Coupon Crazy!

A shopper snags $4,000 worth of razors and pays zero. Couponers dive into Dumpsters in search of newspaper inserts. They purchase $1,000 worth of groceries and pay a few dollars. One man has a “wall of toothpaste” with 1,000 tubes. Twin sisters brag they have cleaned out a store’s supply of dental floss. Others boast of lifetime supplies of paper towels and toilet paper.             Palm Beach Post

So, did the coupon craze inspire that wacky “Extreme Couponing” show on TLC? Or has the show inspired the couponing craze? Seems like it’s true both ways.

Somehow I managed to catch the premiere back in the spring (in between shows about guns and monster trucks!) Much of it was pretty interesting. First of all it was shot in my hometown of Cincinnati – I recognized the Kroger that lady shopped in, and her neighborhood.

Anyway, there were some really practical aspects to the show, and couponing in general. Who doesn’t like to save money, especially these days? Other aspects gave me a “Hoarders” vibe. Couponing as an obsession, you know. Still other aspects made me angry. I worked in a grocery store once. You get to tie up a register, and a cashier, and ten carts for two hours, AND crash the computer system, just so you can get $1000 worth of groceries for twenty bucks? Grrr.

Anyway, in this economy, I don’t think couponing is going away anytime soon. What do you think? Practical? Obsession? Menace to grocery stores everywhere? Let us know!

Steve Jobs Passes the Torch

Steve Jobs will be remembered as the Edison of mobile: his numerous Apple products have impacted the work, home and play lives of hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide.  …

People weren’t exactly stunned by this week’s news about Steve Jobs. His health has been a long-running concern for the past several years. The day when he would take a big step back in the day-to-day operations at Apple had to come eventually, and so it has.

Mobile Marketer pulled together a bunch of quotes from industry types about Steve Jobs’ influence on personal computing, entertainment, marketing…it goes on and on! Here are some highlights:

With the iPhone, Steve Jobs reimagined what the smartphone could be and ushered in a new level of sophistication in mobile marketing.

Before Steve Jobs, mobile phones were about making phone calls with a few peripheral features. Now, voice calls are the peripheral feature.

He knew he could get people excited about products they didn’t know they wanted and almost certainly don’t need.

…he has turned Apple Computer around to become just Apple – the leading consumer technology brand in the world.

He did this not because he’s a great developer, engineer or even product designer, but because he’s probably the greatest marketer and showman in technology.

He provided true market leadership that not only transformed Apple but forced all of their competitors to innovate.

I might even say, that aside from Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin, there might not have been a more significant contributor to changing so many aspects of our world.

Those are some highlights. There are plenty more quotes HERE.   So what do you think? Is Steve Jobs a genius? A master showman? Completely overrated? Have his products “changed your life?” Let us know!

Cure the Back to School Bookstore Blues

The college textbook screw-o-rama has aggravated students and parents forever. You buy an expensive textbook at the campus bookstore. At the end of the term you sell it back practically unused (in my case, anyway) for pennies on the dollar. The next day it’s on the USED shelf for 75% of the original price!

Well, put down the gun, mom and dad – and pick up the Kindle! According to a recent USA Today article, book giant Amazon has announced:

…students can rent tens of thousands of textbooks from its online Kindle Store, which Kindle users can access on the e-reader. Amazon said its rental prices are as much as 80 percent lower than the list prices for the books.

Now, cheaper is one thing, and I am all for it. But if you remember standing in line at the bookstore to buy and resell your books, every term, four years straight…that’s hours of precious human capital that went to waste! Time that could have been spent drinking beer and not studying!

What do you think? It’s back to college time!Does it make sense? Is your (or your kids’) school participating?

All About the Cashout!

Have you ever wondered how the MindField Online cashout process works? Mind if we tell you anyway?

MindField Online bean-counters collect all of your cashout requests throughout the week. Then, first thing Monday we process them and either send you a check, deposit into your PayPal account, or send you an redemption code via email.

Now, the option is pretty new, and it’s proven to be pretty popular! So, it’s taken us a couple of weeks to get a good, smooth system down for processing those requests.  But here we are! As of Monday, August 22, all cashout requests will be up-to-date, and will be processed weekly just like the checks and PayPal requests.

Once again, an cashout will come as a form letter with a redemption code number delivered via email from [email protected].

