Although it will come as no surprise to most of us, mobile usage finally surpassed online browsing from desktop platforms back in February of 2014. This is a monumental development, and one that means we all need to get our websites optimized for mobile immediately (for those of us who have been putting it off). Logic suggests that mobile couponing and location-based marketing efforts are now poised to explode moving forward.
Geolocation and Mobile Couponing
We’ve seen a variety of mobile and geolocation based offerings come and go over the past few years. Some of the bigger players, like Foursquare, have undergone multiple business models in search of the one that will best pay the bills. All-in-all, no one company has jumped out very far ahead of the pack.
In recent years, a range of couponing models have also come onto the scene. From Groupon to Tippr to several others in market, we’ve seen some great experiments and hits. All of these couponing companies do a decent job of logging your location via IP address or manual submission. With that location data, they can best tailor which coupons you might want to consider. The model works great, so long as the customers don’t mind using a desktop platform to find the coupons in advance.
To my knowledge, the same holds true for the smart phone apps. The offerings are primarily based on metro area or other provided information. But what if I am 50 miles away from home and want to find a great deal on a car wash nearby? That’s not an easy question to answer. But it might be soon.
In-Market Test of Location-Based Mobile Couponing
Austin-based RetailMeNot brands itself as the world’s largest digital coupon marketplace. They claim to have contributed to over $3B in retail sales as a result of their mobile couponing offering, which illustrates just how massive this industry has become.
Always looking ahead, RetailMeNot recently announced that they plan to test location based mobile coupons at the upcoming spring game for the University of Texas Longhorns men’s football team. If this test goes well, they may scale out the model to a much wider range of mobile couponing clients.
The concept is pretty simple, and surely one that will require some specialized logic to execute in the real world. Since the experiment will happen at a single location, this isn’t a true dynamic geolocation test. But on a smaller scale, as you would expect for a live market test, they should get a good idea of how much incremental business they are able to drive for the businesses involved based on targeting this precise location.
While this is a smaller use case, the potential to flesh this out into a large scale offering is rather exciting. I can envision a day where a range of coupons are available, and the user can choose to have any good deals in certain product or service categories pushed to them based on proximity. This is the long term dream of mobile marketers worldwide, so I’ll be watching to see how it turns out.
It seems some Austin company is out there doing something amazing nearly every week. We’ll look to chronicle the most interesting activities on here as we build out the site. Keep a watch on RetailMeNot and the upcoming test. Who knows; this could be the start of a huge push for mobile marketing nationwide before too long.
If you want to take part in the test, be sure to download the RetailMeNot app to your smartphone first. You can find more information about the Longhorns’ spring game at http://texassports.com/news/2014/4/14/FB_0414145724.aspx.
In a surprise development today, it was announced that Social Media Dashboard provider Spredfast and Social Media campaign management provider Mass Relevance will merge into a single, 350-person company.
This is huge news. We saw in the past how other internet and high tech companies began to consolidate as previous industries matured. Today, social media marketing and management based businesses remain somewhat fragmented in offering. You have had to go to one company to get the SEO spin, another to manage your various platforms and voice, and yet another to keep tabs on the impact of and response to your social media efforts.
By joining forces, the new company, which will operate under the existing Spredfast name, is positioned to provide full circle support, execution, and reporting for clients. This is a huge change, and one that will position both companies to better serve the enterprise and large business tiers of the market.
In other words, it’s a good move for both companies. According to the announcement, current CEO of Mass Relevance and former CMO of Bazaarvoice, Sam Decker, will remain involved and join the board of Spredfast immediately. Congratulations and best of luck to all involved.
Last week, money.cnn.com released their list of the 10 fastest growing cities in the country. We were not surprised to learn that Austin, TX ranked as the #1 city in terms of population growth. That explains the burst of traffic on our commutes!
According to their numbers, the city now sits at a population of 1.9 million, which supports the previously stated notion that we’ll be a 2 million person metro within the next year or two (statistic originally found on Austinist.com).
After residing here for over 20 years, I’ve watched the city grown leaps and bounds. It always felt like we were growing quickly, and the CNN Money ranking showed that we added nearly 48,000 new residents as of mid-2013. That is a heck of an impressive number given that it measures “net new” residents, meaning there are more people actually moving here, but some of that volume is offset by departures from Austin. You can see exactly how much we’ve grown just by comparing the skyline today vs. old pictures.
Just to put that “net new” number in perspective, it adds up to a 2.6% annualized growth rate. That means we probably have around 4% of the total population moving here each year, minus the folks who move on for new pastures (a complete guess on my part, so don’t quote these numbers for anything more than casual conversation).
Why Are All of These People Moving to Austin?
Great question! The article speculates that our “cultural vibrancy” (whatever that is) contributes heavily to the appeal. I’d wager that this relates to our outstanding art / music / creative-friendly scene, dedication to holistic healing like acupuncture and chiropractic care (among others), and our general weirdness as a metropolitan area.
Of course, it also calls out the big motivator: J-O-B-S. As mentioned on the piece, we have an unemployment rate of 4.7%, which is the lowest such rate among cities of 1M residents or more. Pretty impressive, even to someone who lives and breathes Austin like myself.
There are a few more reasons. Check out our last post Why People Are Moving to Austin for a more in depth review of the Austin allure.
What brought you to Austin? What keeps you here? Please share below!
Today we came across the following infographic by way of the ABJ. As we all know, the population of Austin has been growing at a rapid pace over the past 20 years, and has seemed to accelerate the last 5 years.
Local Web Design company Complete Web Resources recently published the following image, summarizing their take on why people are relocating to Austin and the central Texas area as a whole.
As you can see, the high tech and internet industries are toward the top of the list for industries that attract new talent. The infographic also includes some interesting data about our cost of living and cost of housing, which are apparently independent. One is going up but the other is shown as being low / competitive. Not sure how that plays out in the long run, and we think it makes sense to check out their sources.
Anyway, here’s the infographic for your viewing pleasure. If you want to see the original post, go to their page Why Everyone Is Moving to Austin. Enjoy!
Greetings and welcome to our website, Internet Austin! This site was officially birthed on March 11, 2014, after several months of planning and deliberation about the site’s mission and vision.
At its most basic level, this website is here to highlight the latest Internet-related news, trends, products, websites, and experts in Austin, TX. We’re not just the live music capitol of the world folks, we’re also a pretty happening entrepreneurial and tech scene.
As an avid entrepreneur, Internet marketer, and techie myself, I’ve found this city to be the perfect place for me. After nearly 21 years, I can without a doubt say that this place is what I call “home”.
I’ll leave it to that for now, but please follow along as we build out the vision. If you want to be part of the adventure, please comment below and include an email address where I can reach you. This site is a project and not a business venture at this stage (but who knows where it will go later), so the ideal candidates to take part are most likely those who are equally passionate about Austin and our Internet / Tech scene, and who want to be part of a bigger cause of tracking, promoting, and building the culture of innovation in Central Texas. If that describes you, let’s talk!
Until next time…Namaste.
Feature Image above and on home page area courtesy of user aubergene on Flickr, with a creative commons attribution license.