Mobile coupons could be just the ticket for frazzled consumers

 In mobile coupons

Recently while I was sitting in Madrid airport having just come from a very successful meeting about mobile advertising I saw an article in the Financial Times by Jonathan Birchall titled Advertisers switch focus to money-off coupons, so I thought it worth highlighting.

America is well known for its coupon culture, but it seems the economic downturn has pushed consumers and advertisers to coupons in a big way.

Quoting from the article, Jonathan explains how brand giants such as Procter and Gamble (P&G) are  “shifting funds where effective to coupons and consumer promotions that deliver better value”.

Apparently P&G has been offering customers who mail in receipts for more than $50 of P&G’s brands a booklet of coupons worth $120, or a $10 voucher valid at Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club stores.

According to David McCracken of P&G’s US business said the offers were the first of their type by the company.

“Consumers are more open to that kind of message than they would have been 18 months ago, and we’re trying to resonate with them,” he said.

Thinking from a mobile perspective, coupons are well suited to the mobile channel.

Quoting from Alan Moore’s whitepaper on “the allure of the mobile society” he states that mobile is:

  1. The first personal mass media
  2. The first always carried media
  3. The first always on media
  4. The first media with a built-in payment mechanism
  5. The first media always present at the point of creative impulse
  6. The first media where the audience can be accurately identified

With this in mind, extending the “coupon culture” to mobile makes perfect sense.   People I have spoken to that participate in the Tesco Clubcard scheme claim that while they get the coupons in the mail, they often forget to take them with them to the store.

With mobile this would never be an issue.  Coupled with a user’s preferences indicated via mobile, and the coupon distributer could create a very effective and measurable marketing campaign.

I think in 2009 as the economy goes into freefall, consumers even in the UK will warm to coupons, and they will start to make an appearance on the mobile as an extension to existing store loyalty campaigns.

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.