From retail to promotional marketing: What I learned about rebates by changing places
John Coskran, Senior Vice President, Accounting and Finance …
I used to think I knew a lot about rebates. I worked at Best Buy, one of the country’s leading providers of technology products, services and solutions. Back then, we did a lot of rebates – usually high-value ones that were often tied to the purchase of computer hardware. Consumers would be required to gather up yardlong receipts and UPC codes and mail them to a rebate fulfillment center – usually Young America – before waiting weeks for the arrival of a check in the mail.
It was a cumbersome process, but I did experience first-hand the power of a rebate to drives sales and volume. I knew that rebates were an important level in any pricing model, and I was glad that rebates were in our marketing portfolio.
Now that I’ve joined the YA team, I’ve been excited to learn even more about the world of rebates, and to be a part of YA’s transition to a 21st century digital services company. Gone are the days of long receipts and mailed-in forms. The technological investments in digital and mobile that YA has made have transformed the entire industry. Along the way, YA has changed too – we’ve shortened our name from Young America, have rebranded our services, and have moved from outstate Minnesota to offices right in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.
Mobile is where it’s at
Directly before coming to YA, I worked in higher education, and I saw the shift to mobile happen right before my eyes. Over the course of five years, I observed a shift of consumers to making a large-ticket, potentially life-changing decision right on their phones. I realized that the phone was the go-to source for research, even with big purchase decisions.
Seeing that shift occur has reinforced for me the power of mobile in today’s marketing landscape. If you’re a brand or retailer who is working on consumer-facing strategies, you absolutely must consider what consumers are doing on their phones as they’re strolling down the store aisles. Fostering one-to-one communication during that journey will be increasingly important, and you’ll want to be working with a promotional marketing company who understands and appreciates this rich space, and who can leverage data as a strategic resource.
If you’d like to learn more about how YA can help you acquire new customers, retain the ones you have, and build lifelong loyalty, then I’d love to begin a conversation. Contact me to learn more.