While those tuned into the industry know good and well that innovative marketing potential exists in LBS apps like Foursquare, it’s easy to forget the audience for such apps is very small in comparison. Such is the tone of a new study published by Forrester.
The study found that only 4% of the adult, Internet-using population has used any kind of location-based service, and just 1% of all adults check into a location at least once a week. By contrast, more than 11% of Online adults have used Twitter, and an estimated 28% of all Internet users have signed up for Facebook. Diving deeper into the demographics of LBS apps, the study found that users are likely to be 19- to 35-year-old, college-educated males who are “influential among their friends and family.”
These users generally do a lot of mobile-based web research when considering making a purchase, from a refrigerator or a car to a movie ticket or dinner at a restaurant, the report notes. Their average household income is right around the six-figure mark as well — around $20,000 higher than consumers who don’t use an LBS. While the audience of such apps may be small, it’s a prime sample to market to based on these findings.
Forrester warns that while expecting huge returns from marketing via LBS apps, early adopters are prime to take advantage of the medium — using Starbucks recent campaign with Foursquare as a prime example. “Starbucks, by connecting its existing loyalty program to a startup LBSN, got not only great press initially but also the opportunity to test an emerging technology. Adventurous marketers like Starbucks see a consumer market of early adopters that will hopefully grow into a new and active audience.”