Shopping: the Cure for the Summertime Blues

Whether you’re prepping for summer vacation or back-to-school, now is the time to save big 

Mass retailers like Kohl’s, Macy’s and Target are looking to move summer merchandise fast to make way for their fall offerings.  In addition to slashing prices, retailers across the country are attracting customers out of the heat and into their cool, air-conditioned stores with front-door marketing.  So what are your customers waiting for? Help them decide that it’s time to pick up that super cute bathing suit they wanted back in April, not only at a sale price but perhaps at an even deeper discount in the form of an attention-grabbing coupon right on their doorknob.  

With a high-value retail offer waiting at the front door, brands have the opportunity to get the attention of parents who are busy juggling summer activities and priorities.  And while more families are taking ‘staycations’ to save on gas and lodging, that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t trying to beat the heat in the latest summer fashions and accessories. With a big need for shorts and tank tops but little room for big splurge, consumers are looking to brands that appreciate and respect their position.  Retailers must in turn attract consumer dollars more creatively and at every strategic opportunity.

Front-door marketing can be executed quickly and easily to drive response with a compelling offer that gets consumers to act.  With a start to finish timeframe of as little as two weeks, retailers can have their branded message delivered to the front door of some of their best and most promising customers.               

What are you doing to get shoppers into your store during the lazy days of summer?

Front-Door Marketing Proves Effective in Reaching Culturally-Diverse Hispanic Audiences

Precision Targeting, Cultural Relevance and High-Value Promotions Work Together to Engage Hispanic Consumers

Front-door marketing can influence purchasing decisions by reaching Hispanic consumers at home.

Marketing to a diverse Hispanic audience is becoming an important challenge for major brands across the country.  According to recently published reports from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half of the growth in the total population of the United States between 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population. In fact, in 2010 there were 50.5 million Hispanics in the U.S., accounting for 16 percent of the total population – some pretty impressive statistics that are causing marketers to rethink this important audience and how best to reach them.

This week’s Hispanic Retail 360 Summit in San Diego will no doubt highlight this new data and offer up some innovative methods to turn Hispanic prospects into customers. Front-door marketing is one such method that is growing in use based on its ability to reach precisely targeted Hispanic market segments whose country or place of origin (such as Mexico, Puerto Rico or Cuba) typically affects similarities in dialect and cultural traditions. Highly motivating incentives and promotions are characteristic to front-door campaigns and a boon to marketers – essential for reaching a value-conscious Hispanic consumer base and amplified by the word-of-mouth communication inherent to many Hispanic communities. Door hangers remain a popular choice, made today in high quality, oversized formats designed to get attention.  Polybags, courier packaging and other creative approaches are also available, including scratch-offs, affixed gift cards, or even sensory options such as sound, scent, or taste.

Recent Hispanic front-door marketing campaigns have been deployed by PowerDirect for clients such as Clorox, Hillshire Farms and Fingerhut. Have you joined the ranks of culturally-savvy brands, thinking outside the box to get the attention of this growing audience? Are you embarking on front-door campaigns to offer relevance and respect for what the Hispanic audience values most? What are you doing to reach and engage the Hispanic consumer?

Big Brands Take a Fresh Look at Coupons

Record-Level Couponing Reaches Best Customers, Not Just Deal-Seekers

After a coupon glut in the 90’s, some brands refocused efforts on everyday low pricing – however sweeping factors like unemployment, rising gas prices and a faulty economy have steadily increased consumers’ sensitivity to pricing and sharpened their focus on getting a good deal.  On everything.

Coupon redemption is up almost 17.6% from 2009, according to Valassis' 2011 US Mid-Year Consumer Packaged Goods Coupon Facts Report.

Coupons and coupon users have changed with the times. From casual users, to enthusiasts, to evangelists, to extreme couponers a la TLC’s television show – brands have recognized a shift in how coupons are perceived, valued and redeemed. Today, coupons are a hot commodity valued by a much broader range of the American public, and offered strategically by forward-thinking brands charged with developing buzz and profits amid recession.  Via Google Insights for Search, “coupon” or “coupons” recently indexed at more than twice their 2006 pre-recession levels. Growth was steady through 2009, leveled off in 2010 and reached new heights in early 2011 – in step with growing consumer concern for value and savings.

Brands are more than ever recognizing coupons as an opportunity to build consumer awareness and trail, as well as a platform to tell their value story.  Front-door marketing is proving highly viable in this effort – but requires some expertise in order to make of the most of a strategic opportunity.  For example, your brand is being invited into someone’s home right through the front door – don’t show up empty-handed.  Consumers have a strong expectation of quality from their favorite brands, and front door marketing campaigns must meet or exceed this bar. As a result, the front door offer is typically higher in value than offers made through other channels, providing the most compelling call to action and ensuring greater result by being remarkably worthy.

Are you considering the strategic couponing opportunity presented by the front door and its ability to communicate powerfully on a personal level?  And if so, are you tapping channel expertise to develop the most compelling offers and maximize the front door as a customer venue?