The Mall of America has 4.2 million square feet of gross building space, 4.3 miles of storefront footage, 520 stores and 40 million visitors annually. Now try to remember where you parked, let alone find a bathroom when you need one. Sam Feuer, CEO of Mindsmack has the solution. It’s a smartphone app called FastMall which is as helpful to advertisers as it is to consumers.
I spent some time with Sam this week talking about FastMall and the rise in mobile marketing.
Let’s begin with a short description of your product and how it came about.
Sam Feuer: FastMall is the world’s only true turn by turn navigation for shopping malls and areas around the globe. Our navigation works without the need for GPS, instead it uses a system called MapOS or Map Operating System which we have developed from scratch. Once the user downloads the map to their device, no Internet signal is needed for any route desired including multi-level, elevator only routes. It began as my wife’s idea when we could not find a restroom at our local mall and has spawned into truly useful technology that can be used anywhere in the world for any structure or venue indoors or outdoors.
FastMall is a true advertising platform that can be utilized in many ways for the retailer, mall owner, sponsor, user and of course, venues outside the shopping area including hospitals, museums, universities, airports, conferences and anywhere else around the globe.
Local is the big buzz word in marketing these days. First the internet was about reaching the global market place now we’re using geo-targeting to go local. Your thoughts?
S Feuer: Lets go with globally local, in our case, if that makes sense. We are currently in 21 countries and reach the local shopping malls that the public attends. The idea in our case is to make a significant impact to ensure users can navigate the indoors or areas where a GPS/Internet signal may not be prevalent. Also, in an emergency if there is no Internet, our maps will still work and we are able to even black out the map and find emergency exits in an upcoming release. Our application will also come in multiple languages starting with Spanish and we have just finalized the ability to let those who are visually impaired on any level including completely blind utilize our navigation to feel confident in their ability of navigating a structure or area.
Mobile is the next big thing in marketing. Would you talk about how you see this trend progressing in the future.
S Feuer: Mobile marketing is pretty awesome if we can all harness it effectively. Obviously the idea long term for retailers and tourist areas is to give users of applications an incentive for being there and even doing something. I know 1000’s of times I would have bought something if I was offered something a bit more significant at the point of sale. Even if it was a ploy by the store and sounded good, for the way I shop, I feel a deal will push me over the top. Exclusive deals to make the user feel like a VIP is integral for success as we progress with mobile marketing.
Most mobile marketing requires a smartphone but not everyone has one. Is that a concern?
S Feuer: Not really because on the whole all of this is still in its infancy. As we progress just about everyone will have a mobile device capable of handling technology like our FastMall application. We will all continue to work at enhancing our technology, applications and ability to hit as many people as we can to enhance their lives for the better by saving them time and money through technology.
What would you say is the most important thing a business needs to think about when building a marketing campaign.
S Feuer: Distinguishing the difference between you and the competition through some type of fun/exciting/powerful/memorable visual experience. At the core level though, I am a firm believer that if you build something truly special that solves important problems in our societies and also helps people save money and time, the people will take note and discover you through word of mouth. While running MindSmack.com over the last 12 years, I have paid for advertising 2 times, the rest has been word of mouth.
To download the application or to get information about advertising your business with FastMall, visit the website at www.FastMall.com.