There is a lot going on in online media on the East Coast evidenced by the panel on geolocation here at the Internet Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina, sponsored by TechMedia and Southern Capital Ventures. Geolocation continues to be major news given the press coverage of Gowalla, Foursquare, Google and Facebook, which are all chasing the best solution. While an ever increasing number of players continue to move into the space, geolocation remains a growing category as business models are continuing to be developed and consumer needs are finally being recognized.
Simon Salt, CEO of IncSlingers, made the point that “geolocation needs to get beyond check-ins because they are not the end game. Check-ins are merely the portal to engagement and we need to decide what the end deliverable will be.”
Amy Dalton, senior director of marketing for Topix, said that “people are experiencing check-in fatigue where they can’t possibly check in with all the services they have signed up for.”
Salt shared one creative solution addressing check-in fatigue: “POS America is utilizing loyalty cards as a way for automatically enabling check-ins each time the loyalty card is swiped.”
When asked what it will take for geolocation to take hold, Chad Reed, director of field marketing for Whrrl, supported the idea that “marketers need to bring real value to the consumer in the form of deals, offers and meaningful promotions before geolocation will take hold and move beyond early adopters.”
What may move geolocation forward is a broader definition of location. Salt put forth the idea that “location is more than a physical location; it’s a TV show, it’s a store, it’s an event. This is how Facebook will extend how location will be defined.”
The consensus of the panel was that the combination of better smartphone handsets, a new definition of location and the addition of more tangible consumer value — be that promotions, coupons or unique events — will be the main factors going forward that will define the success of geolocation.