Oh…Yoo-Hoo…Where R U???!?!?!

Foursquare, a geo-social media entity will soon provide a new marketing tool designed to their customers with geo-targeted offers from retailers. After a significant amount of testing, ‘Local Updates’ will enable retail stores and restaurants, like Outback Steakhouse, Whole Foods or H&M to offer announcements of product launches, coupons, daily specials information or daily menus. This will allow Foursquare’s retail clients the ability to reach out and “touch” customers who’ve repeatedly liked or posted check-in’s at a store. An example, Whole Foods which advertises different things regionally, has another means to do so.

Foursquare users who subscribe for ‘Local Updates’ will receive messages from nearby messages in their friend feed. These updates will occure upon opeing the app or refreshing the app. The extent to which the user receives messages will depend largely upon how often the user checks in to that store or likes it.

Currently, Foursquare has 20 million users and 1 million retail clients. This seems in some respects like an efficient way to provide analytics to retailers that will help them personally engage with consumers on an individual basis rather than a mass marketing appeal.
Several questions do come to mind however, as I quickly reviewed the post Xiomara Moncada made this week about Salesforce, Twitter and “big brother” knowing our every thought and using it in what seems to be invasive ways. The first question that comes to mind, why is it that it seems that the manner in which Salesforce and Twitter is gathering and using the analytics is being too nosey. Whereas, consumers posting their whereabouts and Foursquare using those analytics to help retailers offer a more personalized marketing approach doesn’t have the same invasion of privacy. Is it because the consumer has readily given information as to where they are and what they like? They’ve readily given their opinion through a tweet. How much emphasis do we as the public really put on our privacy?. Do we care as much as we probably should? Is there a balance that can be struck in terms of privacy, through crafty marketing tactics? Things that make you go hmmmm…….

Heine, C. (2012, July 18, 2012). Foursquare takes aim at retail chains(again): ‘Local updates ‘geo-target offers; H&M and Outback Steakhouse among beta testers. Retrieved from
http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/foursquare-takes-aim-retail-chains-again-141978

Peterson, T. (2012). “Salesforce Radian6 Launches Insights to Make Sense of Social Data Partners include Klout, PeekAnalytics”. Adweek.com. Retrieved July 17, 2012 from: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/salesforce-radian6-launches-insights-make-sense-social-data-141934

(I have tried for an hour to spruce this up with pictures, but have lost patience with the technology. Please forgive the non-colorful post.)

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5 Responses to Oh…Yoo-Hoo…Where R U???!?!?!

  1. Xiomara Moncada says:

    Hi Lauren,
    Like I told Joshua on my response to him, it will be interesting to check out Facebook’s Radian6 in a couple of months to see what kind of success it has had or not. I would like to see if people complain about their privacy once SalesForce’s clients start using the analysis from Radian6. I think the whole privacy idea is just an idea, we have not privacy. We are constantly watched and we wanted to be found, people, agencies, companies can find us. It is scary but true!!! WE ARE NEVER ALONE!!!
    Xio

  2. Lauren McCarthy says:

    I think if we are willing to post a status update, check in on FourSquare or send a tweet (is “send” the right nomenclature here?), we should be expecting market research companies to use that information to their advantage. It is our choice to make our thoughts, pictures, locations, etc. public, so why should we be angry if businesses use that to their advantage?

    I use FourSquare, and I love when I check in somewhere and realize I get a dollar off my sandwich, a free chips and queso or 10% off my bill.

    People who don’t want that kind of information shared simply don’t put themselves out there for the world to see. My dad, for instance, doesn’t even want me to mention “my dad” in a status update on Facebook. His life is very private, and he prefers to keep it that way.

  3. Gail says:

    In my research on Millennial demographics, I learned this consumer cohort is the least concerned about privacy when it comes to activity tracking by marketers. According to Packaged Facts – a market intelligence company in Rockville, Md. – Gen-Y consumers are less likely than other generations to mind companies using personal information to better understand what products and services they might want. Because they are growing up with this type of ‘service’ it doesn’t seem invasive or unusual. I believe, one day, most of our coupons or freebies will be offered via mobile based on location.

  4. lywalker says:

    Xio, Gail, Lauren M.-
    Thanks to you all for responding to my post. Each of you hit the nail on the head…’big brother” is everywhere, whether we want “him” to be or not and if we don’t want our business on “front street” we have to be a bit more judicious in the type of info we provide.

    Gail I think you are right that our coupons and will all be mobile based and quite frankly, I like the thought of not carrying around a ton of crap to get a buck of of stuff here and there or forgetting my coupons. (Of course, the battery life on these phones are gonna have to be SO much better than they are now.) 🙂

    Raised the questions that I did because I am conflicted. Like Xio said, just how “ok” are people going to be with having an entity like Salesforce produce analytics on info gathered from Radian6. Sure, people have to know that there is the possibility of their info being used…but I really don’t think people quite understand the degree to which that info can be used and manipulated, since the use is only limited by one’s imagination. Millennials grew up with technology and don’t give it a second thought, as evidenced by things they find ok to share on Facebook. Who knew that some company’s would find it ok to review such info of job applicants.

    I guess my question is, how do we enjoy our lives…have fun, embrace the technology that connects us and makes are lives and jobs easier to manage, yet maintain a bit of privacy….how do we attain that middle ground??

    Xio, I too, am interested to see how people respond to Radian6.

  5. shanecol says:

    I completely agree with Gail. It is amazing to me how many consumers (friends and family) these days put such a large emphasis on letting everyone know what he/she is doing. My youngest sister, who is a Millennial, makes it a point to Instagram a photo of what she is eat for dinner. This trend of no privacy is incredible to me! It is as if consumers are opening their front doors and not closing them.

    I think that social media has made it much easier for marketers to step in and retrieve information for sales purposes. I’m unsure why anyone thinks it is an abomination that marketers are doing this when we as consumers give them the key to our diaries. Nothing is secret or sacred anymore, and perhaps in a few years we will look back and wish Facebook never went public, or that MySpace never started this trend of social voyeurism. But until, consumers, like myself, will continue to eat social networking up and only eventually let it go.