Cause Marketing at Retail With Cash Register Tape

Imagine every time someone buys one of your paper icons at retail that the printed receipt spits out a bounce-back coupon for a sponsor.

That idea occurred to me when I was at the grocery store the other day. I got both a custom-printed coupon and a coupon for a free smoothie with purchase at McDonalds.

I did a little research and found that there are basically two players in the grocery store receipt market with two different approaches. Both claim high levels of penetration in the largest markets. But either would work for the retail promotion I have in mind.

Catalina Marketing offers stores little printers… separate from the cash register printers… that spit out a coupon, oftentimes for a product that competes with the one you just bought. So if you bought a can of Campbell's soup you might get a coupon for a can of Progresso soup.

Register Tape Network preprints the back of paper cash register tape with ads or coupons for chiropractors, fast food, hair salons, and the like that are then distributed to grocery stores.

Either option could certainly be used to drive awareness for your cause or cause marketing campaign.

But imagine instead if the promotion were keyed to a paper icon campaign. When the icon gets scanned the Catalina prints up coupons for the cause’s packaged goods sponsors, for instance. Smart charities would ask the sponsors to underwrite the effort.

The Catalina printer could even print out a 75-word story and picture (give or take) about the cause. Heck, national charities could even program it such that the story that comes out has a local angle.

Register Tape Network would be a little less techy, but still versatile. You could do almost everything with RTN that you could do with Catalina, except customize the offer.

Contact me if you want to try this. I’ve got a few more ideas about how to make cause marketing with cash register tape work.