The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from PR Newswire

Industry Experts Share Insights on the Everyday Saver

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Industry Experts Share Insights on the Everyday Saver10:00 EDT Tuesday, November 01, 2011Valassis-sponsored Webcast Puts a Face on Today's Shopper and What Coupons do for a BrandLIVONIA, Mich., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Valassis (NYSE: VCI), one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, announced today insights on the behaviors of the average shopper to help drive marketing objectives as shared by a panel of experts participating in the webcast, "Everyday Savers ? The Value of Coupon Users." The panelists ? whose expertise includes research, coupon security, marketing and understanding the consumer ? put a face on today's average shopper, how they shop, what motivates them and what coupon users do for a brand.Moderated by Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru®, who has more than 25 years of experience as an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, and the changing landscape of retail, the panel included:Charlie Brown, Vice President of Marketing, NCH Marketing Services, and a Board member of the Promotion Marketing Association;Jenny Martin, founder and writer at southernsavers.com, one of the leading frugal living websites in the South, with the goal of "a purposeful, relaxed approach to saving money;"Kim Rayburn, Senior Vice President, BIGinsight?, which provides consumer intelligence to top retailers, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and financial firms; andCurtis Tingle, Valassis Senior Vice President of Strategic Demand and Development, who leads the go-to marketing strategies for RedPlum® products and services.Consumers' shopping and saving habits have been shaped by recessionary times and their desire to save has escalated as evidenced by five consecutive years of increased coupon usage, leading Tingle to dub today's saver as "forever frugal." Today, 81% of consumers report using coupons regularly, according to NCH Marketing Services Inc.'s 2011 Consumer Survey."In studies that we've done, more than 30% of those we've surveyed say they are using more coupons than before, they're being more careful to plan their coupons and they're remembering to take their coupons to the store," said Brown. "What's most interesting among those consumers who have made changes in how they shop, more than three-quarters say they expect to continue those newly-formed habits even after the economy improves. Making brand choices with coupons and elevated coupon redemption rates are here to stay." Marketers, however, Brown pointed out, control 70% of the variables such as offer duration, face value and purchase requirements influencing redemption rates. There are a number of macro-economic factors including long-term high unemployment, declining home values, rising food and fuel prices and increased awareness to saving with coupons driving the total market redemption increase. Lempert pointed out that over the last 12 months, gas prices have risen 33 percent and food costs, over 6%, impacting today's shopper, whose confidence level hasn't returned. In fact, according to the 2011 RedPlum Purse String Study, 82% of consumers have the same or less confidence in their financial outlook compared to last year. BIGinsight 2011 data further illustrates the connection between rising gas prices and purchase behavior. As gas prices have increased, there has been a: 27% increase in consumers spending less on groceries;20% increase in consumers buying more store brands; and15% higher consumer interest in using more coupons.Overwhelmingly, consumers are allocating their coupon savings toward basic necessities, Tingle pointed out. "That helps reinforce the mindset that consumers really need coupons to make their lives easier." Since consumers are more deal focused, it underscores the importance for marketers to continue to reach and activate consumers through coupons, he said."Today's consumer is looking to save time as well as money looking for deals on their favorite products, and everyday savers tend to be much more brand-loyal than the extreme couponer," Martin said. "The everyday saver is really focused on saving with a small amount of time required."  She estimates the average saver will spend 20-30 minutes preparing for their shopping trip.The everyday saver represents the vast majority of coupon users. The extremist is, in fact, a very small percentage of deal seekers representing only .3% of all coupon users. To engage today's consumer, Martin suggests: Regularity of offers paired with in-store marketing;Carefully worded coupons, rebates and other promotions so the consumer knows what to expect; andHigher coupon values as shoppers balance their time spent planning with the savings achieved."Honestly, great products sell themselves once a consumer tries it once," Martin said.  "Just get it in their hands through a great offer and many will be repeat buyers."To attract the younger generation, the panelists focused on their digital connectivity.  "These are the consumers that are going to be the heavy shoppers of tomorrow, and they're already instilling these 'forever frugal' behaviors?so we've got to adjust our tactics for how to reach them," Tingle said. The 18-24 year old of today is more deal-focused ? 