Juice Mobile acquires Gauge Mobile

Neil Sweeney, president and CEO of Juice, tells MiC about the purchase of the proximity marketing company and why now is the right time to get into the space.

Juice Mobile has announced the purchase of Vancouver-based proximity marketing solutions company Gauge Mobile.

The company, which was founded in 2010, will keep its name as part of the acquisition and all employees will be joining Juice Mobile, including Gauge Mobile’s co-founder and CEO Anton Vassiliev.

Neil Sweeney, president and CEO, Juice Mobile, tells MiC that his company made the purchase in order to take consumer conversations beyond the front door of stores.

“We spend so much time talking to consumers, walking them up to the front door and that is traditionally where the conversation stops,” he says. “I think what has happened is after that point consumers are going into the store and using their phone to do things like showroom potential purchases and I feel that retailers and people we have spoken to are scrambling to insert themselves into that conversation. I thought for us there is an exciting and unique opportunity to communicate with the consumer outside the store, on the way to the store and then inside the store.”

Sweeney says Juice is focusing on the areas of in-store, communicating with consumers using their mobile devices, in-pack, which is putting technology inside the packaging of products to allow them to communicate with consumers and in-sign, which makes digital OOH posters interactive.

“Gauge allows us to add a number of different offerings to our solutions and gives us expertise where we didn’t have it before and allows us to work with a different team of people on those areas,” he says. “I wasn’t convinced that we could do in-store organically in addition to all the other things we have in play. I think for me what I was really not comfortable with was to wake up a year from now knowing how I feel about proximity marketing being core to the planning of the future and not having a solution to solve that. Gauge represents us sticking a flag in the ground and showing our partners that we are serious about proximity and about evolving the space.”

In addition to the proximity offerings, Sweeney says the acquisition allows for a new set of data to be collected that combines mobile, OOH and in-store numbers from consumers who interact across the different touch-points.

“I think brands are starting to understand proximity marketing, there are very few people that believe mobile is going backwards and having sat at that table with so many of these brands, the thing about mobile that people often miss is what do you do post click?” says Sweeney. “The first iteration of mobile was to download apps or watch trailers but increasingly, I think marketers are going to embrace more of the utility of the smartphone device itself. You see that through wearable devices, and it is inevitable that will make its way into the proximity marketing space.”

Sweeney says he hopes proximity offerings stemming from the acquisition will be available to clients within the next two quarters.