Last week I wrote a post about geolocation technology and Foursquare. Today I’d like to talk about Gowalla. Foursquare is best known for campaigns that revolve around games. Frequent customers sign in and gain points towards badges. Gowalla has positioned itself differently in the market space. It focuses on partnering with businesses to create campaigns whereby those checking in receive virtual goods that can be redeemed for their actual counterparts.
Although it can, in fact, be just a form of digital couponing (“Check in for a free doughnut with the purchase of a large cup of joe”), the strategy can be used in a contest-like fashion (“Be one of the first 10 to check in Tuesday morning and get a free doughnut with the purchase of a large cup of joe”).
Vayner Media, headquartered in New York, took the concept a step further in a campaign they developed for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. Working with Gowalla, the company dropped 250 pairs of virtual tickets at promising venues within 75 miles of the Izod Center (the Nets’ home arena), redeemable at the event. In addition, all the fans at the Izod Center were given the opportunity to check in via Gowalla at half-time for a chance to win Nets jerseys. Throughout the campaign, Vayner saw a surge of buzz on Twitter before, during, and after the game and interacted with fans who picked up the tickets via the same medium.
To the unitiated, the results don’t see that stellar; only 76 tickets were scooped up, which works out to be 15.2% of them. But there were a number of contributing factors:
- The NJ Nets is one of the worst teams in the NBA, and attendance at home games is often poor
- The game was held on a Monday night
- The Izod Center is not easy to get to from NYC. The commute by public transport requires both a train and a shuttle and takes about 45 minutes.
On the positive side:
- If this had been a direct mail campaign, the expectation would have been for average results, or a 2% response
- The seats were unsold anyway
- Those 76 people who came no doubt spent some money at the arena
- The Twitter buzz created some good word-of-mouth branding
- Use of geotagging and Twitter proved to be a good combination for event-related marketing campaigns
- It was a relatively cheap way to run a campaign
- The strategy can be instituted by any business and would not necessarily have to include the services of an agency
Vayner Media has posted this as a case study. To see the slideshow, click here.