Drinks industry to cash in on mobile marketing to boost bar sales

i-movo partners with Inspired Broadcast Networks to revolutionise drinks marketing

Revellers will now be able to enjoy a complimentary drink using a secure SMS voucher, following a unique partnership between i-movo, the secure SMS marketing solutions provider, and Inspired, the digital division of leisure giant, Leisure Link. BuyMeaBeer.com, the drinks gift solutions company, has announced it will adopt the service.

The integration of i-movo’s mobile marketing platform with Inspired’s ‘itboxes’ – entertainment and gaming terminals which are installed in over 12,000 pubs and bars in the UK – will enable drinks companies to run voucher redemption schemes via text message using equipment that is already being used in bars and pubs.

Having opted in to the scheme, the customer receives a text message containing a unique voucher number possibly for a free drink with details of where and the time period when the voucher is valid.

The next stage is for the customer to go to the itbox entertainment terminal in the specified bar or pub and tap in their unique number. A paper voucher is then printed out which can be exchanged for the item being promoted, eliminating the need to pay by cash or card.

This will help reduce queuing time at the bar and overcome the need for retailers to change or reinvest in their point of sale (PoS) terminals because the itbox prints the electronic SMS voucher onto paper. Also, as the validation is electronic, the paper voucher never leaves the pub saving time and cost for all companies involved.

As only a set number of unique vouchers is issued that can only be redeemed a limited number of times at pre-determined locations, the system overcomes the fraud and misredemption concerns typically associated with voucher redemption schemes and supports responsible drinks marketing.

Using this system, a campaign can be developed and running within hours so allows drinks marketers to react dynamically to factors likely to influence sales such as the weather and the results of sporting events, and to develop highly targeted campaigns from a regional level down to specific individual outlets.

The technology also tracks each coupon from issue to redemption so drinks companies overcome the problem of void or counterfeit vouchers. As itboxes are broadband enabled, the voucher redemption is registered in real-time giving immediate feedback on the success of a promotion right down to a venue level.

“Few people would leave the house without their mobile phone,” said Steve Rothwell, CEO of BuyMeaBeer.com. “By using the mobile phone as a delivery mechanism for vouchers, Buy Me a Beer allows individuals to send their friends a simple text message and attach a drink. In this way people can reap extra benefits from existing technology.”

“The itbox is a powerful drawer for marketers wanting to reach consumers in new and effective ways,” said Anne De Kerckhove, COO of Inspired Broadcast Networks. “It’s already proved to be a great revenue generator for drinking venues, and drinks manufacturers are especially well placed to harness its value by reaching customers at the point of decision making. This initiative takes the pain out of location-based drinks marketing. Utilising mobile phones and entertainment terminals, marketing is tapping into technology familiar to consumers. It demonstrates how innovative solutions can be developed by combining existing technologies.”

David Tymm, CEO of i-movo, said: “This is a great example of how a brand can develop a meaningful relationship with a consumer across multiple channels, both above and below the line. Only by combining i-movo and Inspired’s expertise could we develop this revolutionary marketing system.”

“Using this technology will also make it much easier for companies to introduce new and existing brands of drink into a very crowded and competitive market,” he added.

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