Consumers Chase Deals to Feel Smarter & Even Buy Fun Things or Experiences
LIVONIA, Mich., Oct. 6, 2020: Valassis, a Vericast business and the leader in marketing technology and consumer engagement, is defining and creating industry benchmarks with its newly introduced influencer marketing solution. Valassis influencer marketing programs drove a 64% higher engagement rate for awareness campaigns and 110% higher click-through rate for traffic campaigns based on 32 consumer packaged goods brands testing nearly 3,000 pieces of content.
“Consumers want to interact with brands in a more experiential way, relying in part, on influencers for brand discovery and digital storytelling,” said Sinead Norenius-Raniere, vice president of influencer marketing and paid social at Valassis. “Effective influencer marketing is both an art and a science, strategically identifying the right influencers, message and channels to reach a receptive audience, and ultimately, inspire purchase decisions. At Valassis, we are able to buy and serve media programmatically via our influencers’ handles, providing brands incredible efficiencies and maximizing their investments. We are also setting new industry benchmarks for influencer media due to our approach and optimization practices.”
Consumers rely on influencers to vet products and make purchase decisions. A recent Valassis survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that 51% have purchased a product or service after seeing it used or promoted by an influencer in the past two years. In addition to influencing purchases, 40% of consumers are more likely to trust a brand that features an influencer they know.
Using the power of Illumis™, Valassis Influencer Marketing goes beyond organic reach to engage consumers through programmatic paid social ads. Successfully scaling its solution beyond social media in multichannel campaigns, Valassis identifies the channels a brand’s target audience prefers and adapts the influencer content. Marketers are then able to rapidly test vast amounts of content in real time to best determine what will deliver the highest response.
Hampton Farms, the leading roaster of in-shell peanuts in the United States, realized a seven-fold return on ad spend with the Valassis influencer marketing solution. Fifteen micro-influencers were engaged, creating 62 pieces of authentic, high-impact visual content that was tested and optimized for a campaign aimed at increasing awareness and sales of its seasonal Major League Baseball peanut packages at select retailers. Top performing ads were targeted via display and amplified with paid social ads, delivering over 7.1 million social media impressions (5 million over guaranteed) to in-market audiences and a 0.38% click-through rate (compared to the 0.15% industry average).
Valassis’ unique strategy, technology and scale approach:
- Provides advice on creative approach and strategy to influencers to ensure they are effective storytellers producing authentic content about a brand. With its stringent vetting process and by leveraging AI-powered technology to identify influencers, Valassis hones in on the content creators that will have the strongest alignment and affinity with a brand’s campaign objectives.
- Utilizes precise, predictive intelligence from the Valassis Consumer Graph™ to identify ideal consumers. Interests, store visits, purchase preferences, purchase intent and other characteristics are instrumental in developing sophisticated custom audience segments. With these insights, Valassis shines, boosting Facebook targeting with its complementary and robust intelligence. As a Facebook Preferred Marketing Partner for Agencies, this combination uniquely positions Valassis to deliver smarter, more precise targeting that puts authentic content in front of consumers.
- Unlocks scale by automating manual aspects of influencer media. This includes the influencer permissioning process to then leverage influencer handles for programmatic paid ads delivered and optimized using sophisticated technology. Valassis is able to launch campaigns in record time while simultaneously building and maintaining strong relationships with influencers.
Consumers Chase Deals to Feel Smarter & Even Buy Fun Things or Experiences
While marketers historically used promotions to influence consumer purchases, Valassis research reveals that consumers respond to marketing messages beyond savings. Looking for new products and experiences, 56% of consumers find it “exciting” to discover a coupon or discount for a new product or brand they have not previously tried. Forty-five percent of respondents are leveraging coupons or discounts to expand their budgets and their ability to buy “fun things or experiences.”
