03/26/2010 03:25 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Farewell to the Sunday Circular?

Remember when the Sunday paper would arrive and the family would split the sections up. Dad would grab sports and business, the kids would devour the comics and Mom would sit in the room, scissors in hand, massacring the Sunday circular. Her only goal? Savings on everything from food to school supplies, clothing and more.

Now that our world has gone from print to digital and increasingly mobile, is the Sunday circular as relevant or as useful a tool as it was in the past? It is, but its margin is shrinking. A recent article in MediaPost reported on a Scarborough Research Report that Sunday newspapers still dominate, with 51% of households surveyed obtaining coupons there, with in-store coupons coming in second at 35%, mailed coupons third at 31% and loyalty card programs fourth at 21%. Other significant non-digital sources included in-store circulars (20%), weekday newspapers (17%), coupons included in product packaging (16%) and magazines (15%).

We have not arrived at a fully digital landscape yet, but the margin is slimming. The story went on to say "from a small initial base, virtual coupons have registered impressive gains over the last few years. Currently, Scarborough says 8.6 million households get coupons via text messages or email, equaling about 8% of U.S. households; 7% get their coupons from Web sites.

2ergo recently purchased one of the leading companies in the mobile ticketing and couponing space Active Media Technologies. Active Media Technologies is a pioneer of mobile couponing. They were the first to commercially launch a mobile couponing/CRM solution in Europe and to transact the highest number of mobile coupons worldwide. This new solution is helping brands worldwide deliver convenience to consumers via the mobile phone.

Of course, larger cities in the US rule when it comes to mobile penetration, so we can well expect that city dwellers in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and other top 50 markets are just beginning to use their smartphones to access coupons for great deals on the go. Give it a few years... As more marketers embrace digital couponing as a way to extend their savings messages beyond print mediums we'll be seeing more mobile phones in use at the checkout counter.

Feel free to contact me directly to discuss further:

Chris Brassington
CEO at Starfish Consultants