Advertising has always tried to be on the forefront of technology and with the advent of the internet a whole new way of advertising was opened up. I don’t think people fully realised what ‘the internet’ would enable us to do.
Companies are just starting to break into the exciting world of Social Media, the idea of projecting your message, high reach, to an audience that wants to hear your message, is an amazing development for advertisers and companies. It is beginning to eliminate what I am coining ‘media wastage’, where a company pushes their message to a disinterested clients. Like it or not, your product is not right for everybody. This means that some of your Advertising and marketing budget is being spent without a prospect for increased revenue. The way to increase revenue, and media reach, is to target your message and product to an interested market. By having a strong social media presence, prospective consumers find, ‘like’ and become subscribers to your message. These are the consumers that are not only willing to hear you message, they are willing to promote that fact.
Word of mouth advertising is still the strongest, and most trusted, form of advertising. If your best friend says her hair actually sprouts unicorns once a month because, and only because, she uses shampoo Brand A, then your are likely to at least trial Shampoo Brand A. Social media enable a large word of mouth audience for companies that don’t want to spend their whole marketing budget on spreading a message.
This is where I want to introduce the GPS style social media site Foursquare. Also notably, Yelp and GooglePlaces do similar things, but it is the trends in the US that are making it obvious that FourSqauare is the next big thing for advertising.
What is Foursquare?
Well you can go check it out online but in brief, it is a social GPS site. Almost exclusively used on mobiles, think of the ‘check-in’ feature of Facebook, but with the added bonus of an company experience. I almost insist you check it out.
Why is it going to change advertising?
Imagine its a hot day at Bondi beach, you’re strolling along the sidewalk, and you really want an ice cream. Jump onto foursquare and search ice cream shops near you. You can read reviews, see who else has been there and get special, personal, one-time or ongoing offers.
Thats from a consumers view, throw that into a companies view and you get a site where someone is looking for what you can give them. They aren’t at home, weighing up the options, considering buying in 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 years, they are wanting your product now. And there you are. Beautifully presented to them on a silver platter, and say you have an excess of mango flavoured ice cream, well come in now, buy a one scoop ice cream cone and we will plop on an extra mango scoop at half price, just for coming in. That is the beauty of foursquare.
Free set of steak knives
Thats right, theres more. Foursquare, like the check-in feature of Facebook, tells your friends you were there, so check in grab your ice cream, tell you mates and increase word of mouth advertising and brand awareness all by clicking the simple ‘sign up’ button on their homepage. It the equivalent to having a yellow pages ad 15 years ago, it puts you on the map, the digital, fully mobile, map.
The Future part
So this is all happening now, all around the world, what next? Well the GPS locating technology is starting to enable extremely personal sales. So with this new frontier in advertising a person can be in the vicinity of your store and you can send them a personalised message direct to their device saying, hi, come in. They don’t even have to search you. You can use this technology to turn Jane and John Doe into potential clients. Personalising the experience and giving them products and offers that they can use, right now. The way the world is going, everything is going to be ‘on demand’ so to make sure you are reaching all potential clients at those crucial impulsive minutes you need to be updating your social media presence constantly. You’ve already done the hard yards coming up with a company, an idea, service or product, the easy part is getting your message out there.