Marketing messages that include coupons, discounts and social media promotions can also lead to incremental sales. Valassis found that consumers can be highly influenced through incentives such as:
- 60% of consumers to try a new product
- 59% to buy something not on their list
- 54% to make an impulse purchase
- 46% to change their planned purchase
Making another connection between an offer and brand beyond its financial value, 55% of consumers said they have a more positive impression of stores or brands that offer coupons and discounts. Furthermore, consumers believe that coupons or discounts make them feel like a smarter shopper (69%) and can lead them to choose a brand they would not typically buy (53%), placing even greater value on coupons outside of typical savings.
Valuing time, millennials and parents are more likely to agree that if forced to choose, saving time is more important than saving money. This is true for 68% of parents and 65% of millennials. With this, 71% of parents and 69% of millennials say they need better solutions to save even more time shopping – something for retailers to consider to attract these desired groups of shoppers.
The report examines responses from more than 2,000 U.S. consumers in two separate surveys, noting how their shopping patterns and purchasing decisions have changed within specific categories including food, household goods and health & beauty care products amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The research provides a view into the evolving role value has in our distracted age. The research also offers recommendations on how brands and retailers can stay relevant and top of mind with consumers by gaining insight into what is important to them.
“The modern shopper leads a multi-faceted life. Deals and discounts appeal to their desire for not just saving on their daily needs, but also to try new things and connect to the world around them, a fact that should make providing deals and discounts even more compelling to marketers,” said Michelle Engle, chief marketing officer at Valassis. “But our findings also uncovered that value comes in several forms and consumers want choices that enable them to find what they deem to be valuable. Data and insights, like those from our Consumer Intel Report, help brands identify what is important to their consumers, connect with them and plan for a new yet uncertain normal.”
Additional findings reveal:
- Mobile takes on a more significant role.
- The use of smartphones and mobile devices to save on shopping trips increased during the pandemic to 44% vs. 34% in 2019.
- 87% of online grocery shoppers are now placing an average of 44% of their grocery orders via mobile.
- 73% of millennials and 67% of Gen Z will switch brands based on a discount notification received via mobile while in the store (compared to 49% of all consumers).
- Consumers use more resources to plan their in-store grocery trips.
- The average number of planning touchpoints increased by 15% to 3.9 in 2020 compared to 3.4 in 2019.
About the 2020 Consumer Intel Report
The studies were fielded in the fourth quarter of 2019 and June of 2020 in conjunction with a global, third-party market research firm with proficiency in internet surveys. The sample was derived from an online consumer opinion panel, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Consumers were emailed an invitation to participate in the survey and were given three days to complete it. Each survey was closed once 1,000 completed responses (1,042 for the 2019 survey) had been reached. The responses were weighted by factors obtained from national census data to provide appropriate representations of demographic groups at summary levels.
Consumers Weigh in on Impact From Pandemic and Connection to a Brand’s Values
Additionally, the heightened awareness around social injustice has impacted the way consumers engage with influencers. For example, 36% of influencer-following consumers say they are following a more diverse set of influencers than before, and 32% surveyed have purchased more products/services from businesses that are endorsed by influencers from different racial and cultural backgrounds.
Emphasizing the importance of engaging the right influencer, the research found that 40% of consumers are more likely to trust a brand that features an influencer they know. Twenty-five percent say their perception of brands is shaped by the influencers that endorse them and this is more evident among 25 to 34 year olds, with 39% agreeing.
“Influencers humanize brands, providing a unique opportunity to make a genuine connection with consumers,” said Sinead Norenius-Raniere, vice president, influencer marketing and paid social, Valassis. “The interplay among consumers, influencers and brands suggests the purchasing journey is highly emotional, spurred by real-time online conversations. Knowing which content performs best through rapid influencer media testing is essential to bring influencer content to life across smarter, multichannel campaigns that also include print, display, email and in-store advertising.”
AI-powered technology can help identify influencers whose brand and interests align with campaign objectives, based on purchase patterns, retailers, brand and product affinities, Norenius-Raniere pointed out. Equally important in the campaign process, she said, is building sophisticated custom audiences, based on predictive consumer intelligence and influencer look-alike audiences.
The opportunity to engage consumers is growing. According to the survey, 51% of consumers have purchased a product or service after seeing it used or promoted by an influencer in the past two years.
