digital

Coupons, Coupons and more coupons

With the R word abound, coupons are resurgent but their route to the consumer is changing. Some time back, I worked in the Directory business. Our core product was print and we were constantly battling against a rising internet tide. Instead of building boats, we were trying to build dams and continually sought ‘hooks’ to get households pick up the print edition. One of the enticements that worked particularly well was a section of printed coupons. Testimony to their success was the fact that renewal of the coupon business was near 100%. So the advertisers were getting a satisfactory return on the investment, enough for them renew their contracts year on year. But there was something very ‘lick and stick’ about them, even stigmatised. I remember one potential advertiser (“potential” here is a euphemism for “he didn’t sign up”) referring to them dismissively as ‘butter vouchers’- an unveiled reference to that fact that certain welfare recipients receive the said same as part of their benefit entitlements. It’s that attitude, both spoken and more often unspoken, that I think limited the coupon as a valuable promotional vehicle in Ireland. In the same frame of mind and also belittling the coupon, In…