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Geolocation services help small businesses find customers

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

An article in yesterday’s New York Times highlighted how geolocation services are being used by small businesses to find customers.


The article referred to examples from Foursquare – when people used the Foursquare application on their mobile phones within a few blocks of Pacific Catch restaurant that  is running special offers, “a special offer popped up on their mobile phones: check in five times and earn a free shrimp ceviche or a Hawaiian poke. Another special rewarded customers who checked in on Foursquare with a free side of sweet potato fries.”


According to the article, these types of offers have helped snag new customers: more than 1,400 people have checked in at Pacific Catch more than 2,800 times.


In a conversation recently with FortiusOne’s Sean Gorman, we discussed their new mobile location analytics platform, Appcelerator, built on their GeoIQ platform. Appcelerator addresses the fact that mobile location developers’ customers want to see an ROI on their investment in couponing programs. 


A sample scenario was created for the sake of a demo of a mythical corporation named Pizzaland with 14 pizza locations. This business in the San Francisco Bay Area recently started participating in a mobile couponing service. They want to be able to see where those mobile coupons are being serviced, where redeemed, what kind of ROI they’re getting for investing in building this app into a mobile service and then bringing in some additional information that is used in context.


The app shows activity before 7 a.m. – people looking for coupons before work (represented as dots on a map); for lunchtime, you can see a lot of activity in the suburbs outside the city and then sit starts to pick up inside the city as they start to go into the city for lunch. The screen shows dots where people look for lunch deals and stays pretty active, then around the dinner hour, dots start to spread back out to the suburbs as people go back home to get dinner, and some people stay in the city.


Geolocation Services: Find a Smartphone, Find a Customer by Kermit Patterson, October 6, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)

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