REMAG, Revisited: Innovative Couponing Program Completes Three Month Pilot
In the midst of the incremental collapse of our antiquated magazine distribution system, there are bright lights here and there, people who are trying out new things, bringing unexpected solutions to the marketplace.
One of them is REMAG, the program that uses coupons to create incentives for recycling magazines. REMAG's program draws together publishers, retailers, packaged goods companies, and the public through its supermarket-based kiosk locations.
It works like this: kiosks are set up in high-traffic retailers. People bring their used magazines to the kiosk to recycle; in return they receive coupons for use in the store. Waste is reduced, customers are rewarded, further purchases are facilitated, and the supermarket and packaged goods company make the money from the extra sales.
Blake Patterson of REMAG explained the whole program to me a year or so ago, and I wrote about it here. Since then he's gone and set up a pilot program in three SuperMax stores in Puerto Rico. In these three stores, over the course of three months, customers recycled 90,000 pounds of paper; they selected 290,000 coupons; and $19,000 was raised, to go to the non-profit organizations that supported the pilot.
Coupon partners for the launch comprised over 150 products; participating companies included B Fernández & Hnos., Clorox, Colgate/Palmolive, General Mills, Healthy Choice, Kellogg's, Kraft, Nestle, MARS, Mondelez, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, and Unilever. Local non-profit partners included The Humane Society of Puerto Rico, SER de Puerto Rico, Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan, Hogares Teresa Toda, Sacred Heart University, Sierra Club and the G8 (eight communities around the Caño Martín Peña). REMAG also received the support in the environmental and recycling area from organizations such as: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Solid Waste Authority, Green America and Puerto Rico Recycling Partnership.
Sounds like a success to me.
In addition to the quantitative results, the program can boast increasing store traffic and customer loyalty in the participating stores, and enabling the partner companies to further customer engagement in the shopping environment.
What's next for REMAG?
With the viability of the program established on both a conceptual and practical level, the next steps are to make it effective and scalable operationally. That means streamlining the kiosks themselves through improved scanning technology and customer interface.
After that, the roll out. REMAG is committed to expanding the program to new markets, new outlets, new retailers, new coupon partners and, as they establish the program in new communities, local non-profits throughout North America.
Linda Ruth, as president of PSCS Consulting (www.PSCSConsulting.com), offers communication companies worldwide the keys to magazine launches, search engine optimization and audience development online and at retail. She is a pioneer in the fields of Online Audience Optimization (OAO) and gamification for content publishers. Her books, "Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers" ; "How to Market your Newsstand Magazine"; and "Secrets of SEO for Publishers" can be found on Amazon. Find her online at Google Plus, Magazine Dojo, LinkedIn, and Twitter @Linda_Ruth.