The old way:
Consumers clipped coupons from newspapers, mostly on Sundays. They perused pages upon pages of multicolored fliers looking for the brands they used. With a pair of scissors, they clipped and then filed the coupon. If brands were lucky about 1 in 5 were redeemed. The rest ended up in landfills. Brands knew nothing about the redeemers – except which papers they read and where they redeemed them.
The new way:
A consumer unlocks a deal by “liking” the brand on Facebook – getting everything from a free sample to an electronic coupon. Nearly 1 in 3 Facebook coupons are redeemed. Only those redeemed are used – no dead trees. Brands know just about everything about the person who redeems its coupon: name, sex, location, employer (or anything else they share of Facebook). Brands and consumers can then discuss the deal – whether they liked it or not, for example. Instant feedback.
Social shopping is here – and here to stay. Brands are fast turning to Facebook as the preferred channel to drive product trial,
There’s no doubt that consumers should have concerns about privacy, but the advantages are many:
- Convenience. No more paper and scissors. Coupons can be had for a mouse click
- Consumers don’t have to buy a newspaper. The coupon is truly free.
- Consumers can follow their favorite brands and get instant alerts to deals and coupons
- Instant feedback. Don’t like a deal. Tell the brand? Want another deal? Tell the brand. It’s as easy as a text message and it gets noticed.
- Brands are providing better deals (at least for now) on Facebook as they try to entice users to “like” them
- Coupon redemption can be fun and is often part of creative and interesting campaigns
For brands, using Facebook as a product driver has enormous advantages:
- Coupons are redeemed by true fans and users of its products and services – with a pool of more than 500 million people worldwide
- Facebook provides a plethora of demographic information so brands get amazing insights into its users
- A coupon becomes only the first step in establishing a more lasting relationship with the customer
- Facebook can be used for crowdsourcing. Brands can ask questions, get instant feedback and collect valuable insights (both positive and negative) on the way people experience the offering and the product
- Facebook can be channel to drive consumers to other online and social destinations
- Facebook can be a valuable platform for introducing new products and services
What do you think about product sampling, coupons and giveaways on Facebook? Do you like it? Use it?