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Chacham's Journal: Coupon trends 8

Journal by Chacham

Fox News is carrying this story about coupons.

It's mildly interesting. Here's one paragraph. "A study by NCH Marketing Services, an Illinois-based coupon clearinghouse, found that the percentage of regular coupon users in America has dropped to 21 percent in 2001, from 22 percent in 2000 and 25 percent in 1999. Only 51 percent of consumers agree that coupons "save them a lot of money." And, of the 239 billion coupons distributed by the consumer packaged goods industry in 2001, only 4 billion were redeemed - a significant 11 percent drop."

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Coupon trends

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  • I wonder how people feel about bonus cards and other in-store promotions to track consumer spending habits while offering up automagic coupons.
    • I wonder how people feel about bonus cards and other in-store promotions to track consumer spending habits while offering up automagic coupons.

      I won't use them, for that very reason.

      Generally, stores now ask if I have a card, when I say, "no", they pull out their own card. It can't be relied upon, but it happens often enough.

      One cashier asked if I wanted one, I said "no". She asked why, so I used buzz words (so she'd possibly understand). I answered, "privacy concerns". (I may have explained tracking to her if she asked, but I don't remember.) She said that she hadn't realized, and that was that.

      I was talking it over with a friend, and he was thinking of just giving false information when getting the card itself. Although that removes the information from me, it's the practice itself that makes me wary.
      • As a graduate in Marketing, there is a LOT of relevant use from the side of marketing.

        #1 if I don't know what buying trends are, and the demographics of those buyers, I can NOT effectively consult producers as to what the public is wanting currently nor can I forecast for the future.

        #2 the cards themselves are also an attempt to build customer loyalty. If you know that when you go to Safeway, and you have your little red card, that you will save quite a bit on the items you purchase(if you purchase around what is in the little coupon booklet) you will start to carry your card with you and use it. Mind you, I have NEVER received any form of direct advertising from Safeway's program nor any other grocery store that I know of.

        #3 track me track me track me...I appreciate the 100's of credit card applications I get per year because I can constantly build my credit history by switching my balances to those new cards that offer 0% interest for 6 months to a year, and no balance transfer fees. I never would have received those offers had I not been tracked.

        #4 as for privacy concerns, there is relatively zero personal details required when filling out applications of such in-store cards, just a name usually can get you the card and filling in the rest with bogus info like your old college address. Living in fear of a privacy breach is really low on my list of worries, especially with drivers now days.

        #5 I'll end this rant with all marketing is not evil, it is just perceived as evil because of the shady telemarketing scams and direct mail advertising spam that clutters your mailboxes...as if the e-mail spam wasn't enough =)

        --Huck
        • As a graduate in Marketing, there is a LOT of relevant use from the side of marketing.

          I'm sure there is. But, I'd rather not be part of it.

          if I don't know what buying trends are, and the demographics of those buyers, I can NOT effectively consult producers as to what the public is wanting currently nor can I forecast for the future.

          But can't you just tell that from inventory? Why must you know what I both, and what I bought it with?

          I'm sure it helps somewhat, but I fail to see how much it helps.

          (I never studied the stuff, so I actually don't know.)

          #2 the cards themselves are also an attempt to build customer loyalty. If you know that when you go to Safeway, and you have your little red card, that you will save quite a bit on the items you purchase(if you purchase around what is in the little coupon booklet) you will start to carry your card with you and use it. Mind you, I have NEVER received any form of direct advertising from Safeway's program nor any other grocery store that I know of.

          Yeah, but then the remove the coupons, so you can only get it with the card. That is no longer convenience.

          #3 track me track me track me...

          Some like that, some don't. I don't. I have no problem with programs being around for people who enjoy it, but I just don't like it.

          I wonder if that has anything to do with the J/P preference.

          #4 as for privacy concerns, there is relatively zero personal details required when filling out applications of such in-store cards,

          But, I don't like that they have a detailed list of what I bought. *That* is where my concern is greatest.

          • if I don't know what buying trends are, and the demographics of those buyers, I can NOT effectively consult producers as to what the public is wanting currently nor can I forecast for the future.

            But can't you just tell that from inventory? Why must you know what I both, and what I bought it with?


            'demographics' is the key word here. Was is a man or woman who bought the items...age group...ethnicity...

            those 3 items are the meat of marketing.

            Inventory only tells you what product is hot, but how can I advertise to those purchasing so they will buy more?

