The Week That Was in SoLoMo
by Derek Browers & Eoghan Geoghegan
Welcome to the inaugural edition of The MomentFeed Pulse, our weekly roundup of the week that was in social + local + mobile (SoLoMo) marketing! The SoLoMo space is changing…fast. Today’s hot social app is tomorrow’s forgotten acquisition. ROI is whispered in hushed tones among the social media elite as if they were talking about hunting Yetis in the Himalayas. It can be confusing. It can be mind-numbing. It can also be really, really cool. We’ve found that this leads to two kinds of attitudes toward location-based marketing: A) “The potential here is huge! I’m really excited to give it a try.” and B) “Dear God…it’s something else for me to worry about. I hope this is just a fad that passes before my boss reads about it and sends me an excited email.” To the “A” people, we hope these posts will stoke some new ideas and help you stay on top of your game. To the “B” people, we sympathize. There is a lot going on out there. Hopefully we can help to make the SoLoMo space feel a bit less intimidating and help you realize why this channel is worth a bit of your precious time. The marketing landscape is shifting under all of our feet. You might as well come along for the ride.
Reports on geolocation adoption inevitably divide marketers into glass is half-full/glass is half-empty outlooks on the future of location-based services. Ki Mae Heussner of Adweek makes it abundantly clear why the glass is indeed half-full and why social-media savvy marketers need to make LBS engagement a top priority in 2012. Users of geolocation apps like Foursquare tend to be influential, young, early adopters that are twice as likely to share product information as the average U.S. adult online. These users, “are also more likely to share promotional coupons, discount codes, or the result of a game they’ve played.” If this were the audience of a network television program it would be the most coveted ad space in America.
SoLoMo naysayers have predictably pointed to the “only 6% of online adults” statistic (which equates to 12-13 million adults in the U.S.) as justification to ignore LBS marketing opportunities. Unfortunately, this outlook ignores the exponential growth in awareness of these apps and overall smartphone adoption. Marketers who recognize the opportunity to reach these highly-influential customers today will have a key advantage over their competitors tomorrow, as social-local marketing continues to shift toward the local level and everyone else plays catch-up.
PayPal announced that it is jumping into the local daily deals game competing with the likes of Groupon, LivingSocial, and the countless other competitors in the space. PayPal’s corporate parent eBay has been laying the foundation for this move for some time, acquiring Where, Milo, and RedLaser in the process. It will be interesting to see if PayPal can leverage these acquisitions into an offering that is any different from what we’ve seen so far. Clearly their play is going to be providing more relevant deals than the competition, a strong point given consumers’ daily deal fatigue, but will that be enough to set PayPal apart from the crowd?
A video that went viral around the MomentFeed office last week – Jeremiah Owyang, Industry Analyst at the Altimeter Group, delivers a 20-minute presentation taken from the recent LeWeb 2011 conference in Paris. Owyang discusses the social media hierarchy of needs and the processes brands and organizations should go through to avoid “Social Sanitation.” He thinks SoLoMo is the “fuel” behind the predictive business. Needless to say, we agree.
A must watch for any brand looking to develop a successful social media strategy.
With over 350 million people accessing Facebook from mobile devices you knew it was only a matter of time before the company threw its hat into the mobile advertising ring. It’s a big move for Facebook that will lead to entirely new ways to target and segment mobile users. The big question of course is going to be how Facebook integrates these ads into the mobile experience. Maybe some of that recently-acquired talent from Gowalla can help. Which leads us to…
So the terms of the Gowalla acquisition finally leaked out, $3 million in Facebook shares. While $3 million may not sound like a big number for this once high-flying geolocation app, it could end up paying off huge if Facebook’s IPO lives up to the hype. This was a pure talent acquisition for Facebook, which has made mobile a top priority for 2012. Gowalla always had a great UI so it will be fun to see how Facebook’s newest employees are able to shape future mobile offerings. The Gowalla app will be discontinued in January 2012.
A very interesting piece + interview with Innovation Works CEO Mr. Kai-Fu-Lee that discusses how China could soon become the world leader in mobile technology. Mr. Lee explains that China, with its 800 million mobile phones and dense population centers is well-positioned to see explosive growth in location-based services. Some food for thought on the future of SoLoMo in the world’s largest emerging market.
That’s all for this week! If you have any questions about any of these stories or would like to learn more about location-based marketing you can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.