September 21, 2010

For the calendar year-to-date (CYTD) period ending September 30, 2010, the number of digital coupon events increased by 59.9 percent versus the same period in 2009 across key websites tracked by Marx, a Kantar Media solution. Additionally, 267 manufacturers distributed digital coupon offers, an increase of 23.0 percent compared to the 217 manufacturers that were active in CYTD 2009 across these key websites. “Digital coupons are becoming a core component within the overall promotion mix for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers. As with traditional FSI coupons, consumers actively engage with digital coupon websites in the home to make purchase decisions,” said Mark Nesbitt, President Kantar Media Intelligence. “Digital promotion tactics continue to evolve as manufacturers gain experience and fine-tune best practices related to key websites, face value, expiration, timing, and other factors. Marx helps our clients break through the competitive digital promotion clutter to deliver the right offer to the right consumer,” said Nesbitt.

Refrigerated Foods led the increase in activity within the Food Areas with a 1.5 point increase in Share of Activity in CYTD 2010, contributing to an overall Share of Activity for the Food Areas of 67.3 percent. Health Care drove the greatest decrease in activity within the Non-Food Areas with a 4.9 point decrease in CYTD 2010, which resulted in an overall Share of Activity for the Non-Food Areas of 34.7 percent.

Face Value and Face Value per Unit decreased in four of five Food Areas in CYTD 2010 versus year ago. Dry Grocery had the only increase for Face Value and Face Value per Unit with Food products, up 4.5 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. In contrast, Face Value increased across all four Non-Food Areas during this period. Household Products had the most growth in both Face Value and Face Value per Unit, up 51.5 percent and 37.0 percent, respectively.

Retailer Promotion – Digital versus Print

On retailer websites monitored by Marx during CYTD 2010, there were 286 manufacturers running digital promotion events. This is 5.5 percent more than the 271 manufacturers that participated in retailer promotion events in traditional print FSI vehicles during the same period. The 286 manufacturers that ran digital coupon events on retailer websites is also 7.1 percent greater than the 267 manufacturers that ran digital coupon events on the non-retailer websites tracked by Marx during CYTD 2010. “Digital coupon events on retailer websites are becoming an attractive opportunity for manufacturers to align with their strategic retail partners in order to drive shopping trips and increase sales,” said Bob Cristofono, Vice President of Sales at Marx. “Manufacturers can use the Marx Digital ProMotion Report to gain insights into competitive retailer alignment and promotional tactics that are driving sales and share,” said Cristofono.

Q4 2010 Forecast

152 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers distributed digital coupons in Q4 2009, a 3.4 percent increase versus Q3 2009. However, the number of CPG manufacturers that ran digital coupons in Q1 2010 dropped to 142 across key websites tracked by Marx. 116 CPG manufacturers distributed digital coupons across the retailer websites monitored by Marx during Q4 2009. 26 of these 116 manufacturers distributed digital coupons on two or more retailer websites, while 11 manufacturers were active across three or more retailer websites.

“The consumer promotion landscape is changing rapidly as more manufacturers leverage digital coupons to engage with consumers and partner with retailers,” said Dan Kitrell, Vice President of Account Solutions at Marx. “We expect to see a slight increase in the number of CPG manufacturers that are distributing digital coupon events in Q4 2010 compared to Q3 2010, with a similar post-holiday pullback in the first quarter of next year. However, the more important trend to watch is the increased promotion activity on retailer websites. Many retailer websites include programs distributed by major digital coupon networks; however, from the consumer perspective, the equity of these digital coupon programs accrues to the retailer since the interaction occurs on the retailer website. The continued growth of retailer promotion pages in traditional FSI coupon vehicles combined with the growth of digital coupon activity on retailer websites demonstrates the role of these promotion programs in driving shopping trips and increasing retail sales,” said Kitrell.

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