Foursquare Encourages Action With Promoted Updates

Foursquare Encourages Action With Promoted Updates

By: Shelly Kramer
August 17, 2012

foursquare promoted updatesFoursquare recently launched Promoted Updates, a new paid advertising program that complements the app’s Local Updates functionality—and gives companies a new alternative when implementing mobile advertising. Disclaimer: I love Foursquare.

The promoted updates are designed to help companies reach new customers by displaying ad content based on a user’s account location, day part, check-in history and friends’ histories. And because the promoted updates are only shown to users when “they’re close enough to actually stop by,” according to the Foursquare blog, they inspire immediate action. “It’s a great way to find out what’s happening at a local coffee shop, save money on your next clothing purchase or just discover a store you’ve never been to before.”’

And that? It’s a marketer’s dream. You’re marketing to tech-savvy early adopters who are totally dialed into using location-based technology and, in many instances, are all about deals.

Promoted updates are currently in a pilot program that’s being tested by advertisers like Gap and Old Navy, Hilton, JCPenney, Best Buy, Hertz and Walgreens. Not only are the advertisers testing the functionality in general and offering feedback, they’re also helping Foursquare determine details like models and pricing.

Promoted ads are Foursquare’s first formal attempt at generating revenue and we probably don’t need to talk about how important that is. To our way of thinking, for retail-, entertainment- and service-based businesses, this seems like a promising option to add to an overall mobile marketing and advertising strategy.

When I use Foursquare, I’m actively interested in exploring what’s around me. And that means I’m more likely to pay attention to an in-app ad, especially if that ad will further entice me with a special, promotion or some other incentive. Plus, if you’re a business whose current and prospective customers are on Foursquare, doesn’t it make sense to place your message in front of an active user base that’s more likely to patronize your establishment? I think so.

Facebook is also getting into the game with Facedeals, which are nicely explained by my friend Jeff Esposito in his post over here. And if you don’t know @jeffespo, consider this an introduction. He’s smart, sassy and possessed of one of the best marketing minds around.

Foursquare’s promoted updates aren’t yet universally available, but if you’re interested in keeping tabs on the project, you can sign up for updates.

What do you think? If you’re a Foursquare user, will you be interested in promoted updates when they’re available or will they bug you? I’d love to know.

Image via MarketingLand

  • Rosemary O’Neill

    I love these! It’s the kind of advertising that’s actually useful. Combine these with the already-awesome AMEX specials, and Foursquare is looking pretty good to me. Folks who were heavy users in the early days and got bored with it should come on back and check it out.

  • jeffespo

    Sassy eh?

  • ShellyKramer

    Well, I had to keep it PG.

  • jeffespo

    ohhhh shelly 😉

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  • Jason Ramsey

    Great job Shelly. I’ve been waiting for someone to step up lately, looks like foursquare were the ones to do it.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks! I’m a huge Foursquare fan, so I’m really interested in watching to see where this goes.