Location, Location, Location-Based Services!
Last night’s NJConnect event was all about location. Location-based services (LBS) that is. The theme was focused on how business can utilize location-based services for branding and marketing. Here at Springboard, we’re proud to say that we have all jumped aboard the LBS bandwagon, and currently battle for mayorship of Springboard on Foursquare, as well as other local establishments (post office, bank, coffee shop, etc.).
I have discussed LBS on this blog before regarding the great Foursquare debate, wondering if constant check-ins on Twitter are acceptable or annoying. When I wrote that post, Foursquare was at 5 million users, however, just this week the location-based app surpassed the 10 million mark. Needless to say, I think I know the answer to my question. (BTW, a quick fun fact. Last week I met Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley at the 140 Conference).
While Foursquare is gaining in numbers, it certainly isn’t the only location-based service out there. Our NJConnect speakers shared their insight into the various platforms and how businesses are utilizing them to increase foot traffic and further promote their services.
Ben Grossman of Oxford Communications was the first presenter. Ben defined location-based services and shared a ton of interesting stats and case studies about Foursquare, Facebook Places and SCVNGR with the audience. He reviewed the three core elements of LBS – acquisition, amplification and attention. Ben also discussed the importance of handling operational issues. Companies using these services need to internally strategize to avoid delivering a negative customer experience.
Craig Caruso of Caruso Apps explained the use of Foursquare and Facebook places with an example of a restaurant in Brooklyn that utilizes both platforms and has seen a significant growth because of the implementation of these location-based services. Craig also offered perspective from a developer side, speaking about Foursquare’s open API for developers.
According to Ben and Craig, the customer experience with location-based services will continue to get easier and become more transparent within the purchase process, as evidenced by yesterday’s announcement between American Express and Foursquare. Merchants will also reap the benefits by providing customers with different offers and rewards for their patronage and loyalty. Ben also added that daily deal providers such as Living Social and Groupon will likely leverage or integrate with location-based services to drive promotions.
The opportunities for location-based services are just beginning, and we are beginning to see many unique examples such as the Conan blimp roaming across the country randomly checking-in to places and allowing others to check-in to it. It’s an exciting time for location-based services and we’re anxious to see what’s next!