Most agencies fill their blog with posts about process,  services and your need for those services.  Plenty of information about why you need service X and the pitfalls of not having it.   At Phalanx we’re not most agencies,  so for our blog we’re not going to talk about  our services,  or the reasons why you need what we provide,  we’re just going to talk about what makes us tick.  What are the things that get us excited,  how we would use them,  what our aspirations are for design and technology and the “Cool Shit” factor we feel some paths can accomplish.   So for this post we’re going to talk briefly about an internal product concept we have kicked around for a while based on location based technology and a use for it that may be a little counter intuitive.

Re-Targeting for the Real World

A little over a year ago our founder was sitting in a customer meeting with their media buyer. The  customer is a large east coast based convenience store chain and the discussion centered on Millennials and how to capture this elusive group’s hearts and souls digitally.  The meeting was full of talk about banner ad campaigns,  traditional media buy, coupling interactive components (games)  and targeting specific markets.   All the usual tactics and strategies.  The media buyer was set on standard banner ad buy with Pandora and many of the major networks along with a Facebook play of course.  Everything sounded good but the problem with all of those pieces in our minds was they don’t happen a lot of times when your at that point when you’re making a decision that could be swayed by them.  So, as is typical for people who work with at Phalanx,  we started to consider what would be the “wet dream” for an advertiser to make that happen?  And even better reap rewards from competitors.  Well that’s easy,  location based mobile targeted “pitches” to get a user to try a product when they pull onto a competitors parking lot.  So needless to say one thing led to another and a suggestion was blurted out and the customers’ ears perked up and they asked “Is that possible?”. Well of course it could be possible,  we could develop a mobile app that would allow advertisers to post targeted ads at competitors’ lots,  have it based on the typical ad model of impressions and bidding for them etc…etc.  The word used to  describe such a concept by the account manager for the media buying agency was “insidious marketing” and he expressed his eternal love and admiration for it.  The idea that you could potentially spur a competitor’s customer to action and making a decision in the near future to try something different while in their car or walking into that location was too good to be true.  Right?

Well not exactly.

It’s possible,  it has some hurdles on the technology side,  some obstacles for getting it off the ground and engaging brands when you need users and vice versa, etc.  But it’s not impossible.  We were definitely psyched to look into it further.  The agency we were working for at the time had us look into a quick prototype based on Sheetz convenience stores,  Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks which we had a lot of fun doing,  it was a branded app for Sheetz that centered around a piracy theme,  worked perfectly.  You couldn’t walk onto a lot in Charlotte, NC for a Dunkin without getting a deal sent to you for Sheetz.  Sounds like fun hmmmm….

So basically our goal with this post is to show a little bit of how we think and in particular how we think in the heat of a work sessions with customers, planners, and CEO’s at the table.  You assess the situation, and provide unique approaches to opportunities to stand out.  It’s stories like this that lead to new products,  new ideas and eventually innovation.  We have a lot of years in the business and a lot of these stories.

Sidebar:  The product concept is still something we love so if you have a buddy with a pile of money to help develop it let us know,  we know who to talk to to ramp it up.



Phalanx Digital is a award winning Pennsylvania based digital agency that works directly with advertising and marketing agencies to help design and develop their digital efforts.  With designers and developers in-house with skills ranging from native mobile apps to enterprise software experience design and development Phalanx is uniquely positioned to assist our partners with making their digital dreams real.  Phalanx makes its reputation with delivering projects for large and small brands alike on time and under budget.  Customers we have worked with include: Sheetz, Remington, Victory Motorcycles, Troegs, US Army, Carlisle Syntec, Allstate, Beaufurn and many others. 

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  • Tuesday July 15, 2014


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