BLOG POST #8: Traditional Media

1 Nov

Who doesn’t like a discount or, even better, free stuff? This is the basic marketing strategy behind coupons, one of the older forms of advertising. As free standing inserts in print media, coupons allow consumers to pick and choose which discounts they want. Likewise, those consumers who opt-in to receive electronic coupons are able to more targeted discounts. They don’t have to spend their Sundays with a pair of scissors and the newspaper circulars.

Despite the time constraint, Advertising Age reported that coupon clipping has had a growth spurt.  In particular, younger people are clipping coupons and seeking out more digital coupons as well.  As those younger people in the article, I am curious to see what you have to say about coupons.  Thinking points include:

  • As a marketing strategy, how effective are coupons?
  • As an advertising strategy, how effective are coupons?
  • Are digital coupons (via the Internet or mobile devices) more effective than print coupons?  Why or why not?
  • Do you use either print or digital coupons?  What draws you to them?  Or, what pushes you away?
  • How might coupons be more effectively used in the future?

12 Responses to “BLOG POST #8: Traditional Media”

  1. Jenny Deighton November 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Coupons are extremely effective. If people can get any type of discount, they are more likely, in my opinion, to buy the discounted item. As for advertising, I think that the coupons can be placed in advertisement. This draws more attention to the consumer. If placed in an advertisement, the advertised product can support the coupon. That way people know what they are going to get with their coupon. If I see a coupon, my attention is directed towards the discounted product. I think digital coupons are way more affective because they are much easier to store on your computer until they need to be printed for use. Not that print coupons aren’t effective… but from my own experience, I will want to cut out a coupon and then before I can do so, someone as thrown the paper that it is in away. I think that eventually coupons will be completely virtual. As our generations rise, technology becomes more of a necessity.

  2. Thea Corona November 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    The clipping or printing of coupons is an incredibly useful tactic especially in these trying economic times. But what really separates a coupon from the rest is the ability for them to make people purchase things they don’t necessarily need. For example, coupons that you can print digitally for higher priced items is an ingenious tactic that in my own personal experience has worked very well. In the long run it doesn’t take that much money off of the particular product at hand, but rather develops a justification within the consumers mind. While on the other hand, coupon clipping to save small amounts of money at the grocery store is an art, but I feel it follows along the same viewpoint as the higher priced items, a self justification factor. From an advertising standpoint, the grocery store that offers the most savings via coupons is going to gain more business whether the people cut or print them out, because they will be viewed as the more affordable grocery store. Lastly, within the past couple of years, grocery registers have been able to provide coupons based on the products that you buy frequently. This makes the art of coupon clipping easy and all you have to do is remember the coupon next time you return, but be sure to read the fine print

  3. Molly McGranahan November 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Coupons are definitely a huge draw for consumers. Judging from my own personal experience, I have noticed that coupons entice a consumer to consider/potentially purchase an item that they otherwise had no previous interest in. If ads come in the mail for a product reduced by 50%, a consumer is much more likely to convince themselves that they do indeed need that product, but they are really only doing so because they are drawn by the heavily discounted price. Although technology is certainly a more convenient way of distributing coupons, print coupons are still a draw for the consumer. Each week, my mom receives a small brochure of coupons from Costco, and she is always snipping out ones of products my family uses, regardless if we actually need them at the time or not. She never fails to make her weekly Costco trip, whereas if they didn’t send out weekly coupons she would most likely only go as needed. For this reason, I definitely believe that coupons are an extremely effective advertising strategy. Online coupons that are able to be printed out are easy for the consumer to manipulate as well. My family receives coupons for Borders book store, and we conveniently print out multiple coupons and just do separate transactions at the store to get an increased discount. The only strategy I can think of that could maybe improve couponing is stores sending out coupon brochures electronically, rather than wasting paper and ink and time in sending them to consumers through actual mail. It is probably a lot cheaper for the company and more convenient for the consumer to just print them off at home, so it is a win-win situation.

