Orest Haluszka: New Technologies for Industry and Community

In the Ukrainian community in the GTA, everyone knows Orest Haluszka and his Mega Zabava initiative which organizes popular community parties. Fewer people know that Orest has a CMA certification and years of experience in strategic planning and management consulting with the likes of Rogers, ATP and Autotrader. He is now using this experience in running a new company Mobile Customer Connect.

This high-tech venture designs and sells several solutions aimed at better understanding and managing the client load in retail outlets. The company started off with developing a retail outlet traffic analytics tool. It analyses consumer traffic based on the use of mobile phones. The company installs sensors on the premises and then the tool tracks mobile phones’ unique IDs and assigns unique numbers to them. By analyzing those data, the tool prepares reports for the retailers about customer traffic in their stores, how it develops, where in the stores it concentrates, etc.

This is a new, innovative area, which is part of the so-called “Internet of Things”. In a sense, it is similar to what Google Analytics does for websites, but in this case it is a real world analytics. This analysis helps structure marketing campaigns, as well as strategic and operating decisions.

Although some smaller retailers are wary of this kind of tools and sometimes consider them “big brother” solutions, bigger companies are aware that this kind of analysis is perfectly legal and have been using it for a long time already. This analysis is perfectly legal as people, whose cell phone signatures are analyzed, remain anonymous. In cases when people log on the Wi-Fi networks, they automatically give permission to access some of their personal information. However, this information remains impersonified anyway.
In this area, Mobile Customer Connect is up against such large competitors as Rogers Wireless, there are also several smaller competitors. The Mobile Customer Connect tool’s advantage is that it analyses signals from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth simultaneously. If customers have their Wi-Fi off, it will still be able to track their Bluetooth, or vice versa. Mobile Customer Connect’s tool is also more flexible and cheaper that many competing products.

The second part of the company’s business is a mobile application that provides marketing campaigns for the people who have downloaded certain mobile apps. Their use of certain applications triggers personal notifications based on their profiles. This is called personal marketing and helps businesses reach their visiting customers better. This is done legally and with the customers’ consent. It is also an innovative and dynamic area that helps to improve planning, increase revenues and reduce costs for retail businesses.

This tool is particularly popular with car dealerships, where Mobile Customer Connect links all the inventory to the platform and designs loyalty and promotional campaigns. Mobile Customer Connect designs applications for specific dealerships, and when the customers download the app, it allows for the dealership to reach out to different customers in specific ways. These ways depend on gender, age, whether those customers are interested in promotions or specific cars, which areas of the dealership they visit, whether they are the regulars, etc. Based on that, the tool sends personalized promotional campaigns to the customers. This kind of direct contact with customers is a lot harder to obtain though a website.

Orest Haluszka says that a new era is beginning in marketing when advertisers will strive to predict what individual customers want and retain the customers for life by focusing on personal marketing campaigns. For example, if you buy a car, in the next three month you will get an oil change advertisement, then in some time you will get ads about a transmission oil change and a tune-up. This is facilitated by the development of technology: the applications are becoming more sophisticated, the phone size is getting bigger and now we can scan barcodes on the applications instead of carrying wallets full of coupons. The retailers use all that information to send you the marketing materials based on what your interests are. With the customer’s consent, the retailers can process even more individual information to design specific marketing campaigns.

Orest is not limiting his technological endeavors to the corporate world and is passionate to bring the Ukrainian Canadian community into this bold new era of technology. He told the New Pathway that he is planning to launch a sophisticated loyalty campaign that will facilitate the way the community can find out about community events. He says that Facebook has limits as one can send out notifications to 500 people only and it takes hours to invite all the Facebook friends. For somebody like Orest Haluszka, who has 4,500 social friends including 3,000 friends in GTA, that’s not a lot.

Orest plans to develop an application for marketing campaigns and event management for community businesses. The database will include all sorts of zabavas and parties, concerts, political rallies, workshops, etc. Some people might say “I’m going to a Ukrainian event almost every week. So I think I should get some sort of reward or a loyalty program by participating in all these.” And Orest has been thinking about finding a way of rewarding members of our community which would actually encourage an even more active community life. He believes that he will be able to fulfill this new initiative with the help of Ukrainian community organizations.