Not too long ago, I saw an interesting article on mobile coupons titled Coupons You Don’t Clip, Sent to Your Cellphone.
The idea is that you don’t have to clip coupons from the weekend newspaper any more. You can just have them sent to your cell phone, where they’ll sit until you are ready to redeem them.
Good idea. Convenient and cost effective, and there is a very real environmental savings (save those trees). And I really WANT to love it ... but I really just can't.
I've been watching mobile marketing for a long time ... I mean way before it was a thought beyond text messaging. But really, is this what we call improvement? A clip-less coupon sent to my cell phone?
As long as it's mass and impersonal, I say NO WAY. Yes, I get that it’s an effective way to reach a new generation of consumers who will ‘clip’ and use mobile coupons. And from a retailer’s perspective, this is good news. But from MY perspective, clipping coupons from the paper is no different than saving mass marketed promotions to my mobile. I am stuck because it could be so different. And to be honest, I hope for much more.
The ideal, really, is getting rid of the clutter and sending something that makes me want to use my cell as the means to view what's mine, in much the same way I view my personal texts. Imagine if I could receive a message from my local grocer suggesting I order a ready-made meal to pick up on my way home. I get to choose the main dish and the sides from list, and then when I go to pick it up at the store, I get a personalized offer for that meal, as displayed on my cell phone coupon. That's worth the effort to save. (And I’m thinking meatloaf with corn on the cob and mashed potatoes and gravy sounds pretty good right now.)
So, until it really IS new – and not just a 'cool medium' – I won’t be impressed. In the words of the Mobile director of JCPenney, I'm still waiting for mobile CRM. To date, it's only been a mobile mess ...
How do you feel about receiving clip-less coupons on your phone? Or about mobile marketing in general? Let me know. And hey, hold off on using my mobile space until you make it really personal.