  4. Sarah Cunningham November 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Coupons are definitely an effective marketing and advertising tool in today’s consumer market. If I take the time to look through a stack of coupons that you get in the weekly paper, I am more inclined to buy that brand rather than any other brand. Coupons are especially more popular with the younger demographic because they are always looking for ways to save money and if they buy something they have a coupon for, it backs up their reason for buying a product – it was discounted so it’s ok! I think that digital coupons are more effective because not everyone will receive these online coupons, specifically email coupons, where as the print coupons found in news are distribute to everyone. Ultimately, I feel that digital coupons are more valuable and more “exclusive” to the specific consumer.

  5. Jordan MacConnell November 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    I never really cared much about coupons until I moved into a house. When my mom did the shopping I was very particular about brands, now I usually get what is on sale. Groceries and other things for the house can get really expensive and coupons can make a huge difference. I think that it is a very good marketing strategy. Depending on where you get the coupon it could be a good advertising strategy as well. Digital coupons are great, but are most likely offered on the website of the product, so this is not really advertising. One would have to already know about the product or have seen a commercial advertising the coupons on tv. Digital coupons are a lot more prevalent in my life. I don’t subscribe to magazines or anything so most of my coupons come from the Internet or emails received from a company. Email is a very effective way to distribute coupons now and in the future. It allows for personalization, which can play a big part in persuading people to use the coupon and buy the specific product.

  6. Shelby DuBois November 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    I believe that coupons are a very effective advertising and marketing strategy. Especially in this day and age, with the economy the way it is. Coupons are becoming very popular among the younger crows as well. I never really used coupons before and one of my roommates cuts them out all the time and gives them to us for things that we need. They are actually very useful and can save a lot of money. That is why they are good for the consumer. The reason that coupons are good for companies is because they are offering savings which will therefore make consumers more likely to buy their brand over a more expensive one. So although it seems like they are losing money by offering coupons and savings, they are actually gaining money because they are getting consumers to buy their brand over competitors of the same product. So overall, it seems that coupons are a win-win for everyone. I think that internet coupons may be more effective than print ones simply because more people will see them online as opposed to in a magazine or newspaper. It’s easier to search for savings online than searching through every single coupon page from the Sunday paper.

  7. Samantha Montgomery November 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    I am PRO coupon. My mom always had a huge coupon book and we looked forward to the weekend paper to see the ads, especially on Black Friday. With the recession that we are in now, it is understandable that coupons have been much more effective for companies. Who doesn’t like free stuff or discounts? However, I feel coupons are most effective in print. If I have to print a coupon off the internet, I probably won’t bother. Maybe it’s shear laziness, but part of me thinks about the ink that I am wasting in order to save a buck or two. College students and moms should be the main target audience for coupon producers. College students are generally hard-up for cash and the idea of a buy-one-get-one coupon makes their week. Especially in a time when college is so expensive and the cost of living is going up, coupons provide a sense of relief for many students. Also, moms around the world be it soccer moms, stay at home moms, any mom really is generally stereotyped as the grocery shopper. Because this is the case, they are more inclined to use coupons for the family than a dad would be. Digital coupons are probably targeted mostly towards college students who don’t have access to newspapers and other print media.

  8. Nick Tsangaris November 4, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Honestly, I think coupons are God’s gift to man in terms of both the marketing and advertising sides of a product, along with the consumer side. Products get advertising in the best way, and consumers get to get discounted prices on materials that otherwise, they probably would not have bought. Notice that the most upscale items are usually not the ones to get coupons because it might ruin their image of being at the top of their game in the competition with other similar brands. But also, the Target-brand items do not usually have coupons either, because maybe they do not have the budget to support advertising like that. Personally, though I know I should, I do not use coupons. I honestly have no idea why I don’t . It might just be the mental block I have towards getting out scissors and a catalog and going through the process. I guess I’m too lazy to be frugal.

