UPDATE (10/1): Office Depot’s special changed today to include the coupon code directly in the special. There’s no longer a need to present a coupon to the cashier. Please see their comment below. Nice work, Office Depot!
Office Depot stores nationwide are now running a promotion on foursquare. You can save $10 on a purchase of $25 or more. It’s a nice discount, but you can only get it by printing a coupon and carrying it to the store, proving Office Depot doesn’t get the point of foursquare.
The primary purpose of running a special on foursquare is to drive foot traffic from people who are checking in nearby, hence the reason it’s called “location-based marketing.” The hope is that they will see the “special nearby” flag and be tempted to visit your store. Requiring a printed coupon means they’ll have to go home (or somewhere else with a printer) first, since most mobile phones aren’t capable of producing a printed piece of paper. That’s valuable time in which they’re likely to forget about your store and your offer.
Other companies offering foursquare specials have included the “coupon code” in their unlock message on foursquare, which the cashier can simply type in on the register. Office Depot’s coupon [PDF link], in fact, includes just such a promotion code. Had they included that in their foursquare special â€” and offered a little training to their employees â€” Office Depot could have reaped the benefits of partnering with foursquare. As it is, they’ve offered a paper coupon just like everyone else and shown the world that they just don’t get location-based marketing.
What do you think about the Office Depot special? Is requiring a printed coupon acceptable for a location-based marketing campaign?