We’ll continue to see geo-location grow in 2011 as its impact as a shopper marketing tool continues to emerge.
Clearly geo-location, mobile and the in-store experience can be a potent mix for retail brands to create a strong link between their online and in-store presence.
Recent geo-location news shows how quickly the space is emerging -- and how Foursquare is fighting to maintain its relevancy.
Brightkite Checks Out, Gowalla Turns Tables
Brightkite is hoping small is the new big for social media by eliminating the ability to check-in and focusing on group texting instead. Brightkite joins the growing “anti-social trend” we’ve profiled in the past.
Gowalla tapped into the power of its competitor’s APIs for its latest upgrade. Gowalla now allows you to update multiple geo-location platforms from one handy interface.
By integrating with its competitors platforms, According to Gowalla’s CEO, it aims to become a “socially-curated guidebook” instead of delivering promotional deals or using game mechanics to maintain user interest.
These might seem like obvious signs Foursquare can claim the geo-location crown. But Facebook has nearly 600 billion reasons you’d be wrong. While Facebook Places experience may be ham-fisted in comparison to Foursquare. It’s user base dwarfs Foursquare’s five million users and it creates an insurmountable delta between the two platforms. But Foursquare is iterating and innovating to stay relevant in the geo-location space.
Foursquare TV and Online Ad Integration
Foursquare has teamed with Bravo (the breakout brand for social TV in 2010) and other networks throughout the year to gain more awareness and income via partner badges. Recently Foursquare announced it’s working on a game show or other TV show to further engrain its service into mainstream media.
Working with brands like Gap, Foursquare is also focused on offering more utiity by integrating into ads. Incentivizing users to create a shopping list is a smart way to complement the online to instore experience. Both of these moves are smart and underscore how quickly Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite are iterating to maintain relevancy and user attention.
The Geo-Location Challenge in 2011
It will be interesting to see if the luster of game mechanics can be maintained in 2011. In Drive, Daniel Pink refers to stick and carrot management. Game mechanics are an extension of the stick and carrot strategy. And the Havard Business Review is already suggesting consumers won’t want to eat their vegetables in 2011.
Cross-Posted to my work blog, Social Study