Archive for March 2009

Coupon usage up big!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the economy and U.S. consumer is hurting. In the past 3 months, retailers, restaurants, and any other marketer under the sun has jumped on the coupon band wagon because they know that deal-hungry consumers will likely only shop if they have a coupon. In order to drive sales, especially among grocery and drug store, manufacturers are offering more coupons than ever, much of them via the internet. Companies like Coupon-Inc. are doing a tremendous business in online printable grocery coupons. Practically every article mentions how successful they’ve been at capitalizing on this increase in consumer trend. I recently came across some interesting data from a major coupon processor called Inmar, which collects all the grocery coupons and scans them in their facilities to count them / manage them for the manufacturers. This report totally corroborates what we all know, which is that coupon usage is up big and that it doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon! Check out the report here.

Marketers slashing budgets for analytics

I recently came across another article, this time by MediaVox, that discusses specifically how marketers are cutting spending on analytics, which tell them the effectiveness of their advertising. This might be the best case of cutting off your nose to spite your face I have heard yet in this advertising recession. I understand that budgets are being slashed and analytics may be considered discretionary spending whereas actual advertising is seen as a critical investment to stay in front of customers. Well this may be true, but if you can’t track your advertising, you have no idea if it’s working. Sure, if ignorance is bliss, you’ll be riding high. But when you come back down to earth and realize that you spend $1,000,000 on advertising that didn’t perform, and that you could have saved $500,000 of that if you invested $50,000 in analytics to tell you your money would be wasted, then you’re clearly going to feel a bit foolish. These are the tough trade-offs that marketers have to make. We’re all spending less on advertising at it is. Cutting analytics out of the picture is a terrible mistake in my opinion. I agree you don’t need to invest in the latest and greatest to prove your advertising works or doesn’t work. But advertising without analytics is like closing your eyes and driving into a crowded intersection. Inevitably, you’re going to get hurt. 🙂