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What’s Next for Digital Coupons?

January 19, 2012 by Kevin Michael Gray

 Today's featured article hits close to home as one of my first entreprenuer efforts was establishing a text message marketing company for bands called RockStarTexting (side brand of BoomText which was recently bought out by Comerce Tel and is one of the industry's leading mobile marketing companies).  What does the future hold of digital coupons?  What do you think we can expect in the year 2012 and beyond?  Today's featured article discusses social media based coupons, sms campaigns, and more. Read more below:

 
What Business Owners Need to Know About Daily Deal Couponing
 
Although intriguing for consumers, daily deal platforms like Groupon have not always been beneficial for business owners, who often see a spike in business but little customer retention.
 
A Rice University study found that 66% of the 150 businesses surveyed reported that Groupon promotions were profitable. However, more than 40% of the organizations said that they wouldn’t run a Groupon offer again.
 
Daily deal platforms have revealed the social nature of contemporary couponing. For example, Cornell University reported that many Groupon users see themselves as “marketing mavens,” and “on the front edge of market trends and price information.”
 
Additionally, users claimed in the survey that they would not have tried a restaurant or store without a coupon offer. Contemporary couponing has highly influenced social branding, greatly increasing the popularity of daily deals.
 

1. Social Leads to Social Sharing

 
The social, daily deal strategies made popular by sites such as Groupon and Living Social have certainly spawned many copycat initiatives within the digital couponing realm.
 
One such example is SocialTwist, a platform that states it “allows users to share in order to receive a better bargain.” Basically, consumers can turn a $1 coupon into a $4 coupon simply by sharing it with four other people.
 
This method will likely continue to increase in popularity in 2012 — we already saw evidence late November 2011, when Foursquare announced it would incorporate a new “social sharing” button on its site.
 

2. Getting Mobile-Ready

 
Given these newer strategies, companies are mobilizing their virtual and physical platforms to better reach and retain these social, mobile customers. Most companies are aware that their mobile presences have to be dynamic and user friendly. With roughly 91% of the population using mobile devices and 26.3% accessing the Internet, it is important to have a mobile site for on-the-go reading and utilization.
 
Additionally Google reported that 95% of smartphone users have searched for local information, proving that location-based, deal searching is vital to digital couponing.
 
The same study found 38% would use a mobile device to find a store location, 34% to compare prices, 28% to research deals and coupons, and 27% to find a product review.
 

3. Resolving Mobile Couponing’s Redemption Pitfalls

 
Mobile couponing, an obvious extension and result of digital distribution, has been popular despite its “mechanical” issues. With the rise of digital coupons, there was also a surge in consumers who used their mobile devices to reference coupons visually on their smartphones. Unprepared for this development, the redemption process, such as the scanning of digital coupons on mobile devices, has proven difficult until recently.
 

 

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