Also from Lisa Bradner...
February 26, 2013
Safeway could be ready to stop running print ads as early as the end of this year, according to the company's chairman and CEO Steve Burd. Do you see many other grocery chains in addition to Safeway eliminating print ads in favor of digital marketing offers in the future? [more...]
If Safeway proves this out, there will be a tsunami of retailers exiting or cutting way back on print. I have heard through the industry that many different retailers have been experimenting with this: going dark in different markets, testing the balance of personalized offers vs. general market offers.
The challenge here is, of course, how do you talk to and convert people who aren't shopping with you today and aren't in your database? Print will continue to erode as SOLOMO takes over and geofenced offers and communications become the norm. HOWEVER, that's going to vary based on the age and behaviors of each retailers' core target audience.
Critical for marketers to remember: many digital tools are permission-based and your core target can only buy so many groceries/clothes/books in a year. Marketers will still have to find ways to reach the unaware or unconverted and flyers, catalogs and print will likely be part of that mix—just a much smaller part.