Gone Are the Days of Clipping Coupons!

I recently used my first mobile coupon and it was wonderful! I showed the cashier the barcode on my phone which she effortlessly scanned for three dollars off my entire purchase. Then, I happened to see a news segment on expert coupon clippers and how they have learned to become so savvy they get the stores to pay them. I also saw where this is all leading to a new couponing reality show. But, maybe the focus should be on mobile efforts rather than the traditional Sunday papers.

ABI Research conducted a report that found a coupon to be the most valuable form of mobile marketing by 63% of consumers. The report also estimated that over 87 billion dollars worth of sales will be generated by 3 billion mobile coupons during 2011. Mobile couponing is a primarily opt in program and the range is wide. The coupons can be a simple text message with a code which is entered into a website and shown to the cashier or participation in a survey that results in a barcode that the clerk may scan for consumer savings.

Or as a group of family and friends experienced at a recent dinner, the savings can be as simple as checking into Facebook places, showing the server and receiving 10% off the entire bill. Mobile couponing is simple, fun and driving the coupons in the Sunday paper to extinction.



When Technology Goes Too Far

My previous post touched on the ethics and morals – or lack there of – in cyberspace. I’ve spent weeks wanting to address what I’m about to discuss on my blog, but have been quite hesitant. Here goes…

A few weeks ago I walked through my house – I’m sure from my office (where I was most definitely immersed in all things IMC) to my kitchen (to quench my thirst from said IMC immersion). During the trek, I noticed the other half watching a documentary on the history of gangs in America. I happened to pass by during a segment concerning online gaming – racist online gaming. Seriously?

We’ve covered lots of information this term on online gaming, advergaming, and both the positive and negative aspects of using this type of social media. Like most online gaming, this particular game was aimed at computer-savvy teens, albeit white teens. The game uses racially motivated violence to create entertainment. I refuse to give any more details for fear of giving it any more word-of-mouth, but it did have sponsors and hate brands placed within the game.

It shocks and saddens me that we have come this far with technology and social media only to have some that use it with such ignorance. Again, it goes back to my previous post and the much needed education and etiquette that the Internet is lacking, as well as some controls. It is such ashamed to think of what we may lose with more control of the Internet, but with all of this advancement in technology comes tremendous responsibility.

Yours, Mine, Ours

We started out copying it all down on the walls of caves and then tablets (and I’m talking old school pieces of stone – not the tablets of new technology!). Eventually, we got into thermal paper, copy machines and scanners. Through it all we developed things from the constitution to copyright laws to protect the hard work and original ideas of creatives. Now it is nothing to copy a digital file and with the simple click of a button redistribute the piece to the masses.

I began this IMC week with very black and white thoughts – our original intellectual property in cyberspace should be treated just as we treat our physical property in our real world. It didn’t take long for my thinking to become very gray. I heard very personal accounts from classmates who had friends that had found their niche on the Internet and were most definitely wronged, articles on just how and why what was Napster, worked. Most interestingly, I heard about ways that individuals could take all the seemingly bad aspects of being infringed upon and turn it into a positive experience.

The thing is the Internet truly is a different world. It demands being looked at from a completely different perspective. And though intellectual property rights are important, the environment of the Internet is based on sharing to create community. Education and awareness is needed to teach respect and proper etiquette for this environment. But what do you think? Is this an area that may ever truly be controlled? Can we ever have a clear fix on intellectual property rights in cyberspace?

Social Media – The New Town Hall

Social media has become the new ‘town hall.’ The main difference is the two-way conversations are instantaneous.

Still, lots of businesses, especially small ones, wonder if this new form of media is right for them and can they truly see results from using it? Social media is a remarkable thing and with so many forms of it out there and easy-to-use templates, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, it can’t hurt to try. Sure, it’s a commitment and getting involved can be overwhelming – it requires the participation of all departments. Social media involves a lot of time and if it takes, then a change in company culture may have to occur. But, the payoff can be great – companies can keep up to date with their industry, learn about their customers, give great customer service, give updates, drive traffic to websites and blogs and a whole lot more.

It’s worth it for companies, big and small, to jump on the social media bandwagon even if it starts out as learning and sitting back to listen in.

The Intimacy of Mobile Marketing

Is mobile marketing too personal?  Think about it.  Our mobile phones have become so much more than that – they’re more like an appendage.  Mobile phones are our daily journals – a way to record the ins and outs of our day, a place to store our friendships and to record the most pertinent of information.

“Text messaging is a growing trend between users becoming more popular than actually calling a person, but more so interesting and great for marketers; people seem to be very receptive to text messaging.”  It is also seen as, ” something psychologically gratifying, exciting, or “cool” that we have as this is “new” technology to get a text message to a cell phone.”   As with everything else that becomes the next “new thing,” marketers will find a way to use it to the best advantage.

Many companies (think BMW) create paperwork on clients, hoping for as many personal details as possible.  In this sense clients are giving permission to receive marketing messages via text messaging, but other companies work more like telemarketers – buying information.  For a device that has become our most intimate accessory, when is mobile marketing too much?

Read more: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/text-message-advertising-grows-in-the-mobile-space/7010/#ixzz1KaorDRib

Searchenginejournal.com. (n.d.) Text message advertising grows in the mobile space.  Retrieved on April 24, 2011, from http://www.searchenginejournal.com/text-message-advertising-grows-in-the-mobile-space/7010/

To Tweet or Not to Tweet…

I am a pen and paper kind of girl.  I love the feel, the different weights and textures of paper.  I love a great pen and finding new favorites.  I even like licking the envelope.  Ages ago I opened a Twitter account.  It held my attention for a few days and then I was over it.  It seemed like relearning the language – a beat up, battered and abused version of English.  This week I found myself creating a new Twitter account (because I had forgotten the old one) and working on relearning that language (though it seems to have really expanded from the last time I tried).

Though I’m a traditionalist in my personal habits, I am fascinated by what social media can do for business, how it can create virtual communities and renew real ones and how it is changing human behavior.  Social media like Twitter, allows businesses the opportunities to build relationships – it can make companies, like Target, a little closer to feeling like your neighborhood store.  Being one who tweets, means that you believe that social media is important for making it all a little more human.

Just in the past year, Twitter has seen the number of daily tweets triple from 50 million to 140 million.  Another area of tremendous growth is Twitter’s membership.  During March, the average amount of new accounts created per day was 460,000.  Members tweeting from mobile devices has also taken a drastic increase by 182%.  Yet another clue that Twitter is the wagon to jump on is that in three years the inside team has gone from an initial eight members to a total of 400.  (Twitter.com, 2011)

There is no denying that Twitter can allow companies to share neat things within their communities, not only apologize, but be helpful, talk about nonbusiness, promote the stories of employees and make big business (and little business) more human.


While I’ll practice what I preach, I’ll always keep the postman in business.




Twitter.com. (2011).  Blog.  Retrieved April 9, 2011, from http://blog.twitter.com/2011/03/numbers.html