7-Eleven Trials Mobile Marketing

(10 Dec 2009, BWCS Staff)

One of the major retail chains in the US, 7-Eleven Inc, has announced it is to test mobile marketing services at 200 of its San Diego stores. If successful, the shop-group may roll the service out across America and beyond. The scheme invites potential customers to send a text to 7-Eleven HQ and receive a free beverage at any store in return.

Participating customers will be offered a choice of one of four popular (non-alcoholic) drinks as the store group bids to increase footfall via a heavily promoted local radio and print advertising campaign. The scheme is designed to capture the imagination of customers of the convenience store chain, who tend by nature to be more mobile. As the company's chief marketing officer, Rita Bargerhuff, put it, "7-Eleven appeals to customers who are busy and on the go. Our marketing programmes try to reach them where they are - by radio and outdoor when they're in the car, at movies and sporting events, or online at Facebook, Twitter and Mobile marketing is the next step to reach our target customers - the millennials who don't go anywhere without their phones."

During the test, consumers can send a text with the word "FAST" or "RAPIDO" (in Spanish) to "72579." Then they will receive a message for a free beverage offer at 7-Eleven stores. The promotion is limited to one free beverage per day, at participating 7-Eleven stores.

To redeem the offer, text message recipients with Internet access on their phones can click through to a screen displaying a UPC bar code that can be scanned at the store's cash register. If customers do not have Internet access, a 7-Eleven sales associate can enter the selected numeric code on the cash register for redemption.

The codes are good for the free beverage indicated in the coupon, and the message also includes an invitation to receive future text messages with 7-Eleven news and offers. Recipients can opt in by replying "YES," according to 7-Eleven. The test was designed and is being executed by GMR Marketing.


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