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SMS case study – Canyon Country Car Wash

September 27, 2010

Canyon Country Car Wash offers scannable mobile coupons

Canyon Country Car Wash offers scannable mobile coupons

Name of marketer
Canyon Country Car Wash, Santa Clarita, CA

Agency or marketing services firm
OzNet Systems, Altadena, CA

Campaign/program name
Carwash Mobile Coupons

Two months

Competition became very stiff after the third car wash opened for business. The objective of the mobile couponing initiative was to compete with the two car-wash establishments located within a one-mile radius. 

Target audience
The mobile coupons were targeted at teenagers ages 16-19 and young adults ages 20-24.

Realizing the current economic situation in Santa Clarita as well as the two competing area car washes, Canyon Country had to think of something innovative.

The company chose to target young people because of their early adaptability to mobile technology and the fact that times were tight and they still wanted clean cars.

Canyon Country decided to use mobile coupons to capitalize on the fact that most teens abhor walking around with lots of paper. Their world exists within the mobile phone, so why not offer them scannable coupons, which also adds to their cool factor.

Teens were encouraged to engage in viral marketing by sending the keyword and short code to their friends.

Call to action
“Get your mobile coupon. Text CARWASH to 84045.”

Canyon Country Car Wash has used viral marketing to keep the momentum going and spread the word on car washes.

The company put up a large sign in front of the car wash so kids can see it as they are heading home from school or work.

Canyon Country informs each customer about mobile coupons at check-out.

Two out of five customers walking through the door inquire about mobile coupon.  Redemption rate is at 40 percent and increasing.

What next
Canyon County will combine other social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook to advertise mobile promotions.

It will develop a Web site for customers to select coupons, register and send to their mobile phones.

Lessons learned
Canyon County had to scan customers’ phones while they are holding it, as most are not willing to part with their phone. Teens and younger adults tend not to mind the cashier holding their phone.

Surprise finding
Some customers are shying away from using a short code to receive mobile coupons on their phone.

Although signs are posted, customers are verbally informed that no extra cost will be incurred provided one has a text messaging agreement with a network carrier.

Also the technology could be quite intimidating to the average customer, hence more education is needed.

Strategy quote
“Knowing that teens want to cruise the boulevard on the weekends with a clean car the mobile coupon advertisement went out, our client had no way of capturing information on their customers that was quick and convenient,” said Regina Thomas, marketing executive at OzNet Systems.

“Mobile coupons allows Canyon Country Car Wash to engage with their customers and obtain instant feedback on what kinds of offers and services they want,” she said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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