Social media and smart phones have been increasingly identified as the big growth areas in contrast to the fading television and print media channels, but as consumers in the US and European become increasingly price-sensitive, discounting is a fast-growing trend that is partly being driven by the social media and mobile marketing boom.
Conventional couponing and price promotions have long been a key niche marketing opportunity, but with many households experiencing shrinking or stagnating expendable income, interest in this area is gathering a pace.
Look out for mobile couponing
Kline market research points to the fact that new technologies are helping to drive this niche, making particular reference to mobile couponing, which it says offers significant advantages over mobile marketing.
Specifically, mobile marketing offers advantages over the conventional paper-based forerunners – whereby devotees would spend hours poring over magazines and newspapers to physically cut the coupons out and then redeem them at check-out counters.
Mobile couponing means that consumers simply have to swipe their mobile phones at the check-out counters, where they are likely to be rewarded with higher redemption rates as well as being enticed into making more impulse purchases.
Websites devoted to couponing and discounting
Feeding this trend is a growing number of websites specifically devoted to couponing and discounting, making it easier for beauty consumers to collect the exact type of coupons they require.
“Brands are rapidly moving ahead in the game with their social media and mobile strategies to allow viral campaigns and create new consumer relations opportunities, but without dropping traditional marketing efforts,” according to the latest Kline report entitled: Beauty Marketing 2011: US Promotional Activities and Strategies Assessment.
The report also points out that traditional marketing methods such as television and print media are being overshadowed by new technologies and media channels that are serving to make these methods less effective.
TV and print advertising being by-passed
In particular the Kline research highlights the fact that TV advertising is being by-passed by new digital television technology that allows viewers and potential consumers to screen-out television commercial.
Likewise, in the print advertising area, beauty marketing decision-makers are being turned off by inflexible publishing dates, a lack of accountability and higher prices - areas where internet-based publishers have proven themselves to be highly competitive.
The report points to the fact that marketers are now tapping into social media and mobile channels that are increasingly blurring the line between a pure communication tool and a fast emerging sales channel – a phenomenon that is giving way to cautious optimism but untapped promise, Kline suggests.
Consumers now have greater control over the price they pay
“Consumers now have the ability to do extensive real time evaluations on product and prices before they purchase,” said Donna Barson, senior associate at Kline’s consumer product practice.
“The growing ubiquity of new, on-the-go technologies such as smartphones and tablets are also creating a better informed and more accessible consumer.”
However, although Barson points to the fact that this is leading to a wider variety of promotional vehicles for brands, she also cautions that there is no ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to the area and that brands will invariably have to experiment to determine the best individual approach.