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Forrester urges caution on location-based platforms

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Is Foursquare the mobile marketing flavor of the month or a future tried-and-true direct marketing and promotional platform? Forrester Research took a cautious look at it and similar services in its July 27 report on location-based social networks.

“Marketers need to know what audiences can be reached with these services, which companies – if any – area ready for prime time, and whether LBSNs align with business objectives,” analyst Melissa Parrish said in the report's summary. “Forrester recommends that bold, male-targeted marketers start testing but that most marketers should wait until they can get a bigger bang for their buck, when adoption rates increase and established players emerge from the fray.”

Forrester notes up front that the number of consumers using location-based social networks is small – only 4% of US online adults – but those consumers are also more influential. Nearly four in 10 (38%) are more likely than the average US online adult to say that friends and family ask their opinions before making a purchase decision. The report adds that event marketers, retail storefronts and online tools that facilitate offline interaction should keep a close eye on the location-based platforms.

Earlier this month, DMNews also asked two industry experts to square off on whether location-based marketing is a “must have” for brands. Click here to see what they had to say.

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