Marketers throughout the country will continue to debate whether Threshers' '40% off' voucher ('That Threshers 40%: it was a better deal', The Grocer, 9 December 2006) campaign was a stroke of genius or a marketing trick that spiralled out of control. However, there can be no doubt that Threshers missed an excellent opportunity to implement a carefully managed, national campaign that could have provided a far more qualified consumer database and long-term returns if deployed differently.

The use of printable voucher technology would have allowed Threshers to control its promotional exposure by limiting the number of vouchers printed by each individual as well as in total across all their online media. It would have also prevented the Threshers voucher from being sent as an attachment across the internet and being placed on 'Freebie' websites.

Furthermore, advances in printable voucher technology now provide a real insight into consumer response as well as increasing footfall in-store. If consumers had been prompted to sign up beforehand, every coupon printed could have been completely trackable from print through to redemption.

Based on this, Thresher could have measured the success of the 40% offer and tailored future campaigns to optimise the reach that the internet provides.

If retailers want to maximise sales over these busy trading periods and beyond then they should be looking to wholeheartedly embrace online marketing. However, the only way to attain real value from online activity is to leverage a solution that is secure and completely trackable. Printable voucher technology provides the answer, giving retailers a quantifiable, measurable way of achieving direct consumer to brand interaction all in a safe, controlled environment.