Portland Marketing Analytics (PortMA) | Portland, Maine

Impact of Couponing in Experiential Marketing

Impact of Couponing in Experiential MarketingWe all know that offering coupons has an impact on brand marketing. Offering coupons is a tried and true method of increasing short-term sales. It drives trial purchases among non-customers and rewards loyal customers.

Using coupons as part of an experiential marketing strategy is not as common as in the traditional sense (e.g., direct mail, flyers, in-store kiosks). So, when I had a chance to study the impact offering coupons had on a three-market, retail, experiential pilot program, I knew I had to share.

SPOILER ALERT: Offering coupons had a major impact!

For the program in question, coupons were distributed to consumers after they had an engagement with the brand’s field staff, so the consumers already had the benefit of brand education. That being said, offering coupons made a HUGE impact on consumers’ intent to make a future purchase.

  • Impact was greatest for immediate purchase intent. Consumers who received a coupon reported an on-site purchase intent that was 45 percentage points higher than those who had not (82% vs. 37%).
  • Future purchase intent also increased when consumers received a coupon. Nine in ten (90%) consumers who received a coupon reported they would purchase the product in the future, 30 percentage points higher than those who had not (60%).

Consumers who received a coupon also reported significantly higher opinions of brand perception and advocacy, but not to a degree that might also significantly impact purchase intent. This was evidence that the experience itself was effective in changing perceptions of the brand:

  • Recommend intent was 22 percentage points higher when a consumer received a coupon (90% vs. 68% consumers who did not receive a coupon).
  • Brand perceptions increased 10 percentage points when a coupon was received (91% vs. 81% when a coupon was not received).

I hope that now you can see why I was so excited to share these findings. The impact of offering coupons for this experiential marketing program was a research manager’s dream. It was also very exciting for the brand team. At the time we were running the analysis, the brand team was considering dropping the coupon portion of the program. After seeing those stats, they couldn’t print more coupons fast enough!

Even more exciting is the fact that we will have access to actual future sales data, and we will be able to compare our on-site intent data with actual purchase behavior. I will be excited to share that information in a future post.

  • If you are an account manager thinking about adding couponing to your experiential marketing program, I would definitely recommend that you do.
  • If your program’s goals include increasing trial and immediate sales, the data shows couponing has the potential to double the impact.
  • If your client needs a push in the “couponing direction,” you have the stats in this blog to promote your cause.

You’re welcome!

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