John Ross | October 30, 2015

Given the current state of the economy and the accelerating evolution of shopper behavior, marketers must focus on using promotions to achieve overall brand objectives and not be overly concerned with fluctuations in redemption. As consumers are feeling less economic pressure, they are demonstrating a diminished desire to work for deals. That means we're going to have to work smarter to meet shopper demand, optimize promotion spend and capture greatest-possible return on investment.

There are challenges, yes. But, there are also strategies immediately applicable for building brand in today's marketplace.

Bein​g holistic.

It's not a new thought but one with never-greater significance. The marketplace is incredibly fractured and no single promotion method can sufficiently engage or activate a shopper base inundated with content and a penchant for spending across retail channels. Therefore, everything has to be on the table — paper, digital, rebates, print-at-home. For assessment; prioritization; investment. Methods must be matched with markets, distribution must align with media preferences and all efforts have to be measurable; spend and return. Less may prove to be more. Regardless, promotion initiatives have to be coordinated, complementary and comprehensive.

Leveraging the da​ta.

It's been said before, but it's a message that must be repeated — until we all hear it. Shoppers are constantly telling us what they want and how best to reach them. Online behavior, in-store activity, purchase behavior, opt-in/opt-out decisions, etc. are providing us with the information we need to make promotions work. Are we listening? Are we taking steps as marketers to catch up to, and anticipate, shoppers? Mining the data may require additional resources but true understanding lies within.

Making it per​sonal.

Inmar's research shows consistently that the more personal, timely and relevant the offers, the more effective they are in moving shoppers to purchase. Shoppers work hard enough; they don't want to have to work hard to save. They want offers to find them and they want those offers to immediately improve their lives and help them feed their families. "Knowing" your shoppers is a reality, so is targeting them individually at scale. Look to the data and the available technology to better understand shoppers and create better, more profitable connections with them.


As shopper behavior continues to change, along with conditions in the marketplace, our industry must change, as well. Being immediately responsive to already anticipated shopper demand has to be the goal. Meeting that demand -- through the right media and with the right message -- is how we will succeed.