When you search for a printable coupon for a certain brand or store, by downloading it on your computer from the coupons website you identify your computer as one that is used by a person who has certain interests and/or shopping behavior. This will trigger a linked advertising system to show you promotions from brands or services that match this group of people that you just identified yourself as someone who belongs to it.
Say you searched the Internet for a coupon to use in the zoo the next weekend. By downloading this coupon from the coupon company website you set their system to treat you as someone who has kids under the age of 13 who likes to is willing to spend money on boring whole day activities just to keep his/her kids happy, and at the same time would like to save money on those activities.
You can expect from that point on that you’ll be exposed to promotions on tickets to Disney land, Disney on ice, Disney DVDs/blue ray… etc.
The media of marketing (the method of delivering these promotions to your eyes) will depend on how you got the coupons. For example, if you are required to enter an email address to receive the coupon then you’ll be receiving those promotions by email. If you are getting those coupon offers on your smart phone from an app you installed, then you’ll get those ads popping from that app. If it’s a browser toolbar then you’ll see the ads on the toolbar or in the search results if you use the toolbar search box.
These business are going to provide you with discounted products or services in order to get you to receive their advertising a way or another. That’s an additional cost to the traditional advertising they do in order to get your attention. You might be thinking that there should be a catch somewhere.
And you are right, there is a catch. The advertised businesses will provide you with a coupon to save on their products or services and will be happy about it because they can cross promote to you things they know with some degree of certainty that you’ll be interested in.
This means that they will be spending their advertising budget to get their products and services in front of people who are interested and likely to buy. This also means that their advertising budget is spent more efficiently than the old fashion “one size fits all” kind of advertising.
The company is a winner, but without costing you a thing. You were going to shop there anyway, now you did the same but saved some money. In return you’ll be exposed to their advertising and only see promotions to stuff you need and/or want.