Smart Location-Based Marketing By Home Depot

Update: Sigh — turns out Ben was just larking around — my dreams are crushed. Still, even though this was a prank (#DammitLucier!), this is the sort of things that retailers who are starting to play around with location-based loyalty marketing should be considering.

Just saw this photo on my friend Ben Lucier’s Posterous site – hardware retailer Home Depot reserved a parking spot for him at his local store in the “Pro” parking section. Why? Because he was the mayor.

Smart way to reward their most loyal customer (well, the most loyal customer using Foursquare, anyway) with something that has zero cost to Home Depot but a nice benefit for the customer, all the while encouraging other people to compete for that benefit.

  • Hey bud, did you see my follow-up tweets? I put my own sign up over top of the “Pro Parking” spots. But that doesn’t change the fact that retailers with spots to spare could totally gamify/reward the offline retailing experience for customers.
    I think as services like Foursquare become more popular, we’re going to see some pretty cool things happen… and I won’t have to bring my own signs with me!

  • It’s funny to see that! [In my own head] I was planning a Foursqaure takeover when I was at Home Depot 14 months ago, but not at all like this.

    What works with Ben’s idea though is that it perfectly rewards the most frequent customer.

    There aren’t many Home Depot customers who don’t drive to the store every visit, and the pro contractor who is there 4 mornings a week in his truck will appreciate having a spot reserved whoever is the current foursquare mayor.

    Although the store couldn’t know ahead of time who would be checking in
    & becoming the new mayor, it would be even more compelling to leave
    the best spot in the lot always reserved for the current mayor,
    encouraging a drive-by drop-in & check-in!

    • You could probably do something hi-tech to pull and display the current mayor’s avatar if you wanted to take it to the extreme!

      • Yep. Zoom Media’s already doing display advertising in the bathrooms of bars and restaurants. Wouldn’t be a stretch to see them do this sort of thing, Dave.