  9. Ralph Fritz November 4, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    I think that coupons are an effective advertising and marketing strategy. As an employee in a retail setting I frequently see manufacturers’ coupons that seem to be the main motivation for a purchase and I see coupons in the store circular that I know will probably result in an item selling out. It also interests me that we are seeing the “long tail” phenomenon that online sales sites use in real life- like when you purchase a book on Amazon and it suggests other books now when you checkout in a brick-and-mortar store there are sometime coupons printed promoting other items. I also feel that digital coupons are more likely forgotten unless a digital version is the only version available. With the growing popularity of 3G phones we may see an increase in the use of digital coupons- as barcodes can be scanned off the phone’s screen. I for one like print coupons, and may even purchase one of those “Entertainment Books” with a handy coupon from this week’s Walgreen’s ad. The allure of doing something cheaper is the obvious motivation, especially in today’s economy and on my income.

  10. Lisa Selnick November 4, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    As a marketing strategy coupons are very effective. Coupons are used by many companies such as Kroger to collect information on consumers as well as keep them returning as loyal customers. Coupons are mailed, dispensed in the food aisles, and given right after purchases with the receipt. The thought process behind it is to make the customer feel that they are a valued customer and want to keep the relationship with the company. The coupons actually generate sales; this is where the strategy is successful. The coupons motivate the customers to use them as well as make other purchases while in the store. This results in more money being spent at the store and increases sales for the company. As an advertising strategy I think the coupons can have a positive impact as well. The coupons not only advertise the store or business but also can persuade the consumer to use their store if given the coupon. It gives an image to the consumer who picks up on the coupon about a store they have never heard of before and possibly what they are all about. Personally, I prefer print coupons because I have never taken the time to search the internet or my email for one. I would much rather have them fall on my doorstep in the mail instead of having to take my own time to search for them. In the future the only suggestions for coupons that I can think of is to be more creative in their designs to attract the customer, be placed where one usually wouldn’t find coupons to stand out as well. Coupons can become more interactive with online codes for games or surveys with actual prizes, instead of “a chance to win,” to create customer involvement. The last thing a corporation can do is to make it known that the business has a certain type of coupon out there so that customers are aware of it and know to look for the coupon.

  11. zach boothe November 5, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    Sorry for the late response, I’ve been sick all day and been napping so I’m on a weird body clock haha.

    Coupons are a very effective strategy; consumers are looking to get what they want at the discount of a discount these days. All the time you are seeing big deals where it’s 50% off all 30% off items. For advertising it’s great. I know for a fact my Nanny goes to all the advertised Macy’s one day sales. And it’s a great deal too! My Uncle found 4 awesome, nice, brand name jackets and they were all market down from $200-400 to $50-150. Lots of busniesses are putting coupons online now, and they are very effective. Ever heard of Groupon or Cincy half off? There was one site where Cincy consumers would vote on one coupon for a business or one for a different business; it was random. Usually a food vs food or a fun activity vs another. I might look through direct mail coupons at home, because I’m down on campus now. I always find good food coupons in the Sunday paper, but that’s about all I get excited about. In the future I think businesses will be able to see what coupons you use and personalize them even better; similar to the whole Kroger rewards cards.

  12. Karen Goldfarb November 5, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    * As a marketing strategy, how effective are coupons?
    They can be very effective if you know your audience and act accordingly. For example, go print if your customers still read print media. Go digital if they’re primarily online or on device.
    * As an advertising strategy, how effective are coupons?
    I think that one is mixed. If you define advertising strategy primarily as brand awareness, not so sure coupons are good for that. In the way that affiliate marketing can denigrate a brand, coupon advertising can have a depressive effect. But it your advertising strategy is more of a DM strategy, that’s another thing.
    * Are digital coupons (via the Internet or mobile devices) more effective than print coupons? Why or why not?
    For me personally, yes. We’re a very digital household.
    * Do you use either print or digital coupons? What draws you to them? Or, what pushes you away?
    Yes. Drawn to those that are for brands I use anyway, or for big discounts. I think Groupon and all the varieties it’s spawned have been genius, at least for consumers. They tend to offer substantial savings, so I’ll check out a new restaurant or order some holiday gifts because the savings are worth it. What pushes me away: discounts that are too low. I can’t get excited about anything less than 40% off. It just doesn’t move me to act.
    * How might coupons be more effectively used in the future?
    Geo-targeting. You’re walking down the street and three brands you “subscribe” to within a block of where you are send you coupons enticing you to go in, right now and get the discount, freebie, etc.

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