Is it a just a game fad or a great loyalty marketing?
Some innovative marketers are turning to location based internet marketing and using it to track and reward their loyal patron’s visits to their establishment through a growing number of mobile resources.
There are a number of applications that provide information and/or allow users to “checkin” (register) their visits to almost any location based on GPS features in their mobile devices. Some of the applications reward the user with awards and badges and sometimes the user can receive free or discounted rewards from participating establishments.
The number of users is growing but its usefulness is still controversial.
- Where.com: 3 million users and application available on the iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, Palm and more. It can be useful for comparing gas prices wherever you are or finding coupons for area stores.
- BrightKite: 2 million users use this mobile application for checkin capability for Brightkite, Foursquare and Gowalla, and recently added functionality for Whrrl and TriOut as well.
- Foursquare: 1.1 million Foursquare reports that it is adding 15,000 users per day and averaging 700,000 checkins per day. Business users can use checkin analysis features that include total checkins, unique visitors, male-to-female ratio, how many users are sending their checkins to Twitter, top visitors and checkin time breakdown. (Users can opt-out of sharing their checkin data via settings section of the website.)
- Gowalla: 250,000 users and partners with National Geographic and The Washington Post and recently introduced a Trips feature that allowes users to put together suggested trips from the locations in Gowalla’s database and recommend them to their friends.
One way the hospitality market may be able to capitalize on this phenomena is with a recently released application called TopGuest which gives you bonus points from established travel loyalty programs you’re already a member of – plus exclusive rewards — for your checkins with any geo-app, automatically!
Here are other examples of companies are using location based marketing include:
- Pepsi launches first Geo-based iphone application with built-in loyalty program called Loot.
- Domino’s Pizza launches a nationwide promotion on Foursquare.
- How to use Foursquare to draw a crowd into your restaurant.
- Starbucks, The Today Show and more examples.
Let us know what you think and if you know of any successful location based marketing?