Now that your mobile phone can do everything except walk your dog, you’d think that mobile technology would have a simple thing like redeeming discount vouchers well and truly covered. But until a year ago, amazingly, it didn’t.
Todd Wackrow has the solution. A former brand manager with DB Breweries, Wackrow used vouchers frequently but found them messy and old-fashioned. “I was frustrated that this wasn’t technology-driven, and looked around for a better way,” he says. “Mobiles seemed a no-brainer for voucher delivery, but there was no way to manage the text-only vouchers [to stop them] being forwarded or used again. For higher-value promotions you needed to be able to limit it or the free beer could get out of hand.”
So in June 2006, Wackrow quit his job, sold his car and surfboard, and borrowed as much money as he could. For six months he knuckled down to searching how he could combine mobile technology with something that famously pernickety retailers could manage, and still give marketers ways of measuring the success of their promotions.
Cottoning to a simple Eftpos capability which instantly verified, tracked and cancelled the voucher on the mobile phone was the breakthrough he needed, and POCKETvouchers was born: simple enough for sales people to master quickly, with instant feedback on redemption rates for the marketer. Clients now include Fly Buys, Coke and Subway, attracted by redemption rates of up to 60 percent.
Wackrow, 26, has plans for global domination. He’s doubled his headcount—to two—and more importantly tapped into funding and wisdom from people with international marketing, promotional and retail experience. Now he’s aiming for scale, confident that he’s solved the technical and marketing challenges. “Nobody cares how the technology works, just that it does.”
Here’s your opportunity to test the POCKETvouchers system. We have $10,000 worth of award-winning beer to offer thirsty Idealog readers: just text the name of your favourite Monteiths Concept Bar from the 15 fine venues below to 393, and POCKETvouchers will send you a voucher for two complimentary bottles of international award-winning Monteiths New Zealand Lager. Please note you must be 18 years or older, the giveaway is limited to the first 50 texts per bar, and text messages cost 20c each. Limited to one POCKETvoucher per person and valid until September 30, 2008.
Text BASALT to 393 for Basalt, Howick, Auckland
Text HORSE to 393 for The Horse & Trap, Mt Eden, Auckland
Text DRAKE to 393 for The Drake, Freemans Bay, Auckland
Text VILLAGER to 393 for The Villager, Remuera, Auckland
Text MALT to 393 for Malt, West Lynn, Auckland
Text RAMP to 393 for The Loading Ramp, Havelock North
Text BREWERS t0 393 for The Brewers Apprentice, Palmerston North
Text TASTING to 393 for The Tasting Room, Courtenay Place, Wellington
Text OCCIDENTAL to 393 for The Occidental, Lambton Quay, Wellington
Text GENERAL to 393 for the General Practitioner, Willis Street, Wellington
Text NO4 to 393 for No4, Christchurch
Text TAP to 393 for The Tap Room, Christchurch
Text MONTYS to 393 for Montys, Queenstown
Text CRAFT to 393 for The Craft Bar, Dunedin
Text KILN to 393 for The Kiln, Invercargill