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Research: Retailers Ditched Ads for Digital Coupons, Inserts in 2011

Published on March 07, 2012

Advertising think tank Kantar Media reports that while retailer advertising expenditures increased by 1.6% in 2011, retailer participation in free-standing insert (FSI) coupon promotion pages jumped by 30.7% in 2011 over 2010. Moreover, digital coupon events increased 40.4% during the year across leading retailer websites monitored by Kantar Media.

These data are the first to become available from Kantar Media’s DirectHEAT service, which enables consumer-packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers tounderstand retail opportunities.

“Retailers and manufacturers are working together to implement integrated advertising and promotion programs that reach shoppers in the home where they are creating shopping lists and planning shopping trips. However, important differences in advertising and promotion tactics were observed among leading retailers,” said Dan Kitrell, Vice President of Marx Account Solutions at Kantar Media.

“Manufacturers need to understand which retailers are increasing their ‘share of voice’ to drive more trips and win key weeks with their shoppers. Additionally, manufacturers must understand the strategic role of their categories at each retailer together with how their brands both complement and compete with other brands within these categories, including private label brands,” said Kitrell.

Top Retailers by Channel
Significant shifts in advertising and promotion activity were observed among leading retailers across the Mass, Food, Drug, and other retail distribution channels. For example, Walmart decreased total advertising expenditures 27.2% across the 18 media monitored by Kantar Media while increasing their participation in FSI promotion pages by 677.2% and having 989.6% more digital coupon events distributed on Walmart.com during CY 2011 versus CY 2010.

“Retailers are targeting shoppers in the home to drive trips, transactions, and profits for their stores. Manufacturers may be able to gain a competitive advantage by aligning their promotion timing with weeks in which retailers have greater advertising and promotion activity. Higher levels of weekly retailer advertising and promotion may translate into increased retailer share of voice with the shoppers, increased shopper traffic into the stores, and increased dollar sales across departments, categories, and brands,” said Kitrell. “Some manufacturers are leveraging the strength of their brand portfolios as part of corporate scale themed events that ‘stack’ retailer-aligned advertising and promotion support to break through the clutter with shoppers, improve the return on promotion programs with retailers, and convert category shoppers into brand buyers in the store during these peak weeks.”