Case Study: Boxing Gym Uses Mobile Flyers to Attract Crowds

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thirdstreetlogoMerchant: Third Street Boxing Gym
Location: San Francisco, California
Platform: Moasis Global
Bottom Line: Location-based mobile advertising gives small businesses the ability to target the right customers at the right time.

Marketing technology has never been at the forefront of Paul Wade’s mind. A self-professed technophobe, Wade says he’s “not a computer person,” and that he rarely checks emails. Instead, he focuses his energies inside the ring, as a hands-on professional trainer and the owner of Third Street Boxing Gym, a San Francisco facility that hosts live boxing events along with traditional boot camps and fitness classes.

Still, Wade noticed an increase in the number of people coming into his gym with smartphones in their hands, and he had a nagging feeling that there could be better ways to promote his live boxing events than the printed posters and flyers he’d been creating with the help of a graphic designer for the past 10 years.

Unsure about what options were even available, Wade asked an employee to do some online research. That employee stumbled across Moasis Global’s mFlyer, a paperless flyering platform that uses location-based mobile technology to connect businesses with smartphone users in geo-targeted areas.

“We went down to their office, that’s when I brought my manager with me, and [the Moasis rep] basically gives a whole breakdown and the advantages and disadvantages, and spoke about a lot of the things that we deal with, as far as the headaches of dealing with flyering companies. The way he broke it down and guided us through, it was excellent,” Wade says. “Once again, I’m not a computer person. I rarely get on a computer and do emails, [but] it was much easier and much cheaper.”

Rather than paying for graphic design and printing services, Wade has recently started to design his mobile flyers in-house. He then selects the areas of the city he wants to target by looking at what events are going on. Because his gym is only a mile and a half from AT&T Park, Wade says he’ll often target that area on nights when he knows the Giants are playing at home. During the time that he selects, his flyers appear on the mobile devices of people in the area.

“Sometimes we might have a fight night and we’re finding it might be an 18 to 35 or 40 age bracket. So we say, ‘Let’s hit the Mission tonight or maybe downtown where the clubs are,’ because we’re trying to hit that age group,” Wade says. “If we’re trying to advertise a kids class, we tend to hit areas where the schools are. Basically, it’s a little bit of creative research. You can basically pick and choose who you want to hit and where you want to hit.”

In determining the ROI of his mobile campaigns, Wade looks at more than just the number of tickets or gym memberships purchased by consumers who saw his mobile ads.

“It’s a complete victory when somebody buys a ticket or calls and says, ‘I got one of your flyers online and I’m interested in the club.’ Obviously that’s a complete success. But to me, every time someone sees my product or checks something out, it’s a small victory in itself,” Wade says.

The Takeaway
It’s not uncommon for hyperlocal vendors to encounter business owners who, like Wade, are not fluent in the latest marketing technologies. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get these merchants to try out sophisticated mobile marketing tools. Moasis Global’s sales team was successful in onboarding Third Street Boxing Gym because the company worked one-on-one with Wade and demonstrated how their product could provide a better value than the tools he was currently using.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.