Archive for March 2010

Kmart gets stung with viral internet coupons

Just last week, Kmart launched a geo-targeted email campaign with a coupon only available at certain stores. Within hours, the coupon hit the deal sites and blogs and went national in a way they clearly did not intend. What ensued was short of mayhem. Consumers were printing and attempting to redeem them at their nearest Kmart store without knowing that those stores would not accept them. Furthermore, several incidents at non-participating stores involved store-manager accusations of consumer-fraud. In one documented situation, the manager of one store even threatened to call the police on a consumer trying to redeem the coupon. Wow! Check out the full blog post here.

Direct mail shifting to digital

In an article published on Chain Store Age Magazine, available here, we spoke about the ongoing shift from direct mail to digital forms of 1-to-1 marketing, including email and social media. With the price of production and postage going up with no end in sight, digital marketing becomes ever more appealing from a cost perspective. However, merchants/marketers need to know that their direct mail strategy does need some tweaking to adapt to the digital world, especially around controlling the offer and more granular tracking that is required to map / tally results. Check out the full article here.

A viral strategy for using paid search

In a recent article published on iMedia Connection, RevTrax co-founders Seth Sarelson and Jonathan Treiber write about how retail and restaurant chains can use paid search marketing to facilitate the viral marketing of coupons on the internet that will drive foot traffic offline into the stores. Combining social media, email marketing and a well-executed search campaign will maximize the viral impact of a campaign and drive the best results at the register.

Target launches mobile coupons chain-wide

In a recent article by Chain Store Age, Target announced that they are rolling out a mobile coupon initiative chain-wide, which will involve the ability for their stores/registers to scan bar codes off of customers’ mobile phones. This is a hugely significant evolution in digital marketing for two specific reasons. First, the President of, Target’s eCommerce business, seems to have been the one spearheading / sponsoring this initiative. I’m not surprised here due to the clear ties with digital media. However, it is critical to see the role that eCommerce can have in driving bricks & mortar adoption of digital technologies. I would have expected the head of retail brick & mortar to have been the one spearheading this… Second, this is a landmark foray into digital that actually required a multi-million dollar IT infrastructure upgrade to new optical scanners (which are the kinds that can scan a mobile phone). If you do the simple math, assuming Target has 1,500 locations and each location has 20 registers that require optical scanners priced at approximately $200, you’re looking at an IT investment of $6 million just for hardware. That doesn’t include the internal resources of time / money to develop the web applications and back-end technology to accommodate and support this initiative pre-scan and post-scan. Check out the full article here…

Click Forensics aims to validate diplay ad traffic

In a recent article on MediaPost, Click Forensics announced that they are launching a new service to qualify impressions / traffic from display ads. I’m not sure the extent to which how they will be measuring fraud and validity of impressions from display advertising. I’m curious to know whether it’s fraud on the part of the ad-network or the publishing site that is of gravest concern. I’m most interested in the scenario in which consumers are to blame for re-posting links from display ads across the web, influencing sales either online or in-store, whereby sales data is attributed to the original display-ad impression. That would certainly be a form of non-malicious activity that has in many instances hurt the validity of display advertising. More by clicking to the full article here.