About the Survey
Valassis surveyed 1,000 consumers to understand their engagement with influencers and the impact of influencer marketing. All respondents were located in the United States and were over the age of 18. The survey was conducted in August 2020.
- The Annual RetailMeNot Cash Back Day to Take Place Thursday, November 5 through Friday, November 6
- Additional Savings Opportunities This Year with the Launch of New Flash Deals and Product-Specific Deals with an extended timeframe of 48 Hours to Help People Save Even More Money This Holiday
- The inaugural Cash Back Day was the biggest payout of the year where shoppers earned an average $19 per order
RetailMeNot launched Cash Back Day last year as an official new holiday, as recognized by National Day Calendar, to celebrate shoppers by helping them earn money back on their purchases while also creating an opportunity for retailers to drive additional sales. This year, it’s expected that more than 300 retailers will participate to help gift-givers get a head start on their holiday shopping with offers up to 20% cash back. Below is a sneak peak of participating retailers with more being added daily:
- Bass Pro Shops
- Melissa & Doug
The annual shopping event will bring even more exciting money-saving opportunities with product-specific deals and limited-duration flash deals. This will be the first time these new features will be available on Cash Back Day.
Cash Back Day features the best selection of RetailMeNot cash back offers, and taking advantage couldn’t be easier. All shoppers need to do is create a free account, then simply click the offer link and go directly to the retailer’s site from RetailMeNot. Shop, make a purchase, and then RetailMeNot puts cash back into the shopper’s wallet. Earned money from Cash Back Day purchases will arrive in RetailMeNot Wallets by December 21 and can be cashed out via Venmo or PayPal.
In a holiday season that will look different than those of years past, shoppers can rely on Cash Back Day to score savings on top gifts, fashion trends, hot toys, the latest electronics and more from their favorite stores.
About RetailMeNot Inc.
Forrester Report Showcases 110% Revenue Increase for Marketers Using Illumis
“Illumis uses the industry’s smartest technology and unique insights to illuminate new opportunities for marketers to drive results in a unified platform that simplifies the unnecessary complexity and cost of marketing technologies,” said Cali Tran, president and chief commercial officer, Vericast. “Predicting intent and motivating consumers across multiple media channels are Valassis’ core strengths, and our clients depend on our advanced marketing solutions as they adjust their strategies and budgets to manage back to growth. We take their trust in us seriously and are proud to do our part in rebuilding our economy by enabling consumer savings and client revenue growth through our technology, marketing, data science and amazing client teams.”
- Powerful intelligence for marketers to discover new high-value markets, targets and ways to reach consumers.
- High-impact reach with the ability to identify media best suited for each audience and to act on that intelligence in channels and moments that best motivate purchase.
- Optimized results, continuously improving to deliver moments of discovery for consumers and growth for marketers.
Provides Brands Improved Campaign Guidance Amid Rapidly Changing Consumer Landscape
Leading CPG brands with early access to this solution have applied Connected Analytics, powering incremental lift in sales and redemption. Additionally, by capitalizing on what drives the highest engagement, CPG manufacturers can then reinvest budget dollars in other ways, such as digital amplification of free standing insert (FSI) coupons or additional FSI programs, to maximize results with the same spend.
“Recently, we’ve seen significant shifts in consumer buying and media consumption patterns,” said Meggie Giancola, Head of CPG Sales and Strategy, Valassis. “These changes are dynamic, with fluctuations happening in ecommerce and in-store, requiring marketers to reorient their strategies to continue delivering meaningful connections with consumers. With this advanced solution, Valassis applies strategic guidance as a critical intelligence partner to provide a holistic view of current brand performance at retail with systematic approaches to optimize for success.”
Additional benefits of Connected Analytics include the ability to:
- Identify untapped audiences: Leverage shopper profiles to motivate discovery and drive household penetration, tapping new audiences and revenue. Recent Valassis research shows 61% of consumers can be inspired to try something new if presented a relevant coupon or discount.
