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Social Media and Mobile Are Having a Significant Impact on Retail

According to a recent KPMG survey, social media and mobile have the largest impact on business of tech-related trends.  71% of retailers stated that social media has a significant impact on business, followed by mobile/online shopping at 52% and mobile/online promotions and coupons at 51%.

Social media has a significant impact on the retail business.

Social media and mobile have a significant impact on the retail business.




Mobile Coupons: Where Does Your City Rank in Use?

There’s a new powerhouse on the block and it’s name is “mobile coupons.”  And, nowhere is the use of mobile coupons more prevalent than in Orlando, perhaps because so many tourists bring their cell phones with them while visiting.

According to a study by, here are the Top 25 cities that use the most mobile coupons. Orlando is certainly not Mickey Mouse when it comes to the use of mobile coupons.

  1. Orlando
  2. Nashville
  3. Atlanta
  4. Tampa
  5. Dallas
  6. Kansas City
  7. Clevelan
  8. St. Louis
  9. Columbus
  10. Charlotte
  11. Washington D.C.
  12. Boston
  13. Virginia Beach
  14. Pittsburgh
  15. Philadelphia
  16. Denver
  17. Cincinnati
  18. Austin
  19. Phoenix
  20. San Francisco
  21. Milwaukee
  22. Las Vegas
  23. Houston
  24. Chicago
  25. Detroit

Just how much more likely are residents of Atlanta to use a digital coupon?  They came in at an index of 422, meaning that they are 4x more likely to coupon.  The study ranked all cities with populations of 1.5 million or more.

Mobile coupons have certainly been in the news a lot lately.  Earlier this week, a study released by Juniper Research stated that the number of discount coupons redeemed via mobile devices is forecast to reach 10 billion in 2013, up more than 50% from 2012.



Super Bowl Mobile Marketing Action

If you were watching Super Bowl 46 (I refuse to use Roman numerals that nobody understands), you know that all of the action was not on the field. Best Buy’s advertisement was interesting and showed that it was carrier agnostic and that Best Buy was a great place to shop for the best mobile phone plan for your particular needs.


There also was an enormous amount of action, mobile marketing action that is, during the commercials, proving that mobile marketing has now made it to television’s biggest event and in a big way.

One of the biggest advertisers this year was Chevy, which has a big television ad campaign and advertisements across other mediums. It is also running a competition through its special Super Bowl iPhone and Android apps, where users who take the trivia quiz in the app can win up to 20 vehicles.  But, Chevy wasn’t the only one to jump on the mobile bandwagon.  A range of companies, including Subway, Coke and Pepsi have either sponsored apps, created apps or tied in with existing apps to extend their Super Bowl campaigns to the palm of viewers’ hands.

If you were able to take your eyes off of Danica Patrick and the painted model for a moment, your eyes may have raced over to the QR Code that Go Daddy used in the lower left side of the screen.  You may wonder why a QR Code would be included in a visual medium like television.  Some have likened television’s use of QR Codes to be as silly as putting a QR on the side of a speeding bus.  Not so, in the 2010′s, however, when the viewer can stop the action on the screen or easily go backwards to scan the QR Code.  While it was great to see a QR Code during the Super Bowl, we would have rather seen Go Daddy use a Custom QR Codewhich has proven to get 2.3 times more scans than an ordinary black and white QR Code.

Of course, Papa John’s got a lot of pre-game publicity on this, the biggest pizza buying day of the year.  It’s pregame coin flip of heads means that every member of Papa John’s club will receive an email today on how to redeem the outcome of the coin flip into a free pizza and two liter Pepsi.  You can also check it out here and get your free pizza.  While this was a great promotion, wouldn’t it have been especially cool for winners to immediately get a text message mobile coupon after the coin flip to announce their winning a free pizza.  Talk about chatter at the Super Bowl party!

The NFL itself didn’t miss out on the mobile marketing party either.  It promoted its new NFL fantasy football game.  If you text NFL to 69635, fans could win $1 million in the new fantasy football game.  Now, it’s interesting to be promoting a fantasy football game a full 8 months before most fantasy football leagues will be holding their drafts.  No doubt, the NFL intends to reach out to its text message opt-ins in late summer 2012 to encourage them to use the new fantasy football website.  Obviously, the NFL recognizes that 19 million Americans play fantasy sports and it can’t afford to miss out on this burgeoning market.

