Every time I go shopping with my wife, she's armed with a booklet of coupons, nicely organized by product category. As a guy who never took a second look at these promotional items back in my single days, I have been amazed how much money can be saved with a little prep and an array of coupons.
Apparently, Google is thinking the same thing. And in its effort to disrupt "old media" - in this case, newspapers - it is now offering free coupons for merchants as part of their cool Google Maps service. When users access a map, the business can provide a coupon. Visitors simply click the icon and print off the coupon, while they make note of the business address and directions.
How does this impact radio? We often get so overwhelmed with "value added" that we forget there are easy ways to better satisfy our own clients. Imagine asking clients to include a simple mention in their commercials to visit your station website to download coupons. That drives more listeners to your site, provides your listeners with some real value (especially as consumers are becoming even more aware of saving money), while showing your clients the direct result of airing ads on your station. Yes, it's better than a remote or yet another bar night.
And how does this play with your listeners? We asked a couponing question in our most recent Technology Poll. As the results show, over two-thirds of our respondents either prefer downloadable coupons from station websites, or don't care how they can be accessed. People just want to save money, and radio can provide them with simple discounts that are win-win-wins for sales, advertisers, and listeners.
Google is an amazing service, and their innovation and risk-taking have captivated millions. But our radio stations have a reach that exceeds their search users. We can drive interested motivated listeners to our web sites, have them download coupons, and contribute to generating direct sales. In an industry that continues to place more and more emphasis on ROI - that is, results - what are we waiting for?