| posted by Joe Hice |

OMG, did that analyst really just tell marketers to hang back and avoid innovation?

Those of you that know me also know I like to be first.  First up in the morning, first in line at the race track, first to try something new and different, especially where marketing and public relations are concerned.  Differentiating one’s institution or business in this world that’s full of fray is not easy.  It’s impossible if you don’t stand out and being first is one of the best ways I know of to stand out.

Back in junior high my track coach taught me a valuable lesson.  “Joe,” he said,  “the first one there is usually the winner.”  Thank you coach Patsy.

In marketing and communications, innovation is what takes a good campaign and makes it great. What takes a great sales promotion and makes it fantastic.  What takes a stale, old brand, and gives it new life.  First gains attention. First creates buzz. I know I’m over simplifying things here, but first is first!

When the guru’s from Forrester Research told the PRSA magazine, Public Relations Tactics,  that marketers shouldn’t use Foursquare as a promotion tool because the research shows it’s too new — no, too small —  I almost fell on the floor.

I’ll agree that you’ve got to get things right before you get things first, but it boggles the mind when an analyst from a well known and generally well respected research firm says don’t be creative.  They are basically recommending that we all play it safe. Let the other guy or girl try the new technology.  Let the other college or institution try the unproven research techniques.  Play it safe indeed.

I am the Mayor of Winslow Hall.  Story follows.  http://miniurl.com/48025

Passion Rules!

Analysts at Forrester Research say that marketers shouldn’t check in to Foursquare as a promotion tool — yet. They found that location-based social media platforms, while hyped and talked about among online circles, are still too small to be beneficial for major marketing pushes.

According to Forrester Research, only 4 percent of U.S. consumers indicated that they used geolocation services, but of that, just half said that they use them “rarely if ever.” A sizeable 84 percent of those surveyed said they aren’t even familiar with location-based social networks at all.

Forrester analyst Melissa Parrish told Ad Age that she believes services such as Foursquare (2 million users), Loopt (4 million) and MyTown (2.5 million) are only viable for bold brands that target the male adult demographic.

Marketers should hang back until these apps get bigger audiences, she said.

The findings come at a time when Foursquare is reportedly in talks with giants like Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft to add its location-based “check-ins” to search results, a move that positions the service as a major player in the social media sphere.

Ever since Twitter (with its 125-million-strong user base) secured contracts with search engines last October, analysts have speculated that geolocal results are the next step to revolutionizing the ubiquitous Internet search query.

Until a deal is hammered out and location-based media mature, however, Forrester recommends marketers only include the platform in campaigns that target video-gaming, sports-playing or gadget-loving adult males. — Philip Volmar


2 Responses to “OMG, did that analyst really just tell marketers to hang back and avoid innovation?”

  1. […] tool because the research shows it’s too new — no, too small –  to be effective.   http://www.hiceschool.com/1-of-many/omg-did-that-analyst-really-just-tell-marketers-to-hang-back-and… God forbid you’d want to be the first one to do anything.  The one who created a trend. The […]

  2. Jeff Stevens says:

    Agreed, Joe. Forrester is missing the mark here. I have just as many female friends on FourSquare as I do male friends.

    That being said, large brands seems unsure just wt to do with FourSquare yet. They seem to have relied exclusively on the badge aspect of the application, which is one of it’s most attractive features, but so far most of the promotions using these have been too limited int heir geographic range. Many users have complained that a lot of badges are exclusive to New York and Los Angeles locations and ignore fly-over country. TLC ran a promotion involving checking to tagged barbeque places but only included ten or so locations across America.

    Bravo finally responded recently yo this criticism by creating a few generic badges tied to tags instead of specific locations, but this trend hasn’t taken over yet.

    Forrester’s recommendations seem to be geared to large-scale national marketing plans. I think part of FourSquare’s greatest strength is in local businesses. Mayorships are powerful. As a game dynamic, once someone achieves mayorships of their favorites haunts and eateries, they fight fiercely to keep them. Smaller businesses recognizing this and creating incentive programs to keep mayorship competitions going best leverage this program right now – unfortunately I don’t think FourSquare has marketed this concept very well to small business.

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