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New App Lets SMBs Deliver Location-Based Deals To Moms

MomCo is signing up SMBs to deliver deals from businesses that want to reach moms and their kids.

The MomCo app is giving small business owners and independent service providers — whose target demographic is mothers — a mobile platform to extend their reach to local moms.

As they may with Groupon or Living Social, SMBs can use the MomCo app to feature “deal of the day” type offerings to be seen by local mothers. The main difference here, aside from its very specific user profile, is that MomCo is also a social networking platform for moms.

MomCo's Jillian Darlington
MomCo’s Jillian Darlington

“There are two sides of the app,” MomCo’s Jillian Darlington explains. “The mom side of the app, which enables moms to find other moms in their community based on proximity — they can message with each other, post in the forum, make play dates, [etc.]. There’s a geo-locator in the app, so the closest moms will show up first. The service side of it is for businesses that cater to mother and children.”

Locating The Nearest Mom

Both moms and businesses can download MomCo for free. When building a profile, both marketers and consumers must pin either their location or their zip code, Darlington said. “This makes it convenient for moms when searching for other local moms and businesses because those that are closest to them show up first.”

Local businesses can be seen by moms within 200 miles of their location, while national businesses may pay an upgrade if they would like to be seen by all moms on the app. It’s important to note that while businesses can use MomCo as a marketing platform, they can’t dip into the social networking side of the app, which is reserved for moms only.

“Moms can go in, say they’re looking for somewhere to have their son’s birthday,” Darlington says, explaining how the process works. “They can select ‘Playgrounds and Party Centers,’ and the closest indoor playground will pop up. They can go to [that business], get the email, website, and other ways to connect.”

An Alternative To Groupon

Businesses can also list exclusive deals and event announcements on the MomCo app for moms to view in a separate section. It costs $5.99 for a business to have its deal offerings highlighted. “This is really inexpensive,” Darlington says. “[Especially] when you think of what it costs to run a Groupon; it’s costing these businesses thousands and thousands of dollars but they [use Groupon] because they know that is where moms look.”

Darlington, herself a single mom who for three years owned and ran a small business, is clearly looking to change that, by positioning MomCo as the definitive platform that moms use to connect and look for local deals.

The MomCo app is not running in-app ads, Darlington points out, adding that it probably never will. Just four days after its launch, MomCo has seen 1600 downloads and has partnered with more than 250 service providers. Among those that have brick-and-mortar locations are Stronghold Gym, a fitness center for adults and children; Sea & Smoke, a family-friendly restaurant; and Funbelievable, an indoor playground and party center.

The Future Data Value

Darlington has found that each community is different from the next, a point that comes deeply into play when considering geography.

“I’m in San Diego, so my needs are very different from a mom in, say, Iowa,” Darlington says “What’s great here is that the MomCo app automatically customizes itself to meet the needs of each community because it is location-based. I don’t need someone to plow my yard, but someone in Pennsylvania does.”

The differing wants and needs of mothers from one city to the next are reflected and stored in the MomCo app, and as the apps user base grows, Darlington says that data will be of value to businesses.

“Moms will check what interests and activities they’re interested in and we are able to store that data, so down the road say there’s a soccer business that contacts us saying, ‘We’re curious what areas have the highest percentage of soccer moms.’ We’ll have that data. We are not selling our data or any information of our users, but because of the way we’ve made the profiles with interest and activities, we can sort through it be what users have clicked.”

In the meantime, MomCo is primarily focused on driving downloads by both moms and businesses. Darlington says she’s been pushing the word on social media and has been building on relationships with other mothers that have been looking to be a part of a mom-focused social network.

“My business partner and I are both moms and we’ve been working really hard on the past seven months to create amazing relationships. We’ve used Twitter to connect with women and women bloggers. We have 40 brand ambassadors across the country, so they’re helping us spread the word, as well.”