            For instance it is a well established fact that 'sex sells'. Unfortunately this doesn't work for Pokemon advertising because the vast majority of pokemon card collectors are kids.
            And lets face it, parents really don't want to
            be encouraging their kids into thinking sexually.
            (no hard evidence there...just common sense)

            If you thought about it as "Hrm...this company is tracking what I've bought so they can provide me with better ads, better product, and better product placement(on shelves/isles/displays in-store) then maybe it wouldn't seem like such an evil plot to know everthing about you =)

            --Huck
            • 'demographics' is the key word here. Was is a man or woman who bought the items...age group...ethnicity...

              See, here's where I don't like it. Whenever anyody gets typed too much, they feel a loss of individuality. If you could come up to me, and tell me exactly what I was going to do for the next few hours, it'd probably bother me greatly. It's a psycological thing. I want to be (thinking I am) in control of every action I do. As if there was a pool of possibilities in front of me and I chose randomly according to some secret devious plot to throw others off my trail.

              Sound's weird, but as I think about it, it seems to be the reason.


              Inventory only tells you what product is hot, but how can I advertise to those purchasing so they will buy more?


              Ah, so it's advertising.

              Well, I guess I don't like manipulative ads either. I'd prefer that the item itself was advertised, not that the item was marketed to me specifically.

              Would you like it if your favorite item was advertised specifically to you, rather than advertising the qualities of the item itself?

              For instance it is a well established fact that 'sex sells'.

              It helps. Ever see the movie "Looker"?

              I think I just read an article about how it actually hurts. It may sell more than a very dry ad, but in itself, it takes focus away from the product.

              Unfortunately this doesn't work for Pokemon advertising because the vast majority of pokemon card collectors are kids.

              I think kids have been trained to respond to it very well. It's just that certain activities interest kids that are focused on the item, and probably wouldn't even see the rest of the ad.

              And lets face it, parents really don't want to be encouraging their kids into thinking sexually. (no hard evidence there...just common sense)

              I'll disagree on that one. :-)

              I think parents would rather not get their children involved in "adult life" until they are "old enough". However, they very much teach them to think that way.

              Look at any young girl in the park and see how she dresses. Short pants, sleeveless shirts, some have makeup to some extent, tight clothes, etc... People don't call it sexual, but it most surely is. If any adult dressed similarly you wouldn't hesitate to call it sexual. I think most of the world is just in denial and believe in that Christian idea "children are innocent". Utter trash. They're ignorant, not innocent. People just don't like "ignorant" because of its negative connotations, and "innocent" sound so nice.

              Oh my, have I started one of my rants? :-)

              If you thought about it as "Hrm...this company is tracking what I've bought so they can provide me with better ads, better product, and better product placement(on shelves/isles/displays in-store) then maybe it wouldn't seem like such an evil plot to know everthing about you =)

              Yeah, probably.

              I want you to know, that I agree with most of the points here. I just like my individuality, and I wish companies would advertise the product's traits, rather than market it to me. Because I see that as "good", and companies do the opposite, I call it "evil". At least it gets the point across. :P

              Thanx for responding. I appreciate it.
              • Look at any young girl in the park and see how she dresses. Short pants, sleeveless shirts, some have makeup to some extent, tight clothes, etc... People don't call it sexual, but it most surely is. If any adult dressed similarly you wouldn't hesitate to call it sexual. I think most of the world is just in denial and believe in that Christian idea "children are innocent". Utter trash. They're ignorant, not innocent. People just don't like "ignorant" because of its negative connotations, and "innocent" sound so nice.

                I am heading into my 2nd year as network admin and part-time teacher at a private christian high-school in Portland, Oregon. And your observation is 100% correct. We have the most relax dress code of any private christian school I've ever attended/been to, and we STILL have problems with girls wanting to show off more flesh than prime-time T.V.! And as far as tight clothes go...even the rather large girls wear these shirts and pants that they litterally have to pour themselves into, but the parents 'allow' it because it's the style and they want their kids to 'fit in'...but they don't SUPPORT it by going out and buying this style of clothing saying "oh you'll look cute in this!" most of the kids now days do their own shopping for clothes, albeit with their parent's money :)... I guess Will Smith's "Parents just don't understand" single rap hit from the 90's doesn't apply anymore :)

                --Huck
                • but they don't SUPPORT it by going out and buying this style of clothing saying "oh you'll look cute in this!

                  Sort of. I am speculating here, but I think that until they reach the understanding of "fitting in", the parents do buy such clothes. So the girls are taught this from a *very* young age.

                  Once they start to understand, the parents pull back, and then I think what you said is very true.

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown

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