Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blog #4: Package-Goods Giants Roll Out Mobile Coupons

Five top package-goods manufacturers including Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Del Monte, General Mills, and Kimberly-Clark are teaming up with Kroger to promote sending coupons through their mobile phones. This promotional tool is geared towards consumers between the ages of 25 and 34, who are likely to have growing families and do not have the time to read the newspaper.

In one test, consumers downloaded Cellfire, a mobile marketing application that allowed them to view Cellfire’s mobile shopping mall to see the various discounts being offered. When the consumers chose particular discounts, they checked off their choices and made a mobile shopping list. The consumers’ discount choices were then sent to computers at Kroger. Kroger’s system “identified the consumer by the loyalty-card number at the checkout, and the discount is automatically applied there,” said Alice Cuneo.

Today, Cellfire has about half a million users and 70% of these consumers are under the age of 35. The electronic coupons can be downloaded off a computer, via the mobile web, and through text messages.

Use of mobile coupons in the future is a great idea because the consumer will not have to cut out paper coupons and then try to remember to take them on shopping trips. However, I do foresee a minor problem as far as retrieving the coupons from the text messages and mobile web. Since the screen resolution in such technology is small, it will take a while to scroll through each coupon. On the other hand, younger consumers in their 20s and 30s, who do not have time to go through the newspaper, would have the mobile coupons readily accessible on their phones.

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