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SMS Case Study – Farmer’s Food

Name and city and state of marketer
Farmer’s Foods, Chase City, VA, a family-owned and operated grocery chain, with nine locations, seven in Virginia and two in North Carolina

Campaign/program name
Farmer’s Family Discount club

Farmer's Foods uses SMS Coupon Campaign to Build Repeat Business

The campaign has been running for 10 months and is still going.

Common short code and keywords used
Farmers to 68247

To build a membership base using SMS instead of a rewards card and to drive in more store traffic to increase overall sales.

Target audience
New and existing customers

After opting in, the customer receives weekly discount coupons and is automatically entered into monthly contests for shopping sprees.

Call to action
Text Farmers to 68247 to join Farmer Family Discount Club for additional savings on everyday products.

[The marketing company] redesigned Farmer’s Food Web site to carry the message, used print ads, banner ads, weekly flyers, and a limited amount of radio and TV

For in-store signage, Farmer’s Foods used a life-size cutout of its Farmer character from the stores’ branding to attract more attention and carry the message.

To date Farmer’s Foods has acquired more than 1,900 members via mobile. Its coupon redemption rate ranges between 8 percent and 15 percent, depending on the product offered. And, its mobile initiatives are still growing.

What next
Once Farmer’s Foods increases the membership in the mobile list, the company will capture email addresses to try migrating customers to receive their weekly flyer by email, instead of as a newspaper insert. It will be positioned as a push to go green.

Lessons learned
Farmer’s Foods noticed its opt-out rate was a little higher than it liked. So, the company added a monthly contest with prizes such as a chance to win a $100 shopping spree.

All active members were automatically entered. At the end of the month a winner was chosen and a message was broadcast to all members of who the winner was.

This added credibility to the contest and also pushed down the opt-out rate dramatically.

Surprise finding
Farmer’s Foods recently broadcast a promotion that drove members to the Web site for a printable coupon.

Following that broadcast, Farmer’s Foods had several members unsubscribe immediately.

The company’s hypothesis is that the opt-out was because the fulfillment was not on a mobile platform—for the members to participate, they had to go to a computer to print out a coupon.

This shows that in order stay on course when using mobile rewards, do not send the customers to another platform for redemption.

Executive’s name, title and company
Paul Farmer, head of retail operations for Farmer’s Foods

Strategy quote from brand executive (with name, title, company, city and state)
“When building a campaign, start out simple and build as you go along,” said a senior partner at [the marketing company]. “It’s important to constantly analyze your data and incorporate what you learn into your next move. ”

What challenge did mobile address quote (from same executive above)
“The challenge was the uncertainty of acceptance by customers to adapt the mobile experience of regular discount coupons and driving a stronger redemption rate,” he said.

By Dan Butcher
April 20, 2010

Staff Reporter Dan Butcher covers ad networks, banking and payments, carrier networks, manufacturers, and software and technology. Reach him at dan@mobilemarketer.com.   The original article can be found here.

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