Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Has the flyer flown south?

Article in today’s Globe and Mail Report on Business by Marnia Strauss points out that major retailers like Best Buy, Shoppers Drug Mart, M&M Meat Shops Ltd. and Loblaw Cos. Ltd. “want to reduce their dependence on one of the sacred cows of the sector - the weekly flyer”.

We've all seen flyers in our newspapers or between our front doors, yet only now are being spoken of in terms of the ability (or inability) to drive measurable sales. The direction now is on "fine tuning advertising" and marketing directly to consumers.

The retailers featured are starting to use more targeted means of communication, such as email, to draw in loyal customers with targeted offers. Cheers to that!

The article speaks to this change in terms of:
a) a means to redirect and/or reduce overall marketing spend
b) to bolster sales by stocking the right products at the right location

It implies, but does not come right out and state, the obvious point of putting consumers first by embracing a long-term “return-on-customer” strategy. One has to wonder if Dr. Martha Rogers may have a consulting call in the near future.

It will be interesting to see how the migration from flyers will be viewed when direct revenue from targeted marketing really takes hold. Apparently, these folks are sitting on a wealth of data to begin some serious testing and learning. That is where the rubber hits the road when applied correctly. Offer effectiveness and marketing spend efficiency can really accelerate from there.

A few questions remain: Will in-store / point-of- sale be integrated into the targeted campaigns? What about other forms of digital and direct, not to mention e-commerce? Are those areas tied into the experience?

Either way, it is great to see that these changes are taking place.

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