Build Location-Based Marketing Programs for Minimal Intrusion
Location-based services (LBS) still haven’t achieved mainstream penetration. If you make your campaign minimally intrusive to the user, you can help encourage participation and contribute to the growth in this space.
Make your specials or contests:
Easy to use: Don’t make your special too complex. Make sure that the terms of engagement are easy enough for someone who’s never used a location-based service before.
Rewarding: If your special isn’t special enough, no one will want it. Costs are minimal for specials and prizes, but it still takes time and effort to build your campaign.
An example of a service that offers great rewards is Groupon. Groupon is a service that offers users a local, daily deal. It is a minimally invasive service that sends an e-mail once a day to find out if users would like to participate in the deal. If the deal hits a minimum threshold of participation, then the deal is on. If it does not, then there is no deal.
This allows you to control your costs and be ensured that you have a certain amount of participation before the deal is executed. The reason that people love Groupon is that the deals are awesome — most of them are 50 percent off, and some are even 90 percent off.
Available to as many people as possible: Specials for the person with the most frequent check-ins are commonplace. But consider making an LBS available to as many people as possible. Instead of limiting your specials to the mayor, give everyone a chance to get in on the deal. foursquare now has a wide array of specials that make deals both interesting and worthwhile:
Flash specials appear only at certain times.
Swarm specials are activated when a certain number of people check in at the same time.
Friends specials are activated when a party of friends check in together.
Newbie specials only activate the first time someone checks in.
Check-in specials are unlocked whenever anyone checks in.
Invoke the Ben & Jerry’s Rule, which is that the special must be awesome, everyone must be able to participate, and the mayor should get something for being the mayor. Here’s how the offer excels at involving as many people as possible:
It’s a good deal. The deal is three scoops for $3. The normal price for three scoops of Ben & Jerry’s is around $5, which makes the offer a good deal.
Everyone can participate. You just need to be on foursquare and check in at Ben & Jerry’s.
Being the mayor is worth it. The mayor gets a free scoop — icing on the cake!
National hamburger chain Rally’s (which is also called Checkers and Snaps, depending on the location) uses this same principle: It offers a free small milkshake on every third foursquare check-in. The mayor gets one every visit.