LC Bulletin: Death of the coupon?

March 7, 2014. Retrieved online March 20, 2014 from Alta LeCompte, Las Cruces Bulletin

Deals by text work for small business

[Excerpts below reprinted with permission: Read the complete Las Cruces Bulletin article]

Former Living Social executive Scott Maloney drove into Las Cruces Friday, Feb. 28, to announce the impending death of the Internet-based daily deal industry he helped create.

“You guys are about to, frankly, kill it,” Maloney said during his keynote presentation at a ribbon cutting for OneEighty, a no-charge service that gives the community instant ac­cess to offers from local businesses through text messages.

“You are changing the game for merchants and customers.”

At the ribbon cutting for OneEighty Friday, Feb. 28, at Arrowhead Center, COO Tim Swope said, “Smart phone adoption is only 40 percent in this county, but everybody already knows how to text.” The company offers deals via text. Pictured are Swope, CEO Jon Forrest and CIO Kevin Woolworth demonstrating how OneEighty works. (Las Cruces Bulletin photos by Alta LeCompte)

At the ribbon cutting for OneEighty Friday, Feb. 28, at Arrowhead Center, COO Tim Swope said, “Smart phone adoption is only 40 percent in this county, but everybody already knows how to text.” The company offers deals via text. Pictured are Swope, CEO Jon Forrest and CIO Kevin Woolworth demonstrating how OneEighty works. (Las Cruces Bulletin photos by Alta LeCompte)

From nowhere to OneEighty

OneEighty began in December 2010 with a phone call from founder and now COO Tim Swope in Las Cruces to co-founder and CEO Jon Forrest, with whom he had worked 11 years earlier in California.

There were, however, many “how to” questions to answer before the service could become operational.

Then they came across medical software that had been developed for physicians but never been used. They contacted the developer, Derrick Woolworth, who became CIO of their team.

“His technological expertise made it happen,” Forrest said.

Getting started at Arrowhead

Forrest said it was serendipity that the fledgling company found Arrowhead.

The opportunity arose because he met NMSU’s Marie Talnack, who was advising a business in Orange County, Calif.

“She suggested the incubator and Tim was living just 10 blocks away,” Forest said.

“We have never met such an endearing and caring group,” Swope said. “We could have a four-story building complex somewhere, and we still would have an office here. Even as we go nationwide, we will always tout Las Cruces and always have our headquarters here.

Monica Schwartz received a scholarship from the university to serve as their graphics intern.

“Working with Monica is great example of being right on campus and able to connect with our target market,” Forrest said.

Lining up merchants

Milagro Coffee Y Espresso was the first business to offer OneEighty deals by text to the campus and the Las Cruces community.

Others came on board, and now the fledgling company is looking to create synergies by linking merchants with complimentary products and services.

Forrest said what matters most is to provide real value to small main street businesses, which have always been underserved by the technological revolution.

With OneEighty, a customer stores a payment profile online and then everything else happens via text.

Customers choose the kind of deals they want to be notified about. They also can search for and buy deals on anything using only text messaging. There is no need to print anything.

“When you get to the business offering the deal, simply tell them you did a 180 and text the redeem code. The merchant will receive a secure payment confirmation,” for180.com explains.

For more information about OneEighty, visit www.for180.com.


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