Editor’s Note: Going Local
Retailers are jumping on this trend, giving special discounts, freebies, or other incentives to location-sharing tool users such as foursquare mayors or other folks with a lot of check-ins.
Last month, for example, Starbucks started a nationwide "mayor reward" program with fourquare, which knocks a dollar off the price of a frappucino for the mayors of its locations. The Scholastic Store in New York is also offering visitors 10 percent off any purchase, just for checking in on foursquare while visiting.
Retailers are experimenting with more than just fourquare. Swedish grocery chain ICA, for example, began using Gowalla — a tool that offers a service similar to foursquare– — for promotional purposes earlier this year to encourage customers to check in at its new store in Stockholm, promising an iPad for the person with the most check-ins.
Finally, McDonald's may be getting into the game. As of press time, Facebook was preparing to launch a location-based status update tool that will be offered to marketers, and the restaurant chain is the first one to bite, according to a May 6th Advertising Age report.
McDonald's, according to the report, is expected to build a location-based functionality with Facebook that will allow users to check in at its restaurants and share menu items with friends. You can imagine, then, how this application could allow users who check in with McDonald's — or other brands — to share offers or promos, as well as their locations, with their social connections. Pretty cool stuff, indeed.
How do you feel about the trend of going local with your marketing efforts? Are you experimenting with any local programs that are interesting or bringing you success? Let me know by sending an email to me at email@example.com.