social Traffic" because the teens are taking pictures on thier phones and then they text and post them.

3) Mobile is extremely relevant in the context of this discussion because as Jaime Lefkowitz clarified.."Location services are tied to mobile phones." Currently, smartphone penetration is 25% according to Nielsen and it is projected to be 50% in the next 4 years. In regards to demographics, it is currently predominantly male, 25-34 who are college educated. They are the User/Influencer group.

The above is important because for Marketers, understanding which demos are using the technologies, can determine whether or not a brand should employ location services as part of their social media tactic. If your target audience isn't teens or young men then this tactic should probably not be employed.

4) Seth Goldstein offered insightful remarks about the technologies and the application of StickyBits. Seth noted "We are seeing with the rise of FourSquare that objects and places are being claimed as part of our digital network. StickyBits allows people with Smart Phones to attach content to objects with use of the bar code."

This is exciting for Marketers and relevant because Brands & Companies have already been using bar codes on their products. A great case study he gave is Campbell's Soups. By using the Sweeptakes Model, Customers were directed to download the Sticky Bits app from their FB page. Then they were driven to retail to take a picture and to scan the Campbell's Soup bar code. The brand was able to monetize this program by getting their customers to touch, engage and ultimately have trial of the product. This was more valuable to them then a Fan page.

The panel also discussed augmented reality and what it really means for the marketer. Essentially, Seth Goldstein said it was the "red herring" in the room. He stated that it's important to distinguish what makes a platform is when people can use it in ways that they didn't intend." At this point, most activity with scanning is revolving around getting rewards-the content should be applied in some way to reward the customer.

Overall, the applications can all work nicely with each other. Scvngr is creating social experiences and FourSquare allows people to share those experiences.

Overall, final comments are that scale is coming, particularly with further penetration of smartphones across markets.

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