Why Forrester Got It Wrong on Location-Based Social Networks
If there's one thing that really gets my blood boiling, it's when analysts get it wrong. Dead wrong. In fact the advice is so bad, one has to wonder if the top tier location-based social networks forgot to send in their retainer checks to Forrester last month.
Obviously, when an analyst firm like Forrester forms an opinion on a subject, the masses listen. Which is why their analysis is all the more frustrating. Especially when the basic facts are wrong. Here’s an example:
“The market is quite nascent, with only a few million consumers using geolocation apps monthly”. Wrong. Have they stopped basic fact checking? The latest figures are as follows:
- FourSquare 2,500,000 users
- Gowalla 390,000 users
- BrightKite 2,200,000 users
- Loopt 4,000,000 users
- Yelp 2,000,000 users
- Where.com 3,000,000 users
- Booyah (MyTown) 2,500,000 users
Sure, some of the users are on 2 or more networks, but that percentage is probably in the 25% - 35% range max.
An example of a bad conclusion: “Forrester recommends that bold, male-targeted marketers start testing but that most marketers should wait until they can get a bigger bang for their buck, when adoption rates increase and established players emerge from the fray.”
I am shocked by the shortsightedness of that statement. It reminds me of the same cynics who, in the early days of social networks, said that social networks will be limited to male uber-geeks and not to participate because this ‘fad will die.’ They were very wrong then, and Forrester is wrong now.
In fact, the opposite conclusion should be reached. Those marketers that are targeting location based social networks (LBSN) can act now to get ahead of the curve. Whether they like it or not, their business is being rated, reviewed, trashed or praised. And Forrester believes businesses shouldn’t participate?Continued on the next page