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Virgin places mobile coupons at center of new gym customer marketing campaign

Fitness and leisure brand Virgin Active Group has gone live with a marketing and customer loyalty campaign across Britain based around mobile coupon redemption.

Virgin tapped Eagle Eye Solutions to power the mobile voucher redemption technology. Virgin Active is using mobile coupons as part of its marketing strategy throughout this month aimed at driving new membership to its nationwide range of fitness clubs.

“The mobile voucher is being used by Virgin Active to enable the tracking and effectiveness of the campaigns, obtaining consumer data for interested customers and prevention of fraud for the complimentary day pass,” said Steve Rothwell, CEO of Eagle Eye Solutions, Guildford, England.

“We are working with more and more major retail and lifestyle brands, helping them to implement effective campaigns which harness the convenience and personal nature of the mobile device as a direct response mechanism,” he said.

“Virgin Active is the latest brand to understand and take advantage of the power of mobile and Eagle Eye Solutions is proud to be working with such a great consumer brand.”

Virgin Active, a subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, is a chain of health clubs in South Africa, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia and Britain.

Eagle Eye Solutions specializes in designing, developing and implementing mobile-based retail marketing services for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer audiences, including mobile marketing, mobile couponing and mobile loyalty services.

The company is a vendor of digital voucher and coupon services for the retail sector, with clients such as IBM, MasterCard, Comet, Harveys, ITV, Corney and Barrow, Blockbusters and The Aurora Group.

Mobile coupons drive people to get fit
Consumers can text in a keyword to a short code, for example OOMPH or VIRGINACTIVE to 60040, to receive a free day-long gym pass.

The SMS call-to-action is being publicized via an advertising campaign that includes out-of-home posters and door hangers.

The mobile voucher scheme has been deployed across all 70 Virgin Active fitness clubs in Britain.

Eagle Eye claims that implementation took less than one week and required no additional IT investment to become operational.

Throughout the September campaign, Virgin Active is tracking progress via real-time data reporting from the campaign, which is intended to reduce any risk of fraud and help the fitness group to quickly evaluate the ROI of its media and advertising spend.

Mobile vouchers represent an effective additional marketing channel for retailers and other consumer facing brands, while also being an easy-to-understand and intuitive mechanism for consumers themselves, who are comfortable responding to calls-to-action via text message.

Mr. Rothwell said that all retailers should be considering integration to this mobile voucher platform.

“We remove any fraud and malredemption of paper offers and allow Virgin Active to obtain consumer insight – customers interested, customers who try the gym and customers who sign up to the gym,” Mr. Rothwell said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily