Ten Square, a start-up firm that aims to bring couponing and advertising to retail outlets like gas stations, this week forged an alliance with Chevron Corp., which will allow the marketing company to test its network on gasoline pumps at Chevron stations in Atlanta.
Based on the idea that the best place to advertise local retailers is at other local retailers, Ten Square shows offers on gasoline pump displays, and allows consumers to print out those offers — which often give discounts — and take them to other area shops. The company’s name reflects the fact that its founders believe that most people conduct much of their purchasing within a small geographical area, and they believe that there is great opportunity for cross-pollination marketing between neighborhood merchants.
Ten Square has built a technology that works, with the Internet, to deliver messages to gas pumps, using the existing network infrastructures. Besides gas pumps, the company intends to display its messages on ATMs, and at displays at store check-out counters. The idea is to show consumers information or an offer during the idle time when they are pumping gas or waiting in line.
Merchants who agree to display these ads receive a portion of the revenue that Ten Square brings in. This Chevron test is a critical one for the company — not only so they can test the technology and response to the offers, but because it gives Ten Square an opportunity to prove its worth to a big operator of gasoline stations. In the US, Chevron markets gasoline through around 8,000 service stations in 30 states.