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Citgo uses mobile to reward loyal customers with gifts of gas

Citgo customers in Southern Illinois and Indiana who downloaded a mobile application recently received thousands of dollars in gift cards as part of a free-gas giveaway.

The Club Citgo Free Gas Giveaway sweepstakes offered consumers special offers and prizes at 50 select Citgo locations. Paul Barczewski, the first grand prize winner, was presented with $2,500 in Citgo Gift Cards at the Knapp Citgo station in Nashville, IL. The program reflects how as smartphones continue to win wide acceptance, brands are tailoring loyalty campaigns accordingly.

“Club Citgo is a mobile rewards program that is currently being piloted,” said Jennifer Moos, general manager for brand development for Houston-based Citgo Petroleum Corp. “The program was developed to introduce consumers to the brand through extensive product offerings which, in turn, will help change consumer preference over time and make them loyal to the brand.

“Our research shows that two-thirds of mobile users are still considering purchase options when looking up gas and convenience information on their mobile device,” she said. “Furthermore, nearly all mobile activity leads to an in-person transaction. Club Citgo is effective because it drives consumers to their nearest Citgo location to fulfill purchase needs.”

Reward alerts

Joining Citgo’s Loyalty Rewards Club lets members pay at the pump, manage their accounts account online, get account information and get monthly statements sent to their email address. With the app, club members can track earned rewards and favorite deals and products. The app alerts members when they earn a reward.

Participants who downloaded the free app were automatically entered in the sweepstakes, which was open only to Southern Illinois and Indiana residents. Additional entries were awarded to customers who shared the app with friends through Facebook, Twitter and email.

Two more randomly selected grand prize winners will be chosen between now and Sept. 30.

Citgo Club app lets users track rewards and deals.

Citgo has more than 450 locations across Illinois and Indiana. The refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products is owned by PDV America Inc., a unit of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Dominant medium

“Club Citgo operates on a mobile platform because mobile is the dominant media for the gas and convenience store category,” Ms. Moos said. “Using this medium we can provide extensive product offerings that help build brand loyalty.”

Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Commerce Daily in New York.