Deal or No Deal? Networked Mobility Innovators Use SMS and Location-Based Services to Deliver Hyper-Local Deals

Now in its sixth year, Boulder, Colo.-based Techstars, a nationally recognized startup acceleration program, has produced many new amazing technology companies and products. Some of these products help businesses harness networked mobility in ways once thought unimaginable.

ROXIMITY, a recent 2012 graduate of the TechStars program, is one such company. According to co-founder and CEO Danny Newman, Denver-based ROXIMITY’s mission is to “personalize the local deal offer experience and introduce value for businesses delivering those offers.”  ROXIMITY is one  company that understands how to reach the mass market and help businesses do it. With decade-old roots delivering plain-ole’ SMS content across devices and networks, the company combines lessons learned with cross-carrier mobile location capabilities, plus local content ingredients, to intelligently deliver targeted deal alerts to any phone on any network.

Businesses benefit by reaching their targeted audience at the right time, in the right place, and with the right message. Recipients of targeted messages benefit by receiving the right deal—at the right time and at the right place—wherever they are and regardless of what type of phone or wireless network carrier they use.

What developments have led to such a valuable service helping businesses engage their customers and vice versa?

SMS works everywhere…         

First, SMS works everywhere.  Now more than twenty five years old, SMS is the most used communications technology in history. It works on nearly every phone and wireless network, in every country in where cellular coverage exists. It took scores of years to standardize SMS across carrier networks and ensure that it works when mobile users roam, but it’s now pervasive—and available as an enabler—to use within a variety of applications, workflows, and processes. The possibilities are limited only by developer imagination.

ROXIMITY has history using SMS in cross-carrier contexts to better serve its customers, and the company’s latest project is no exception. Supporting lowest-common-denominator technologies usually offers the best choice for businesses with reach challenges or opportunities. This approach offers the broadest reach without having to worry about installing software or an app on a phone operating system. It just works.

…Location does too

Second, wireless location smarts from the network are also readily available—powerful enablement highly coveted since the early days of e9-1-1 in the late 1990s. To support e9-1-1, wireless carriers in the U.S. made large investments to deploy a life-saving emergency services location infrastructure capable of pinpointing the whereabouts of any wireless 9-1-1 call, on any phone, as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.

These same systems are now available through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) from most major U.S. wireless carriers and other carriers beyond U.S. borders around the world.  Like SMS, network-based Location APIs support lowest-common denominator reach and breadth without the development hassles typically associated with deploying an App on a phone operating system. It just works through the network—on every phone or connected device.

ROXIMITY brings SMS and location together (and then some)

ROXIMITY combines network capabilities, and delivers actionable, right-time-right-place deals by brokering real-world connections between merchants and their existing and prospective customers. According Newman, they do this by “working with Brand Managers to create dynamic offers delivered to the customer based on location history, purchasing history, and personal preferences.”

Brands taking advantage of Roximity’s capabilities to connect with customers “in the moment” include Jamba Juice, Jimmy Johns, Kraft, Qdoba, and Walmart. Beyond the phone (and under the hood), ROXIMITY also delivers the same local deals directly to folks behind the wheel via safe, hands-free, voice, available today to drivers of the Ford Sync.  Awesome stuff thanks to the availability of networked mobility! And this is just the beginning…

Is your business tapping into SMS and Location to connect to customers in new ways? As a consumer, how would you like businesses to interact with you “where you are” at any given moment?
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