BUSINESS MONDAY: Cellphone ads, promos focus of Naples company

Michael Zeto, CEO of Proximus Mobility holds the piece of hardware able to transmit promotional or informational digital content to consumers' Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled cell phones at any venue or location. Jean Amodea/Special to the Daily News

Photo by JEAN AMODEA

Michael Zeto, CEO of Proximus Mobility holds the piece of hardware able to transmit promotional or informational digital content to consumers' Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled cell phones at any venue or location. Jean Amodea/Special to the Daily News

You’re staying at a Las Vegas casino and an ad or promotion pops up on your cell phone.

There’s a good chance that information was provided by Proximus Mobility, a Naples-based company that offers digital content to consumers’ mobile phones from the point of purchase or point of influence. And it works on all phone types and carriers.

CEO Michael Zeto and co-founder David Rippetoe developed a software solution that utilizes cutting-edge technology in the form of an online software application and a piece of hardware the size of an iPhone that allows businesses to measurably increase their bottom line.

The partners, with experience working for a social software and mobile platform provider, “saw the need” and began their fledgling venture at the end of 2009. By May they had the software solution in hand and, by July, their first accounts were signed.

Zeto and Rippetoe self-funded the business until December when investors from Pennsylvania jump in to what they saw was an innovative up and coming company.

Under the banner, “Create. Locate. Deliver. Redeem.,” Proximus Mobility makes its service model to clients easy to understand.

“Businesses can now ‘create’ advertising or promotional offers, content or messages,” Zeto said.

“The devices then ‘locate’ consumers’ mobile devices through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and ‘delivers’ the offers to the mobile device. Consumers then take the offer and ‘redeem’ it at the retailer or brand location. The value chain is then completed between our client and their consumer.”

The hardware plugs into a standard outlet that connects to the internet and the software on demand Proximus Mobility campaign manager via a 3G or 4G phone or an Ethernet connection.

After a one-time hardware purchase — the price of which Zeto declined to divulge — the client signs up for a monthly or annual software license to access the web-based campaign manager. The client may then create and transmit promotional or advertising campaigns to the localized devices from any location, accessible to consumers within 100 to 900 feet.

Clients may also receive and analyze interactive consumer data through the reporting module, Zeto said.

The CEO also said that the company offers plans for both small businesses as well as corporate enterprises, with price points and features tailored to specific business needs. Marketing manager Kevin Rooney of Octagon Events, who worked at the recent Naples Ace Golf Classic, was pleased with the Proximus Mobility solution. It fits in perfectly, he said, with their increased use of social media to reach event attendees, who numbered at least 100,000 for the event.

He said as soon as guests entered the gate, they had quick and easy access to critical event information like spectator mapping and pairing and were able to access promotional coupons generated through digital content from event partners like concessionaire, Pinchers.

A message “Stop by the Pincher’s patio” was streamed to event participants and drove business to the concession and later to their restaurant location, Rooney said.

The solution also enabled Octagon Events to provide an extra advantage to corporate partners by offering exposure to their brand.

“The device can be placed anywhere there is a power source and a wireless connection,” Rooney said. “I can only see the technology growing in size and scope as it can also be used to roll over to our other events.”

Proximus Mobility has already received accolades and has made waves with those in the technological circles. The company received the 2009 Newcomer Award, presented by the Collier Economic Development Council.

Poised to expand significantly through the addition of investment relationships, Zeto said current clients include the world’s first and second largest casino entertainment company and hotel and casino groups as well as a 700-store retail company. Zeto declined to identify the companies.

Proximus Mobility also services small to mid-sized business and works with several large advertising agencies on new global opportunities.

After residing in Naples for the past six years, Zeto said he observed “a lack of established ‘high tech type’ incubators in the area or programs specifically designed to support those entrepreneurs.”

Zeto, who graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University, is searching for other locations to grow his company, while still doing business in Naples. He’s focusing on startup, technology based companies in Miami, Cambridge, Mass., Silicon Valley, New York City and Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Looking ahead, Zeto foresees 20 to 30 high-paying jobs created in his company over a year, with the numbers expected to increase significantly each year.

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