Thursday, 29 July 2010

Foursquare, location based services and all that jazz

Foursquare and location based services are all the rage in marketing town these days, and a few interesting articles were just released about it. Notably Forrester pleased me in advising marketers that only a tiny portion of people in the US (1% of online adults) were currently using LBS and who are mostly male, so most brands should probably experiment without committing too much resource.

I ran an interesting qualitative research group on Facebook recently with a group of 10 UK 18-24 young adults, heavy Internet users. Only one had an Foursquare account, had already stopped using it and the others either hadn't heard of it or thought it was stupid. I know it's not large numbers but their remarks were very interesting.

A response article on Adage says how important it is for brands to get on the bandwagon now because even though the user base is small, they are very influential.

I was in the middle of a pompous and boring write-up about my thoughts on the topic and decided to delete it all when I came across this fantastic image from Gamefan84 on BoingBoing:

Speechless now, eh?

Basically the gist of it was please stop answering vague marketing problems by shouting out the latest popular thing, as so:

Q: How can I sell more of my product to this age group?
A: Foursquare / Twitter / Facebook / Whatever's next

However many users they have and however cool their technology is (Don't get me wrong, I love all this stuff), none of these platforms, or even channels to a wider extent, are the answers. Just like a poster concept isn't the answer either. Everything is connected now, so answering the problem requires a wider view of the media landscape and coming up with a good idea before getting in the nitty-gritty of channels and platforms.

May the vengeful giant mutant squirrel riding Chewbacca come after your asses if you keep at it.

You know who you are.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


I had quite a lot of things going on lately but blogging has not been one of them so time to stop lazing around on that front. The two or three faithful readers I have left will certainly be interested in being kept up to date about my ever so exciting life.

I remember sitting with my little brother Morgan in his garden, basking in the Bolivian summer night late on New year's Eve 2009, talking about the past year. I felt a bit jealous: a year before that he'd just got back from a few months in New York and we spent Christmas with our family in Toulouse. Right after he moved in with his girlfriend in Paris, the following month they moved together to Bolivia and he started a completely new job as an assistant teacher there. A couple of months later she was pregnant; now they had a beautiful little baby girl. So much had changed for him in 2009.

My year seemed meaningless in comparison - regardless of the fact I had a good year: moved to central London to be in walking distance to work, went to SXSWi, went out a lot more, attended many social media / marketing / planning type events / drinks, made new friends, worked on some fairly big and challenging projects at work (Unfortunately the largest went bust), had just hiked the Inca Trail, and spent time on Lake Titicaca and in the Bolivian jungle.

So anyhoo, some change seems to be coming my way this year.

About a month ago my flatmate announced he was leaving to move in with his girlfriend, I decided to move too. The awesome flat by the river I wanted didn't work out so I'm moving in my brother's spare room for a little while. Fortunately, I'll still be in walking distance from work.

iris announced a major restructure to merge the main agency and the digital side amongst a few other changes to make the whole agency leaner, more digitally and strategically focused. Unfortunately, quite a few people will be made redundant and we are in the middle of the process which will last until mid-August. Following a big pitch and my Birthday on Monday, I had news about that Tuesday and Friday last week.

A few weeks ago I was at old family friends non-wedding celebration in Portugal, which was amazing. It was also great to catch up with a bunch of friends from France I hadn't seen in a long time. It's going to be six years I've been in London next month and I'm starting to think it might be soon time to move back to France. No hurries, but it's on my mind now.

All in all I'm glad to be living in interesting times and I'll keep you updated more often.

PS: Not sure the poster of Frantic is the really most appropriate for the post, my life is not as dramatic as that, but it's still an awesome movie. Check it out if you've never seen it.