ExxonMobil to Offer Speedpass Promotion

Will give 15 cents/gal. discounts for volume; unveils new HQ via in-house video

Carole Donoghue, Petroleum Editor

HOUSTON -- With spring just around the corner, Exxon Mobil Corp. is gearing up for a new promotion to boost sales at the pump via its Speedpass contactless payment system. The offer, to be unveiled March 1, is for a 15-cents-per-gallon discount for customers who buy at least 100 gallons of fuel through May 31.

Past Speedpass promotions have been well-received, ExxonMobil told branded marketers in a presentation to kick off the new campaign.

Speedpass customers are "some of the most loyal" that it has, with two-thirds of them buying from an ExxonMobil station for more than eight years. Those who link their Speedpass to a third-party card, such as Visa, buy an incremental 14 gallons a month, while accounts linked to an ExxonMobil personal card yield an additional seven gallons per month in sales.

Speedpass represents the majority of the contactless payment occurring in the retail fuels business, the major said.

To take part in the promotion, consumers have to go online to register for a Speedpass electronic tag. Alternatively, ExxonMobil is suggesting that marketers set up a registration table at their stations. When the refiner ran a similar promotion last year, 134,000 customers registered for the promotion and increased their purchase volume by 28%. The company also said it picked up 36,000 new Speedpass enrollments.

Promotional signage is scheduled to arrive at stations next week, including attendant stickers and register toppers. It is planning an email campaign to alert existing ExxonMobil and Speedpass holders, along with paid search results on Google. A national radio campaign will target weekday and morning drive consumers, along with spots on talk shows, finance, weather and sports programming and live sporting events.

ExxonMobil is also eyeing a gift card promotion, telling marketers that it wants to "continue to fill the pipeline with value-driven offers for consumers." It saw 30,000 gift card redemptions last year, when gift card sales increased by 56% over 2010 sales. Retailer participation in gift card has also tripled. The promotion will offer a free $10 gift card with every $100 in gift card purchases, sources said.

ExxonMobil is also introducing a volume growth component to its branded marketing incentives program for 2012. Under the program, marketers can earn up to 20 points if they score well on mystery shopper evaluations and store enrollment in point-of-purchase promotions. This year, marketers will earn five points if they can increase their volumes by 5%, and three points if they sell from 100% to 104.5% of last year's volume.

Meanwhile, the company has given workers a look at computer-generated graphics of its new corporate headquarters, to be built in the posh Woodlands area 20 miles north of Houston. Employees will move into the space in phases, with the first to arrive in early 2014, and the rest by early 2015. According to the video presentation, ExxonMobil calls its new futuristic home "a campus for the future." The sprawling glass-and-concrete HQ will include a reflecting pool, a gym and child-care facilities for employees. It was designed to be "pedestrian-friendly," with a maximum seven-minute walk between all buildings. The gateway to the campus will include "a landmark piece of architecture" called the Energy Center.