Geolocation services will be part of mobile marketing future

Neither of Foursquare's cofounders are mayor of Foursquare's office in New York.

Neither of Foursquare's cofounders are mayor of Foursquare's office in New York.

“It doesn't mean we don't go to work,” said Foursquare cofounder Naveen Selvadurai at a digital roundtable event hosted by PRWeek in New York on Thursday.

Humor aside, Selvadurai discussed the company's short but swift history since launching roughly two years ago, how the “check-in” geolocation service launched before it was a legally registered business, and what might be ahead as the platform evolves organically and businesses and brands want a piece of the action.

Geolocation services such as Foursquare, and including Facebook Places and SCVNGR, are still in very infant stages. But clearly as marketing follows consumers to their smartphones, a brand's ability to engage, reward, and communicate with consumers and their greater social networks through a mobile phone app is noteworthy.

The PR potential is both amazing and scary. After all, consumer conversations, whether it is good or bad for a brand, can spread at light speed over social networks.

But if mobile is where it's at in innovation, services, and marketing, geolocation is sure to be a part of that equation moving forward. Businesses and their PR teams would be wise to take a close look at how they can utilize geolocation services like Foursquare.

Looking ahead, Selvaduari said Foursquare hopes to build better self-service tools into the platform so brands can manage their “check-in” locations.

And finally, just in case you were wondering, yes, Selvaduari's mom does use Foursquare.

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