Offering incentives when you engage with a brand is not new. It has been happening since the Middle Ages when Kings would give gold coins to those that brought him letters from the battlefield. These days brands are trying to use the mobile phone to engage with customers. One particular service that I believe is the buzz of 2010 is check-in services like Facebook Places, Foursquare, and Gowalla (I’m sure there are others please list them in the comments below.) Any venue you go to, you take your cell phone out of your pocket/purse (ignore your friends or SO) and check-in…com’on all geeks like me do it. First it was all about telling the world where you were (scary), then it was about becoming the Mayor (for whatever reason) and now it is finally making sense – venues/brands now provide incentives once you check-in. Whether it is a free appetizer at a restaurant or perhaps 10% off at a clothing store, these are what real consumers are asking for. It’s almost similar to the frequent diner card where if you get 10 stamps you get a free drink, now instead of a paper card it is eco-friendly via a mobile app.
Foursquare has had the ability for businesses/venues to add incentives for a while now. I haven’t used or received any myself because most places I check-in too aren’t as geeky as me. My friend Cory Fossum from Fossum Creative had a few thoughts on Facebook Deals which was just announced. Listen to the video below by Cory and comment on where you think this technology and potential consumer adoption is going.