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How Procter & Gamble’s CoverGirl could improve its mobile coupon program

June 7, 2012

CoverGirl's mobile site

Although Procter & Gamble’s cosmetic line CoverGirl is on the right track by using SMS messages to alert consumers about coupons, the effort falls flat on several levels without a clear call-to-action.

CoverGirl regularly taps its SMS database to let consumers know about new products and services with a link to the company’s mobile site. However, the consumer-packaged-goods brand also uses it to send out vague messages for users to look in newspapers for coupons without any way for a user to take a direct action.

“CoverGirl could have increased engagement, conversion and measurement by including the actual coupon within the SMS message,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer at Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA.

“Another great option would be to include a link to its mobile Web site with the coupon code and more information about the products,” he said.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with CoverGirl. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

CoverGirl did not respond to press inquiries.

Missed opportunity
The primary use of CoverGirl’s SMS program is to let users know about new products, and the company sends out approximately two SMS messages per month, depending on the time of year.

Part of the reason CoverGirl is using SMS is to let users know about coupons that the company places in weekend newspapers.

For example, a recent text message to users reads, “Coupon alert! Get $1 off any CoverGirl product plus $3 off any two. Check your paper this Sunday for your coupon. U.S. residents only.”

Not only do consumers not know which newspaper to look in, this particular message was sent on a Friday – two days before the coupons could be found.

SMS is often used by marketers to push out time-sensitive information such as limited time offers and deals. However, by sending out the message before users can act on the CoverGirl offer, the marketing effort likely has a strong drop-off of consumers who look for coupons in newspapers based on remembering the SMS message.

The most recent SMS mobile coupon message

Digital connection
CoverGirl also has an active Facebook and Twitter presence that is uses to create a two-way dialogue with consumers to promote special promotions and content.

Including a link to “Like” or follow the brand’s social sites would have been an easy way for CoverGirl to build up its digital efforts on this initiative.

CoverGirl’s Facebook page

Additionally, the brand could have included a link to the mobile site to let users learn more about the products.

Although CoverGirl does not have a commerce-enabled site, the company could have included a coupon code that consumers could redeem in-store.

“Consumer-packaged-goods brands are a great fit for mobile loyalty programs because they generally sell products that consumers buy often and have a lot of completion in the market,” Mr. Hasen said.

“By using a mobile loyalty program – like CoverGirl has done in this case – the brand stays top of mind with consumers,” he said.

“Now CoverGirl should consider taking its loyalty program a step further to ensure better engagement and measurement after the initial point of contact.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York 

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