Foursquare Set To Sell Check-In Data For Ad Retargeting
As reported earlier this month, Foursquare has been working to woo agencies and big brand advertisers. Now, a leaked presentation deck picked up by Valleywag shows how the profit-challenged company is pitching two new advertising products that leverage its location-based data.
The first product, set to launch in May, is Check-In Retargeting, which would allow advertisers to target users outside of the Foursquare app for the first time. Users’ Foursquare check-in data will be aggregated and sold to ad exchanges for retargeting on external platforms including Facebook’s FBX. Using demographic and check-in data, Foursquare claims advertisers can target personas such as the “Mobile Mass Market Moms”: women ages 25-54 that have checked-in at a school, park or kid’s movie in the last 180 days and a retail location in the last 30 days.
According to the deck, Foursquare is seeking current clients with budgets of $50 to $75 thousand that are also willing to “mutually share campaign learnings.” Advertisers need to come on-board with existing ad creative, as well.
The second product is set to launch in beta in late June or early July. Post Check-In Units are contextually-served ads that stay within the Foursquare app. The units appear right after users check-in and will be priced on a CPC basis. Oddly, the creative requirement is to have a strong call-to-action “as the algorithm will monitor performance based on user interaction with ads (clicks) to ensure messaging is relevant.” However, in the example given in the deck (shown below) — for vodka after someone checks into a nightclub — no CTA appears.
Foursquare claims 50 million monthly unique users and a trove of 3.5 billion check-ins as well as access to data from over 40,000 developers that integrate Foursquare’s location database in their apps, such as Instagram and Evernote. The question is whether agencies and big brands will see enough value in Foursquare’s data to give the company the significant revenue it needs to cover investors’ latest $41 million loan and set it on a solid path toward profit. Resistance from users will also be something to watch as they discover their check-in data is being sold to the highest bidder.