There is a revolution in marketing today. The switch from traditional and costly print coupon marketing such as clipping coupons from newspapers or magazines is moving in a mass exodus to the Internet. Offering free coupons began as a test marketing strategy by the Coca Cola Co. in 1887. Today, Google searches for retail coupons have increased 300% compared to 2007-2008 and are expected to continue to rise with the slow economy. The fact is coupons are an important tool used by most households and businesses as inflation coupled with a weakening economy is taking its toll on their wallets. Coupons aren’t just used by cash strapped families with low income. In fact, data shows just the opposite and in this article, we’ll explore all of the possibilities coupons can offer both the business owner and the consumer alike.
I don’t know if you know, but the Internet is here to stay. One of the main reasons, in fact probably the only reason why the Internet has been such a huge success and so infectious worldwide is simply that it provides unlimited resources for where you can spend your dollar. Think about your favorite sites. Think about how you use the Internet as a tool. Sure you may check the news, the weather, and your dwindling stock portfolio. But did you notice the advertisements that appeared on those pages? Did you ever stop and think about how all of the free sites you enjoy are paid for? That’s right ??Internet advertising. Businesses comprise a large portion of the Internet and their advertising dollars is a huge component of what keeps the Internet alive.
This article is focused on the use of coupons in the world of online advertising and who better than Coca-Cola, an American icon and pioneer, would be awarded the original think tank behind coupon marketing. Coupons really aren’t a genius idea or even original in the sense of discounts. Supply and demand dictate price. Regardless of the era, it could have been a thousand years ago, if a merchant had too much supply, he would advertise to his buyers a discount on the stock in order to deplete his inventory. The principle is as old as mankind but the concept has greatly changed. Free coupons that offer discounts , sometimes up to half off in the form of a buy one get one free offer, are now used to attract new business to the restaurant, store or service as well as used as a tool by retailers to decrease overstock or seasonal merchandise.
Imagine becoming a free member of a single web site where you can do a national search of local coupons in your area. If you travel for business or on vacation with the family, simply type in the new location and more coupons are available for all of your needs. This is the new revolution we’re talking about in this article. This is how you and your kids, and most likely future generations will search and redeem offers for valuable discounts, bargains and offers – via the Internet. In fact, the Internet is growing at an astounding and exponential rate. By the year 2010, it is estimated that worldwide there will be 1.6 billion users who access the Internet on a regular basis. That’s 23% of the world population! Of that population, the bulk of those people who are enjoying all the resources the Internet has to offer are just like you and me. We??e just regular people who like to send emails, do a little shopping, maybe look at their stock portfolio or check their bank accoun!
t and of course, finding great deals using local coupons for restaurants, stores and services!
So what about the Sunday newspaper ads? You know the coupons that you clip and save until your next trip to the grocery store or redeem at your favorite restaurant? Newspaper, magazine and direct mail coupons are quickly becoming an endangered species. In fact, newspapers all over the world are feeling the pressure by folks refusing the old, traditional form of gathering information and current events and using the Internet to supply their information. Coupon clipping will be no different. Imagine how many trees are wasted, how many millions of gallons of water flushed away, how many tons of waste sent to the landfill because of print coupons? Online coupon companies reduce paper usage and waste to nominal percentages compared to the traditional way of distributing coupons.
In a world of a new conscious effort to save money and save the environment, “paperless” has become synonymous with businesses worldwide. Everyone is doing their part to reduce their waste in some form. Businesses who offer online coupons and people who use those coupons are indirectly helping reduce waste and improve their “carbon footprint.” Whether you’re a coupon user or not, it’s online companies and users like you who choose to utilize these free services that improve the economy, the environment and your budget.
Brian Puleo is the founder and CEO of Zibogo.com – a national coupon website that offers local coupons for restaurants, stores and services to local consumers. You can sign up for a free account at Zibogo. Business owners can save over 90% advertising their coupons at www.zibogo.com.