New York’s most itterative location based social network likes to pitch itself as the modern day loyalty card, so it makes sense that it would want to offer its users deals and discounts when they check in. But rather than building out an extensive sales force, it has been adding deals from companies like LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, AT&T, Zozi and Groupon.
Now foursquare is partnering with Atlanta based Scoutmob to add another 500 local deals in 13 American cities. “Of all the deal integrations we’ve done, the Scoutmob partnership most closely aligns with our own Specials format, where no payment is required to redeem deals spontaneously” said Tristan Walker, Director of Business Development at foursquare.
Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley often talks about how he wanted the service to help people get away from their computers. Scoutmob co-founder Michael Tavani echoes that statement, noting that, “From day one, we’ve been utilizing a user’s location as a form of currency. That has allowed us to flip the traditional ‘pay upfront’ deal model on its head. Our thought is that locals should impulsively explore their cities; having to pay upfront for a deal doesn’t really allow that behavior.”
Union Square Ventures Andy Weissman had a blog post today about the fundamental ways in which web advertising is broken, largely because it borrowed its form from print. He hopes a golden age of internet marketing may soon be upon us, if companies learn how to build products that match the natural experience of using their service. Deals for places users check in seems like a strong example of this new kind of well integrated local marketing. The question is how much revenue can it ultimately drive to foursquare, which is rapidly expanding its head count on the east and west coast.