LIVONIA, Mich., Dec. 5, 2018: Valassis, a leader in activating consumers through intelligent media delivery, looks ahead to what marketers and retailers can expect in 2019. From the rise in the importance of print marketing strategies to innovative technology continuing to integrate with traditional marketing and retail environments, Valassis experts share what’s needed to build on the rapid transformation that’s been taking place over the past 12 months.
This year was exciting for retail, grocery and marketing innovation, with cashierless checkout, as well as machine learning and augmented reality infiltrating stores. Additionally, we saw Amazon expand its brick & mortar footprint, acquiring an Indian grocery chain to compete with Walmart’s buy-out of Flipkart and more. It’s prudent for marketers and retailers to anticipate trends for 2019 and get ahead of their competition.
With 2019 just around the corner, Valassis leaders share insights in this ever-changing, highly competitive environment where consumer expectations, innovation and data will be at the forefront.
Inflation will accentuate the choosiness of consumers
“As we move deeper into an inflationary economy, marketers need to be mindful of how they differentiate themselves from the competition in 2019. Rising prices will drive consumers to be more selective, emphasizing the importance for retailers to deliver on all three pillars of value: convenience, deals and experience. Expect brands and marketers to explore new technologies to better engage the consumer in-store and online and deliver the level of customer service today’s shoppers expect and demand.”
Curtis Tingle, Chief Marketing Officer, Valassis
Print and direct mail will heavily influence consumers’ path-to-purchase and brand loyalty
“In 2019, direct mail will continue to be an incredibly effective mechanism for brands and retailers looking to move the needle with consumer acquisition and activation. Additionally, the importance of personalization and offer relevance for consumers will only increase. Truly integrated targeting platforms that utilize both online and offline data will enable advertisers to differentiate and personalize their messages as well as unify print and digital marketing campaigns. A necessity in today’s evolving retail landscape, an integrated campaign can turbo charge media performance and sales lift. Next year, marketers will need to visualize what the overall consumer experience will look like from the very start to avoid siloing online and offline channels.”
Gene Brandon, Chief Product and Innovation Officer, Valassis
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) must allocate their limited marketing budgets strategically
“Many local merchants are spending their limited marketing budgets in ways that currently may not be augmenting the value of their data or improving analytics. In 2019, marketing providers must adopt attribution solutions that provide ROI, equipping SMBs with actionable intelligence through landing pages, call tracking and unique promotional codes. For example, we have found that 72 percent of consumers would shop more often at local businesses if they offered coupons. In order to drive a successful SMB campaign, marketers will need to ensure their online and offline connections are in sync, gathering crucial consumer data to drive relevant insights.”
Steve Hauber, President, Local Solutions, Valassis
Data intelligence will bridge the physical and digital worlds for personalized experiences
“As competition for driving in-store foot traffic increases, retailers will begin to focus more on creating memorable experiences to activate consumers and build brand loyalty. Technology is the primary driver of this effort, helping to make messaging more relevant and engaging, while at the same time simplifying and catering the shopper experience for consumers. For example, proprietary apps designed by retailers can create unique, customized experiences for consumers as they share data and interact with brands.
Ultimately, 2019 will be the year that retailers utilize the data-driven insights from both in-store and online experiences to understand what drives traffic – including particular store layouts, products and more.”
Michelle Engle, Senior Vice President, Product and Marketing, Valassis Digital
Identity resolution and attribution will rise in importance in 2019
“Companies will demand more accurate consumer identification, less media waste and more relevancy with stronger attribution modeling next year. Firms with consumer identity data and media analytics for attribution modeling will grow, leaving specialized single media offerings behind. More investment and media spend will be allocated toward capabilities that include attribution, media mix and ROI optimization.”
Greg Green, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Harland Clarke Holdings
Valassis helps thousands of local and national brands tap the potential of industry-leading data through intelligent media delivery – understanding, engaging and inspiring millions of consumers to action with smarter cross-channel campaigns. We’ve been a part of consumers’ lives for decades, introducing new ways to deliver offers and messages that activate them — whether via mail, digital, in-store or the newspaper. 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. Valassis and RetailMeNot are wholly owned subsidiaries of Harland Clarke Holdings.