The Fascinating World of Digital Coupons

A study conducted by Harris Interactive found adults with children at home are more likely to be interested in text alerts about sales and promotions than those with no kids at home. Of people with kids younger than 6 in their household, 35% are at least somewhat interested in getting opt-in text alerts from favorite businesses, compared to 32% of households with older kids and 25% of homes with no children. (The study, conducted in May with 2,000 adults, does not distinguish between childless adults and empty-nesters.)
The Growing Market for Mobile Coupons
According to this compelling infographic, mobile coupons appear to be what is driving the mobile advertising market’s growth – and are the most motivating to consumers. Mobile coupons were a $90 million market in the U.S. in 2009, but are expected to grow to $6.5 billion in 4 years. Particularly convincing is that coupons and purchase incentives drive people to spend far more than they would have without said coupon – on average, from $122 without a coupon to $216 with.
    Kroger Co., looking to boost traffic and use of its loyalty program, is making it easier to download digital coupons and load them onto its loyalty cards. The grocery chain is offering more than 100 coupons on its website and allowing users to digitally “clip” them and load them onto their Kroger Plus loyalty cards – the first time Kroger has put together a digital clearinghouse in this way. At checkout, shoppers scan their Plus Card and the discounts are automatically deducted from their bill, the company explains. The Digital Coupon Center includes coupons for Kroger private label brands as well as for popular brands.
    Simon Property Group has teamed up with a Silicon startup, Shopkick, to give its retailers a new option with digital couponing: an application that beams offers to shoppers as they walk by the stores. Simon Property Group is one of the largest retail real estate owners in the country, with some 370 shopping centers. It will be launching this program in 25 of its stores in New York, Chicago, southern California and San Francisco, with plans to introduce it in 100 centers over the next several months. (via the AP). This is how the application works: retailers install the Shopkick application on small speakers at the entrance to their stores. These emit an inaudible sound – which contains a code for the store – that is picked up by cellphones’ microphones. Consumers need to have the Shopkick app on their phones to receive any offers.

    Kroger Takes Online Coupons to Next Level (adweek.com)
    Kroger Launches Online Coupon Center (webpronews.com)
    Shopkick Prepares to Kick Off a Geo-Retailing Revolution (dailyfinance.com)
    Best Buy Launches Shopkick Automatic Checkins and Rewards at 257 Stores (mashable.com)
    Mall deal gives big boost to cell-phone coupons (sfgate.com)
    shopkick and Simon Property Group to Bring Location-Based Shopping App to More Than 100 of the Nation’s Largest Malls (prnewswire.com)

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    Economy: Corporate America, Gen X, LA Real Estate

    After hitting rock bottom during the height of greed, bailouts, and the economic crisis in 2008, the American public’s perceptions of the reputation of corporate America seem to be bouncing back, according to the findings of the 2009 Harris Interactive RQ Study. The percentage of respondents to the study, which measures the reputations of the 60 most visible companies in the US (as determined by Harris Interactive research), who see the state of reputation as “not good” or “terrible” decreased from 88% in 2008 to 81% in 2009. In addition, there was a 50% increase in the number of Americans who said that the state of reputation is “good,” moving from 12% to 18%. This is the first positive improvement in four years.
    As a result of recession-shrunk Baby Boomer household wealth, Generations X and Y will fuel the shopping growth needed to spur an economic recovery, according to [pdf] a new study from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Kantar Retail.GenX in Big Shopping Stage. Baby Boomers (ages 46-64) were largely responsible for the retail spending that fueled the recoveries from the economic recessions of the early 1990s and turn of the century. However, they have now matured to a point where they need to recoup wealth lost during the recession of the past few years in order to save and invest for the future. Therefore, even though Gen X (ages 29-45) is only about 75% the size of the Baby Boom generation, it is one of two demographic age groups that will increase retail spending in the near future. Seventy-one percent of Gen X members have children under the age of 18, and Gen Xers are entering their peak earning years.
    Emi Fontana has filled vacant retail stores with art installations, and even used an empty modern house high in the hills above Pasadena to install a site-specific installation by Olafur Eliasson. In L.A.’s Chinatown, Wendy Yao sells a collection of zines, handmade jewelry and records out of a miniscule strip mall, which has led to a variety of unusual temporary venues. Nearby, Mark Allen uses his small storefront as a place for identifying (and eating) edible insects, holding welding classes and orchestrating temporary takeovers of entire museums.
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    Social Media: Monopoly City Streets, Facebook v 911, Employers v SocNets

    Monopoly City Streets
    Hasbro and Google have teamed up to create the biggest game of Monopoly ever, with the board being the entire world in Google Maps. “We’ve enlisted Google’s help to find three new Monopoly game pieces. You have the chance to have your building design (and bearing your name) included in the biggest game of Monopoly of all time. Use Google SketchUp to design a 3D building, then upload your dream structure to the Google 3D Warehouse to enter it into the competition. “Use Google SketchUp to design a 3D building, then upload your dream structure to the Google 3D Warehouse to enter it into the competition.

    monopoly

    The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) in Adelaide says it is worrying that two girls lost in a stormwater drain raised the alert on a social networking site rather than ringing triple-0. The 10- and 12-year-old girls updated a Facebook status to say they were lost in a drain on Honeypot Road at Hackham in Adelaide’s southern suburbs on Sunday night. Glenn Benham from the MFS says it was fortunate a young friend was online at the time and was able to call for help for them.
    “It is a worry for us because it causes a delay on us being able to rescue the girls,” he said.
    Police brutality
    Nearly half (45%) of US employers say that they now use social networking sites to dig up information about job candidates, a significant jump from 22% last year, according to a survey commissioned by CareerBuilder, which also found that another 11% of employers have plans in the works to start using social networking sites for screening. The study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive, confirmed that as social networking grows increasingly pervasive, more employers are using these sites to screen potential employees.
    computer snooping
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    What’s Working In Digital? Apparently Not Ads or Twitter…

