Bizzy plans to start running Facebook and Google ads today that target the soon-to-be-defunct Whrrl's 600,000-plus users. The company told ClickZ its Facebook ads (see images below) will zero in on the geo-social brand's 2,500 Facebook "likers," while Google users querying the site for "Whrrl" will see search ads.
And Bizzy's pitch is most interesting: We not only want you to download our iPhone/Android app, but we also want you to bring your Whrrl check-in data along for the ride.
While announcing last week that its Mountain View, CA-based firm was sold to Groupon, Whrrl also stated that its users could take their check-ins information and other data with them. Bizzy wants them to import their data for its six-week-old app that is designed to make ad-hoc-styled "check out" recommendations for places, such as restaurants and bars. Those data imports would occur as a zip file downloaded from Whrrl.com and then uploaded to Bizzy.com, which will host the information for the mobile app.
Bizzy app users express their takes on establishments by tapping either a "happy face" or "sad face" icon next to a business listing. That data is processed by a so-called recommendations algorithm, which will ultimately make suggestions for eateries, watering holes, etc.
There is a bit of a hitch in the data transfer, though, as Whrrl users who check in at a restaurant or bar do not necessarily distinguish if they enjoy it or not.
"Let's say you have 200 [Whrrl] check-ins," said Ryan Kuder, marketing VP for Bizzy. "We are going to start out by assuming that you like those places." He went on to explain that users can go through their list of places and hit the "sad face" icon to show such establishments are actually not recommended.
On the privacy level, all Bizzy mobile users opt in to making their information public when they download the app. So when Whrrl users come onboard, Kuder said, they should understand that their data will be used to serve recommendations for local businesses.
While Bizzy is attempting to seize the opportunity of attracting Whrrl users, Kuder added, "We don't view this as a make-or-break [initiative]."
Major Whrrl Partner Eyes Foursquare, Gowalla, and Scvngr
On April 30, Groupon will shutter Whrrl, which is owned by Seattle-based Pelago. Therefore, Whrrl brand partners like Murphy USA, Red Bull, Marie Callender's, and Kibbles 'n Bits will have to test their mobile offers on other platforms, such as Foursquare, Facebook Places, Scvngr, and Gowalla.
ClickZ spoke with Casey Petersen, social media manager for Murphy USA, about where his brand will go next. "We are working on getting things set up on Foursquare right now," he said. "But we are also looking at how we can do something unique and valuable for our customers through Gowalla and Scvngr. We are sort of evaluating all the different players."
Petersen gave a presentation at South by Southwest Interactive last month about his brand getting a 1 percent sales lift for Coke products while employing Whrrl. His El Dorado, AK-based firm runs 1,000 gas stations that are near Wal-Marts in the Midwest and Bible Belt.
"I think geo-social is good for us, and it's good for our vendor partners like Coke," Petersen said. "We want to use these technologies to give our customers something of value. While I love the idea of badges and the brand synergy you get with them, at the end of the day, we are known for value and the best gas prices. But this space is in its infancy. So if you can do something creative…it's wide open."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014