Valassis, one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, announced results of a study indicating that today 90% of grocery retailers use weekly circulars as their promotion of choice although they clearly expect the increased influence of social media and digital to greatly impact their promotion tactics within the next five years. This was among the findings of the Supermarket Media Usage Study of 60 leading grocery decision makers, representing approximately 50 national and independent grocers/chains. The survey was executed on behalf of Valassis by Stagnito Custom Media.
"This is the first survey of its kind seeking input from decision makers in the grocery retail sector and provides insight into their promotions, success metrics and future promotional strategies," says Pierce Hollingsworth, Editorial Director, Retail Leader .
When it comes to effectiveness, the study revealed that 75% of grocery retailers realize increased results from print circulars, driving their preference. More specifically, 50% indicated increased sales and 25%, increased customer retention.
Average rank of media to meet weekly sales objectives (1=best):
Printed Weekly Circular via Newspaper: 1.64
Printed Weekly Circular via Shared Mail: 2.07
Direct Mail (Solo Mail): 2.54
Internet Display: 4.12
The study also found that grocers are adapting their media tactics in response to declining paid newspaper circulation, and have decreased their newspaper-distributed circulars within the past year. As a result, 26% of respondents reported increased usage of mail-delivered and online promotions.
Grocers are developing targeting and distribution strategies for their circulars through a combination of internal sales data and consumer insights with 90% saying customers plan differently by trip type – 82% believe consumers are making more decisions at home than three years ago. Two-thirds of respondents also indicated they expect that social media/Internet will be a more significant component of their media plans within five years. Sixty-five percent of respondents expect that over the course of the next five years, social media/Internet will be the medium of choice for grocers to meet sales goals
"The consumer decision-making journey is more involved than ever," says Therese Mulvey, Valassis Vice President, Marketing Intelligence. "Media preferences are changing, due in great part to consumers' desire to be connected. It is no longer a 'how we use print versus digital' question. It is a 'how do we best optimize our marketing dollars to maximize the ROI on both.'"
Additional highlights of the study revealed efforts grocers have put in place to address the changing consumer landscape:
65% have ethnic marketing initiatives;
60% have initiatives to address varying shopping trip types; and
35% have generationally-based initiatives.