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Ad:tech: Geo-Social Attracts Customers for Major Gas Retailer

  |  November 3, 2010   |  Comments

Murphy USA says 44 percent of Whrrl check-ins have been brand-new customers who spend more than average patrons.

murphyusaNew York-- Murphy USA and Whrrl are releasing statistics at the Ad:tech digital marketing conference this afternoon that suggest geo-social creates new customers. The companies agreed to let ClickZ News review performance data prior to their presentation, which derives from a survey of Whrrl users checking in at Murphy USA's national chain of gas stations during the last 15 weeks. The most surprising data-point: 44 percent had never before given the company's gas stations any business.

Customers are averaging $30 total spend for each visit, which Murphy USA says is twice the industry average. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they are more likely to increase purchase due to the geo-social program, while 72 percent said they were more likely to recommend the brand to friends and family.

A trio of other interesting statistics: people who checked in were three times more likely to visit Murphy USA more than once a week compared to its average customers. ("Average customer" visits frequency was based on the company's more general customer survey data.) Eighty-five percent of the check-ins surveyed said they chose Murphy USA over a nearby competitor. And 57 percent stated that Whrrl made their visits to the gas stations more fun.

People who checked in were e-mailed a survey to fuel the research, John Kim, VP of products for Whrrl's Seattle-based parent company Pelago, recently told ClickZ. He pointed to the possibility that his company's program was virally creating brand-new customers for the gas stations.

"Since the only other place where people can learn about Murphy's Societies program is the signage around the gas pumps, it appears that a lot of them who are checking in first learned about it from their friends through Facebook and Twitter feeds," he said. "They must be seeing, 'Hey, I'm at Murphy's!' when they are on those sites."

Meanwhile, the gas stations brand has been rewarding Whrrl users who check in with a bevy of prizes - most notably giving one daily winner a digital coupon for $50 in free gas. The El Dorado, AR-based Murphy USA has more than 1,000 gas stations near locations of its retail partner, Wal-Mart.


Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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