Today, you can get anything out of a vending machine, from condoms to electronics to face wash. In fact, vending machines have been around for centuries. The first coin operated vending machine was established in 1880 and there have been references that date all the way back to 215B.C. So why aren’t more companies taking advantage of the $64.3M (per year) vending machine business for promotional purposes?
Many of the beverage companies have implemented combined freebies of their products via vending machines with social media to create viral word of mouth marketing. Previously reported via The Next Web, Pepsi recently took a chapter out of the “free samples” playbook by instituting a vending machine that dispensed free cans of Pepsi in exchange for a “like” on Facebook (see video). But Pepsi wasn’t the first to take advantage of the vending machine idea. Coca-Cola was there first.
Although the idea of giving away a free Pepsi garnered them more “likes” on Facebook and those ‘likes’ were quality fans — people who drank Pepsi, what I think is even more brilliant (or scary, depending how you look at it) is that by having people ‘like’ their page via an app they created it allowed Pepsi to capture their personal data through Facebook’s OpenGraph api. Prior to this, Pepsi knew certain demographics of their Facebook Fan base (gender, age range, vicinity where they lived), but now they know even more information about those new ‘likes’ such as their other interests, religious and political beliefs, their email address, their phone number, where they live, where they went to high-school and so much more. All of this information is what companies pay big bucks for so they can streamline their marketing to you and make it meaningful.
Sure, building a vending machine might be a bit costly, but you can easily build an app page and have people access it via their smart phone or a tablet at your place of business. Have you implemented an app on Facebook? Will you consider implementing one now? Need help?