Geolocating Your Face Off!

When I first heard about Gowalla I went to their website, watched the introduction video, and I was a little confused. It wasn’t until about a month later — when more of my friends were using it — that I understood it. Now, I’m pretty much hooked!

I won’t go in to great depth about what Gowalla (and other services, like Whrrl and Foursquare) is, but I’ll give you a quick description: Basically, when you ‘check-in’ to a location (Example: The Museum of Contemporary Art or Bondi Beach) it tells your friends (whom you choose), keeps a record of your check-ins, and occasionally gives you special badges (to make things fun).

Obviously, geolocation is hot right now, and businesses/brands have a ginormous opportunity to harness this to generate sales and interest in their products and/or services.

Yowza!! is a mobile application which uses the GPS in your iPhone/Android/Blackberry to show you deals and coupons at many stores/restaurants near you. Gowalla, Whrrl, and Foursquare have also started offering deals for checking-in a specific amount of times or becoming the ‘mayor’ of a particular location.

These types of offers and services are only going to explode more as 2010 rolls on. Many of these services are only about a year old and they’re already well-polished applications. If you were an early-adopter of Twitter, then you’ll know that even after its first birthday there were Fail Whales and Ice Cream Robots everywhere!

The team at Vaynermedia recently conducted a case study on geolocation using Gowalla and the New Jersey Nets basketball team. You can read and download the case study here.

I read the entire case study and was wowed by the facts, information, and the bloody sexy graphics on the slides.

While reading the case study I occasionally remembered back to high school when we created case studies. Though back then it probably wasn’t much fun; this case study by VaynerMedia looked like it was fun to conduct and design!

Unexpectedly, much of the case study was news to me. I figure the reason for this this is mostly because I don’t follow @Gowalla or @NetsBasketball on Twitter — hence, I didn’t even know this study was occurring.

Gowalla, Whrrl, and Foursquare did some pretty awesome stuff at SxSW 2010, and that got my mind swirling with ideas that could potentially be implemented into such applications. I have some pretty sweet ideas for my Mom’s book and business which will excite the people of Australia!

Back to the case study. If I received two Nets tickets in Gowalla I would probably consider going (if it was easily accessible via public transport; the stadium in the case study was supposedly a little difficult to get to) because I’ve never been to a basketball game in the USA. I don’t suppose it would be too different to a baseball or hockey game; loyal fans, uncomfortable seats, and — in my opinion — rather unhealthy/messy foods.

A quote by the Senior Director of Marketing at Nets Basketball in the case study mentioned that they’d hope to make lifetime fans of the Nets. This probably wouldn’t be the case if I won those free Nets tickets; I’m not that interested in sports, and I prefer to play them than watch them. I certainly know that I’m in the minority on that account though because this case study was quite positive and many of the winners were super happy with the experience.

I’m super-excited to see geolocation services continue to blossom (dude, I loved that TV show) and be adopted by more people.

I can’t wait to see the future case studies coming from VaynerMedia! If you haven’t read the one mentioned in this post, then go read it, yo!

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