- Spend funds more efficiently: Reinvest funds to the most relevant tactics without increasing costs by focusing on ideal markets or stores and audiences.
- Optimize media mix: Execute campaigns using the right combination of media, based on real-time consumption patterns, to drive shoppers toward purchase.
- Realize stronger performance: Develop multichannel media plans that ensure brands are in the right place, at the right time, with the right tactics for better results.
Back-to-Learning and End-of-Summer Savings
AUSTIN, Texas, August 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ Today, RetailMeNot a Vericast business and leading savings destination, announces its picks on the five to buy in August. The end of summer is near and while this school year looks different than prior years, students will soon be heading back to learning and can take advantage of great savings now. In addition, there are many ways to save before the season ends with end-of-summer clearance events for the whole family. And for a few lucky states, Tax-Free Weekend makes August a month to save while stocking up on several essentials for the remainder of the year. Shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot, Sara Skirboll, advises: “Whether you are a family with students or not, everyone can benefit from the great sales that August has to offer. Shoppers can stock up on essentials like office supplies, electronics, apparel and even outdoor items while the weather is still warm, including camping gear and lawnmowers.” August is full of summer ending savings for the whole family. Plus, if located in one of the handful of states that has a Tax-Free Weekend, shoppers can keep more money in their pocket without the sales tax expense on a variety of items, making it a smart choice for anyone tackling their shopping list.
Tech Upgrades For Everyone
Pencil Pushers, Rejoice
The Great Outdoors
Trimming The Prices
About RetailMeNot Inc.
Consecutive Wins for MarTech Program Speak to the Power of Insights
LIVONIA, Mich., Aug. 4, 2020: Valassis, a Vericast business and the leader in marketing technology and consumer engagement, today announces that for the second consecutive year the Valassis Consumer Graph™ has received recognition as Product of the Year in the Business Intelligence Group’s 2020 Sales and Technology Marketing Awards program. Also known as the Sammys, the awards honor organizations and products helping to solve the most difficult challenges businesses have connecting and collaborating with prospects and customers.
The Valassis Consumer Graph connects online and offline signals to understand consumers more fully and predict what motivates them to act. Valassis’ exclusive consumer insights enable brands to connect with their ideal audiences when and where it matters, delivering smarter multichannel campaigns that drive proven results.
The multi-patented proprietary technology offers the ability to gauge real-time shifts in consumer behavior and needs at scale. By leveraging its Consumer Graph and award winning marketing intelligence, Valassis helps illuminate consumer patterns and behaviors so that marketers can learn from the insights and connect with consumers in relevant and timely ways.
The analytical power of these insights has driven impressive results for brands, including a Papa John’s franchisee in California. In the face of the pandemic, the franchisee partnered with Valassis to launch a targeted campaign with the goal of driving sales to help keep its business open and retain employees. Using predictive intelligence from the Valassis Consumer Graph – including location and behavioral data – high-value neighborhoods containing a high volume of QSR users and customers of other top pizza brands were identified and incentivized. A multichannel advertising strategy, sending Dynamic Mobile ads to neighborhoods already receiving RetailMeNot Everyday™ Direct Mail Inserts resulted in a 14.3% sales lift year-over-year – despite challenges of operating during the pandemic.
“Our data scientists and engineers built the innovative, integrated technology stack that combines nearly 50 years of offline household-level buying knowledge with over 10 years of online behavior trends to help our clients more fully understand consumer behavior and intelligently target across channels,” said Michelle Engle, chief marketing officer, Valassis. “Brands have come to rely on the Valassis Consumer Graph to power every step of their campaigns and this recognition reflects the talent and innovation of our team.”
Using patented analyses and rich text mining on over 110 billion signals every day, the Consumer Graph allows Valassis to uncover shopper intent, anticipate needs and build an ideal audience tailored to reach
specific campaign goals. Valassis translates data signals into insights that help clients craft high-performing marketing strategies.
