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AMC Theatres reels in concession sales with teen-geared mobile coupon

AMC Theatres is appealing to teens in an attempt to drum up ticket and concession sales with digital coupons advertised through a promoted tweet, a strategy known for its effectiveness with young demographics.

Mobile coupons have become a key source in driving sales, as consumers are always on the lookout for deals that are easily accessible. AMC Theatres’ latest promotional tweet is seeking out movie-going teens with a discount on a Coke and popcorn at concession stands if they enter their birthdate online.

“Countless studies support the power of incentives to drive sales and new evidence shows that they are even more important with the increasingly empowered teen, aka centennials,” said Michael Becker, managing partner at mCordis, San Francisco. “Incentives do not only influence Centennials, they are also a motivator for millennials and young Gen Xers.

“A recent Marketing Sherpa study shows 18 to 34 year olds find regular coupons and incentives the biggest driver for connecting with brands,” he said. “These responses far outpace those of older generations.

“Moreover, there is more to learn, the study identifies a disconnect between marketers expectations and people’s motivations. According to the study, only 38 percent of people follow a brand for the content, while 78 percent of marketers said they attract people with content. It seams the incentive is tighter than the content, it looks like AMC is getting it right, lead with the offer.”

Movie theater sales
The movie theater chain is hoping to target teens, as they are key audience members in attending film viewings at theater locations, rather than at home. Sharing the promotion through a sponsored tweet is paramount in driving awareness.

AMC shared a promoted tweet inviting teens to download a mobile coupon for a Coke and popcorn for only five dollars. Users that click the link are brought to a page where must input their birthdate to qualify for the deal.

Once users enter their birthdate, they are given the mobile coupon that reads, “Being a teen has its perks,” with a downloadable image including a bar code for the deal to be presented at locations. Allowing the image to be saved to users’ phones allows for a more convenient method in redeeming the deal, and the opportunity to drive more concession sales.

Similarly, Kmart underscored mobile’s role as a shopping companion by rolling out a slew of updated application features, including real-time push notifications for limited-time specials, exclusive coupons and layaway options for weekly payment plans (see more).

Also, Target updated its coupon mobile app to better assist in-store shoppers at checkout with an option to reorder the digital coupons with a touch of a finger, exhibiting how small changes can ease the user experience while increasing sales and use (see more).

Social media importance
AMC’s deal page also provides users with a link to purchase tickets to AMC Theatres, as well as social media buttons to share the deal with friends and family on Twitter and Facebook. The social media integration ensures greater reach for the campaign.

“Looking at the data the message is clear people are more influenced from family, friends, network connects, and people they trust, aka influencers, than they are from marketers,” Mr. Becker said. “Hearing directly from a marketer is fine, especially through loyalty programs; however, if a marketer is looking to expand their reach they should integrate social in to their plans.

“According to PewResarch Center, 74 percent of all Internet users use social nearly 90 percent for younger audiences,” he said. “Social media needs to be a critical element of every marketing program today, social-paid or organic, is a connective element that links traditional paid approaches with the marketer’s direct and indirect community.

“Executed properly, a social-enhanced marketing program will amplify the marketer’s reach.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily