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    GasBuddy OpenStore and PDI Form Strategic Alliance

    Plan to combine technologies aimed at giving retailers more ways to use collected data.

    HOUSTON -- GasBuddy OpenStore Inc. and PDI entered into a joint marketing and development agreement aimed at giving c-store retailers the ability to collect data once and use it in a variety of ways in both companies' systems.

    Through this collaboration, joint customers will be able to analyze and report using PDI systems and execute promotional activity via social networks using GasBuddy OpenStore systems. Once a promotion is executed, the data then can be collected in and reported by PDI systems to be analyzed for promotional effectiveness, the companies stated.

    "The framework will allow convenience retailers to have much higher visibility into the behavior of their customers and their stores," Earl Milam, PDI's vice president of product development, said in a statement.

    In one possible scenario, a store manager sends a coupon to customers who have iPhones using OpenStore systems, telling them about a special offer on a fuel/soda cross-promotion -- held when fuel transactions are coming in below moving averages.

    "The core idea of our joint effort is that by combining business intelligence and data mining with digital media and marketing solutions for convenience stores, our customers will be able to tap into the new world of social network marketing," said Jason Toews, co-CEO of GasBuddy OpenStore, headquartered in Houston.

    GasBuddy OpenStore recently introduced its OpenStore Social Network Marketing Platform, which is designed to boost in-store sales of merchandise and food through targeted electronic promotions. "With OpenStore, we can offer clients access to a segment of our database of 64 million unique users," said co-CEO Dustin Coupal. "For companies that already are pushing out promotions via the Internet, we can significantly increase their reach, brand visibility, traffic in stores and ultimately sales."

    The first major client of OpenStore is Rutter's Farm Stores, based in York, Pa., according to the company.

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