5 Promotional Trends for 2014
The age of the smart shopper is upon us – and it’s not going to change anytime soon. While competition for consumer dollars has become increasingly fierce, brands must deploy a wide range of promotion strategies and solutions to give them an edge in today’s marketplace.
According a recent Nielsen study, 76 percent of brands feel improving promotion effectiveness is their biggest challenge moving into 2014. Brands also face increased pressure from retailers to keep their prices low in order to remain competitive and gain valuable shelf space.
In addition, consumers have created purchasing strategies that allow them to consistently seek out and find the best deal. The surge in shopping technology has forced brands and retailers to quickly react to individual consumer demand and create a more personalized experience to engage customers and gain a competitive advantage.
Despite the obstacles brands face, there are strategies to help them stand out in the crowd of consumer choices. Below we offer five promotion trends for 2014 to give brands a leg up on the competition.
#1 - Deal Seeking is the Rule, Not the Exception
Shopper behavior has changed drastically over the past five years and will continue to evolve. According to a recent survey, price sensitivity among consumers has increased more than 70 percent over the past five years. Additionally, this trend is not limited to a particular economic group. Consumers from lower, middle and upper income levels have all become deal seekers. Because of this, brands are shifting their marketing dollars from more traditional forms of advertising to strategic promotional tactics.
With nearly 80 percent of consumers viewing rebates as a meaningful savings opportunity, incentive programs are playing a larger role in brand marketing strategy.
“Promotions such as rebates can offer consumers a greater perceived value than many other marketing tactics and provide meaningful insights into consumer behavior. Innovative rebates, if executed properly, can yield significant returns for brands,” said Bowen Smith, VP of Sales and Marketing for Promotion Fulfillment Center.
#2 - Integrate Retail, Mobile & Online Strategies
Consumers do not see your brand as three separate experiences, which is why integrating all channels of your promotional strategy will be key to gaining consumer loyalty and increasing market penetration. Understanding the consumers’ path to purchase and having the ability to react to their shopping behaviors will help give your brand a competitive edge.
“Promotions such as rebates, sweepstakes and contests have proven to be successful in acquiring new customers and building on your loyal fan base. Creating a seamless multi-channel experience allows brands the opportunity to engage with consumers at a variety of campaign touch points,” added Smith.
#3 - Big Data Will Play a Bigger Role
Data collection has become increasingly critical to understanding consumer behavior and gaining strategic shopper insights. While bigger brands have become early adopters of sophisticated data crunching, it is critical that brands large and small adopt strategies to gain insights into consumers’ demographic, geographic and psychographic behaviors through the analysis of data acquired through promotional campaigns.
“Smart promotional strategies will create opportunities to collect customer data, including email addresses and social media optins. Incentive programs such as rebates, sweepstakes and contests allow for ongoing consumer communications to drive brand loyalty and repeat purchases,” said Smith.
Mobile Will Drive Customer Engagement
There’s no turning back. Mobile marketing has become critical in every stage of the customer lifecycle. Whether you’re nurturing your loyal customer base or trying to acquire new customers, mobile must be a key component of your overall promotional strategy.
“The 80/20 rule still applies to customers; however the ways we now engage with that loyal 20 percent has changed dramatically. Brands should deploy mobile promotions strategy that is specifically tailored to the needs of their target customer base to ensure repeat business and consistent referrals,” Smith remarked.
#5 - Loyalty Programs Key to Finding Your Best Customers
With shopper sensitivity to price at an all-time high brand loyalty has been waning over the past few years. Just offering a reward is no longer enough to drive or change consumer behavior. Brands need to adopt comprehensive loyalty programs that do more than simply reward points.
“Today’s shoppers expect much more from their brands than they did even a few years ago. When executed properly, data from a loyalty program allows brands to segment and target customer groups and tailor incentives to their specific preferences,” said Smith.
Dynamic loyalty strategies such as status perks, free products, increased purchase incentives and time-sensitive promotions can become part of an integrated, multi-channel marketing plan that enhances the loyalty of your best and soon-to-be best customers.
- Strategic Promotions such as rebates can offer consumers a greater perceived value than many other marketing tactics and provide meaningful insights into consumer behavior.
- Bowen Smith, SVP, Sales and Marketing, PFC
About Promotions Fulfillment Center
At PFC, our clients’ success is our number one priority. Since 1974, PFC has delivered outstanding results, with turnkey solutions in fulfillment, e-commerce, rebates, sweepstakes, coupons and contact center – all backed by leading technology. Brands who partner with PFC have historically achieved considerable cost savings in excess of 35 percent and have significantly improved their turn times. PFC allows clients to focus on their big picture business goals, while skillfully managing all the details. For more information call (800) 493-7063.
Sources: Nielsen, Brand Activation Association, Borrell Associates