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Kangaroo Express tries its hand with apps for summer promotion

The app is available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices and serves as a guide for helping consumers locate nearby stations and deals. In addition to the launch of the mobile app, the convenience store chain will also use SMS to spread the word.

“My team’s sole responsibility is to drive store traffic – adding holistic mobile engagement to Kangaroo Express’ promotional suite is the best way to accomplish this goal for a few reasons,” said Alec Bleday, digital marketing manager at Kangaroo Express, Cary, NC.

“First, mobile is the media that our channel’s frequent customers consume in their daily lives,” he said.

“Mobile also connects customers’ purchase behavior to our back-end technology. This dynamic delivers real-time analytics, and we harvest takeaways to make our marketing smarter and more efficient at delivering sales.”

Refuel on mobile
Kangaroo Express’ Roo Cup is $6.99 and lets consumers buy fountain and frozen drinks for 25 cents through Labor Day. According to Kangaroo Express, consumers can use a Roo Cup at any of the chain’s 1,570 locations in the United States.

The new app lets consumers find the nearest store. Stores appear as a list and let users quickly view the gas prices at each station.

Additionally, consumers who download the app can access coupons and offers that are valued at more than $30.

Furthermore, games and check-ins are also enabled in the app.

This year’s program builds on Kangaroo Express’ Roo Cup campaign last year when the company placed QR codes on cups and used SMS to dole out deals (see story).

Kangaroo Express will continue to leverage SMS this summer with coupons and offers.

Consumers can text the keyword ROOCUP to the short code 843766 to opt-in to offers such as in-store discounts or free refill days.

Users can also opt-in to receive SMS messages from Kangaroo Express’ Roo Club program.

In addition to mobile, there is a Facebook component to the campaign. Kangaroo Express has created a Facebook app that lets consumers reserve their Roo Cup before they go on sale May 1.

Mobile engagement
Convenience store chains have been ramping up their mobile efforts lately, pointing to a growing interest for marketers to use mobile to build up loyalty efforts around small purchases such as gas or snacks.

For example, 7-Eleven recently partnered with lottery management app YooLotto to drive in-store traffic (see story).

7-Eleven also recently asked its app users to help the company develop its future mobile efforts (see story).

When it comes to what Kangaroo Express has learned about mobile thus far, it is all about message relevance with its SMS program.

“When we added a layer of relevance to our mobile programming, it drove redemption to record levels,” Mr. Bleday said.

“This type of mobile engagement is a reason for customers to drive an extra mile off an exit, enter a store from the pumps, or try a new foodservice item,” he said.

“With our new mobile app and its passport to summer savings, we are looking forward to interacting with Kangaroo Express customers on a completely new platform.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York