“We are proud to reward and recognize Valassis for their innovation and dedication to helping both the organization using their technology and the ultimate consumer,” said Maria Jimenez, chief nominations officer, Business Intelligence Group. “It was clear to our judges that their dedication and innovation will improve how we all connect with the brands we love.”
Valassis, a Vericast business, is the leader in marketing technology and consumer engagement. We work with over 60,000 companies and brands in a wide array of industries, partnering to anticipate consumer intent, inspire action, and create demand. NCH Marketing Services, Inc. and Clipper Magazine are Valassis subsidiaries, and RetailMeNot Everyday™ is its consumer brand. Its signature Have You Seen Me?® program delivers hope to missing children and their families. Follow Valassis on LinkedIn and Twitter.
New Data Illuminates Fresh Opportunities as Behaviors Shift
The impact of the pandemic has led to a noticeable shift in consumer behaviors, including an expanded awareness when it comes to savings and value. According to the survey, 70% of consumers have increased saving behaviors and 76% expect these new behaviors to continue over the next year, reinforcing the concept that the consumer adaptation to be more savings oriented will be more permanent vs. temporal. Brands and marketers need to shift and adjust their long-term engagement strategies to reflect these new market conditions.
In addition to monetary value, consumers – especially younger generations – place increasing emphasis on identifying and connecting with a brand’s corporate values. For example, 43% of all consumers say they are more likely to buy products from companies whose values match their own. Important among younger generations, this is true for 55% of millennials and 47% of Gen Z consumers. As younger generations – especially Gen Z – garner increasingly more buying power, brands and marketers must prioritize impactful engagements to build lasting relationships.
“The modern shopper is resilient, quick to adopt online shopping options and actively seeks value,” said Michelle Engle, chief marketing officer at Valassis. “For brands to spark consumer discovery, they must connect consumers with marketing at precise moments to accelerate a purchase. Our findings help illuminate a path forward as brands re-establish their relationship with the consumer. With the right tools to fully understand consumer behavior – including the strong desire for savings and a flexible, seamless shopping experience – brands can deliver on consumer needs and buying intentions as well as tap into what motivates them.”
According to the survey, marketing messages that include coupons, discounts and social media promotions have the potential to shorten the path to purchase:
- 61% indicated coupons or discounts can inspire them to try a new brand and 54% said it would lead them to make an impulse purchase.
- 60% indicated receiving a coupon or discount speeds up their decision to make a purchase.
Key takeaways from the report show:
- Consumers lean into savings – while planning and post-purchase
- 76% of all consumers compare prices between brands using printed store circulars and 71% do so using online circulars.
- 51% of millennials and 43% of Gen Z consumers scan receipts with their mobile device to receive cash back or points post-purchase (compared to 31% of all consumers).
- Brand values matter to consumers
- 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand or store they trust.48% of all consumers say they are inclined to be loyal to a brand or store that shares its efforts to be environmentally responsible or has sustainable/ethical business practices.
- An eagerness for shared experiences
- 45% of millennials and 33% of Gen Z share brand reviews including details of how much they saved (compared to 23% of all consumers).
- 35% of all consumers note they’ve made an unplanned purchase based on something they saw on social media (a 5 percentage point increase from 2019).
- A willingness to treat themselves
- Overall, 35% of consumers consider themselves to be predominantly impulse shoppers (up from 28% in 2019). When consumers make impulse buys in-store, 43% say that it’s out of a desire to “treat themselves.”
- Despite the ongoing pandemic, 45% of consumers are expanding their budget and ability to buy fun things or experiences by using coupons and discounts.
About the 2020 Consumer Intel Report
The studies were fielded in the fourth quarter of 2019 and June of 2020 in conjunction with a global, third-party market research firm with proficiency in internet surveys. The sample was derived from an online consumer opinion panel, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Consumers were emailed an invitation to participate in the survey and were given three days to complete it. Each survey was closed once 1,000 completed responses (1,042 for the 2019 survey) had been reached. The responses were weighted by factors obtained from national census data to provide appropriate representations of demographic groups at summary levels. This annual report was recently re-branded by Valassis and was formerly known as the Coupon Intelligence Report.