The growth of Ping Vouchers

An interesting article in the Daily Mail, entitled: Starbucks to bombard people with money-off vouchers direct to their phones when they pass coffee shops suggests that over a million people have signed up with mobile telecom provider

O2. Essentially …

When the consumer moves within a set distance of the store – passing through a so-called geo-fence – the voucher is sent automatically via a text message to their phone.

The idea has echoes of the film Minority Report in which Tim Cruise was recognised as he passed a Guinness billboard and a personalised greeting was played to him.

Starbucks and L’Oreal have signed up to a six month trial. Others will join soon and, eventually, most stores on the High Street could use the system to entice custom. This shows an interesting innovation but also assumes that people have ‘Opted in’ to take advantage of deals / offers in almost a semantic manner.

There are also some great applications such as Gowala and FourSquare that encourage check-in’s, badges and awards. All of this is good for encouraging interactivity and a social side to spreading the word about the best service and value for money. The interesting aspect of this article is that it appears that many people are prepared to trade their personal data for a swift return. We hope that it will not result in intrusion if over done or without greater quality behind the type of offer being suggested.

KHL Interactive have developed their Voucher Phone offering through their MOBAD server. This server controls the start, expiry, terms, membership extended offers, multiple offerings and mash-up functions for location search. Future releases are already planned where the consumer is in control in terms of accepting or rejecting the collection of the redeemer information. For example, many voucher schemes rely on registration or online interaction.

NB The application also offers a ping option  through the use of requesting rather than sms based targetting and pre-registration. Therefore, control is retained by the consumer especially as data protection or privacy is questioned by many in our world today.