What My Granny Thinks About Google Coupons

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2006-08-16 Print this article Print

Looking for perspective? Ask an octogenarian.

At 84, my grandmother has survived one world war, one economic depression and my grandfather. Grandad was so frugal he ate the marrow out of chicken bones and chewed one-half a stick of Wrigley's at a time. For eight hours. So Granny, she learned to cut coupons. She reads Valpak like it's a love letter.

So she would seem an interesting test case for Google's coupon tie-in with Google Maps. As Google announced yesterday, when you search for local information on Google Maps, Google displays discount coupons from Valpak for participating businesses. The user can print those coupons and redeem them at the appropriate store. Businesses can add coupons to their Google Maps listing here.

The program is in its early stages, and right now it may take you a few searches to find any coupons at all. Google suggests searching for dentists, pizza, car washes, and home remodelers, among other things.

Do enough people use coupons for the partnership with Valpak to work? According to the Promotion Marketing Association, about 75 percent of people use coupons, and the most frequent coupon clippers have an income between $25,000 and $50,000, so it looks like Google is aiming for the low-hanging fruit with this deal. What better way to cut across demographics and get non-Google users to switch? After all, Google Maps has a long way to go: The latest numbers from Hitwise say Google Maps only has 7.5 percent market share.

So what does Granny think about all this? While she's an adept computer user, she doesn't understand why she'd use a map to find deals on products she'd buy. She said she knows where she's going already. She's going to stick to Valpak mailings and newspaper coupon clipping.

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