According to the Mobile Consumption Survey nearly 40% of respondents used mobile devices in response to TV ads.  This included discussing commercials, getting more information about an advertised product, or watching TV ads again. 45% estimated that they would spend 30 minutes or more on their mobile devices during the game.  Interestingly, more used their mobiles during the first half than the second half, either exhausted from Madonna’s riveting halftime show, the effects of too many beers, or simply a great and exciting conclusion to the game.



How NOT to Place Your QR Code Effectively

Through QR Codes, the bridge between mobile media and viewer is only a scan away.  While QR Codes can be placed on products, packaging, and virtually any surface you desire (even food!), the question “where?” is crucial to its success.  Let’s take a look at a few examples of where QR codes are effectively wasted.

Sure, a billboard seems like a great place for a QR Code. A large space for placement and thousands of people will have the opportunity to scan.  On the other hand, not many people can scan a QR Code while driving 65 mph down the highway, putting the scanner in danger.  Billboard QR Codes have a higher rate of causing accidents than they have scan ratings, making them a poor choice for QR Code placement.



Soul of a Shoe

When purchasing a pair of shoes, do you typically base your decision on what the inside looks like? Chances are the outside styling and inside feel are the determining factors.  But hey, if you don’t mind sticking your phone where you’re sweaty foot has been, soul QR Codes were made for you.


bikni-300x170Bikini Bottoms

While creative, and eye catching to say the least, placing a QR Code on the bottom of Great Britain’s female volleyball team’s uniform will not get any attention from a QR scanner.  Maybe between matches they will receive a scan, but in the middle of a game? If men had QR scanners within their cornea, this would be a perfect placement.



bus  Transportation

Another clever, but unsuccessful attempt to place a QR Code is on the side of a bus.  Unique? Yes.     Eye catching? Absolutely, But taking the time to scan at risk of missing a ride doesn’t appeal to most public transportation passengers.  And like the billboard, with texting and driving laws now being enforced, few scans will be converted without a dangerous situation arising.




I’m not sure if this is creative or delicious, but considering the vanilla frosting, I’ll probably eat before I have the chance to scan the code.  Putting QR Codes on food is appealing, but it comes down to the hunger level of the consumer to whether it will be scanned.  Maybe it can pique the curiosity of a few scanners, but personally, I will digest it before I have the chance to open my scanner.


Now that we’ve seen a few creative, but ineffective QR Code placements, let’s look at a very effective one.


From the start, it’s clear that this QR Code sticks out from any of the others.  This QR code is a custom QR Code, including a picture and a caption embedded within the code.  Custom QR Codes receive 2.3x as many scans as regular QR Codes, making this one more likely to be scanned.  Besides the fact that it is customized, it is placed on a business card.  A business card is a surface that is stored for later use, as the recipient may want to reference back to it in the future. Unlike product or product packaging, it is less likely to be thrown away.  A business card also makes the QR Code more personal to the scanner, attracting them to scan to see what more they can learn that isn’t printed on the card.



Why Restaurants Need Mobile Marketing

Consider these facts:

  • Over 30% of all searches for restaurants are made from the mobile phone, thus making restaurants the highest rated vertical in terms of percentage of searches from a mobile.
  • 60% of those mobile restaurant searches result in a restaurant sale within one hour of the search being made.
  • 84% of all mobile restaurant searches ultimately result in a restaurant sale being made.

Yet, despite these statistics, only 7% of restaurants have a mobile-optimized website. This makes for a poor user experience, lower Google rankings for its mobile database, and lost sales opportunities for restaurants.

In this webinar, ATS President Bob Bentz discusses how restaurants can increase sales by using text message marketing, a mobile website, custom QR Codes, and TextChat.


How Mobile Consumers Want to Receive Coupons

While most mobile users still prefer to receive coupons via e-mail, there is a growing trend among consumers that wish to receive mobile coupons via text message or via QR Codes.


46% of consumers in this study have indicated that they have received a text message with a special offer or a mobile coupon.  In addition, 36% have said that they have scanned a QR Code to receive a mobile coupon.


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