Campus Special, the producer of the familiar coupon books NMU students receive from the bookstore each semester, has released a free mobile application which includes instant access to coupons for local businesses and the ability to order food from a phone.
Campus Special is a national company based in Atlanta and Chicago. The company provides coupon books for over 100 universities in the United States.
“They try to provide a link between students and local businesses,” said Julia Skidmore, a senior marketing major and intern for Campus Special.
Though she didn’t know details about the app’s production history, Skidmore said she was excited for more NMU students to learn about the app. The Campus Special App was released to Apple’s App Store and the Android Market two weeks ago.
Joe Jacobs, co-founder of Campus Special, said the app would make the company’s services more accessible to students, combining the print coupon books and online food order at CampusSpecial.com.
“Our goal was to incorporate all of our services into one cohesive product,” Jacobs said. “What better way to do that than place our product in the one thing that students have with them at all times, their phone(s).”
Skidmore said the app is easy for students to use and makes saving money and ordering food more convenient. She said that the app allows users to redeem coupons at local businesses directly from their phones rather than having to rely on the printed books. Ordering food from a phone was another great convenience, she said.
“You can (order food) in class and have it at your apartment by the time you get home,” Skidmore said.
Skidmore also said that the app benefits more of Marquette’s population than just hungry, thrifty students.
“(The app) shows business owners how many students use their business,” Skidmore said. She said the coupons and advertising offered by Campus Special might help businesses take in more income during the school year.
But the app’s convenience is limited to those with compatible, Internet-capable devices. English Major Michael Treacy, said he didn’t know many people with smartphones like the iPhone and the Android, the two models mentioned by Skidmore and Jacobs.
“A few of my friends have other (brands of) smart phones,” Treacy said. “Mostly (Blackberries).”
Though Treacy does own a smart phone, he said he probably wouldn’t get much use out of the Campus Special App. He said he doesn’t use most of the coupons in the printed books in the first place. “Even with the savings, I usually can’t afford the things the coupons are for,” he said. However, Treacy said the fact that the app is free made it more appealing.
“I’d at least look it over,” he said. “I’d probably still not be able to afford most of the items, though.” Overall, Treacy was not enthusiastic about the app. “I almost never use the coupon book,” he said. “I’m guessing the app, despite good intentions, would be pretty useless.”
Students who use Campus Special’s coupons and don’t own smartphones needn’t worry. Campus Special will continue to print the familiar books and provide them to NMU.