By: Karen Pelletier
As a marketer I’ve always loved the potential and promise of location based marketing. There’s nothing like targeting a prospect who is nearby and looking for someplace to eat or whatever it is that your business does. Adding consumer reviews, which according the Google’s ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) Study, are critical to consumer decision-making, and the ability to present an offer to sweeten the deal–well it’s enough to make a marketer swoon!
But like many people, I was concerned about using Foursquare because of the personal safety and security issues it might present. Sometimes it seems like our technology gets ahead of our ability to control it. Who knows how it could be used? Burglars in Great Brittan said that they used Facebook and Foursquare to scope out potential targets. I’m sure they do here as well. Why broadcast that you’re not home?
Early on in Foursquare’s development, 80% of Foursquare users were men–I think in part because of women’s concern for personal safety and anonymity. The game aspect may also appeal to more men than women. As long as I can unlock a deal, who cares about the game?
So as a result, I pretty much stayed away from Foursquare, sneaking a peak at the website every now and then, and downloading the app for my phone but not using it very much.
Lately though, I’ve been reading lots articles about how Foursquare has all the benefits of Yelp–access to reviews and tips–plus the benefits location based marketing. Foursquare is about “discovery” now. It made me really want to re-visit my decision to not use Foursquare, so I spent some time this morning on the Foursquare site, reading the Settings section and reviewing their Privacy Grid. I was truly impressed! The level of control you have over your own visibility was much greater and much more transparent than I expected, and if you are not sure of what Foursquare means by certain terms, just hover your cursor over the question mark and you get the definition.
Overall, I was very impressed and can’t wait to start checking in! Foursquare ought to start aggressively marketing the control the user has over his/her privacy. If they did they could dramatically grow their paltry 10 million user base, to something much, much greater.
What’s keeping you from using Foursquare?