Retailer Advertising boosts sales in 2014


Retailer participation in Free Standing Insert (FSI) coupon events and digital coupons distributed on retailer websites benefitted from double-digit increases in 2014 versus 2013, up 11.8 percent and 16.5 percent respectively.

During this same period, retailer feature ad pages increased 4.2 percent while overall retailer advertising among Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)retailers decreased 2.8 percent, according to data released today by Marx, a Kantar Media solution.

“These trends indicate retailer and manufacturer marketing dollars are increasingly being directed toward programs that communicate specific and easy-to-understand value to the shopper,” said Dan Kitrell, VicePresident of Marx Account Solutions at Kantar Media.

“Although retailer advertising provides continuity and builds equity with shoppers, retailer FSI coupon events effectively reach shoppers in the home when they are writing shopping lists and planning shopping trips, while digital coupons distributed on a retailer’s website provide relevant incentives to shoppers who are likely planning a trip to that retailer. Finally,retailer feature ads frequently make the value of the combined offers easier for the shopper to understand by ‘showing the math’ including regular price, feature price, and net price paid after the coupon savings are applied,” explained 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 sales channels. For example, Walmart dominated the battle for “share of voice” with retail shoppers by maintaining the greatest level of actual advertising expenditures and the highest level of participation in retailer FSI promotion pages.

Walmart also increased their consumer promotion activity with a 15.7 percent increase in FSI promotion pages and an 18.4 percent increase in digital coupon events on in 2014. In contrast, Target had the second highest levels of advertising expenditures and retailer FSI promotion pages behind Walmart, but decreased advertising 6.1 percent, decreased FSI promotion pages 11.1 percent, and decreased digital coupon events on by 36.6 percent in 2014. These shifts in advertising and promotion may ultimately translate
into shifts in share of shoppers, trips, and sales between these two leading retailers.

Interestingly, each of the three leading Drug channel retailers increased their advertising activity while several leading Food channel retailers decreased their advertising expenditures in 2014. FSI coupon pages and digital coupon events grew for most of these leading retailers while changes in retailer feature ad pages was mixed in 2014.

CVS had the greatest percent increase in retailer advertising activity among the retailers analyzed in the table below, up 10.3 percent versus 2013. CVS also increased their participation in retailer FSI promotion pages by 47.2 percent, digital coupon events by 23.8 percent, and retail feature ad pages by 4.6 percent,to be the only retailer among these eight with increased activity across all four tactics.

“These retailer trends may reflect several factors including retailers exiting select markets, the sale of retail banners, or a response to retailer-related news stories. However, aggregated annual trends may not tell the whole story,” said Kitrell. “Retailers compete to win shoppers and trips on a weekly basis.

Manufacturers may be able to gain a competitive advantage by aligning their program timing with specific weeks in which a retailer has greater advertising and promotion activity. Timing becomes even more important if the retailer decreases total activity for the year. By identifying key weeks and key categories at key retailers, manufacturers can improve their program effectiveness during critical selling seasons,new product introductions, and other key initiatives throughout the year,” concluded Kitrell.


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