A new survey indicates that brand marketers need to reach shoppers before the store as consumers actively seek promotions when planning their weekly shops. Coupon firm Coupons.com UK & Europe has surveyed over 100 client-side and agency-side brand marketers attending The Grocer Marketing, Advertising and PR Awards 2012, and over 1000 primary shoppers, to establish where and when marketers should focus their marketing spend.
The Coupons.com survey highlights a growing trend for shoppers to take an increasingly savvy, proactive approach to their grocery shopping. 88% of consumers typically plan their shop prior to physically visiting the supermarket, and 82% would prefer to know about the available offers while compiling their list, driven by a combination of both cost and time savings.
Accordingly, the brand marketer research, carried out in parallel, showed that marketers are generally keeping up with this trend towards ‘active’ shopping, with almost all (95%) of marketers believing it is important for FMCG brands to influence shoppers’ purchase decisions before they get to the store.
But are marketers currently allocating enough of their promotional budgets to channels that enable them to reach the shopper at the point where they are making their purchase decisions, ie before the store? 35% of marketers surveyed say they spend roughly 33-66% of their promotional marketing budget on in-store activities, however only 23% of the consumers surveyed said that they are swayed ‘a lot’ by in-store promotions.
Oliver Felstead, Managing Director UK & Europe, Coupons.com, comments, “We undertook this survey because we have identified that shopper behaviour is evolving, with an increased amount of purchase decisions being made while they are online, before they even reach the store. In light of this, we also wanted to look at how marketers can get most value from promotional activities. It has become resoundingly clear that pre in-store activity is becoming increasingly important. Indeed, influencing the shopper’s list can have a dramatic influence on shopper behaviour — from choice of outlet to product selection.”
A further key finding of the marketers’ survey is that brands are now starting to recognise the value of getting their products onto consumers’ shopping lists, with 83% of marketers surveyed agreeing that getting their brand onto consumer shopping lists is a key factor in influencing in-store purchases, further pointing to the need to allocate sufficient funds to marketing to consumers prior to them reaching the store.
Oliver Felstead concludes, “The motivations of consumers are changing; driven by a combination of rising household shopping costs and more active use of promotional offers, coupons and vouchers by both retailers and brands, augmented with the consumer’s desire to achieve cost and time savings and efficiency gains, when it comes to the weekly shop consumers are increasingly planning ahead. In order to capitalise on this changing dynamic, brands must start to address getting targeted and relevant offers to consumers in the planning stage of their shop, to maximise the potential of successfully influencing the consumer along their entire path to purchase.”