Is advertising stuck with clients who are constantly having to offer discounts, incentives and special offers to keep consumers engaged?
While coupon clipping is slowly going the way of the newspapers that hold them, discounts have adapted with the times. The newest, most dynamic ways of engaging consumers these days often involves some sort of discounted carrot.
It’s a large part of what’s making social media tick. Groupon, Scoutmob, and other sites offer one-per-day localized deals en masse that you opt-in to buy, along with making it easy to spread the word to your friends. Add to that Facebook fan-page offers, Twitter offers, secret coupon codes — everyone’s looking for a break, and businesses large and small are happy to oblige.
As mobile marketing continues to gain traction, marketers are looking to lure nearby shoppers by geotargeting — using new ways to use someone’s smartphone or other GPS-enabled device to send them messages when they’re in the neighborhood. That could be a smart idea, but it’ll definitely take more than, “Hey, come on in.” It’ll be, “Hey, come on in and take 30 percent off.”
At a time when discounter Costco is seeing record membership renewals, Americans’ appetite for bargains also is evident at neighborhood stores. Yogurt-maker Dannon is offering monthly bargains on best-selling products. CVS (CVS) drugstores have added kiosks that spit out personalized coupons.
Three years ago, 48% of consumers bought most products on sale. Today, it’s 53%, says NPD Group, a retail market researcher. Last year, nearly seven in 10 consumers shopped in a discount, big-volume or off-price store, compared with five in 10 three years ago, NPD says.