A New Way to Market and Save

Photopon Inc. finds a new way to market businesses.

Social media has forced businesses to change marketing strategies. And startup company Photopon, Inc. is looking to take advantage of that.

The Hackettstown-based company is the developer of an Apple iOS application that turns a user’s mobile phone photographs into coupons. A user begins by downloading the Photopon™ app from the Apple App Store. The app then acquires a user’s location and finds local deals in close proximity. Once a local offer is found – like “20 percent of the total bill,” or “Buy one get one free,” for instance – the user creates his or her own coupons by snapping a background photo of anything wished for, adding a personalized message, and then, sharing the coupon with coworkers, friends or family via text message, e-mail, or social media sites like Facebook™ or Twitter™.

Initially, Photopon sourced deals from coupon aggregator 8coupons. However, it recently launched its Photopon™ Merchant Center, a web-based platform in which businesses of any size and location can sign up to make the “deals” available to the apps users. A business can log onto, provide its e-mail address and physical location, and then type out a deal to create the template for the consumer to use and share.

“It is fun, simple to use and an effective way for businesses to supply new and loyal customers with great deals,” making it an effective marketing solution at a low cost,” says Brad McEvilly, co-founder and CEO of Photopon, Inc., and developer of the company’s app.

“We want to change the way businesses market themselves and the way consumers use coupons by making things more personalized.”

Currently, Photopon is experimenting with a free-to-use model in its Merchant Center when businesses initially sign up for the first three months. After the first three months, businesses will pay Photopon 5 cents after users “snip” or save a coupon to their digital wallet for later use. And, when a coupon is used by a consumer, it will cost the business only 25 cents.

“Unlike other couponing and deal companies, Photopon does not require an upfront fee to promote deals,” McEvilly says. “Thus, it creates little risk to the business, which is why it has broad appeal. With the rise of social media, coupons are becoming less relevant, because consumers are relying more on social media for all phases of a purchase decision. We are embracing that. Instead of having a great deal originate from a business to the consumer, having a great deal originate from a friend, colleague or trusted source, will bring people through a business’s door, and keep them coming back.”

Photopon is in the process of releasing the Photopon™ app for Android devices, as well as a web-based application. McEvilly says his goal was to grow his business base and “make coupons relevant again, by finding a solution to help businesses with marketing, while making it simple and fun.” He feels that his company is accomplishing just that.

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