Foursquare, the geolocation social tool, has been a media darling as of late. Not only is it growing, but people innately understand the monetization model, which is not something you can say about every social site and tool. As people “check in,” or report where they are to their networks, Foursquare serves them offers from nearby businesses. It’s a win-win-win situation: Businesses can market to people who are able to immediately take action; Foursquare earns revenue; and users get valuable offers they can use.
But Starbucks’ current program on Foursquare may kill the goose that lays the golden eggs (or at least demonstrate how that goose may die a slow, lingering death of neglect). I believe (and I’m curious if you agree) that Starbucks’ ubiquity combined with the offer’s difficult redemption is decreasing attention for Foursquare’s other offers. If other large chains follow suit with similar promotions, those “Special Nearby” tabs within Foursquare’s mobile apps won’t get as much notice, and that means problems for advertisers on the Foursquare platform.
Crowd Factory announced today a new product for marketers: CrowdWorks Social Campaign -- which it describes as a way for marketers “to acquire new customers through simple social sharing and custom social marketing campaigns while easily tracking ROI.”
The key word there is simple. What Social Campaign offers marketers is not complex end-to-end community/social/conversational/engagement marketing functionality and services. It’s a curated set of light social applications (like sharing and ratings) -- which it refers to as social gestures -- that marketers can use to impact the business goals they’ve already established for their campaigns.
The interface is as simple as the feature set too, which may be a welcome change of pace for marketers who are used to requesting design and coding work from already tapped development resources. Crowd Factory says it takes 10 minutes, and no technical skills, to customize and deploy a social gesture, and having seen the dashboard, I can believe it. Of course, that 10-minute time-to-launch comes only after the platform has been approved by whatever internal departments need to sign off on technology platforms, but once that step is completed, the dashboard is in fact a platform that can be used over and over to customize and deploy new social gestures without additional help from tech resources.