Broadway marketers have finally harnessed the power of Facebook. A Twitter campaign for last season’s musical Next to Normal was so successful that it earned a Webby Award nomination. Now, with Foursquare gaining so much buzz, it is time or Broadway’s 21st century Mad Men to boldly go where the internet’s trendsetters are now playing, location-based applications.
“In this next year, there will be a lot of movement on this notion of connecting with people based on where they are,” said Damian Bazadona, president of Situation Interactive, the digital marketing agency behind the Next to Normal Twitter campaign. “To me, the opportunity is that moment when someone walks in or out of a venue, when they are in their high, to capture their high. Foursquare provides that opportunity.”
That opportunity comes in the form of more than one million Foursquare users, a number that recently increased by nearly 25,000 users over a single weekend, according to a tweet sent out by the company. As users continue checking in to venues around the city, conversations amongst their social networks now include recommendations for restaurants, bars and movies, a trend that both local and national companies are beginning to harness.
Foursquare rolled out a business dashboard last month, a new aspect to their service allowing venue owners to track activity involving their businesses. Once someone has been verified by the service as a venue’s purveyor, they are given access to real-time venue statistics, including information about the most recent and frequent visitors, peak check-in times, gender breakdown of customers and which users send their Foursquare check-in information to their Twitter and Facebook feeds — a digital word of mouth.
And word of mouth is something marketing agencies are eager to track and ultimately control, especially with it accounting for 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions, according to a new study by McKinsey & Company, a leading global consulting firm. In an attempt to measure word-of-mouth effectiveness, the research found that a message from the elite group of influencers — eight to ten percent of consumers fall into this category — is four times more powerful in swaying a recipient’s purchasing decision.