Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The rise of geo based marketing (and how to get free jimmy choo shoes)

Geographic based marketing has often been thrown around as mobile's big jump into the advertising space, but it's never really become a reality due to privacy factors as well as a number of technical hurdles.

The strong uptake of smartphones (think Blackberries, iPhones etc) with GPS capabilities have given rise to a number of applications that allow you to 'check in' to the various places you visit. You can also see where all your friends are which makes it easy to organise impromptu get-togethers or make recommendations on restaurants/read tips on what to do when you travel. There are a number of these apps, with the main two being Foursquare (see screenshots below) and Gowalla.

The rise of these applications have led to some interesting marketing promotions:

Jimmy Choo Trainer Hunt:

This is a really fun way of using Foursquare.

Jimmy Choo have set up a Foursquare account, Twitter account and Facebook page for 'CatchaChoo'. They regularly move around London, checking in to Foursquare, and placing a pair of trainers nearby and posting pictures on twitter.

If anyone can find the trainers and the representative while they're still there, and confront them with the phrase "I've been following you", they get to win a pair of trainers. I really like this because it's very straightforward, very low tech, and doesn't really need much planning or coordination. & it's fun!

This is similar to something done by Host for Levi's in Australia last year - only Levi's coordinated through twitter, and the Levi's reps had to hand over the jeans that they were wearing! Unfortunately this didn't have the level of promotion behind it for it to really take off. It did have a lot of potential though.

Pepsi Loot:

"PepsiCo is looking to match consumers with its foodservice partners (i.e., companies and restaurants that serve Pepsi products in their establishments) with a marketing program that combines a mobile application and a loyalty program.

'It's all about how you engage with consumers, and it's all about how consumers are living their lives,' Margery Schelling, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo Foodservice, tells Marketing Daily . 'I don't know any consumers who aren't travelling around with their phones.'
In mid-May, PepsiCo will launch Pepsi Loot, an iPhone app that uses geotargeting for people to find nearby restaurants that serve Pepsi beverages, ranging from chains Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Arby's and Panda Express to individual restaurants that have Pepsi contracts, Schelling says. 'It's a big equalizer,' she says. 'It's bringing a lot of awareness to some of our smaller partners.'"

You can read more on this at Mediapost.

How do you think you might be able to apply this technology to your clients? There's some great opportunity here for retailers/food based clients.

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