This is not an endorsement for Target or the Cartwheel app but an observation of exceptional marketing.
I like to consider myself an early adopter when it comes to trying new apps, but I was slow to try Target Cartwheel. I had heard of the store's rewards program but thought it required one of those pesky key tags, and the potential savings weren't worth the wait in line to fill out an application form (sorry, I'm a millennial).
However, Cartwheel is meant for people just like me. Someone who is app savvy, not a coupon clipper, enjoys high-trend merchandise at an affordable price, and has a decent data plan.
Cartwheel uses a few 21st-century marketing tactics to reach a good chunk of their customers:
- By offering a useful mobile app. Successful mobile marketing apps solve a problem for the customer and ultimately generate revenue. Cartwheel allows customers to save 5 - 50% off products they are already buying, simply by scanning the product barcode using the app and showing the clerk their "Cartwheel cart" upon checkout for savings on select products. For planners, customers can browse the app ahead of time for deals. (I saved $16.62 on my first trip -- 20% off new bedding and 25% off a new blouse.)
- Through social networking. Social networking is more than just an engaging Facebook page. It can be third-party integration with an existing social network to take advantage of social sharing. Cartwheel allows users to easily create an account using their Facebook account. You can also sign up with an email account, if you choose. Cartwheel users that sign up using their Facebook account can see their friends' lifetime Cartwheel savings, badges, and recent savings category. (I installed the Cartwheel app while I was in the store. I discovered I AM a slow adopter among my friends – 113 of my Facebook friends have already been using the app. One of my cousins has saved $1,048 in Cartwheel offers since it launched in 2013. Wow! That is quite a reference.)
As the second-largest general retailer behind Walmart, Target has an enormous budget for advertising. They can afford pricey direct mail to their customers, TV commercials at prime time, active accounts on many social networks, apps and more. But the point is, they are reaching their customers where they are, with the right media mix.
With so many media to choose from, it can be tough for organizations to choose how to spend their marketing budgets. Creating a marketing app just for the sake of creating an app is not a wise choice if you’re looking for ROI. Every social network isn't meant for every business. Identify the right communication channel for your audience and analyze if it supports your marketing objectives. An effective media mix uses your marketing budget wisely to best support your marketing objectives, and meets your customers where they're at. Target gets it and you can, too.
An effective media mix uses your marketing budget wisely to best support your marketing objectives, and meets your customers where they're at. Target gets it and you can, too.
IMHO, Target's Cartwheel is aptly named. I wasn't literally doing cartwheels out of the door, but I was rather pleased with saving $16.62 and earning 7 nifty "badges" on my first trip using the app. After seeing that dozens of my Facebook friends have saved hundreds of dollars since the app launched, I'll use it again!