Social Media

Why Coupons Work and Why 86% of Consumers Use Them

Posted in Coupons, Facebook, Restaurants on July 16th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Last year, over 50% of American indicated they would tighten their spending during a recession according to a survey by Harris Interactive. Over 38.6M consumers used online coupons in 2008, a increase of 39% from 2005 (Simmons) with online users accounting for 24% of the close to 150M consumers using coupons! A more recent study only shows the numbers have intensified! A 2009 study found that 87% of consumers prefer to shop at retailers that offer coupons, and 89% said they’re more likely to use coupons in a recession (Packaged Facts).

Coupons On the Rise!
In 2008, when it came to the use of coupons, 86% of consumers said they had previously used coupons or discount codes. Over a third said that they would increase the use of coupons during a recession. More women (43%) than men (31%) would use coupons according to the survey. In a separate survey conducted by ICON (in April 2008), 67% said they are much more likely to use coupons during a recession. Surprising, younger consumers were more likely to use coupons. According to a yet another poll, 61% of consumers report using more coupons now than ever before. 78% percent are using coupons to avoid changing their lifestyles or cutting items from their shopping lists. The bottom line, regardless of whose numbers you look at, it is a given fact that now, more than ever, consumers are being pulled into using coupons!

Coupons and Purchasing Decisions
A significant number, 63%, said they would not make a discretionary purchase if a discount or deal was not available.  As I pointed out previously, almost all consumers prefer to shop at any establishment that offers coupons. Market research shows that coupons increase purchases by consumers who may not have tried a product otherwise. Studies have also shown significant incremental sales from coupon campaigns, and find that exposure to a coupon (especially one with a high value), even in the absence of redemption, generated incremental sales volume.

Online, Digital and Mobile Coupons
Retailers are using new interactive and online media, including online coupons, mobile marketing/coupons, viral marketing, and all forms of Internet advertising to reach younger, more affluent, consumers who prefer these marketing channels. For example, in the ICON survey, 58% of respondents believe their coupon use would increase if they could download a coupon from the Internet and have it automatically connected to a loyalty card. Major food companies are shifting spending from more traditional advertising to online, mobile and social media as a result. Companies like Unilever, Starbucks, Kroger, Carl’s, Jiffy, are already testing mobile coupons with good success including higher redemption rates. According to Jupiter Research, nearly three billion mobile coupons will be issued to mobile users and just under $7 billion discounts redeemed by 2011 and eMarketer agrees that is prime time for mobile coupons with handset penetration north of 80%. You can expect SocialGrub to deliver coupons directly to mobile devices in the near future as part of this “hyper-local” mobile trend.

coupon Why Coupons Work and Why 86% of Consumers Use Them

 

Coupons and Viral Marketing
Most of you know that I am a big fan of viral marketing. One of the biggest features in SocialGrub is the ability to share offers and coupons! By distributing coupons via social networking forums like Facebook and Twitter, SocialGrub amplifies the impact of a coupon campaign. Sharing, email and posting features allow the consumer to assist retailers in finding like-minded purchasers! Mobile coupons can further amplify the viral effect (Carl’s/Hardees found out the hard way). The next release of SocialGrub (in August) will provided added incentives for users to share coupons with friends. FSW mentions some great viral restaurant marketing strategies including the use coupons and “refer a friend” promotions and also talks about potential risks as well as success stories!

Leveraging Coupons
Coupons are indeed a proven way to increase sales for small businesses. The Constant Contact and smallBiz talks about a number of great ways to distribute and leverage coupons including:

  • grow loyalty programs (award coupons after customers spend a certain amount). This technique can also increase brand loyalty.
  • rewards existing customers for return business (coupons at checkout to encourage repeat business)
  • acquire new customers via incentives for “on the fence” shoppers
  • lure first time customers to try your products or services
  • increasing add-on sales as part of an upsell
  • incentivize consumers to sign up for your newsletter or Twitter feed, or become fans of your Facebook page!
  • more…

Everyone is Using Coupons
Web sites that offer coupons and offers have had a 14% increase in traffic year after year (Hitwise). Coupon sites were the fastest growing online category in November 2008 (eMarketer) as well as the overall second most popular category online (comScore). Over 38.6M people used online coupons in 2008 (Simmons) and the number of people using only online coupons grew 51%.

Is Your Business Using Coupons?
There is a misperception out there that coupons and discounts simply destroys value and cheapens a brand. This is hardly the case! Business analysts, like eConsultany, agree that “couponing is a proven model that drives sales and that’s why all sorts of businesses.” Companies from price-driven Burger King to high-end brands like Ritz Carlton offer coupons or “promotional offers” to increase sales or grow their market. The question isn’t really “if”, but “how”!  More to come on the subject!

