Making Wait Time Engagement Time

by RaeAnne Marsh

A mobile messaging and marketing automation technology that delivers dynamic mobile pages through text messaging, BrightGuest is a local startup founded by Ryan Quinn in August 2014.

Quinn came up with the idea for BrightGuest some years ago waiting for dinner at a restaurant that had a long wait. The restaurant gave him a coaster pager that he stared at for far too long, and he recalls thinking there could be an interactive layer added to the wait that leveraged his engagement. “One of the biggest problems for marketers today is capturing attention,” he observes.

Addressing this void, Quinn also wanted to give brands a frictionless channel to connect with their audience on their mobile phones without requiring an app download. With text messaging cementing itself as the dominant form of mobile communication, he decided to use the standardized Short Message Service as the communication channel but saw a need to take it “beyond the bubble” and empower marketers to create personalized customer journeys — with no coding experience required.

The biggest challenge in starting and growing BrightGuest has been “the art of knowing when to say no,” Quinn shares. Acknowledging the importance of finding the right launch partner who will give insider secrets about how to solve fundamental problems everyone in the market is facing, he explains such a relationship can easily veer into the path of trying to do whatever it might take to solve all the problems. But he notes that many of those problems fall outside the startup’s direct value proposition and serve only to sculpt the product into a perfect solution for that launch customer — but not scalable to the entire market. Says Quinn, “Learn to say no to requests that are out of scope for the rest of your market, or your startup will become an unscalable custom software consultancy for your launch customer.”

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