We hope you are enjoying the new cashout options. More MindField innovations will be coming your way in the future!

MindField Fans Speak (again!)

Time to update our satisfied Facebook fan comment page for August. Check it out, including this gem from Kirk: “MindField is the best reliable survey company out there. I started about 3 years ago and I love sharing my opinion and testing new products, and the incentives are great! I have never had a problem with them – they are trustworthy!”

Follow this link: Panelist Reviews

The Sound of Savings

You won’t hear it with the human ear, but the next time you are in a big chain store, Shopkick may be calling out your name!

According to a recent article at, Shopkick is a location-based customer loyalty app like Foursquare or Gowalla, but with an important difference:

…it doesn’t use the phone’s GPS. Instead, Shopkick uses a different technology. It plugs in a small box inside each participating store. The box emits a high frequency sound that humans can’t hear. When the Shopkick app is opened, it recognizes the sound so that it knows that the person is actually in the store.

The bottom line is engagement. Remember a few posts ago we were talking about the difference between TV ads that are just on, shooting dumbly out into the atmosphere, versus web ads that tease you and make you click? If you click the web ad, you are already interested in the product. That’s engagement, and the same principle applies with Shopkick. You physically go into the store, you turn on the app, and you wait for the deals to come to you. And Shopkick claims a success rate of 45% that, if it’s true, is a really high number!

For now, because it requires hardware, Shopkick is mainly in large chains like Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, Disney and so on. Foursquare uses existing satellite tracking, and it is popular with smaller independent stores. But of course, they are looking into copying Shopkick’s success. Hopefully the winner will be YOU.

So have you used Shopkick? What do you think?

Get ’em While They’re Young

…in the pursuit of new customers, companies are shifting their marketing strategies to target a younger and younger demographic. First, “youth marketing” was the buzzword. Then, it was fine-tuned to the “tweens.” Now, newborns are the new base.         Beneath the Brand Blog

Yes, newborns.  A few years ago, some genius figured out that while a child must learn language and verbal skills in order to communicate their preferences, they are forming preferences even before that. Really, it goes all the way back to Walt Disney: ever notice how you can tell who’s the hero and the villain just by the way they are drawn?

And speaking of Disney, they are jumping into the marketing-to-babies thing in a big way. Now, at nearly 600 maternity hospitals in the US, Disney gives away “cozy, adorable bodysuits — often decorated with famous Disney protagonists —[for free], so long as Mom is willing to sign up for email updates from, the new corporate initiative.”

Meanwhile, Ronald McDonald is one of the most recognizable figures to even the youngest kids – and Ronald is taking a lot of heat for supposedly wrecking your kids’ health and making them fat. So, there’s a downside. Anyway, there are further examples in the article online. So what do you think? Good? Bad? Dumb? Inevitable?

You Can’t Hide from These Deals!

Heard of location-based marketing? It’s been around for a few years, and it’s growing. And a 400 pound gorilla just entered the game!

Basically (very), in location-based marketing you sign up with a retailer somewhere in town. Using GPS or something, they know when you are physically near the place – say you are grocery shopping a mile away – and they send you a text or email with a coupon or some announcement about today’s special.

A lot of tech companies are in this field, including a start-up called The Dealmap. And Dealmap just got PAID, yo!

In a strategic no-brainer, Google has acquired The Dealmap, a startup that shows on a Google Maps-powered map just where you can find all the Groupon-like daily deals in your geographic area.                                                                   

Which is great news if you love deals, and you are familiar and comfortable with Google Maps. Bad news, I guess, if you are worried that Google is taking over every aspect of the internet! What do you think?

Our Biggest Drawing EVER!

Faceless yellow man is happy…you will be too!

NOTE: This is a PAST drawing. We keep it posted to illustrate the kinds of fun opportunities we have for MindField Online members.

Big news, fans of MindField (and money!) Announcing our biggest cash drawing ever, just in time for the holidays! On December 10th, 2011 we will hold a drawing for combined total of $2,500.00!

This includes:

One $1,000 Grand Prize,

Two $500 Second Prizes, and

Twenty $25 Third Prizes!

How do you qualify? There are all kinds of ways involving Facebook, Twitter, PayPal,, the MindField Online Blog, Refer-a-Friend, signing up for text messages and more!

For a full rundown of rules and qualifications, head over to the official MindField Online prize page, HERE.  Thanks, and good luck!