Sam Harrelson

Marsbot Is Your New Scarlett

But Marsbot is important for other reasons, too. She represents a different kind of bot than the ones you see in Facebook Messenger — one that’s proactive rather than passive. She’s not a chatbot, but an interruptive bot. Crowley says that most other bots are in the model of Aladdin’s lamp: you invoke them and the genie appears. Marsbot is more in the Jiminy Cricket mode, hanging over your shoulder and chiming in when needed.

Source: Marsbot Is Dreaming of You — Backchannel

I’ve been testing out Marsbot the last few days, and I’m seriously impressed. I’ve been using the Ozlo bot for my random food suggestions based on location, time, preferences etc… and I’ve been happy with Ozlo.

However, Marsbot has something unique going on… it’s not a bot that waits for you. Rather, it’s proactive. If you’ve seen Her, you know immediately what I’m talking about.

Plus, it’s based on Foursquare’s accumulated data over the years, which is immense. Plus, it works in your text messaging app (iMessage if on Apple) where you’re used to getting personal updates or messages rather than going into another app on your device.

Messaging bots are going to be big and change the way we do computing and think of computers.

Take notice, churches 🙂




I’m at Target! Good to see Devin T again. — with Devin

http://foursquare.com/v/4bd8aad32e6f0f47c50d0808 via foursquare




I’m at Rush’s! So good.

http://foursquare.com/v/4b65ccc9f964a52073002be3 via foursquare




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):

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.