It's been a while since I checked-in, so to speak, with Foursquare data but a recent Ad Age guest post about Black Friday got me curious. GroupM Search CEO Chris Copeland uttered the damning phrase "the beginning of the end" about Foursquare and some anecdotes from his experience in St. Louis. His point: Foursquare only matters in tech-heavy coastal cities and fails to resonate with Walmart Nation.
After Black Friday 2010, Ad Age and our friends at Trendrr were the first to report on actual Foursquare check-in data to see which retailers were hitting the mark in this new channel. Walmart was consistently a top-checked-in retailer week-after-week, but especially on Black Friday. So, we decided to check the numbers this year.
Now, Mr. Copeland is right that Foursquare doesn't have near the scale and reach of Facebook, but we're not buying that its the beginning of the end for Foursquare. We think it's still the beginning. Here's why.
First off, Walmart was third in total retail check-ins Thanksgiving week:
|MARKETER||CHECK-INS (THANKSGIVING WEEK)|
While Foursquare's audience isn't all of America whereas Walmart's customer base is , there's clearly an intersection and resonance between the two. The numbers show that Walmart continues its dominance as a top-tier retailer on Foursquare, right up there with barista-badge-bestowing Starbucks.
Second, the retail giant also showed an especially strong surge nationwide on Black Friday. I say nationwide because the top DMAs for check-ins were not necessarily where you'd think. New York trails Atlanta and Dallas, coming in just ahead of big techie cities like ... Orlando, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay?!?
Cleveland, a market not entirely unlike St. Louis (both are industrial, mid-market, mid-western cities with baseball teams I dislike) also makes the top 10.
It's easy for us big city folks to look around and think that everyone has a smart phone, but as of July, Pew was reporting just one in three U.S. adults owned one of these shiny devices. While that 's no doubt gone up, there's a lot of the national market that either doesn't have one or is still new to the concept. The overall check-in numbers have grown a lot in the last year. As the audience grows, so will marketer's deal-giving and consumer's deal-craving interest.
And with that , I'm headed to the new Qdoba Mexican Grill next door to check in and claim my free burrito.
For more about Trendrr, see its site.