I just found out about something really cool Foursquare is doing. Prior to their current promotions, people were merely asked to “check-in” to shops. This meant that they only had information about where it was that they were. That was it!
Now they are trying something much more powerful. Users will be asked to put in their Safeway club card number when they check in. What does this mean? First of all, it makes sure that check in’s are in a sense validated as a customer. The store already has an ID that tracks you as an individual. As mentioned in the article it will help foursquare push out the possibility of employees checking in maliciously. Foursquare will also have the times you like to check in to these locations. Your rewards will come from your behavior.
This focus on the consumer’s behavior is what is important and more interesting. Location tracking devices will give marketers a much better understanding of their consumer’s trends. As more and more people check in to these locations, larger patterns will emerge. College professors in the near future will be writing papers using data aggregated from the social networking space. Foursquare totally just took the cake for innovation and look forward to other behavior experiments.