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Mobile Marketing at the Mall: An Interview with Sam Feuer of FastMall

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.

Gap Deal Blitz’s Groupon Servers

Last week, Groupon members got a great deal, $50 worth of clothing at The Gap for only $25. More than 440,000 subscribers took advantage of the deal and they did it so quickly, they temporarily stalled the servers at the popular new deal site.

Part of the reason for the huge influx was that it wasn’t just Groupon members who were clicking. Shortly after the deal was announced, the news spread over thousands of mommy blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. I came across more than twenty mentions of the deal during my usual travels around the web and it looks like I was one of the rare few who resisted. Still, I’d venture to say that Groupon got a lot of new signups that day.

Moms Want More Mobile Coupons

If you’re looking to reach parents by mobile messaging, send them grocery coupons and more than 50% of them will be happy to accept. That comes from a survey which was conducted by Harris Interactive and it showed that parents with children are more interested in receiving mobile text alerts from merchants than those without kids.

Great news for those of you with family-oriented products, but don’t start texting just yet. The reality is that only 7% (versus 2%) of people with kids said they were extremely interested in getting those messages. A whopping 65% of people with children checked the “not at all” box.

Have You Started Your Holiday Shopping Yet?

If you’re like 35% of the population, you’ve already found a great sweater for Aunt Martha, a singing shark for Grandpa and you’ve got some ideas for the office gift exchange that you get roped into every year.

Ho, ho, ho, it’s time for holiday shopping and the fact that people are already stocking the gift cupboard means that this retail season will be much more profitable than the last.

How individual retailers fare, could be determined by how early they start preparing for holiday traffic. Stores that wait until November to put their best foot forward could end up stuck with shelves of merchandise they can’t unload.

Best Buy Launches ShopKick Program

Earlier today, we talked about how The Gap used a social media push to encourage people to step into their stores this past weekend. Now Best Buy is working on a similar idea with a decidedly “big brother” twist. Starting tomorrow, in 187 stores in major markets all over the US. They plan to follow this with an additional 70 stores by October 1.

The “shopkick” system is designed to detect and reward shoppers just for walking into a Best Buy store. In order to accomplish this feat, consumers must download an application to their smart phone. Right now the app is only available for iPhone but Android is coming soon. On the store’s end, there is a “shopkick Signal” which reaches out and talks to the application when they meet. The conversation includes information on who owns the phone that just walked in and that person gets rewards that they’re calling “kickbucks.” These bonus bucks can be collected and spent in the store as cash.

Zagat Exclusives for the Foodie on a Budget

Everyone loves a deal, even the luxury foodies that roam New York City looking for most exquisite truffled egg toast or perfectly prepared poison-free fugu. That’s why Zagat has team up with DealOn for Zagat Exclusives, the newest group-buying program to hit the web.

The new site will offer deals related only to the restaurants listed in the Zagat Guide. The program will begin this September in New York City, then the company is expected to roll out additional sites for other major cities across the US including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Each offer will start with a fixed price then the price will drop with each person who buys the deal. This way there is no minimum number of people required to make the deal happen, but the more people, the merrier the price gets.

ShopLocal Brings Local Circulars to Facebook and MSN

shoplocalShopLocal has made the news twice this week with two major players taking on their virtual circular technology. Facebook and MSN have both begun incorporating ShopLocal apps into their systems in order to bring localized deals to the consumer.

On Facebook, ShopLocal is integrating local sales circulars into corporate fan pages. When a user visits a brand site on Facebook, the application looks at their profile to determine their geographic area then presents the proper circular for their city. Vikram Sharma, CEO of ShopLocal says;

“We know that 49 percent of visitors to corporate fan pages go there to gain information on sales and special offers and another 45 percent come to learn about products. ShopLocal’s toolkit helps retailers across the country capitalize on this social shopping phenomenon.”