The Future Of Foursquare, Geotagging, and Geolocation

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

As much as we do not want to admit it, geolocation tagging continues to trend up. It is still in its infancy and most are just discovering its power, but services like foursquare continue to provide solid options for business to create new customers.

Most business are scrambling to capitalize on the potential of services like foursquare while others (and these guys as well) are setting the market on how to use services like foursquare to create business.

I will not spend much time talking about what geotagging and geolocation is all about, you can click the words and it will take you to their wikipedia pages and give you more information.

Lets talk about the future of foursquare and geotagging

Imagine walking around downtown Dallas with your friends. You are on a search for great shops, good food, and great fun, but you are on a budget. As you walk you decide to check into the downtown Dallas area. After a quick tweet and status update you start receiving by email, text, or app 5 coupons specifically made for you. This is just another normal day spent in the geotagging world, or at least a future day in the geotagging world. This might scare you a little, excite you a lot, or just plain confuse you, but the direction that most businesses are taking is trending more towards competing for your business then expecting it.

You might be wondering, why would any business offer me 20% off any purchase just for checking into their shop? It’s simple, because those that offer deals are those that win. We have shifted from a society that simply views a store as a place to get what you need into what can the store give to me.

I call this the Groupon Model.

What Groupon is doing is nothing new. We have had coupons with us for a very long time. Where they have changed the market is they have brought it digital and made it a can’t miss opportunity. If you see that scuba lessons at your local YMCA are $114 and are originally $340 you jump all over that deal. Granted, you will probably never scuba dive, but you are saving over $100 on something that looks like fun. Businesses are starting to catch wind of this idea and are starting to offer up deals in hopes that you will take the bait. The groupon model is all about grabbing your attention to something that you would never consider before but are now willing to spend $40 to $200 in the name of a great deal.

Let us head back to downtown Dallas, you and your friends are getting hungry but cannot make a decision on where to eat. You head to your foursquare app to see some of the deals that are around you and see a great little pizza place that is offering half off the first pizza with a check-in and free pizza to the mayor. This is a great deal, you and your friends are now going to be eating pizza for lunch and probably return to get the mayorship so you can get free pizza any time of the day. Everyone wins, this pizza place has the opportunity for new business and you have now saved money on lunch.

The Groupon Model excites me because it changes the way business advertise, market, and do business. It also places the power in the users hand and lets them decide who is doing good stuff. This very well could bring back the small businesses and boutique shops. When business compete for your eye we all win.

Do you see any way you could use the “groupon model” in your business, work, or hobby?


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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Ryne

    The win for me (as ridiculous as it is) is the competition. Anything that adds badges, mayorships, etc. turns going out into a game. I think the win for companies is the free advertising. We’re putting out to all our friends (and the world) where we are and if it is good we’ll say it.

    People may not like it, but it is not going away.

    • Kyle Reed

      that is not ridiculous at all, that is actually a future blog post :)
      You are exactly right. There is something in the human nature that makes us want to compete and own the title of mayor or have select badges. It’s crazy but it’s true

      And yes, free advertising to all that trust your opinion

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  • Daniel Worger

    Do you really think that the Groupon model is sustainable? I personally feel it is but a fart in the wind, and will simply disappear. Why? because the deals attract “deal chasers” not repeat customers. I know people who simply go from deal to deal, there is no need to return anywhere and pay full price. This model is having a massive impact on small businesses bottom lines, and not in a good way.
    My girlfriend is a fitness instructor. She is paid by the fitness club per person who comes to her class. That fitness club is also using groupon’s to attract new clients to their club. Now, usually a dropin fee is around $20 a class, but the groupon is offering $25 for unlimited classes for a month. So my girlfriend’s class is full for that month (she earns 50c per class, as the groupon brings in no money). After that month out of 25 people, maybe 1 stays and joins. The rest seem to go off and chase the next fitness class deal at the studio next door.
    Why would anyway stay loyal to a business if they can simply go from deal to deal?

    Other than that, I believe the future is in Geolocation apps. I think this is a fantastic way to build loyal business, rather than deal chasers.