2011 has been hailed as the “year of geolocation.” Alas, so was 2010. As was 2009 and 2008. Yet geolocation services like Foursquare and Gowalla continue to seek mainstream audiences with limited success.
Most smartphone users have never used a geolocation app. What’s holding them back? And how should marketers approach these emerging technologies?
The Value of Geolocation
It’s easy to see why marketers would be interested in geolocation: You caneffectively target customers at the most important point in the consideration cycle – standing right in front of you. Digital marketing has historically been tasked with either an awareness/brand-building role, or – more frequently – a direct response role, driving customers right into the ecommerce funnel.
But we know that social media breaks down that wall between brand-building and purchase behavior. We’ve seen marketers effectively drive sales through social media engagement –Starbucks is one brand that’s done a great job on that front.