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Procter & Gamble drives sales of various brands with mobile coupons

Procter & Gamble Co. is distributing mobile coupons for many of its brands to influence consumers’ purchase decisions while they are shopping at supermarkets nationwide.

In total, P&G is offering more than 70 mobile coupons that are redeemable at supermarket chains such as A&P, SuperFresh, Waldbaum’s, The Food Emporium, Pathmark and Harris Teeter. The supermarkets tapped Zave Networks and IBM, which are collaborating to power the digital incentive platform that provides mobile coupons to shoppers on the go.

“Coupons are available for consumers from a variety of leading manufacturers, including P&G and General Mills,” said Bruce Pryor, vice president of marketing at Zave Networks, Kansas City, KS.

“We believe the digital incentive marketplace and mobile couponing will continue to grow at a rapid pace,” he said. “Anecdotally, we are seeing exceptional redemption rates of digital coupons, upwards of 40 percent for some product promotions.

We believe this can be attributed to our ease-of-use and both online and mobile capabilities and the rich coupon content we represent.”

P&G’s global consumer goods brands include Always, Bounty, Braun, CoverGirl, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Duracell, Fusion, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Mister Clean, Olay, Oral B, Pampers, Pantene, Pringles and Tide.

Zave Networks’ Zavers platform offers digital incentives online and on mobile devices to enable paperless coupon redemption for consumers.

The company is an IBM business partner and its platform will be deployed with IBM’s ACE retail point of sale application starting in July 2011.

P&G mobile coupons influence consumers
P&G is promoting many of its brands that are found in supermarketers using mobile coupons, 23 of which more than a billion dollars in net annual sales. Another 18 have sales between $500 million and $1 billion.

Brand managers at P&G created the various digital promotions such as a dollar-off coupon for a product.

The P&G brand offers available via Zavers range from “Save $0.50” to “Save $3.00.”

Examples include “Save $3.00 on any one Charmin 24 roll or larger or any Mega Roll pack” and “Save $1.00 on any two Old Spice antiperspirant/deodorant.”

Other examples of P&G mobile coupons include “Save $1.00 on any one Gain fabric softener or dryer sheets” and “Save $2.00 on any one Olay facial cleanser.”

The coupons are featured and tracked in various forms of digital media, including banner and video insertions in PC and mobile Web sites, P&G’s sites, retail partner sites and at

“To reach the potential of this market, providers must leverage the existing processes at the point of sale, without adding processing or cashier time—this is the clear strategy and differentiator for the Zavers solution,” Mr. Pryor said. “It is simple for the consumer and process-friendly for the cashier.”

Anywhere a consumer is connected, whether on the Web or on a mobile device in the store, they can click on the coupon they want, which is then added to their Zavers account and available for use in real-time.

Consumers also have the ability to save desired coupons to their accounts using text messaging

During checkout at the participating store, shoppers swipe a loyalty card or use another unique identifier such as their mobile devices.

From there, the point of sale application retrieves the shopper’s coupons and automatically applies the appropriate discounts, which are verified on the receipt.

In addition, the software powered by Zavers and IBM instantly captures and reports the redemption data to P&G, letting it see the sales effectiveness of the promotion, which allows the corporation to optimize its marketing investment.

By providing real-time data and analysis, the couponing platform supports final settlement of the coupon between P&G and the supermarket chains with the goal of reducing potential fraud and disputes.

“The paperless, end-to-end platform addresses the needs of consumers, retailers and manufacturers throughout the life-cycle of an incentive from creation, to distribution to redemption and settlement,” Mr. Pryor said.

“It enables retailers to efficiently launch a digital coupon offering as part of their existing loyalty programs, quickly transact discounts and offers at the register and settle offers with originating consumer goods manufacturers and distributors,” he said. 

“Retailers can also use the platform more quickly transact discounts and offers at checkout can help boost customer satisfaction and consumer loyalty to a store, and potentially help create new brand advocates.”

After this article had already gone to press, Monica Sakamoto, head of external relations for U.S. operations and marketing North America at Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, responded to this publication’s inquiry with the following statement:

P&GeSAVER, P&G’s digital couponing program, offers syndicated coupons only with Kroger, Safeway, Giant Eagle and A&P.

P&GeSAVER is not a mobile coupon program and does not deliver coupons directly to retailers. This program syndicates coupons to a specific retailer’s Web site or to a retailer’s couponing tool, so consumers can use their shopper card to download P&GeSAVER coupons.

This requires partnership between P&G, retailers and respective third-party vendors to ensure process and technology integration. Zavers is not a P&GeSAVER supplier and does not distribute P&G digital coupons.
Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily