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AUG 10, 2015 @ 10:50 AM

Guns, Ammo & Geo-Targeting: How A Father-Son Team Is Bringing Deals To Weapons Enthusiasts


Karsten
Strauss
FORBES STAFF

A journalist covering entrepreneurs,
technology &
business.



Tom and Ryan Gresham sell ads on their newly released app, GunDealio, which helps shooters find deals.


Weapon enthusiasts are like any other consumer: they do their research before they buy and they’re always on the lookout for a good deal. At least that’s what Tom and Ryan Gresham are banking on with their latest enterprise; a mobile app they claim can feed shooters news about discounts and sales at gun stores wherever they may be.

Called GunDealio, the iOS and Google app uses geo-targeting to introduce shooters to deals on guns, ammo and accessories at some 2,400 independent and big box locations, including those of retailers like Cabelas and Bass Pro. It went live in June and has been downloaded over 10,000 times.

Here’s how it works: shops and manufacturers report whatever sales or deals they are offering (as well as where they are) to the GunDealio platform. When a customer with the mobile app installed enters the neighborhood of the shop, it notifies the customer about those deals with a push notification. Free to download, the app brings in revenue through ads and sponsorships from manufacturers in the space. “They’re able to not only have their deals and listings at the top of the list, but also they’re able to send their notifications to people when they walk into stores,” says Ryan Gresham, who is a former ad executive for Fox TV in New Orleans.

Firearms manufacturer Kahr – which produces a range of compact handguns, large caliber pistols and the producer of the venerable Tommy Gun – signed on to have information about its wares pushed through the new app. “Through GunDealio, Kahr can share the latest promotions and product reviews of our products before they even reach the gun counter,” says company spokesperson, Sheryl Gallup.


Ryan and Tom Gresham (l-r), of Guns & Gear.


The product is the latest offering from the Greshams, who run the Louisiana-based Gun Talk Media, which produces radio and TV shows that focus on firearms, hunting and personal safety. Under their umbrella is the television show Guns & Gear, which is in its seventh season and airs on the Pursuit Channel, The Sportsman Channel and Wild TV in Canada. The show features both Tom and Ryan discussing what’s new and exciting in the gun industry, as well as product demonstrations and features. Tom Gresham – whose father was outspoken outdoorsman, writer and TV personality, Grits Gresham – also hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, Guntalk, as well as its corresponding Guntalk TV, which also airs on the Pursuit Channel. The entire enterprise generated $2.7 million last year.

The idea for GunDealio sprouted about four years ago, says Ryan, but the concept was a little more complicated and expensive to launch. “We were basically working on creating a digital signage network to put screens into independent retailers across the country and feed those screens content and marketing messages for the folks that were standing there watching it.”

The problem was that independent retailers often didn’t want screens installed at their locations and the idea was set aside until the obvious solution presented itself. Says Ryan: “Everyone’s walking around with a little screen in their pocket that’s hooked into the internet and, even better, has GPS capabilities on them that lets us do some really neat things.”

Once the app reaches critical mass, GunDealio will set about helping independent gun shops target their local customers more effectively by drawing a geo-fence around geographical markets and sending messages to app users in that area. Says Tom Gresham: “Then when they walk into the store they could get a message that’s a follow-up on the initial promotion that went out.”

What with television and radio to produce, and now a marketing app, the Greshams have a lot on their plates, but other app solutions may be on the horizon. Says Ryan: “The joke around here is we always have lots of ideas, just not enough time.”

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For more information,contact
Skip Joeckel at 719-579-6676
or skip@talkshowsusa.com



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