Adding SocialGrub to your Facebook Fan Pages

Posted in Facebook on July 13th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

As I mentioned in my past posts, restaurants, hotels and other retailers can add SocialGrub as a tab on their Facebook Pages (note: users can also add a SocialGrub application as a tab to their profile). You can check out these examples of that this looks like (click on the VIP Offers tab):

Below is a short video that shows how simple it is to add the SocialGrub Facebook application as a tab on your Facebook page. What’s great about this marketing approach is that by getting users/customers to engage and interact with your coupons, offers or other marketing promotions directly on your Facebook Page, they inadvertantly (or advertantly) authorize the application and end up adding the application to their profile and hopefully using it on a regular basis.

I would recommend watching it in full page view.

New Facebook Feature: Improved Publisher Support

Posted in Facebook on July 10th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

We have recently added a new feature to SocialGrub for Facebook. Now users of your restaurant’s SocialGrub Facebook application can publish coupons directly to their wall or to a friends wall using support for Facebook’s short story publisher.

From their or a friend’s profile, 1. users can simply click an icon (Share an Offer), 2. next they select a favorite coupon of theirs (that they previously bookmarked) and 3. post it directly as a short-story.

publisher New Facebook Feature: Improved Publisher Support

Although you could still post coupons and offers directly from the coupon tab of the SocialGrub application, this new feature brings the posting functionality front-and-center to a user’s profile and gives them quick and easy access to their favorite deals, offers or coupons directly from the publisher.

SocialGrub Video Demo

Posted in Facebook on July 2nd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

There is a short video overview (still work in progress – the demo that is) that I thought I would share (given the number of folks who have been asking for one). This video shows the user’s interaction with the SocialGrub Facebook application (in this demo, we are using the Dolce Group VIP Network application) and goes over the following usage scenarios:

  • User viewing and filtering coupons within SocialGrub
  • User adding/bookmarking coupons to their list of favorite offers
  • User viewing coupon details, printing a coupon and making a reservation on OpenTable (via reservation link)
  • User sharing the coupon by posting it on their feed (directly and via publisher), posting it on a friends feed (via publisher), inviting others to use the couponing application and sharing directly using Facebook’s share functionality (that allows you to post to your profile or email a friend)
  • User adding the coupons as an application tab on their profile page
  • User accessing and interacting with a Fan Page that has the SocialGrub application installed as a tab. See Example

I would recommend watching it in full page view with the version on blip.tv.

“Dolce Group VIP Network” launches…

Posted in Clients, Facebook, Social Media on June 2nd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Yesterday afternoon at approximently 4:00PM CST history was made with the launch of the first official SocialGrub Facebook Application. The “Dolce Group VIP Network” supports 14 different restaurants comprised of 8 different concepts in 7 different geographic regions.

The feedback from the members who have installed the application has been positive and new features are being added every day.

If you own or work for a restaurant or retail business, you really should look into the services of SocialGrub–as it will revolutionize your marketing and advertising campaigns.

Get a peak at the “Dolce Group VIP Network” by clicking here: http://www.facebook.com/editapps.php?ref=mb#/apps/application.php?id=80616988183

The First SocialGrub…

Posted in Facebook, Marketing, News, Social Media on May 29th, 2009 by sam – Be the first to comment

On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse sent the telegraph message “What hath God wrought?” from the Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to the B & O Railroad Depot in Baltimore, Maryland.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence (or so we think that) on May 29, 2009 (5 days and 165 years later) that we anticipate the first fully functional SocialGrub to be transmitted to Facebook later today.

Just as how Samuel Morse and the “Morse Code” transformed communication and technology, so will the technology of SocialGrub.

SocialGrub is a unique social networking marketing tool and portal that will allow a business to create advertising and marketing campaigns and push (or as we like to refer to as “grub”) the information into various social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook–with many more to come. With the SocialGrub application a business owner will be able to target the audience of a specific store, a region, a brand (for multi-concept operators), or (soon) based on specific demographics. Imagine being able to create a marketing or advertising campaign and being able to send it to only women who are 21 – 31 years of age and live in a specific zipcode… that’s the power of SocialGrub.

We are litteraly one algorithm away from going into a BETA of the application–which should only last a week or two at most… then watch out world!

Hopefully soon SocialGrub will become a household name and even have a verb tense (“grub”) just like Google has become.

We think Samuel Morse would be proud… and so will you!