Talking Social Local Mobile Commerce With Mike Schneider

Alan Belniakbusiness, Marketing, Social Media, technology1 Comment

On Tuesday, February 8, I attended a Babson Alumni Technology Council (BATC) breakfast event.  The topic was location-based marketing, and more specifically, SoLoMoCo.  Not only is it fun to say, but it stands for Social Local Mobile Commerce.  Mike Schneider (@SchneiderMike on Twitter) presented about an hour’s worth of content on the topic, and then fielded some great Q+A.  Mike is a local authority on the topic, since he (thankfully for us) lives nearby, and is also co-author of a book, Location-Based Marketing For Dummies.


Below are some notes I took, a few pictures, a short summary of the Q+A, and the embedded tweet stream.  We encouraged attendees to use the #BabsonBATC hashtag.


  • Mike opened with a funny video of him on #ScotchOClock
  • Mike used a pinball machine as an analogy for content dissemination today: the ball is the message, the plunger is how you get it out there, and the bumpers and other stuff on the playfield comprise the ‘things you want to hit’ – in this case, all forms of media (paid, earned, and owned).
  • Mike suggested that social media is one way where “people act like brands and brands act like people.”
  • Cool technology alert: Mike frequently referenced new or cool technology.  The first such instance was to a (relatively) new social network called Path.  You can read more here and here about Path.
  • When comparing the myriad social networks out there, Mike made this comparison: “Facebook is your personal People magazine.  Twitter is for people you want to get to know.  Google + is similar to Twitter – it’s like super-open Facebook.”
  • The underlying benefit of SoLoMoCo is that you can learn about customers and prospectsWays that  SoLoMoCo helps your business (via @SchneiderMike)
  • Such as: profession, age, interests, hometown, brands they like/dislike, influence level, social circle
  • Mike: “There’s social – and there’s socialer.”
  • Cool technology alert: Smarterer
  • Often times, when we’re out socially, people start with “So, what do you like?” People talk about interests, passions, etc.  And very frequently the next question is “So, what do you do?” (as in, for a living… for work).  So, if you can get to know a person on a fun/casual/personal level, it makes connecting with them on or about work one step easier.  And social can help that.
  • People express intent online  –> take advantage of it
  • “Flexibility is the enemy of analysis” – @SchneiderMike
  • Mike made a few points about why social is great, but the two that stuck with me the most were “location helps yield range and frequency”.  As in, if you’re a B2C brand and you want to determine who to target, look at where people are going and how far they’ll go (range), and what their checkin or purchase frequency is.  People (depending on the app/service) are telling you this.  You just need to make some sense of the data.
  • Cool technology alert: MOVL, GetGlue, Shazam (one Mike didn’t mention but I knew about: IntoNow)
  • Mike didn’t mention ShopKick until the Q+A, but I think it’s relevant in this part of the discussion, despite Mike being cool to the technology.
  • Cool technology alert: LevelUp.  Mike made the bold claim that “[this is] the best company at SoMoLoCo.”
  • Mike recited some LevelUp data.  I don’t have the slide, so if you’d like to see this in slide form or verify it, ping him on Twitter (see a link to his handle up top)
    • LevelUp’ers spend, on average, 5.4 times the ‘deal’ value (think of it as offering an 18% off coupon)
    • 60% of LevelUp-ers  return within one week to try something else (this is akin to unaided [or unassisted or on gifted or unrewarded] recall)
  • Oddly, there was a comment from the crowd: “Social doesn’t work in the B2C crowd because there’s no input mechanism.”  Mike disagreed instantly (as did I, silently), and cited that people complain or professionally interact with brands on Twitter, Facebook, and the like all the time.  Here’s one of my own interactions.


  • Mike moved into talking about the audience in SoLoMoCo.  He suggested that looking at audience size is bad.  What’s better is monthly active users.  And even better than that is monthly active users, by geography and segment.  Because you need to dig into the data to see what’s truly working and what isn’t.
  • Mike laid out The Golden Rules of LBM The Golden Rules of Location-Based Marketing, according to @SchneiderMike
    • stake your claim in the systems
    • connect with the mayors, dukes, etc.
    • test, learn, optimize
    • follow the Ben + Jerry’s rule [great offer, everyone can do it, repeatable, competitive]
    • do your best to make it a natural behavior
  • One post that I like about this is when the folks at SCVNGR made available their game mechanics that they use with their offering.  They publish it in a deck of sorts.  You can read more about that here.
  • Mike wrapped up with LevelUp’s four value propositions: attract customers, retain customers, provide deep customer analytics, and offer reduced interchange (the go-between fees for transaction processing)


  • An audience member asked, “This seems to be mostly B2C focused. Can you mention any B2B applications?”  Mike suggested that getting to know a potential purchaser outside of the work environment is good, so if that can be done on SoLoMoCo (each business is different), then great.  Some of Mike’s company’s customers include Waters and Millipore and Raymond (ping Mike for details).
  • I asked about the potential collision of four Google properties: local deals, Google+, Google Latitude, and search.  Might there be a passive checkin/LBM service there?  Mike recognized those components, but suggested that Google is still operating them too independently to make anything substantial happen.
  • Mike added that the digital wallet is/will be the key to success for any LBM program.  Truly using one’s phone or mobile digital device will start to bridge that gap.


Overall, I thought it was a great session.  This is a topic that really interests me, and I still learned a lot, since this space changes so fast.  Extra thanks to Mike for spending the morning with us.


Below is the tweet stream using the #BATC hashtag.  (if you’re viewing this via RSS or mobile, it might not show up – click out to see the full post)



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