Thursday, April 2, 2009

Updating Marketing Techniques

For those of us who are really into couponing (like I am getting to be), it is great sadness that we mourn the demise of the Walgreens EasySaver rebate program. You could make FREE MONEY because if you selected to receive your rebate electronically loaded on a card, you got ten percent more. April is reported to be the last month for this program.

I was chatting with a Walgreens manager about this (fun fact: there are 36 Walgreens in Knox County. Yes, I thought the count would have been much higher, too.), and I made some comment about "well I got used to Green Stamps going away and I can get used to this."

Blank stare from the mgr. Not surprised. He looks just over 30. Green Stamps probably went away in the early 60's. But it started me thinking: what are the gimmicks that marketers use to get us loyal? Green Stamps in the 50's? I think I am right in remembering that my aunt bought her entire everyday tableware through Jewel Tea. Jewel Tea had one of those services where a man drove a truck by every week and delivered the goods you ordered the week before. There would be some dry goods as well as foodstuff. And my aunt would periodically order a new plate, bowl or cup at a "special rate." Did that desire to complete that set of dishes make my aunt a more loyal Jewel Tea customer? You betcha!

What's out there today? Banks have long ago given up on giving toasters for newly opened accounts. Do car dealers throw in a year's worth of gas to make the sale? It seems that the edgier sales gimmicks of today involve downloading something.

Have we become more sophisticated where we won't be swayed by dishes? maybe

P.S. If you don't know what Green Stamps were, ask someone over 60 who grew up in the South. I have asked my friends who moved here just 25 years ago, and they hadn't heard of Green Stamps, either. I'm figuring it was a southern thing. But I could be wrong.

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