I opened my mailbox yesterday on my way into my building to find a coupon from the nearby Boston Pizza on 17th Avenue in Calgary. The coupon includes deals for a free starter, $5 off a $25 order, 25% off all burgers and 25% off any pizza. I haven’t been there in awhile, I think I’ve maybe stopped in twice in the last year. The coupon is now a good reason to visit Boston Pizza the next time I’m out.
When I reached my apartment, I opened up my laptop and booted up Twitter. One of my more recent follows has been @WESTCalgary, the newest place to be downtown. @WESTCalgary is doing a fantastic job of using Twitter to promote themselves. Currently, they’re asking trivia questions about the restaurant like “What movement & artist inspired our 60′s Room The Twist?” The first correct answer won a $50 gift card.
I looked down at the printed coupon from Boston Pizza. It doesn’t ask me trivia questions. And it doesn’t show up at just the right time (like on my fifth checkin) the way, perhaps, a Boston Pizza Foursquare deal would.
I mulled this over a bit more, imagined what it would be like to have my neighbourhood Boston Pizza respond to my complaint about the temperature on a hot summer day with an @reply on Twitter like “You could come enjoy a nice cold bevvy on our patio. How about $5 off your order?” In the back of my mind, a lyric from a Powerman 5000 song surfaced, “now this is what it’s like when worlds collide.”
A deal targeted directly to me at just the right time in a non-intrusive fashion. That would be the best of both worlds. But we’re not quite there yet. The online participants get the online crowds. The offline methods still work for the offline folks. So while I wait for the rest of the world to catch up, it looks like I’ve got some coupons to use. Who’s in for a pizza?