Foursquare’s Location Analysis Digs Into Brand Preferences of Festival Attendees

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Crowd at concert

Thirty two million people attend music festivals each year in the U.S., and almost half of those attendees fall between the ages of 18 and 34. It’s a coveted demographic for brand marketers, as festival fans tend to be big spenders compared to the general public. As this year’s summer season winds down, the team at Foursquare dug into the location data generated by attendees at some of the country’s most popular music festivals and uncovered where these consumers are most likely to shop and eat.

“Since it’s the end of the summer, we thought it would be fun to dig into the data around music festivals and show how they attract different kinds of people,” said Foursquare president Steven Rosenblatt.

Location data is increasingly being used to market to consumers beyond traditional store walls. Whether the data comes from Foursquare or other competing location intelligence firms, it’s being used to demonstrate which mobile ads drive people to physical stores with real-time feedback.

“Brands can learn who their customers really are and what their brand affinities are, by tapping into Foursquare’s location intelligence on where people shop and dine,” Rosenblatt explained.

In its most recent analysis, Foursquare looked at where attendees at popular summertime music festivals like Coachella, Outside Lands, Governors Ball, and Bonnaroo shop, eat, and spend their leisure time. They then compared those data points to a panel of more than 1.3 million Foursquare users. (Members of the panel voluntarily agree to leave Foursquare’s location-sharing feature on at all times, even when they’re not using Foursquare or Swarm, the company’s companion app.)

So, what did they find? According to Foursquare, Coachella attendees are 121% more likely to visit Whole Foods, almost 350% more likely to eat at In-N-Out, and more than 8x more likely to visit SoulCycle, as compared to the company’s U.S. panel. Outside Lands attendees are 25x more likely to eat at Super Duper Burger, and somewhat surprisingly, 3x more likely to spend time at wineries.

Foursquare also looked at which stores were most frequented by people attending summer music festivals in the week prior to each festival. Urban Outfitters was the only store to appear twice on the list, showing up as the No. 1 most visited store by attendees at Coachella and Governors Ball. Concertgoers at Austin City Limits were more likely to visit Nordstrom, while Ultra fans flocked to Forever 21.

Even at a high level, this data can be used by brands and retailers to make decisions regarding where their marketing budgets should be spent and who, exactly, they’re reaching when they target consumers at certain venues and events. For example, Foursquare found that people who attend Ultra are most likely to shop at Forever 21 in the week preceding the festival. This data point could lead brand marketers to infer that attendees at Ultra are younger than those at other popular festivals. Foursquare also discovered that Ultra has the largest international attendance, followed closely by Coachella and Austin City Limits.

Outside Lands and Governors Ball had the highest proportion of local attendees, presenting an opportunity for local businesses in those areas to use geo-targeting to reach consumers who likely live or work nearby, and therefore have the likelihood of becoming repeat customers.

Marketers have virtually limitless opportunities to use the types of data that vendors like Foursquare, and others, are collecting around consumer behaviors and spending patterns, but the use of location technology to make marketing correlations is still only in its infancy.

“Foursquare’s ability to collect and analyze this type of location data means that brands, advertisers and marketers are going to be able to better understand their consumers,” Rosenblatt said. “With over 90% of consumer spending happening in the real world, insight into consumer behavior based on location is and will continue to be critical.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.