    Most People Don’t Like Internet Ads
    While internet advertisers ramp up their web advertising efforts, the majority of US consumers say they are frustrated by common types of internet ads, according to (pdf) a recent study by Harris Interactive. Pop-ups, ads that are “moused over,” difficult-to-close ads, and musical ads are some of the worst offenders. Ads that spread across the page and cover the content beneath them are the most vexing for consumers, with 80% of respondents in the study deeming these types to be very frustrating, MarketingCharts reports. Ads on which consumers can’t find the skip or close button are a close second, with 79% of respondents similarly annoyed, the survey found.
    Disney Did A Survey Anyways…
    Researchers at a Walt Disney Co. facility in Austin, Texas, collect biometric data from test subjects as they look at online content to detect whether their eyes move to look at ad banners and how their reaction to ads plays out in terms of temperature, facial expression, heart rate and other factors. The work is designed to provide advertisers with a way of quantifying the effectiveness of online ads beyond the click-through measure.
    giles hadman

    Though Twitter is currently in the spotlight as a media darling, only 8% of advertisers and consumers think it’s a very effective promotion tool, according to (pdf) results from a LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll. The study also found that advertisers are more likely than consumers to know about Twitter and are more likely to believe in the microblogging tool’s future power to help promote products and services.
    In the UK for the release of the latest Harry Potter movie, Warner Bros has decided to “use” Twitter. On a dedicated website Twitter users get the chance to send potions and cast spells on the people following them.
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    Blogs v LGBT, Pay As You Want, Tiny Chat, Cardboard Gadgets

    More than half (55%) of gay and lesbian respondents in a recent survey by Harris Interactive report that they read some type of blog – compared with only 38% of heterosexuals – and also are more likely to use popular social networking sites and microblogging tool Twitter.
    apple rainbow
    If magazines, restaurants and hotels can turn to pay-as-you-want pricing schemes to help them survive the recession, why not an ad agency? Sure enough, Agency Nil offers a variety of freelance branding, media and advertising services without any set price, leaving it instead up to clients to decide how much to pay.
    Easy way of creating a video chat

    Cardboard Gadgets
    British designer Kyle Bean has created this impressive set of cardboard sculptures as a statement on the environmental impact of constantly upgrading to the newest tech gear.

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    Important Stats: 51% of Americans Don’t Use Twitter, Myspace, Facebook. Four In Five Are “Attached To Old T-Shirt”

    Glad to see MarketingCharts is focussing on the important stuff … Evidently nearly 80% of Americans in all demographic groups say they feel a sense of attachment to at least one of their old t-shirts, and that shirt is most likely to be one that was acquired on vacation, according to research from BlueCotton and conducted by Synovate. The nationwide study, which was undertaken to learn the fate of all the t-shirts created for sports leagues, fraternity parties, church camps, fundraising events and innumerable other groups and activities, found that 79% of survey respondents still have an old shirt, and that the average number of shirts per person is 2.5.
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    STALKER, 51% of Americans, Brands Most Likely To Disappear, Ford Bloggers, A Magazine Just For You, GEELY GE

    Costumed players highly devoted to recreating the drama of popular first person shooter video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. congregated en masse in the southern Russian village of Sengileyevskoe (Kotaku.com 3.25.09). Around 70 super fans joined forces to show off serious costume flair, simulate knife fights and generally engage in good natured post-apocalyptic theater. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. videogame (Scavenger, Trespasser, Adventurer, Loner, Killer, Explorer, Robber) retails for $20, but you can’t put a price tag on the cosplay experience. In tough times, amped escapism is just what the doctor ordered. Truly devoted fans crave ways to live their favorite stories and cosplay gives them the power — provided they’ve got a healthy sense of imagination and taste for the dramatic.
    stalker
    As the recession deepens, economic forces continue to drive consolidation in the retail industry, debt comes due and increasingly discerning consumers buckle down on discretionary spending, an analysis by 24/7 Wall Street predicts that a number of well-known brands are likely to disappear before the end of 2010. To determine which brands are most likely at risk, 24/7 Wall Street examined 100 large brands it believes are in trouble and, for each, looked at public financial records, sales information, analyses from industry experts, the competitive landscape in each’s industry and the likelihood that a brand could be sold off in the case of parent-company financial trouble.
    In an aggressive social-media program that goes far beyond what Ford has done in the past — and reaches beyond just the marketing department — the automaker is counting on 100 bloggers to introduce its new Fiesta, which is set to reach U.S. dealers in early 2010. The idea behind Fiesta Movement is to get the model’s target audience to drive and, hopefully, chatter about the car for months to come.

    A Magazine Just for You Arrives With Glitches
    A custom publishing experiment from TIME Inc. and Lexus, in which readers pick the content and the automaker-tailored ads are based on the articles chosen, has been a mixed success. Nearly all of the 31,000 free print magazines have been requested, but fewer than 30,000 of the 200,000 online editions have been taken. The project also had a few glitches, including first issues that had articles from magazines not requested by the reader and too much “evergreen” content.
    GEELY GE: The Ultimate Chinese-Made Luxury Car / Knock-Off
    For the ultimate in China-made luxury cars, GEELY has introducted the GEELY GE, which has a striking resemblance to the Rolls Royce Phantom. One of the most distinctive features of the 17.5 foot long GE is a 2+1 seating arrangement with a single seat throne for the rear passenger. The GE is being unveiled at this week’s Auto Shanghai Exhibition.

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