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Jonathan Marek

Senior Vice President
Applied Predictive Technologies

Safeway's Loyalty Program Makes Print Ads Obsolete

February 26, 2013

FROM RETAILWIRE:
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...]

MY COMMENTARY:

In the long run, yes. But the long run could be a very long time. In the meantime, the right answer is likely reductions in print: reduced market coverage, reduced page counts, and reduced frequency.

But which reductions are the right ones? It is a complicated balance of measuring print impact (hard but critical to do right) and understanding true marginal costs. Those who get this right will make tens of millions in profits beyond those who take a much broader brush approach (e.g., kill print, continue print, or the ever-popular swerve from guardrail to guardrail between cutting and bringing back print).

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