Unlike recent years, 1995 wasn't filled with great technological changes, new coding structures or dynamic new program concepts. It was a year of continued growth along paths previously chosen and on which the industry apparently wishes to remain.
In-store marketing continues to benefit from several trends that intensified during the year: 70% of purchases in supermarkets are now impulse purchases, 42% of brand purchases are made when in-store displays are used, network TV viewership has declined 6%, daily newspaper readership is down 25% and freestanding insert pages sold were down 10.3% from last year.
I see continued growth for in-store card-based marketing, but not much innovation on the horizon. These programs are available in 24% of the supermarket outlets in the United States. Coincidentally, 24% of consumers say they regularly use frequent shopper cards at a supermarket. In other words, "if you build it, they will come." We expect more growth next year, most of it retailer-developed. I don't see any new vendors of Citicorp variety on the horizon. The vendors in play at the moment include DCI and Moore Retail Services, both of whom provide "background" support for retailer programs. Advanced Promotion Technology's future remains unknown. Its installed base is still installed. Retailer users are still happy with the system, but worried by reports of the company's tenuous financial status.
Manufacturers are still participating in the background, after the fact, primarily as a source of funds. Brand Marketing's electronic marketing study in August showed that 32% of manufacturers are currently involved with card-based marketing, and 13% more plan to be soon. We look to 1996 as a time for more retailers to use their frequency data effectively, and for manufacturers to help them.
Data base marketing will continue to expand. More and more data should become available to manufacturers from retailer frequent shopper programs. "Synchographics" (significant life events) may be the next data base marketing focus. Instead of focusing on geography, demographics or lifestyles, synchographics focuses on events -- like marriage, birth of child, college, etc.
Other tidbits to look for in electronic marketing: Catalina Marketing's Checkout Coupon program should be in 10,000 stores by March 1996, and will continue to expand at 1,000 stores per year. I think we'll see more in-store kiosks -- smarter, faster, tied-in to the front end.. Next year I think we'll see smart cards used for Electronic Benefits Transfer, then other forms of payment, and then electronic marketing.
In sum, next year should be another year of continued growth in the same direction. It's not a bad direction, and not a bad growth rate. See you in 1996.