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Brian Pasch

Brian Pasch CEO

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Amex "Shop Small" Program Leverages Four Square Technology

I was checking into a local restaurant with Four Square in Atlanta and I was presented with a new screen sponsored by American Express.

The program is called "Shop Small".

The promotion was supporting small businesses with a twist: Amex will credit MY card based on my checkin and payment with an Amex Card.  

So, my friend took me out to Cafe Sunflower in Atlanta and when I checked in, I was presented with an offer to save $10.

Linking My Amex Card

I had to link my Amex Card to activate the promotion and then charge the meal with my Amex Card.

I decided to follow the process and it was very easy.  I entered by Amex Card number and was quickly linked to Amex. This "loaded" the special.

Once I unlocked this special and the only thing I had to do is pay for the meal on my Amex card.

I had a great meal at Cafe Sunflower and when the check was presented, I paid with my Amex card.

I few minutes later, I received a message on my iPhone as shown on the third photo on the right.  It was a surprise how fast the actually happened.


Local Based Marketing


I was very impressed at the process and how location based marketing worked with Amex.  This was a clear BENEFIT of being an Amex card member.

I felt that AMEX reached out to me to offer this benefit.  They also offered this program at the Mexican restaurant I had lunch with today.

Something is brewing.  This is very proactive and it felt very good.  If it feels very good, should it be something that dealers should investigate?

Using Location Based Marketing?

I suggest that your dealership investigate local based marketing opportunities.  The strategies may vary from high-line brands to entry level brands. 

I have some ideas on this but I would like to hear what you have to say.  I want to recognize Eric Miltsch for being a pioneer in educating dealers about location based marketing.

Does the fact that consumers buy cars every 3 years nullify these proactive offers?  

Should location based marketing be used for service?

What say you?



Brian Pasch CEO of PCG


Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
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Eric Miltsch
Brian, Wonderful post. The Shop Small program is a brilliant affinity relationship for Amex & one that lends a ton of credibility towards the entire location based marketing/services segment. I like how this has the potential for driving additional word of mouth - who isn't going to tell a friend about getting $10, $15 or $25 off their bill? If you want a taste of where this segment is heading, take Brian's advice and explore the opportunities LBS can provide your business. Want to track Foot traffic? Want to see it in real-time? Want to provide your guests with digital coupons & special? Location based services such as Foursquare can help you do all this and more. For free. And you may even have some fun doing it... If your dealership hasn't claimed their venue(s) yet, you can do so here via their Ambassador program: (Thanks for the props Brian as well - appreciated)
Jim Bell
I heard this was coming and was in a beta phase a few months back. When I checked in at the dealership this morning, sure enough, there it was.
Jim Bell
On top of that, our oil changes are only $12.95 so the customer will be paying only $2.95 for an oil change? That's insane!!!
Chris Costner
I think this is great. It goes to such a small scale type merchant that a little mexican cantina in my town offered $25 off a $50 bill. This has been my only encounter with the program but again, very cool.
Rebecca French
This is a great way for a dealership to leverage mobile activity from their website or third party sites. I work for and our cars 2.0 product (in development) includes foursquare as well as several other social connections on our VDP. This is a great way for dealers to market their service department and increase hours of Labor, especially if a flat rate shop. Oil changes are a great way to start sending the message that you can service all makes and models. Thanks for this blog, Love it.

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