John Ross | September 29, 2015

Even as the interdependence between shopper marketing and brand marketing increases, deltas remain between the disciplines that must be bridged in order for marketers to create the omni-channel experience that shoppers have come to expect — and are increasingly responsive to. Therefore, promotion strategies must be employed that complement independent initiatives, help meet shared business goals and make the most of ever-constricting budgets. Digital promotions represent just such a strategy — effective in building brand, influencing shoppers throughout the path to purchase and moving product from shelf to cart. And, doing so with easily measured effectiveness and quickly discernible ROI.

Of course, the in-store experience is essential in influencing shoppers and, yes, shoppers are making significant purchase decisions at shelf but Inmar's latest data on redemption for digital coupons acquired pre-trip (L2C, alone, was up 62% in H1 2015 vs. H1 2014) points to equally significant decisions being made much earlier and then executed in store. Additionally, with coupons in their e-wallets (and others in hand) shoppers are buying sooner, buying more, and buying newly introduced products and/or products new to them. (Analysis of the influence of coupons on shopper behavior is detailed in our Shopper Promotion Impact Report.)

The inherent adaptability of digital promotions — the fact they can be deployed at, or in support of, specific retailers, targeted to individual shoppers and used to build brand equity through a variety of interactive, online engagement plugs-in — is further argument for positioning them prominently in the marketing mix. Consider also that digital coupons can be rapidly activated while being strategically distributed and can be immediately disengaged once campaign objectives are met or in response to changing market conditions or brand priorities.

The greatest "deliverable" from digital promotions, however, is the sales-driving connection this method builds between brands, retailers and shoppers. By making digital promotions central to their marketing mix brands can enhance regional/national campaigns and aggressively support retailers' campaign-related efforts to engage and activate an increasingly digital-driven shopper base. Add to this the specificity of product promotion that's possible with digital promotions and you have an outstanding tool for advancing a new product launch or line extension, enabling a seasonal sales event, moving excess inventory and promoting general category growth.

Better coordinating shopper marketing with brand marketing to create a holistic approach to shopper engagement and activation will drive sales and help build brand. Using digital promotions will be key to making that coordination -- and a discreet connection -- a measurable reality.​