It’s a Twitter feed for coupons. No, it’s a Facebook timeline for business deals. No, it’s MobiCatch— the app that brings businesses directly to consumers.
UCF students Michael Artime and Mitchell Holt have developed an app for phones that will provide a way for businesses to connect with customers directly.
Artime, a senior marketing major, said a lot of businesses already have their own apps that distribute coupons and discounts; however, MobiCatch will give consumers the opportunity to bring all of these businesses together on one app.
“Well we have one app where you can access all the businesses at one time, and you choose who you want to hear from,” Artime said.
“Let’s say Fridays or Chipotle will be on MobiCatch,” Artime said. “So you’ll simply go and connect with them, and then on your feed just like it would be on Facebook, you would look through your feed and see what Chipotle, what Fridays or any other business is posting.
“They can either post a coupon, they can post a survey and if you fill out the survey you get a coupon and eventually were moving to where they can post deals as well.”
According to Holt, a junior business major, it’s for businesses and consumers. Holt and Artime want to take out the annoyances of marketing.
“People get marketed to all the time with emails, like you’ll get a hundred emails a day, and text messages and things like that,” Holt said. “We want to take that out, and put the power into your hands… You on your phone can search for a business, find a business that you like or love, and then connect with them and then they are able to market to you.
“You’ll be massively rewarded for connecting to them as well… They can let you know, ‘hey come in today for some special, or they can be like here’s a coupon for 50 percent off, thanks for connecting to us.’”
It’s a way to hear from businesses, but in a way where you control it and you don’t have to share any of your information to businesses.
According to Artime the most annoying part about the current marketing system is when you want to get something free from the business, it’s not really free because you have to give them your name, you have to give them email or you have to do something for them.
“Now you don’t have to give them anything,” Artime said. “You just connect with them on your phone. They don’t get any of your information and they can still get business from you because they’re still giving you coupons.
“But they don’t have to collect your information, they can still access you, so it’s a way to access you without having to actually collect your information. So it benefits both businesses and users.”
Artime and Holt first worked together doing marketing and consulting work for software companies.
“Mitchell [Holt] was helping me with consulting, like for a consulting business, for people who were trying to make small software and sell them,” Artime said.
“I had a project where I realized that we had enough money to start a software company, because we were marketing all these software companies, and now we wanted to start our own and we finally had enough money to do it.
The idea for MobiCatch was conceived while Artime was home watching TV. A Dr. Pepper commercial caught his eye when he realized that Dr. Pepper was trying to raise their user engagement right there within the commercial.
“It was telling [viewers] to turn to channel 181, so they actually wanted you to go to a different channel,” Artime explained. “When I went to that different channel it was a game you could play with your remote control… At the end it was like ‘congratulations you’ve succeeded, put in your name and email for a free 10 pack of Dr. Pepper 10.’
“Then at that point I was like, ‘Oh man, they’re trying to raise user engagement,’ I was like imagining if they could collect their name and email in an easier way.”
Artime called Holt to tell him about his epiphany and then, after months of altering course, MobiCatch was born. Holt says the launch of the app is just the initial stage of its inception.
“We have a laundry list of features that we are ready to implement in the future that can really continue to grow it,” Holt said.