‘Think Local First Cullman’: Cullman Chamber launches mobile app to promote member businesses


Image courtesy of the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce

CULLMAN – The Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce recently released a smart device app designed to help Chamber members promote their businesses, and to help shoppers and even out-of-town visitors find the best deals around town.

In a press release, the Chamber announced, “The Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is proud to announce a new partnership with DealPoint, a company specializing in location-based marketing, to launch a custom branded app experience exclusive to Chamber members. Location-based marketing is a direct marketing strategy using a mobile device's location to alert the device's owner about an offering or information from a nearby business.

“The Think Local First Cullman app is a real-time messaging and merchandising platform enabling Chamber member businesses to distribute messaging and custom insider deals to the local community by time and place.”

Chamber President Leah Bolin wrote: “It’s important for local business owners to have a platform to not only reach the local community but reach visitors to our area as well.  The Think Local First Cullman app is a solution for our businesses to engage their customers and grow their bottom line for free.  Member businesses can choose one location ‘Member Freemium’ as a no-cost benefit and have the option to increase their campaign capabilities by accessing a monthly subscription plan with no redemption fees or holdback.

“With the Think Local First Cullman app, your business is in control.  You decide how to present it to the market.  I recommend our members take advantage of this additional benefit to see how the Think Local First Cullman app can increase customer loyalty and business-to-customer engagement.”

Chamber Business Development Director Brian Poole explained to The Tribune, “The app was conceived when we came up with the concept of the ‘Think Local First Cullman.’  And we thought to ourselves, you know, we have Groupon out here, we have many other retail apps, and we thought what would be really cool was if we had one that was just for Cullman and Cullman County.

“So, we started searching out, trying to find the best way to do this; and we found a local boy from Birmingham that has family here in Cullman, and started talking with him about it.  Well, he actually has built an app already, and his company is called DealPoint . . . Chris Warren is his name.  And so, we began working with him–and another thing, keeping it local: we had a boy with local connections.  And so, the first thing he did, he showed us how it works, and it’s a lot like Groupon.”

Chamber members can get into the app and update their information on a daily and even hourly basis, as opposed to some platforms that may update business ads as seldom as once per month.

Poole showed us the consumer side of the app in action, punching up a Cullman-area map with pins on it representing every member business in the Cullman area offering any sort of deal at the time we were online.  Options in the app can have it ping the user any time he or she is within a quarter mile of a business featuring a deal, and the app’s connection to the DealPoint national network would alert DealPoint subscribers using the app or even just passing by Cullman on the interstate to deals in the city, thereby helping promote Cullman area businesses far beyond the Cullman area.

Said Poole, “The biggest advantage to this is, you know, your marketing cost is huge in a business, and, with this, we’ve been able to give our members something that doesn’t cost them a thing, but they can still get out there on the app world without having to pay anything. 

“And the other thing is being able to change it daily.  You know, it’s not like some of these you get, and you’re set for a month–that’s your ad.  With this, if they want to have an ad for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday–a different one every day–that’s great for them.  So, very excited for our members to be able to market in the new age of app, and electronically.”

Think Local First Cullman is available to shoppers and member businesses from iTunes and Google Play.  Poole will offer a class next week for members on how to set up and use their pages.  The date and time have not been set; those interested should contact the Chamber at 256-734-0454 or email Poole at bpoole@cullmanchamber.org for more information.

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