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MobileStorm formally debuts mobile coupon platform

MobileStorm Inc., an email and mobile messaging firm, has launched a new mobile coupon management platform.

MobileStorm 4.0 Coupon Management targets marketers and retailers who want to deliver coupons to their customers on the go. Data from JupiterResearch estimates that the 3 billion coupons issued to mobile consumers will lead to approximated $87 billion in sales by 2011. It is this market that attracts mobileStorm CEO Jason Reitzin. Here’s Mr. Reitzin’s dialogue with Mobile Marketer’s Mickey Alam Khan:

Who are you targeting with this service?
We are targeting new and current customers who offer business-to-consumer products and services.

We believe adding a multichannel coupon management system will provided added value to our existing platform, and in turn a greater return on their investment.

This product will especially be useful to customers who are retailing consumer goods or services.

Why the need to upgrade?
This upgrade gives you a highly sophisticated digital coupon system at a low flat rate per month. You get full access to create an unlimited number of coupon campaigns. It also comes with a full redemption, tracking and reporting system.

What does it offer that an earlier version didn’t?
This is officially the first version.

What’s mobileStorm’s strategy here with mobile coupons?
The answer is a simple one: ROI.

Everyone is always trying to gauge ROI when it comes to mobile.

If I can offer someone who spends $100 with me a coupon for $10 off, and I can drive 100 people in my store via cell phones, I know that this campaign directly lead to $900 ROI ($1,000 minus $100 discount = $900).

How does this complement your other services?
MobileStorm 4.0 offers user a marketing platform where they can send messaging via six different channels.

By automating couponing across channels like email and SMS, our customers — who may already be engaging in incentive-based discounts and offers — are able to make this process more efficient.

The tracking capabilities of this system allow you to see the results of your campaign with very little effort.

Are mobile coupons working?
Don’t know, we just launched, but ABI Research reports that 63 percent of consumers feel a coupon is the top incentive they want to receive in a mobile marketing message.

JupiterResearch says the 3 billion coupons issued to cell phone users will generate sales of almost $87 billion by 2011.

These numbers and other studies we have seen drove our decision to build this module.

How secure are they? How secure is your service?
We have anti-fraud protection such as having a coupon expire after the amount of use you set.
Clients can also limit coupons to customer IDs and product SKUs.

The mobileStorm 4.0 platform is incredibly secure. We have multiple tier 1 data centers that are protected by the latest in server security technology.

Which sectors seem to be having most success with mobile coupons?
Definitely retail. However, we are seeing other industries such as restaurants, hotels, travel and nightclubs run successful mobile coupon campaigns (see story).

What does a marketer or retailer need to do to use your service? How does it integrate with their store and online coupons process?
Depending on the size and complexity of your current system, there are three ways to integrate our coupon process.

First, you can fully integrate the process using your own POS system with a Web-service API for more advanced systems.

Next, send out coupons via our system and then use your POS to redeem the coupons.

Finally, for those retailers without a POS system, you can create a validation/redemption landing page that can be accessed over any computer or device connected to the Internet.

Who’s handling the coupon redemption process with your service?
Our clients typical handle their own redemption process, meaning a customer of theirs comes into the store a store employee enters in the code at the point of sale.

However, if our clients integrate with our API, they can allow their customer to redeem the coupon online via a shopping cart.

How does it work in terms of fees?
The service is $250 per month to add the module to their mobileStorm account. They can create as many coupon campaigns as they want.

What do mobile coupons do that other coupons don’t?
Well, a coupon is a coupon, but when offered over the phone, you can participate in it no matter where you are.

Imagine being at a store and seeing a sign that says “10% off this item, text ITEMNAME to 99158”.

This is an amazing way for the retailer to quickly build their mobile database. As their database grows they can continue to send messages and offer coupons, driving more traffic back to the store and increasing sales.

When true location-based services are here, the retailer can send a coupon to the customer when they come near the store.