By now many marketers have probably played around Foursquare or Gowalla or know someone who has. For the uninitiated, these are location-based mobile applications that allow people to “check in” from stadiums, bars and bookstores and compete for “mayorship,” collect badges and share tips. They are practical, addicting and lots of fun. Users of these services number in the hundreds of thousands today. That’s small by national advertiser standards, but it’s significant for many local advertisers, which are offering discounts to frequent visitors and offers to people who are physically nearby. This is a trend in local marketing worth noting because it promises to give national advertisers the opportunity to conjure up or attach to an emotion among smaller niche groups.
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