When Foursquare was first introduced at SXSW in 2009, the response was overwhelmingly positive. The crowd began checking in to Austin bars, restaurants, hotels, and more, aiming to earn the app’s infamous badges and mayorships.Now, several years and SXSWs later, things have only continued to evolve.
We’re proud of our check-in app roots, but are even more excited about how we’re helping businesses industry-wide unlock greater opportunities using location data. As our CEO and President Gary Little says, “We’re not the Foursquare most people know — and that’s a good thing.”
Location data is essential to powering innovation for businesses across virtually every vertical, and that’s what we deliver to leading brands such as Amazon, Apple, Uber, Airbnb, Twitter, and Samsung.
SXSW is an opportunity to think about what comes next, so let’s take a closer look at the future and how location data is expected to play a critical role.
The Location Data Era is here
This year’s SXSW theme of “Discovering the Undiscovered” is based on the idea that cutting-edge tech — combined with creativity — can solve complex problems and improve the human experience. We believe location data, used in the right way, is capable of just that, and that the “Location Data Era” has arrived.
In our fast-paced, tech-driven society, what people experience in the real world and the places they go are powerful reflections of who they are and what they care about. Their patterns provide key intel to build personal connections and drive informed business decisions.
Location data has become a core ingredient for driving actionable business intelligence and building sustainable consumer loyalty. At the rate that businesses are evolving, failing to implement a location-based strategy will mean being left behind.
Customized consumer interactions are a must
Where tailored consumer experiences were once a nice-to-have, today they’re non-negotiable to stay relevant and competitive. Customers expect brands to personalize their interfaces and touchpoints. This creates a demand for more meaningful customer interactions to drive favorable business outcomes. Whether on a device or in-person, the future is all about experiences.
To build memorable brand experiences, businesses must have accurate data to build upon. That’s why we help power the core search, discovery, and map-building features that make apps more useful and engaging in the age of digitization.
It’s no longer enough for brands to make assumptions about consumers and the competitive landscape; instead, real-time intelligence is needed to help drive informed decisions and sound investments. From consumer behavior analysis to market analysis, predictive models and more, location data is critical to unlocking the answers companies need to move forward.
Driving data-based user experiences
Foursquare is the world’s leading platform for understanding people, places, and the interactions between them. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to connect brands with information to make the user experience more inviting, engaging, and lucrative. We help businesses understand what kind of data they need and how to put it to work for them.
Aside from enriching consumer experiences, location data insights can help companies predict consumer behavior in the coming months. Solutions like Unfolded, our geospatial analytics and visualization tool, help determine where and when to reach a target audience based on real-life insights, thereby creating more informed:
- Product launches
- Marketing and advertising positioning
- Growth efforts
- Site selection
- Competitive analysis
- Solutions for pain points
Foursquare’s independent technology harnesses the power of 14 billion verified location data points and a map of 100 million unique points-of-interest around the world. We’ve touched billions of people and constructed meaningful bridges between digital spaces and physical places.
Addressing the opportunities of tomorrow, responsibly
Now is the time to springboard off our legacy of deep technical innovations to address the opportunities of tomorrow. As areas like mobile computing, e-commerce, smart logistics, autonomous vehicles, and AR/VR evolve, we’re seeing an even greater demand for real-time location intelligence and data analytics. One way we’re answering the call for future-focused innovation is by manifesting Foursquare Everywhere: a singular source — both from a technology and a data perspective — for companies to harness the power of location to fuel innovation in their businesses.
But we can’t discuss consumer data without addressing privacy and protection. We continue to invest in and prioritize our privacy-first infrastructure, ensuring that the privacy of both our customers and end users are always protected.
We also support regulation for a meaningful, comprehensive federal privacy law to establish deeper trust in the technology sector. We recognize privacy in technology as another area for forward-thinking innovation and growth. Our latest Privacy Center outlines our refreshed policies, company stance and options available to customers.
With all this in mind, we hope you’re excited for this year’s SXSW Conference, as well as our collective power to create innovative solutions for a better world. Stay tuned to see where the power of location will take us and businesses everywhere as you move through the world at SXSW and beyond.