Foursquare For Some Reason

It’s 6:45am on a Sunday, and as my kids play, I wander the internet in search for something that I should know more about. This morning, I found something, but it isn’t entirely pertinent to me, so I offer it up to you.

Foursquare advertising.

Boring, I know. But my thoughts were more about how to not make it boring, and potentially interesting. My team is mostly field staff, and our physical presence has very little to do with who we are or what we do. Our headquarters in the North Loop of Minneapolis, a few blocks from Target Field. But my idea here is more applicable in an office tower or dense office space.

The land of downtown is an amazing, skyway connected labyrinth that only “downtowners” really get. Being the land of corporate headquarters (and not necessarily places that people need to come visit – like retail), then how could you use Foursquare ads to your advantage?

Now, before we think about doing a Foursquare ad just for the hell of it, let’s see if it’s actually valuable. Naturally, the answer is it always depends. There’s no reason for Target Headquarters to have a check-in special. I guess they could, but the people visiting HQ are already committed – they’re the employees, contractors and vendors. Plus, what is the benefit for me if I’m walking by and see an ad for Target HQ? Am I just going to randomly drop in and say hi to the receptionist and security guards? Uh. No. Thanks, though.

An important thing to note is that the ads do not show to people who are checked in to the location.

And here in lies my idea.

Have you ever driven by an apartment complex that has a gigantic and gawdy banner that exclaims that “IF YOU LIVED HERE, YOU’D BE HOME ALREADY”? Yeah, I hate them too, but they have a point, and answer an interesting challenge that we all have with commuting and the unending banality that is rush hour traffic. I’d argue that was a good old world example of location based advertising. So let’s explore something similar in a digital vein.

One of the big challenges with the land of corporate headquarters is recruiting, and keeping, good talent. If I were at Target HQ and I had just posted a job (on the massive and insane to control job board) for a marketing person for example, how would I get it to the people who might be interested? Well, if you want to hire someone who understands mobility, they generally participate in it. If you want someone who understands corporate culture, they’re probably living in the labyrinth already. So why not? Post a Foursquare ad not with some American Express special for buying the latest doohicky, but how ’bout “IF YOU WORKED HERE, WELL, YOU’D BE HERE”. Obviously the wording needs some help, but you get the idea. In a dense urban area with lots of HQ’s, it could be an interesting opportunity for folks who want to hire in the fields of marketing, advertising, IT, and well probably a lot of other areas.

But who knows. Maybe I’m crazy.

Well, yeah, I probably am. But at the same time, the ads are free unless a user takes action. Why not give it a shot?


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