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New Series: Conversations With Our Executive - Ramir Camu

New Series: Conversations With Our Executive - Ramir Camu

Today’s blog is the first of a new series where we will sit down with Ramir and other executives to discuss latest trends in marketing and web design. This month’s topic: geolocation applications. We will be posting these conversations once a month, so stay tuned for more to come. If you have a topic you would like to discuss, let us know. Send us a Tweet, write on our Facebook wall or send us an email.

With the launch of Facebook Places last week, geolocation applications are back in the limelight. Here is our conversation with Ramir regarding Facebook Places and geolocation applications.

1) What B2C firms stand out on the geolocation application space?

Even though geolocation services are quite new, some companies have taken notice of this new trend’s marketing potential. Some that come to mind are Starbucks, who offer discounts to their Foursquare Mayors as well as giving out a Barista badge after 5 visits to one of their locations. Also, the New Jersey Nets are experiencing success by distributing tickets as virtual items via Gowalla.

Pepsi is trying to break into the geolocation space by launching its own app called Pepsi Loot. This application gives you rewards for checking in to locations that serve Pepsi. I’m not sure how successful they will be, but I think they missed the mark by developing their own app instead of integrating with an established service like Foursquare or Gowalla.

2) Mostly B2C firms have seen benefits and buzz from using geolocation applications. Do you see any B2B firms taking advantage of it?

The B2B market has been slower at jumping into geolocation marketing. B2B firms barely understand the need to be involved with Social Media in general. However, I do see great opportunities for these companies. Commercial Real estate firms could use geolocation services to track traffic patterns. Companies attending tradeshows could offer promotions and incentives to prospects that have checked in to a competitor’s booth or their own. Businesses could use geolocation services internally to reward employees and offer incentives. For example, a corporate wellness program’s rewards could be awarded to those who regularly check in to a gym.

3) Do you see businesses being attracted Facebook Places since it doesn't have the “fun” and “game-like” features of Foursquare or Gowalla?

Business will be attracted to Facebook Places once they see users adopt it. Facebook has the advantage of having 500 million users, so a feature like Places has the potential of becoming a great way to geo target potential customers along with Facebook’s advertising platform and fan pages. Once Places goes mainstream, business will flock to it. I also believe Facebook at some point will begin rolling out additional game like features for Places.

4) What are some of the benefits for the working professional in "checking-in" everywhere they go? Do you see business networking opportunities in this?

A business professional needs to be aware of the benefits and dangers of “checking-in.” The trail of check-ins you leave behind tells a story of where you spend your time and the lifestyle you lead. If you are an out-of-work professional looking for a job, but your Foursquare history shows you checking into a bar every night, it might raise some red flags.

On the other hand, it can also help by facilitating impromptu meetings, prospecting by reviewing the history of a prospective client, so you just happen to be at the Starbucks where he gets his latte every morning.

5) Privacy will be a big concern for many now that Facebook Places is active. What do you recommend for those who are worried about privacy?

If you are using any geolocation application or anything that has to do with Social Media in general, you should take the time to educate yourself on its privacy settings. Knowing how to manage these settings is the best way to protect your privacy.

Image: The CMB Research Blog

Posted by Eric Garza on 08/26 at 03:08 PM in BusinessGadgetsSocial Media

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