Yes. It is a big business, and big companies are competing on acquiring as many “coupon users” as possible, fighting each other on “you” with the dirtiest weapons available!
Man … that was quite a mouthful!
Ok, here is the story.
Imagine that I am the owner of a marketing company, and let’s call it “Yaheem”. I, the owner of Yaheem Marketing company would like to beat my competitors in marketing the right product to the right customer without wasting a ton of money on broad spectrum advertising nonsense.
One way to do that is to build a mailing list, which is not as effective now as it used to be 10 years ago, I can tell you that with 99% confidence. This is how “free gift card” companies work. They get you to sign up to their mailing list that targets the shoppers of a certain store (the one you sign up to get a free gift card from). Later you’ll be receiving emails from those companies promoting products or services that you’ll be surprized on how in the world did they know you are interested in it!
The answer is really simple: statistics. Statistics gained from market research surveys and by other means show that customers interested in certain products or with a certain shopping habbit tend to be interested in other products as well, and this is what the free credit card company uses to do a better targeted marketing than “one size fits all” kind of advertising.
Another way to do the same kind of targeting but with better real time results is by monitoring your shopping habbits realtime. And this is done with downloadable coupons.
Think about it for sec. When you search the Internet for a coupon code to use the next time you go to the zoo, once you download this coupon for printing you alarmed a system that you have children under the age of 13. Expect to also see a promotion for Disneyland, Disney DVDs, Disney on Ice show … etc.
Did you know that a company like Groupon got acquisition offer from Google in the 10 figure value and they rejected? This is how big this business is.
This is what’s in it for the companies running the coupon offers that you see everywhere; demographically laser targeted marketing.
Now what’s in it for you as a consumer?
First of all you get to save on the products and services that you are buying anyway. Get the coupon and use it then worry about the marketing efforts of the sponsoring company.
The second, and this is big if you think about it, you get exposed to advertisement only for things that you are interested in. For example if you are not into travelling wouldn’t you be annoyed of seeing a travelling offer every single time you are online? You ignore these ads, which means wasted money for the business behind it.
If the company’s ad is only shown to people who might take action this means a lot of money saved on advertising, which also means that business will be able to provide a better price for consumers like yourself.
A third benefit you can gain from coupons is that when you are exposed to a “cross promotion” (a promotion for something you might be interested in based on your original coupon download action) it’s usually a special offer that will save you more money on that product as well. That’s two birds with one stone.
I am affiliated with the coupon toolbar company advertised below and elsewhere on this page. This means that if you download and install the coupon toolbar on your browser I get paid commission. This is what I do for living, so please consider installing the toolbar if you enjoyed reading my article.