Foursquare product and business development managers listen up; I’ve got a great idea for you!
Idea: Restaurants and retail locations should partner with Foursquare to offer DYM “Defend Your Mayorship” time-boxed discounts
Foursquare released a feature in late August 2010 that shows users how many days away they are from becoming mayor of a venue upon checking in. While this provided motivation for the mayor-seeking user (intrinsic competition motivation is powerful) it left me wondering what could be used to motivate the current mayor to visit the venue again, quickly, to protect their mayorship. Foursquare’s mayor specials (more below) offer incentives to current mayors to visit the venue; however, they lack the sense of urgency needed to retain a mayorship.
Foursquare mayor specials are becoming more commonplace as brands adopt the platform as a marketing and engagement tool. Starbucks was the first to offer a such a promotion by offering a $1 discount on the purchase of a Frappucino to the mayor of that specific Starbucks in May 2010. Since then many other brands have followed (a simple Google search will show many results). The problem with these mayor specials is that while they do drive brand loyalty they do not drive immediate and time-boxed sales for the venue.
The solution: “Defend Your Mayorship” specials!
Simple premise: if a user is within X days (assume 1) of becoming mayor upon check in then Foursquare sends an email and push alert to the current mayor advising them of the potential mayoral threat and offering them an instant X% (assume 10%) discount to visit the venue within X hours (assume 24).
The DYM concept would conceivably shorten the revenue cycle time for mayor purchases since they would feel compelled to defend their mayorship by visiting again quickly (it would be interesting to see the data around mayor checkin cycles for specific venues). This is a potential double-win for the venue as the mayor-seeking user will be compelled to visit quickly in order to capture the mayor title and the current mayor, while potentially loyal to multiple similar venues, would visit the in-danger venue first to maintain their mayorship. The time-boxed coupon offering adds a sense of urgency and reward to the DYM concept.
What do you think of this idea? Let me know in the comments!