Marketing Trends with Location-Based Check-Ins

As location-based check-ins continue to grow (Foursquare now has more than 11 million users) and evolve, we’re beginning to see trends in how businesses are effectively incorporating check-ins into its strategy.

  1. Integration with loyalty programs.  By enabling customers to earn real loyalty points for check-ins, businesses are able to more easily reward customers for check-ins with points that fit within its standard rewards structure.  Starwood recently launched a program where customers can earn Starpoints for check-ins.  Expect to see more of these programs soon.
  2. Event awareness.  Both B2C and B2B marketers are waking up to the opportunity to incorporate location-based check-ins into event marketing.   For example, B2B marketers can create a “check-in contest” program at trade shows where attendees can win prizes for checking-in at its booth.  This not only drives traffic to your booth, but every person’s check-in at your booth creates awareness for your business within their social graph.
  3. Real-time and personalized offers.  Your customers want to hear from you when it’s most relevant to them. Many businesses are realizing that check-ins are an incredibly powerful signal for when to provide customers with offers and information. Many restaurants and using check-ins to send offers and coupons to customers that, for instance, check-in within a half a mile of its restaurant right before lunch or dinner hours.  Bars and pubs might send offers to customers that check-in at the local sports game.
  4. Behavioral intelligence. Check-ins tell a story. The places I check-in at are the things I do and provide rich context to the type of person I am. Check-ins at the office, a gym, an airport, a hotel or a movie theater all provide real behavioral data on what I do.  Many marketers are starting to think about how to leverage this data and use it to better understand customers.

What else? What are the other ways that marketers are seeing success in leveraging check-ins?