NearbyNow’s New Directions

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I caught up with NearbyNow CEO Scott Dunlap today and learned some interesting things about user behavior and the potential future direction of the company. First the most obvious: at some point in 2008 the company will establish a consumer shopping portal that offers a single entry point for local inventory search. Dunlap said this was a direct response to retailers who have store locations in more places than just malls and want those locations and that data reflected online.

Another thing we discussed is mobile usage among NearbyNow consumers.

Dunlap said that most of the company’s mobile usage comes from in-mall signage prompts to text to short code “nearby.” He said that in these texts people are either looking for very specific products or for sale information. But he also said that about “one in four” mobile NearbyNow consumers are using their mobile phones to show claim check numbers. If they reserve online for in-store pickup they get a confirmation code and can have that sent to their mobile phones (via text message). Typically 25% of those users show up in the store and show those codes to store clerks to claim their merchandise.

Dunlap said most of NearbyNow’s mobile users are in their “30s and 40s” and not teens or young adults.

This behavior obviously has immediate mobile coupon implications and interesting implications for connecting traditional media (magazines, catalogs, print newspapers) to digital media and for tracking. In fact, Dunlap said that increasingly ad agencies were approaching NearbyNow on behalf of retailers seeking to use NearbyNow’s mobile platform and short code (“nearby”) in print magazines and in outdoor ads.

Like PPCall in the phone book, this brings a highly dynamic element to traditional media and makes it much more trackable. NearbyNow would enable consumers texting to the code in a print ad or on a billboard to locate specific products or brands nearby (the company uses area codes to determine approximate user location). And for the retailer it would make that traditional media purchase more transparent – as well as gaining a good deal more information on the success of the media buy in particular publications or locations.

With a special coupon code or associated offer (on the SMS back) it could make that print ad or billboard trackable to the POS.

Very interesting stuff.

4 Responses to “NearbyNow’s New Directions”

  1. Steve Cissel Says:

    Greg,

    This is the second time in a week that we are hearing of the mobile phone as the gateway to measuring web to bricks and morter transactions.

    Last week the airlines said they were sending barcoded messages to cell phones which were then scanned at the gate.

    No doubt that a bar code contains a ton of transactional data that would benefit the ad buyer when scanned at the cash register.

    Can you say “SMS bar code”?

    The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

    Steve

    Steve Cissel, CEO
    10-20 Media, Inc.

  2. Yellow Pages and Internet Not ‘Zero-Sum’ « Screenwerk Says:

    […] and address more complex and interesting questions about how media work together (e.g., how mobile can be used with outdoor or PPCall in […]

  3. Some Predictions for 2008 « Screenwerk Says:

    […] addition, mobile starts to become an important bridge between the Internet and the physical store (a la NearbyNow). Mobile as an in-store price-comparison and research tool becomes more important for consumers. […]

  4. Harald R. Fortmann - Online Marketing is my Passion » Blog Archiv » Trends 2008 - die 2. Says:

    […] addition, mobile starts to become an important bridge between the Internet and the physical store (a la NearbyNow). Mobile as an in-store price-comparison and research tool becomes more important for consumers. […]

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