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Discounts on demand
Adrian Rodriguez drops buzz words, then apologizes.
He's explaining PayShrink, his latest venture with partners Frank Sanchez and Stephen Gamboa, and he says stuff like “prosumer” and “freemium,” and knows how it all must sound.
But this is business speak in the mirco-blogging, Facebook-fed techno age, which Rodriguez has been following for years — first as a business reporter, then as an entrepreneur and operator of the Web site LateUpdate.com.
So, when he calls PayShrink innovative, any hyperbole is overshadowed by the feeling this guy has done some research. In BETA now, PayShrink is a Web site that allows users to register and gain access to a network of local restaurants and businesses that offer discount coupons.
Then, using their cell phones they can check and redeem those savings at any time via text messaging.
Standard rates apply.
Forget printing out coupons, then leaving them at home and not having them when you need them.
This is a twitterer's take on coupon clipping — discounts on demand, Rodriguez says.
“It's all about giving shoppers options.”
It's also about allowing businesses to offer bigger savings, the kind of saving that will get customers excited and interested, then removing all the excuses people might have for not showing up. So, the site is full of nifty features like user reviews and built-in Google maps.
And if it works properly, the users will spread to the savings to friends. Twitter and Facebook updates are built right into the site, too.
“People can click one button and share through their network,” says Brandon Wright, owner/head grounds keeper at Fright Night Scream Park, one of the first businesses to jump on board with PayShrink.
Word-of-mouth was hugely effective in marketing the haunted-house last year, he says. But while keeping in touch with 14,000 MySpace friends is effective, it's not the most efficient use of time. There are third-party services that create businesses-specific text options — companies like Arby's, The History Channel and Me-N-Eds are using them. But PayShrink allows the park to be part of a larger network of businesses and users that Wright knows are within its demographic range, those 16 to 35.
This is the future, now.
With 70% of Americans with texting service, it is a sustainable and reliable form of marketing, says Gamboa.
“Wanting a discount on things isn't going to change,” he says. How you go about getting them, is.
And hey, it sure beats grandma giving you that old Entertainment Book a week before it expires.