The location-based check-in service is to ramp up the rate at which it signs major brand partnerships. To this end, it is to increase the number of staff in its office from two to six people over the coming months, with the new roles focusing purely on brand and merchant partnership opportunities.
It is also looking to expand the number of additional business development roles elsewhere in Western Europe in countries such as Germany.
The company hopes that increasing the number of deals and marketing campaigns it runs with major brands, retailers and media companies will raise more awareness of FourSquare and persuade lapsed users to give the service another try and sample its new features.
Previously inked UK partnerships include those with American Express, -which featured deals from retailers and restaurants such as Tesco, Nando’s and House of Fraser – Npower and Manchester City.
Speaking to Marketing Week at FourSquare’s San Francisco office, Holger Luedorf, vice president and head of business development, says: “A lot of people consider [FourSquare] to be where you earn badges or check in but with [new functions such as] Explore, lists, offers [and so on] people realise there’s a ton of utility in FourSquare.
“We are trying to shift the mindset of users to try us again as we have moved forward.”
By next year FourSquare will be introducing additional ad products it is currently piloting in the US over to Europe as it looks to sign up more major brands with the platform in the region.
Such formats include “Promoted Products”, which works in a similar way to Google AdWords and allows brands to associate themselves with search terms such as “restaurant” or “iPad” to appear in the Explore section of the FourSquare app and site. The section gives users guidance on places to visit in the local area and offers information such as whether their friends have already checked-in at the location and left tips.
FourSquare has also recently rolled out the ability for merchants to be able to target users for free who have previously checked in to their business with special offers that are relevant to those customers.
Luedorf says brands not only benefit in terms of reach by running campaigns on FourSquare, but they also have access to data from those users who are opted in, which can help them analyse at which of their outlets people check in the most and get a good sense of CTR for their sites or deals.