Will 2014 See A Resurgence in Foursquare?

23 Dec
December 23, 2013

For better or worse, I’ve stuck with Foursquare over the last few years despite losing some (or all, depending on who you ask) of its cool along the way.

The concept of a “mayor” was fun for while, but lost its shine (although some guy called Andy C and I go head to head for the title at our local coffee shop), but I think location as a socially important data point is just as important as ever.

Which is why I think next year will see some big things for Foursquare. Their recent $35 million funding round also tells me that the investors see some potential in it as well.

RWW published an interesting piece just before Christmas about potential suitors for the platform. Whether it becomes an acquisition target, or whether is remains an independent entity, it feels to me like they are working hard on making the app a much better experience for everyone.

Increasingly, I am being offered up recommendations on new points of interest within the locale I have checked into – like what’s new in the area, or what’s trending.

Perhaps more interestingly, I am getting asked additional details about the place to increase location-based knowledge, whereas previously I may not have bothered with my check in. This information is all building an app that is a much handier tool than telling friends where I am eating lunch.

It becomes useful rather than a gimmick, which differentiates long terms successful business from the rest of the pack.

I think this will be an interesting space to watch in 2014.

PHOTO – teamstickergiant

Why Optus’ Campaign About Lower Roaming Charges Hits The Mark

16 Dec
December 16, 2013

I always like to highlight clever business and customer relationship stories, and I thought this latest offering from Optus was very well executed.

Providing value to customers is the biggest imperatives on business these days, so for customers who use their phones internationally, some action on global roaming rates is a welcome relief.

The message itself could have easily been delivered in an SMS alert of a letter – both of which will have no doubt been thrown out or deleted pretty quickly.

But Optus have decided to go one step further and add some more value on top of it, delivering inside the unbranded packaging an all country travel power adaptor, one of this truly essential items that you always seem to have to remember to buy at the airport.

Perhaps most importantly, and ensuring its relevance, is that it was targeted. My wife had travelled internationally a number of time recently, and is also a business customers, so it makes sense that she would get it. I haven’t been overseas for a while, so didn’t receive it. And given that fact, it would probably be wasted on me in any case.

On a scale they would have sourced them on, this would have been a reasonably costly exercise. But for the customer, it’s a branded piece of utility that will remind you of that time they lowered your roaming rates.

It’s a very smart piece of relationship building.

How Australia Post Got QR Codes Right

26 Nov
November 26, 2013

As a general rule, I hate QR codes. No form of marketing should require you to acquire a new piece of technology just to view a marketing message. Ann Handley from MarketingProfs absolutely nailed it in this recent post she wrote.

This week though, I saw an ad for Australia Post on TV and what is possibly the only relevant use of a QR code I have ever seen (their YouTube tutorial is above).

There is no less tech involved – in fact it requires the sender to have the app to create the video and the receiver to have an app to view it, but would you be more inclined to download them if it means a video from mum? I think so.

What I love is that Australia Post is delivering innovation in the age old medium of physical mail.

There is no marketing message – it’s delivering your message. The brand is enabling people to connect with each other – not the brand themselves.

And that’s a positive brand experience.