Putting a tech twist on the weekly flyer, a new marketing platform for BIAs gains quick traction in a Strathroy roll-out
Photo: Strathroy is the first market for the BIA Promoter platform
BIA PROMOTER, A new London-based business that partners with business improvement areas to help incentivize consumers to shop locally ― and do so more often ― is quickly finding traction with its first roll-out in Strathroy.
An opt-in text marketing tool, BIA Promoter is a platform that enables local consumers to receive offers and deals from businesses involved in a local business improvement association (BIA) directly on their smartphones.
Last month, BIA Promoter received a $15,000 grant via TechAlliance’s 5-10-15 Main Street Innovation Challenge to assist in ramping up the platform, and according to founder Chaun McLellan, the Strathroy launch has produced results above and beyond expectations. In a little over two weeks, BIA Promoter has signed up 32 participating businesses and has over 500 area residents registered to receive text offers and coupons.
“BIA Promoter is a tool that serves the mandate of BIAs,” explains McLellan. “By motivating people to shop locally with great offers, customers return to Main Street businesses and do so faster.”
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McLellan says a targeted direct-mail and in-business marketing campaign is the next step for the Strathroy program, and it’s expected to grow the platform even further.
“We’re almost like the flyer guys delivering to mailboxes weekly, except we remove the pain-points and put local businesses front and centre for shoppers,” says McLellan. “BIA Promoter delivers promotions and deals right to consumers’ phones.”
Stathroy BIA chair, Robin Tiller, says she is enthused by the early, positive traction the program has produced. “We are looking forward to successful results from Chaun’s professional and proactive approach in driving business toward our downtown merchants.”
BIA Promoter founder, Chaun McLellan
Going forward, McLellan plans to roll out the program to additional BIAs, first in Ontario and then nationally. Taking a monthly fee for program participation, he says the BIA Promoter platform offers several built-in features that make it easy for BIAs to jump on board, including landing page tools and easy integration.
“Businesses in BIAs are stronger together,” says McLellan. “Everyone loves their Main Street businesses, but honestly, they sometimes don’t think about them enough. The collective action of sending promotions and offers to customers will drive more spending in the local area and increase the online and foot traffic in each business.”