Are mobile apps like Foursquare the golden fleece for marketers?

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

4 November 2010

In a word. No.

mobile appsI heard a story today about how some of the new smart mobile apps allow you to broadcast your location to others while using the app (like Foursquare) makes users a little nervous and markers salivate.

“Imagine you are near a coffee shop at 57th street in NY and having the ability to send you an ad with a special promotion on coffee”, said a marketer.

“I think it is a little creepy that everyone knows where you are,” intoned a shopper.

“Secondly, the real impact of such marketing strategy will be short lived. Soon we will all ignore the intrusion in just the same way we have learned to ignore billboards and the rest of the advertising mediums.”

mobile apps starbucks_cup

Mobile Apps

First of all, we need to all get used to the idea that more and more of personal information is public knowledge. I would be less concerned that Starbucks knows you are near by than a quarter of the drivel that is voluntarily posted on Facebook.

Secondly, the real impact of such marketing strategy will be short lived. Soon we will all ignore the intrusion in just the same way we have learned to ignore billboards and the rest of the advertising mediums.

If a marketer of coffee wants to sell you a cup, the preceptual fabric of the target market is a much better target then the customer’s location. The problem with many marketers is that they are bone lazy and confuse a category benefit (like good location and price) with why customers really choose and as the reason to get them to inconvenience themselves to buy.

When everyone’s location is public knowledge, marketers need to remember that what audiences really covet is much more important than where they are. That’s the only technology Stealing Share sells.

See more posts in the following related categories: foursquare global positioning GPS mobile apps personal marketing smart phones

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