My friend, Patric Welch (aka Mr. Noobie), writes an occasional blog feature he calls Technology I’d Like to See (TILTS). I liked it so much that I steal the idea from time to time, and share the occasional TILTS idea I have, to see if I can get the parties involved to actually make it happen.
We’re starting to see how some geo-location services, like Geoloqi (in closed beta), will automatically perform services for you based on you just entering a specific location, like check you into a Foursquare location if you have been there for more than 10 minutes, or send you an SMS note the next time you go to a grocery store.
My point is, geo-location is becoming the hot new social networking service for consumers, and savvy marketers are already taking advantage of it. Check in at a restaurant, and you could get a discount off your dinner. Stop in at a bookstore, and you may get a notice that your favorite author has a new book coming out.
So here’s my TILTS idea:
I would like to see one of these coupon services, like Groupon or Restaurant.com, sell on-the-spot coupons, through Foursquare, Gowalla, or any of the other geo-location services. If I check in to a restaurant that has a Restaurant.com coupon, I want the option to buy the coupon right there, and be able to redeem it from my phone.
Currently, if I buy a Restaurant.com coupon, I have to print it out and give it to them. And if I’m already in a restaurant, then printing out the coupon is not an option. But what if I could share a coupon with a custom ID number (or bar code or QR code) that the server can enter into the computer, and it will honor the coupon, and insure I can’t cheat and use it again? (A local coupon provider, Coupons4Indy already has one-time mobile coupons you can redeem, so I know this can be done.)
This way, sites like Groupon.com and Restaurant.com can take advantage of the growing geo-location trend, marketers will have more ways to improve the ROI of their social media efforts, and the consumer benefits by finding surprise deals at their favorite restaurant.
What do you think? Can you think of a way to improve this? Or where are the flaws that you see? And if you’re from any of the coupon or geo-location services, what do you think? Is this even doable? And do you need my mailing address to send me a finder’s fee?