Digital couponing on the rise with help of websites, social media

MINNEAPOLIS Use of the World Wide Web to help drive trial is on the rise, according to a Kantar Media report released Wednesday. The number of digital coupon events increased by 84% over the first half of 2010 as compared with the year-ago period, according to Kantar Media’s website-tracking solution, Marx. Additionally, 200 manufacturers distributed digital coupon offers, an increase of 31.5%, compared with the 152 manufacturers that were active in the first half of 2009 across these key websites.

“Digital coupons complement traditional FSI coupons to reach the consumer in the home while they are actively making purchase decisions,” stated Mark Nesbitt, president Kantar Media Intelligence. “As more manufacturers distribute more digital coupons, it becomes increasingly critical to understand competitive digital promotion tactics to insure that events break through the clutter to deliver the right offer to the right consumer.”

One of the ways many suppliers are breaking through that clutter is through social media. “Manufacturers are blurring the lines between traditional FSI and digital promotion by developing integrated retailer and new product campaigns,“ said Dan Kitrell, VP account solutions at Marx. “In addition to moving coupons online, many leading CPG manufacturers are also including social media references in their FSI coupon creatives. Facebook is the primary social media being used, but Twitter is included in addition to Facebook in about half of the creatives analyzed,” he said. “In most cases, the social media icon is the only reference. However, some brands have developed programs to incent consumers to support social media websites including opportunities to download additional savings, join web clubs, and contribute to charities.”

Another trend — many digital couponing opportunities are being presented right on the retailer’s website. For example, on retailer websites monitored by Marx during the first half of 2010, there were 268 manufacturers running digital promotion events, Kantar reported, 25.8% more than the 213 manufacturers who participated in retailer promotion events in traditional print FSI vehicles during the same period.

“Manufacturers are distributing coupons on retailer websites to build purchase intent with the consumer and drive shopping trips for the retailer,” said Bob Cristofono, VP sales at Marx.

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