Consumers Seeking Value but Response to Offers Varies

in General Business Marketing

According to the August 2009 Consumer Insight research from Nielsen, most US consumers are seeking value in what and how they buy, in response to the recession. The research from 47,000 consumers shows:

  • 12% are recession indifferent and unlikely to change how they shop.
  • 21% are recession insensitive and primarily cutting back on highly discretionary spending.
  • 61% are value seekers who use various methods such as coupons, sales, bulk buying, private label goods, disregarding preferred brands and switching stores.
  • 6% are panic stricken and doing “whatever it takes” to cut expenses and save.

Although advertisers have been flooding the airwaves with value-oriented messages and recession-themed advertising, these ads “did not breakthrough TV ad clutter at higher rates”. There are some notable successes and misses mentioned in the report that provide insights into what type of value messages do and don’t work.

Different groups of consumers are responding to the recession in different ways with two-thirds looking for ways to cut spending, and one-third of US consumers either indifferent or insensitive to the recession. An insight from this observation is to determine in which group(s) your customers fall.

Approximately one-third of the 61% who are value seekers, are using coupons and sales as their primary means to cut expenses. An insight from this observation is to determine which savings method is better suited for your customers and product/service/solution.

Many value-oriented messages and recession-themed advertising are not connecting with consumers. An insight from this observation is that you need a better understanding of your prospective buyer personas to develop appropriate offers that better connect with how they are responding to cut expenses and save.

How to use this information to benefit your business

  • While there is good motivation to consider ways of providing value to your buyers during these recessionary times, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Knowing how different groups of your buyers and customers are responding to the recession is important for developing appropriate marketing programs.
  • Observe and monitor your programs in addition to learning from others to determine what does and doesn’t work to make adjustments to your offers.
  • Connect with your customers and prospective buyers to determine how they’re changing their spending habits and how you can develop the right value-oriented offers.

The ‘Are Value-Themed Ads Making an Impact?’ section of the report is only 3 pages and worth reading to gain some insights that may be relevant for your marketing plans.
Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™

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