LIL 2013: Foursquare’s Steven Rosenblatt Stresses Importance of Local Data

Last week at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local Conference, Foursquare CRO Steven Rosenblatt outlined some of the company’s current initiatives. These are mostly built on the premise that lots of underlying technology is disrupting the old ways of local advertising beyond recognition.

Specifically Foursquare’s DNA — seen in most of the things it’s currently working on — comes back to three main use cases.

1. Social intent: Finding friends, and sharing location/status

2. Local search: moving into utility  for finding things locally

3. Discovery: a billion check-ins lets Foursquare uncover nearby stuff that you’ll find interesting, or save you money.

On the saving money point, one of the many ways Foursquare is moving towards monetization is to infuse deals with social and local discovery. This makes a lot of sense because these factors all come together nicely in the context of high-intent mobile local search & discovery.

This has played out so far with card linked offers from Amex. Foursquare recently carried this forward with a similar deal with Mastercard. This should boost the deal density and get the ball rolling for attractiveness and acclimation — which lead into higher user adoption and retention.

On the merchant end, it’s also doing interesting things like offering deals that can only be discovered and redeemed using Foursquare. Guactober was a promotion at a hip NYC  restaurant, in which check-ins unlocked deals for exclusive menu items.

Meanwhile, all of its check-ins and venue content have been a valuable data source on which other companies have built local discovery apps. These include VenueLabs, Yext, WhereToGetIt, and Hootsuite — each using the Foursquare API in different ways.

Along those lines, Rosenblatt announced for the first time that Foursquare will launch a directory of content partners on its website. Anyone interested in using the API can go here to see the interesting things others have built around it.

“Local disruption is here,” said Rosenblatt. “Use the APIs at your disposal. Real time is the future of local so if we can do things that help businesses in real time, and do the right thing for consumers, everyone wins.”

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