customer experience

Inflation Refocusing Consumer Preferences

In the next 12 months, consumers will gradually rethink their shopping preferences, shaped in part by the inflationary economy, according to new predictions from Valassis.

As a result, “we think we will see a tremendous acceleration from marketers as they find new ways to make shopping more convenient and to make sure [consumers] are still getting deals,” says Curtis Tingle, the company’s CMO.

The expanding economy has been good for business. “Consumers really are coming to marketers, despite the fact that prices are increasing,” he tells Marketing Daily.

“The economy is better, unemployment is low and people are seeing an increase in their paychecks. They are ready to spend.”

But they are also intent on finding deals, and rising prices will push them to be more selective. To win their business, brands will need to deliver on convenience, deals and experience. “Expect brands and marketers to explore technologies that better engage them, both in-stores and online.”



The Livonia, Mich.-based marketing and media services company is also anticipating a rise in print marketing strategies, particularly direct mail. Even as magazine and newspaper publishers cut back on print products, Tingle sees print’s impact as key as marketers strive for new levels of personalization.

“Not all print is created equal,” he says. “Magazines may be struggling to engage consumers, but we are not seeing that trend at the mailbox.” He says 81% of the company’s audience prefers to get offers in both print and online, 47% reads its mailers every week and 27% say they buy something each week based on those offers.

He says consumers are increasingly finicky about when and how they want to be approached with deals, offers and coupons. “For marketers, that means striking the balance of relevancy. The real key isn’t so much about channel or device, but understanding the person.”

Most retailer and restaurant brands “don’t need to take that relevancy on a one-to-one level. They don’t need to get creepy, or seem to know so much about a person that it raises privacy concerns,” he says. “The big question is still the same: What media works, so I can drive a stronger return?”

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