90% are using more coupons this year compared to a year ago; 35% have downloaded a coupon to a mobile device. "Companies looking to reach younger consumers need to utilize social media, mobile ads, and mobile offers? any way to engage that younger consumer," Martin said. "Consumers are constantly researching their purchasing," Rayburn added, "using the Internet and mobile devices to get the latest on products and promotions, 24/7. Younger consumers, in particular, are able and willing to find the best deal in seconds, and are quick to both share and receive input on products via social networking, so it's vital for marketers to build structures that give fast answers and promotions."Rayburn also shared consumer insights on females in three age brackets ? 18-34; 35-54; and 55-plus, and discussed how digital media and technology devices are shaping the female consumer market. Coupons, advertisements, and face-to-face communication are all major triggers for female consumers to begin an online search on a particular product. "We still live in a world where if our friend tells us about a product or a brand, or there's a certain promotion available, we search for more information," Rayburn said. Female consumers have a higher tendency to "cross-shop," or buy products from multiple categories when shopping, making them a crucial target for marketers employing a wide range of promotions. The 18-34 demographic, in particular, is very connected to the marketplace via social networks and mobile devices, "but it's all about making life easier, and making the best decisions," Rayburn said."Digital is exploding, but there tends to be an overlap?80% of digital coupon users also use offline coupons," Tingle said. "Marketers need to be in both places to reach that everyday saver."To view the webcast in its entirety, go to: http://bit.ly/uRKqI1. About ValassisValassis is one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, offering unparalleled reach and scale to more than 15,000 advertisers. Its RedPlum® media portfolio delivers value on a weekly basis to over 100 million shoppers across a multi-media platform ? in-home, in-store and in-motion. Through its digital offerings, including redplum.com and save.com, consumers can find compelling national and local deals. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan with approximately 7,000 associates in 28 states and eight countries, Valassis is widely recognized for its associate and corporate citizenship programs, including its America's Looking for Its Missing Children® program. Valassis companies include Valassis Direct Mail, Inc., Valassis Canada, Promotion Watch, Valassis Relationship Marketing Systems, LLC and NCH Marketing Services, Inc.  For more information, visit http://www.valassis.com, http://www.redplum.com and http://www.save.com. To learn about advertising opportunities with RedPlum, please call 1-800-437-0479. Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-looking StatementsThis document contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the following: price competition from our existing competitors; new competitors in any of our businesses; a shift in client preference for different promotional materials, strategies or coupon delivery methods, including, without limitation, as a result of declines in newspaper circulation; an unforeseen increase in paper or postal costs; changes which affect the businesses of our clients and lead to reduced sales promotion spending, including, without limitation, a decrease of marketing budgets which are generally discretionary in nature and easier to reduce in the short-term than other expenses; our substantial indebtedness, and ability to refinance such indebtedness, if necessary, and our ability to incur additional indebtedness, may affect our financial health; the financial condition, including bankruptcies, of our clients, suppliers, senior secured credit facility lenders or other counterparties; certain covenants in our debt documents could adversely restrict our financial and operating flexibility; fluctuations in the amount, timing, pages, weight and kinds of advertising pieces from period to period, due to a change in our clients' promotional needs, inventories and other factors; our failure to attract and retain qualified personnel may affect our business and results of operations; a rise in interest rates could increase our borrowing costs; possible governmental regulation or litigation affecting aspects of our business; clients experiencing financial difficulties, or otherwise being unable to meet their obligations as they become due, could affect our results of operations and financial condition; uncertainty in the application and interpretation of applicable state sales tax laws may expose us to additional sales tax liability; and general economic conditions, whether nationally, internationally, or in the market areas in which we conduct our business, including the adverse impact of the ongoing economic downturn on the marketing expenditures and activities of our clients and prospective clients as well as our vendors, with whom we rely on to provide us with quality materials at the right prices and in a timely manner. These and other risks and uncertainties related to our business are described in greater detail in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including our reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and the foregoing information should be read in conjunction with these filings.  We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.SOURCE ValassisFor further information: Mary Broaddus, Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, +1-734-591-7375, broaddusm@valassis.com