What if your company could target advertising and promotions to the right people in a manner that is “just in time” and relevant to them? What if this marketing was permission based and seamless to the user experience? Sound interesting or far-fetched? With the power of properly linked data that day is coming sooner than you might expect.
Recently, I spoke with two companies that are on the cutting edge of geography-targeted services that are opening up the world of mobile advertising on the handheld platform — Jabbertise and Relevantis.
The Internet is the primary tool most people use to find local merchants before shopping. So the days of the web not being relevant to brick-and-mortar stores is long gone. For many of these merchants, though, if they even have a web presence it is a very basic brochure getting little traffic, and it does little to build relationships with potential customers. That is where Silicon-Valley based Jabbertise comes in.
Using a geography targeted service that aggregates local merchants based on the zip codes of their physical location, merchants can tap into the power of mobile technology and permission based marketing. Jabbertise offers a solution that targets both merchants and consumers but from different angles.
For the merchant, it offers the opportunity to have a web presence that receives internet traffic and translates into increased foot traffic into stores based on merchant-provided mobile coupons and offers. Because Jabbertise is promoting the different virtual merchant malls in each geography, businesses benefit from increased Internet traffic, visibility, increased foot traffic and the ability to communicate with potential customers via their cell phones and email addresses in a way that has zero tolerance for spam.
For consumers it offers a local mall-like experience via the web and mobile device based on a person’s geography. Consumers can sign up and opt-in to receive electronic coupons from specific merchants or all merchants in certain Jabbertise locations or categories.
According to Jabbertise founder and President Jennifer Persson, “The secret sauce is in its simplicity. It is targeted for soccer moms, students, and other budget-conscious folks who are smart with their money.”
The coupons are “hip and green” as they are delivered directly to a consumer’s cell phone using text/SMS messaging, leveraging existing technologies and carriers while providing a new mobile marketing engine, Persson said.
Consumers will have the ability to search the site and merchants via cell phone and then search for coupons as a quick way to save money based on where they are at any given point in time. No longer will you have to remember paper coupons or recycle gobs of unused coupons. You can grab them on-demand electronically via your cell and present that text message at the store or restaurant to redeem it.
What if advertising were so targeted, relevant, and integrated into a person’s experience that it didn’t feel like advertising? That is what Relevantis is in the process of doing with its Universal Ad Platform and Relevancy Engine. As a technology provider, Relevantis works with existing mobile web sites, application providers, and device manufacturers to provide relevant and seamless advertising within existing web services.
One example that founder and CEO Scott Searle shared with me was that of advertising on maps. Imagine a map application on a mobile device that is integrated with GPS. It can determine where you are on a map at a given time. Then based on the location you are in (or one you enter) it can serve up maps of the area with local and national merchants’ icons appearing directly on the map. The consumer sees the brands for shops and restaurants nearby in a way that is integrated into their map experience and advertisers pay to have their business appear and offer coupons. It opens the door for both national and mom & pop brands to tap into the mobile phone advertising space.
The key distinction with Relevantis technology is its Relevancy Engine and ability to offer up this advertising in an unobtrusive way. Searle shared, “We are intimate with our personal devices and we would feel invaded even more in the mobile space than we do on the desktop (if advertising were not integrated).”
Their Relevancy Engine uses a patented algorithm based on probability theory to predict a person’s actions based on what ads they would see. Then using its Universal Ad Platform it can serve up relevant ads that are incorporated into whatever services and applications the person is already using.
Relevantis is currently working with map providers, mobile application providers, phone manufactures, device manufacturers and software vendors to incorporate these technologies into existing offerings.
Useful Application of the Semantic Web?
Perhaps the most interesting part of these new technologies is that it literally opens up a new world of data in a way that is smarter and more capable than before. In “Where is the Semantic Web Killer App?,” Dan Grigorovici points out that part of the promise of the Semantic Web, on which it truly must deliver to be useful, is that “it should be that it opens up NEW information that was not available/accessible before; that it’s ‘smarter.'”
While it may still be too early to tell how these two companies deliver on this promise, one thing for sure is that what they offer could open up a new world to businesses and consumers alike to save money, drive traffic, and tap into a truly useful service while on the go, using geo-based, mobile, and web technologies in a fresh way.
Jabbertise is an integrated online and mobile advertising platform for local businesses providing web and mobile tools to drive traffic to storefronts and offer relevant promotions to consumers. Pricing starts at $39/month for merchants. For consumers it is a way to access cost-saving coupons in their community in a timely and relevant manner. No registration is required and it’s free and easy to use.
The service is currently available in three zip codes and plans are underway to roll out the service nationally within the next 4-6 months with it being available in every state by the end of 2009. To learn more and sign up, visit the Jabbertise web site.
Founded in 2003 by Scott Searle, Relevantis is a technology provider that develops and licenses advertising technologies that enable relevant advertising. Using advanced probability theory, its patent pending Relevancy Engine supports behavioral targeting, automatic market segmentation, and revenue optimization.
For more information, visit the Relevantis web site.