Consumers have emerged from the economic downturn with a new mindset. When it comes to spending, they’re proving to be more methodical, practical, and proactive than in years past. Some are referring to this new generation as "cautiously optimistic"—they take pride in stretching the dollar and saving money without sacrificing quality. Consumers are doing more research, comparing prices, using ratings and reviews, and actively searching for coupons and savings. They’re making fewer impulse purchases, and quite frankly, they’re embarrassed by flashy displays of wealth.
So how do businesses make the most of their marketing funds and resonate with a cautiously optimistic society?
1. Offer savings incentives. For the cautiously optimistic consumer, price promotions and coupons have become requirements when planning shopping trips and making buying decisions. Some post-recessionary consumers find that shopping more prudently and rebuilding their savings gives them peace of mind.
2. Go digital. Many consumers check prices and product information online before heading to the store, so reach your more mobile, savings-savvy consumers through SMS texting, smartphone apps, e-mail coupons, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and search engine optimization.
3. Make the most of targeting techniques. Precise targeting and market segmentation puts the advertising message in front of the consumers most likely to respond to it. Targeting by geography, demographics, consumer behavior, and consumer expenditures ensures that you send your message to the audience it’s intended for.
4. Understand economic projections, and plan accordingly: Consumer confidence is directly related to a consumer’s willingness to spend. Retail sales growth has slowed in recent months but remains higher than in 2009, which indicates a healthier economy over the previous year. As cautious optimism and societal "shift to thrift" presses on, it may be in retailers’ best interest to stimulate sales once again through discounts and offers.
Director of corporate communications
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