Our group is working with Vert, a full service digital marketing and advertising agency that specializes in mobile, social, emerging media, and brand experiences. Vert works with top companies such as RaceTrac to create innovative and captivating technologies that engage customers and convert them to loyal shoppers. RaceTrac is one of the top gas station convenience stores in the nation, and is hoping to bring Beacon technology into their stores to provide customers with a customized RaceTrac experience.
The overarching goal of this project is to attract people to RaceTrac. Attract customers to getting the app… attract them to come into the convenience store after purchasing gasoline… attract them to the RaceTrac brand/RaceTrac loyalty. For this reason, the project name we have come up with for this project is: RaceTrac Attract.
Our goals for the semester is to create an amazing product for both Vert and RaceTrac with the help of beacon technology. We want to explore the idea of using beacons to communicate with the customer to create a better user experience and more brand loyalty. It is our goal that this project will bring customers into the convenience store, drive brand loyalty, compile data on how customers are moving spatially within RaceTrac, and improve upon the customer-retailer experience at RaceTrac. We hope that our project will be something RaceTrac will implement in the future.
Our background research covered beacons, our clients Vert and RaceTrac, competitor apps, and the importance of marketing a company through an app. Based off this research we found that RaceTrac has a lot of room for improvement in relation to their mobile app, social media presence and marketing tactics. One way that Vert is looking to expand on the RaceTrac app is through the use of beacons. Their hope is that these beacons would drive brand loyalty, increase sales, increase customer engagement, and overall create a better customer-retailer experience. Vert would like to see these beacons bring the customers who usually only visit the gas pump, come into the store. Beacons are an inexpensive way to enhance the app experience for its users. When researching competitor apps, like 7-Eleven Inc. and QuikTrip, we found that RaceTrac could use many of the features of these apps. For example, a personalized barcode or inbox where you can find new deals and coupons.
Beacons are the newest trend in customer-company interaction. These inexpensive devices can be placed in strategic locations and connect to apps on customer’s cell phones via bluetooth low energy. Beacons are used by various companies such as big brand retailers, hotels, and even airlines. They provide customized location based notifications that are sent to customers in real-time. Shoppers can receive personalized coupons and offers, hotel guests can unlock their rooms with the click of a button, and travelers have improved connections with their airlines.Their ability to connect with users in real-time is irreplaceable as it creates a quick connection with minimal effort from the user.
One obstacle that we have faced and anticipate to continue facing is communication with our client. Vert is a very fast-paced, in-demand company and we are four full-time students with busy schedules. It is hard to find times to talk with our representatives at Vert on the phone. We have succeeded in contacting them previously and had a wonderful conversation, but we foresee that this kind of interaction will be hard to recreate in the future.
Another obstacle is the overall breadth of the project overview that we were given by Vert. When we spoke with the representatives, they were overflowing with ideas to discuss with us but nothing was very specific. We may face the challenge of narrowing down our project and focusing on specific goals.
February 2 — February 21: Design wireframe. Start writing blog posts.
February 23 — March 9: Start developing iOS and create early draft of website.
March 10 — March 30: Finish beta, and test at the Athens RaceTrac location. Finish creating blog posts.
March 31- April 18: Create a marketing/promotion strategy. Design project poster, project promo and project handout. Finish up the website.
April 19 — April 25: Wrap up all elements of project. Practice presentation!!
Charlotte Mabry, Heather Binnie, Joycie Bernstein and Maja Culum