In today’s paper, New York Times takes a look at the lowly coupon and its place in the world.
An estimated 99 percent of the roughly 300 billion coupons distributed annually in the United States — mainly in Sunday newspapers — end up in the trash, unused and unredeemed.
“The paper coupon is the single most inefficient marketing tool you could imagine,” said Peter Sealey, a former chief marketing officer at Coca-Cola who is a marketing consultant in Sausalito, Calif. “The traditional paper coupon is going to die. It can’t survive in the Internet world.”
While that may be, the article points out how ingrained the couponing habit is, for consumers and the brands who publish these price-driven motivators.
Also, while use of online coupons is rising rapidly, they still account for less than 1 percent of the consumer goods coupons distributed, according to the Promotion Marketing Association, a trade group. Ergo, the paper polution will continue.