I just read a rather laughable post titled “Forrester: Why Most Marketers Should Forgo Foursquare” on Advertsing Age’s website (adage.com). It basically suggests that marketers should not look at leveraging geolocation tools like Foursquare because the current audience is too small.
This is the PERFECT time for brands large and small to get into geolocation. This is the time to experiment, make mistakes, learn and lead! Better to make mistakes now, while the audience is small. The number of people who use geolocation tools are growing every second.
For example, a quick punch of a few key websites at Compete.com shows some interesting numbers. Skip past the chart and look at the percentages. Yearly change for Facebook is 37%. That is awesome considering how large Facebook is. Getting continual growth like that is a big deal! As a comparison, google.com only manages a 4% annual increase.
Foursquare by comparison has seen a year over year increase of 18,438%… that is 18 THOUSAND percent! Granted the numbers are substantially smaller.
Now let’s look at the average user as determined by the Forrester Research: 80% Male, 70% are between 18 and 35-years-old and 70% have a college degree. The study also mentions that 38% of this group say that friends and family ask their opinion before a purchase. I just can’t imagine why anyone would want to reach an audience like that! </sarcasm>
Obviously, if you are a marketer and want to explore these tools, you have to make sure your clients understand that this realm is in its infancy and won’t likely net earth-shattering results. That said, I’d suggest that small businesses have the most to gain from well-executed efforts.
So, lead, experiment and learn, or be left playing catch-up.
UPDATE: It looks like the folks at Fast Company agree with me! w00t!!!