Marketing Is Evolving; Don’t Get Stuck

Fantastic post from SumAll today:

The Switch to Continuous Marketing – SumAll – Blog: “Social media platforms and analytics provide an immediate, continuous feedback loop that puts marketing into an entirely new cycle. It’s now possible to get a faster, deeper sense of your potential customer and to tailor marketing materials to a highly specific demographic.”

This is a concept that we embrace and focus heavily on at Harrelson Agency.

In the past, marketing campaigns were structured differently and might have done pretty well for the time. However, we’ve seen a gradual shift and trend towards online marketing in the past decade or so as the web has grown and social networks like Facebook and Twitter emerged. While paid search still dominates over social media traffic this year, that’s likely to change in 2014. Marketing via social media is bound to become the larger of the two traffic drivers and that’s due in large to the in-depth analytics and insights tools that services like Facebook and Twitter offer to advertisers. Old-school marketing (create, launch, sit back, evaluate) doesn’t work as well anymore because marketing on the web is a continuous process that requires lots of creative thinking, sweating the details, and monitoring (in real time, not when the campaign ends) exactly what works and what doesn’t. And if something doesn’t work, you can always change it and see where you went wrong.

Tools like SumAll and Chartbeat are fantastic for tracking how your campaigns are doing and what kind of traffic you’re getting, but even the out-of-the-box solutions that Facebook, Twitter, et al offer are pretty good.

Foursquare Rolls Out Ads for Businesses

Very exciting news from Foursquare today:

Expanding Foursquare Ads to more small businesses around the world | Foursquare Blog: “The idea behind these new ads is simple – connect people looking for somewhere to go with businesses that want to drive traffic to their stores. Foursquare is the best way for those businesses to reach nearby customers. In our ad pilots over the past year, we’ve been honing our targeting technology, using the same algorithm that powers our Explore recommendation engine.”

Foursquare rolled out post-check-in ads for brands last week, but this is good news for businesses since Foursquare is a unique but diverse community that’s ultimately very locally focused.

The reason these ads are so unique and will matter a great deal to local businesses in the coming year or so is that the return rate on them is fairly solid. 78% of people who search on their smartphone end up making some kind of purchase. Foursquare has long needed a solid business model that could drive revenue its way and the ad program is pretty much the icing on the cake.

On the business side of things, the ads are billed to businesses on a CPA (Cost Per Action) basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for the ad unless a check-in at your business originates from it:

Foursquare Ads — Foursquare for Business: “You won’t pay a cent for your ad to show up. You’ll only pay if people visit you.”

Pretty cool.

I love Foursquare and I’m happy to see them moving forward. Advertising on mobile, particularly geolocation-based, has long been an enigma to many companies and marketers alike and I think Foursquare is definitely on the list of companies to watch.

Foursquare Rolling Out Post-Check-In Ads for Brands

AdAge reports that the beloved location-sharing service Foursquare is rolling out check-in ads (with Captain Morgan, in this case) that show up directly after you check in to a certain venue. Captain Morgan and Toys R Us are leading the way with their new ads:

Foursquare Rolls Out Check-In Ads With Captain Morgan | Digital – Advertising Age: “The new ads are also being used to help retailers or merchants lure consumers who check in outside of their locations. Toys R Us has started to use this capability by targeting people who check in at family-friendly locations such as parks, playgrounds and daycares. A June 19 post from website About Foursquare shows the author being served a 20% off, limited time use coupon for use a Toys R Us or Babies R Us after checking in at a public swimming pool.”

In the past, Foursquare has frequently had specials pop up after checking in to a restaurant and the various venues that show up when you launch the check-in menu oftentimes have ribbons indicating a special offer (like so):

foursquare-special.jpeg

For right now, this new ad option is huge for bigger brands and could be largely beneficial to small businesses in the future if Foursquare continues to develop and add to the program.

Whether you’re looking to get new customers to come to your venue based on a similar venue they’ve checked into or wanting to offer a coupon to existent customers who come in and check in via Foursquare, this new ad placement allows for both. While the targeting that Foursquare currently offers doesn’t go as deep (or creepy?) as that of Facebook, brands can still narrow down a solid demographic to display their ads to post-checkin.

I’ve loved Foursquare since I got my iPhone last year and have a few hundred check-ins there. It’s a great, clean service that allows me to keep a private (or public) journal of where I’ve been and when. I’ve even set up a Foursquare channel on IFTTT to grab my check-ins and a map image and post them privately to my own site. (Feel free to copy here).

If your business depends on walk-ins or local customers and you’re not on Foursquare, you’re missing out.

Go add your business or update your details if one of your customers has already added it on Foursquare.