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Steve Rothwell

Founder & CTO

Eagle Eye Solutions

Tell us about your role at Eagle Eye Solutions

My entire life I have found the most excitement from creating things and from the power of technology. From the time I was about 9 and got my first electronics kit I built an alarm system for my bedroom to alert me when my parents were coming in (it never worked properly but I loved building it).

Since leaving university I worked in the mobile space and from a very early stage heard statements I just didn’t believe in such as “Mobiles are for talking on”, “Mobiles won’t be used for payments” etc. I have always believe that digital would be central to life in general.

In 2003 I formed Eagle Eye Solutions with the intention of using the mobile device as a promotional marketing tool. However I quickly learnt that the challenge with using the mobile to drive people in-store wasn’t the issuance of offers and vouchers to consumers but the redemption of them. So in 2004 we took the bold step of saying we need to create a network for the redemption of offers and vouchers - however delivered to the consumer - that would allow any retailer to attach and yield value; think the MasterCard and Visa of offers and vouchers.

Even today I get an immense sense of pride when I see work done by the team being used in retailers, restaurants and bars. There is nothing more satisfying for me than seeing the network being used on a massive scale in over 80 retailers.

What’s unique about your proposition in the market?

Central to our uniqueness is the network concept. The network enables any retailer to attach their system and use the tools for engaging their customers. Quite simply the more partners who join the network the more value is available to all partners on the network whether than be through the new tools being added to the network or through the partnerships they can create from the network.

It is really all down to economies of scale, everything we do on a daily basis comes from a network for the same reason, from the National Grid for electricity, the train network and payments the majority of life runs on a network and so shall coupons and vouchers.

The network enables the issuance and redemption of value for the consumers. Consider these cases.

  1. You’re a retailer who wants to launch a new marketing campaign with a new partner – without the network you would have IT work to do with your PoS teams; with the network the partner just connects to the API and you're live
  2. You’re a retailer who wants to partner with another retailer; again if both are on the network you can promote each other and reward each other’s customers

But the network is more powerful than just marketing concepts; the digital network enable a number of different business benefits:

  • Elimination of fraudulent activity with coupons, vouchers and gift cards
  • Lower operational costs such as electronic counting and reconciliation of paper vouchers
  • Customer tracking and data capture
  • Increased return on marketing investment
  • Increased redemption rates and footfall
  • Increase brand spend in store
  • Increase multi-channel engagement

What do you regard as the key challenges facing stakeholders in the mobile couponing arena?

There are a number of key challenges that retailers in the mobile couponing area face but we have identified 3 main areas:

  1. There are many partners to work with which can make it hard to identify who is best and what would bring the most benefits back to the retailer
  2. Security can be a problem, with so many coupons being distributed in multiple channels, retailers struggle to track them, to know how much they should be reconciling against coupons and the brands associated with the offer
  3. The biggest problems for stakeholders distributing coupons is the redemption part of the process. Most won’t have the capability to enable this to happen easily

Our Eagle Eye AIR platform acts a network that can solve all of these issues and more, eliminating all the key challenges that mobile couponing stakeholder’s face.

How has your business benefitted from Juniper Research?

We have just started using Juniper Research regularly, they are a key player in the mobile commerce area and have supplied us with some key insights and research that we’ve used across the business and externally.

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