Coupons are a marketing tool that companies use to advertise and promote their products with hopes of increasing product sales and enticing new customers. It can be frustrating when we hear of others getting a coupon we didn't and we can’t figure out why. Next time that happens to you, consider these reasons:
Advertisers select the area they would like to reach with their advertisement (or in this case, coupons). Geographically targeting in advertising and coupon distribution happens at a local level and on a national scale.
On a local level, people receiving the same newspaper but living in different zip codes could receive different coupons within their paper.Nationally, the same principle holds true, but it’s more dramatic. Manufacturers choose their coupon campaigns to entice consumers in different regions with different shopping habits to purchase their product. This is based on market research.
Home Delivery vs. Newsstand Papers
Couponers often pick up extra copies of the Sunday paper. The easiest way to do it is to grab a few from the newsstand. Many of us have learned though, that newsstand papers may not contain all the coupon inserts that come in the home-delivered version.
Advertisers buy space within a certain number of copies of the newspaper. Their first priority is the home delivered paper, which means you are sure to get the most coupons and advertisements when you have the Sunday paper delivered to your door. After home-delivered papers receive their inserts, the advertiser might have budget left for a certain number of copies to be included in newsstand copies, but that number of copies may not be enough for every newsstand issue.
Brand of Newspaper
In my area, there are several papers available that may have coupons. The Chicago tribune, the State Journal Register and the Dispatch are the 3 best papers in the area for coupons. Not all will have coupons every Sunday, and The Chicago Tribune, being the largest publication, usually has more coupon inserts.
A and B Versions
Most surprising to me, is the reality that an advertiser or manufacturer may actually want different people within the same area to receive different coupons. Advertisers can requests to print both an A version and B version of their circular with the instructions to insert those into papers in a certain pattern, for instance every odd number get version A and everyone else gets version B. This is a type of market research, where the advertiser wants to know which version generates more desirable results.
Your turn: What did you find most surprising from this article?
**Information for this article came from two industry insiders that have asked to be kept anonymous.