The buzzword-heavy consensus in the tech world is that print publications are dying, consumers glaze over at the sight of traditional Web ads and hyper-local mobile phone marketing is the official Next Big Thing. That’s all fine — but what’s a corner diner or mom-and-pop shop to do to get out a coupon and grab a few extra customers?
Alex Minicucci, a serial entrepreneur from San Luis Obispo, thinks the answer is SMS Masterminds. The company makes a platform where small-business owners can send offers for deals straight to local customers via text messages, the street name for the 160-character short messaging service, or SMS, on mobile phones.
Minicucci is selling his idea to other entrepreneurs around the U.S. Here’s how it works: Would-be mobile marketers license the SMS Masterminds platform in a particular city and work to build relationships with advertisers in their locale.
Meanwhile, SMS Masterminds builds a website and physical marketing materials branded for the area. In the end, merchants pay a few hundred dollars a month to the local site to blast text deals to interested customers drawn in either by the site or marketing materials placed in stores.