2011 promises to be another big year for check-ins and location-based marketing. Here are our bold predictions for what we’ll see in 2011.
1. Location-based services begin to cross the chasm as smartphone usage explodes.
A recent survey report claims that 4% of people in the United States use location services like Foursquare or Gowalla. Expect that number to change in a big way in 2011. Here’s why:
- More than 50 percent of cell-phone users will be using smartphones by the end of the year. The lack of smartphone usage today is the biggest obstacle for location-based services. This is changing.
- Network effects will carry Foursquare past 10 million users this year, and Facebook Places will continue to grow as its user base continues to adopt smart phones.
- Retailers and businesses are moving past the “experimentation” phase with location services and will increasingly provide offers and rewards to users that utilize check-in services.
2. There will be consolidation among location-based services.
As Foursquare and Facebook Places continue to dominate the check-in landscape, other players will need to either innovate beyond focusing on check-ins or join forces with other location-services. We’ve already seen Gowalla innovate beyond check-ins, and Brightkite completely eliminated its check-in service. Expect to see other players follow suit.
3. Foursquare and Facebook Places will introduce a paid marketing offering for businesses.
Location-based services like Facebook Places and Foursquare are at the precipice of revolutionizing the way marketers touch customers. As businesses continue to reach customers through check-in services, expect Foursquare and Facebook Places to introduce expanded marketing capabilities – at a price.
4. Someone other than Foursquare or Facebook will build the killer recommendation app.
Foursquare has publicly stated that it is thinking about how to incorporate recommendations into its application. However, an independent developer will beat Foursquare to the punch by leveraging open APIs from Foursquare, Facebook Places and even Yelp to build the killer recommendation engine. Imagine receiving alerts when your favorite venues are trending or being recommended new venues based on where your friends check-in. It’s not too far away.
5. Analytics plays a larger role in location-based marketing.
Check-ins are chock-full of data that help marketers understand their customers. Expect marketers to begin leverage check-in data across their marketing programs to provide more timely and relevant communications, moving us closer to the goal of truly-personalized marketing.
What are your predictions for location-based marketing in 2011? Do you agree or disagree with our predictions? Let us know in the comments below!
Agree with prediction 1 and 2.
For prediction 3 to happen, more businesses have to latch on to free service. Mind you lot of business owner don’t know how to grab this beast by the horn; per say. In addition, whatever the paid service is, it will be new. Most likely service will take the special of near by paid business to top.
Prediction 4 will take few more years. The factor or ‘feeling’ needs to be considered before recommending a new item. For example, I feel like eating Indian food today…but tomorrow…it would be something else.
Prediction 5, well we already do that here at http://www.kicoki.com for businesses. So can’t go against that :).
Have a good one.