The future of the coupons is filled with fast paced, techy-type platforms for distribution, unlike its ancestral Sunday newspaper inserts. For some learning how it all works is fascinating. For others, the only information they want is what button they need to push. Either way, advertising companies are betting on the future of cell phones and Web sites to put coupons into consumer's hands. Here is a glimpse into the future of coupons.
Broadband video has a strong potential as a powerful extension to television advertising. The TV-like video content can be seen on a Web site using a high-speed broadband connection. Currently there are two types of on-demand Internet video - In-Stream and In-Banner.
In-Stream videos, which appear on a Web site, are generally 15 to 30 seconds long and appear when a user clicks on specific content. The advertising is primarily syndicated video content, much like what you see on TV. Generally a banner, which may contain a coupon, is featured as support, along side the video.
In-Banner video are videos embedded in or expanded from a banner on a Web site. Some of these videos do not begin until the user clicks on them, but some are designed to expand and run whether the user clicks or not. Once expanded, the in-banner ad can feature custom designs that often include a coupon.
Mobile devices are quickly growing in popularity as a way to distribute coupons since they are in nearly everyone's hands, especially while out shopping or traveling. There are several ways to deliver coupons to a consumer's mobile device including utilizing short message services (SMS), wireless application protocol (WAP) sites and dynamic downloadable applications.
Short Message Service (SMS):
SMS is available on nearly all of the newer cell phones in the market. Advertisers can design a coupon to be redeemed by the consumer by bringing the phone in-store or via a code that can be entered into a Web site if it's an online purchase.
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Sites:
WAP are sites that are designed for the small screen size of mobile phones. WAP sites can be accessed by the user when they use their mobile Internet browsers. Coupons can be put on the WAP sites, along with other information such as store finders, hours of store operation, directions, etc.
Mobile phone users can now download a software application or program, typically from a Web site or WAP site, to view, use and save coupons. These software applications are saved to the device deck of the phone and when selected by the user and feature mobile coupons from participating advertisers.