Many in the advertising world can relate to the infamous quote by John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” Advertisers are trying to combat this issue every day but now it appears that Sparkfly may have some answers to this age old struggle.
Sparkfly was founded by Catherine Tabor in 2001 in Atlanta, Georgia. She started in the online promotions business where she ran solutions with online coupon codes. “It was here that I recognized merchant’s desire to put a promotion out into the world digitally but then track the performance of that promotion in real time if possible through their physical point of sales system,” says Tabor. “So I embarked on developing a platform that would do that.”
She then explained that “the Sparkfly solution interfaces directly with a merchant’s point of sale system, and this enables the real time redemption of a SKU level promotion at the physical point of sale.”
So how does this platform work? It starts with a consumer on a mobile Web page; the user then clicks on an ad which takes them to a landing page powered by Sparkfly. The consumer is then provided with an on-demand code that times out in 20 minutes. The consumer can either scan the bar code that is provided or have the employee at the designated retail location enter the code at the register. As soon as that is done, the code goes to the system and is verified in real time providing immediate analytics, which enables brands to instantly recognize effective campaigns.
The Sparkfly platform can be integrated with over 20 different POS systems, which is a major benefit for companies with large franchise networks.
“We recently launched a program with a major restaurant chain and the interesting part about that program is that as a franchise network they actually run four different point of sales systems,” Tabor says. “Because our platform can very easily interface with any point of sales system we were able to interface with all of the systems they had and pull of those systems together so they could run one loyalty program as an organization.”
As noted in my recent blog post Franchisees See Mobile as the Future for Reaching Local Customers, mobile is on the rise in the national to local world and Sparkfly appears be consistent with that theme in their ability to bring national campaigns down to consumer’s personal mobile devices.