Rebrand of RedPlum Aims to Benefit CPG Brands           

By Dale Buss

Couponing corporate partners Valassis and RetailMeNot are putting their capabilities together in what the companies believe will be a promotional service that will greatly enhance the ability of CPG brands to reach the right customers with the right offers in the right formats.

In creating an integrated new service called RetailMeNot Everyday, the move by the two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Harland Clarke Holdings will eliminate the iconic RedPlum brand of FSIs and direct-mail coupon books that CPGs and American consumers have gotten used to receiving for many years. And the move will elevate and expand the digital offerings that RetailMeNot has been extending.

Included in the greater capabilities for CPG brands, the company disclosed exclusively to CPGmatters, will be the brands’ own digital platforms to “help them secure and protect their marketing investments,” said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer for Livonia, Mich.-based Valassis.

“On our site, it’ll look like the traditional coupon hub at the broadest level that you see on retailer and savings web sites,” Tingle explained to CPGmatters. “But in addition to that, we’re planning on building a richer experience for the CPG brands. It’ll look more like the brand-dedicated coupon hubs and will allow brands to leverage the scale and affinity of the consumer.”

Brands will be able to field their own “savings and bring the equity of their brands into the pages of,” Tingle said. Enabled CPG-brand content will include videos, social-media engagements, blogs and recipes. “Each brand’s page can have an identity that aligns to the CPG’s brand and also leverages the scale and the audience of RetailMeNot Everyday,” he said.

Greater opportunities for CPG brands to reach its audiences is one of the main reasons for combining its print and digital promotional capabilities under the RetailMeNot brand. But the rationale is broader for rebranding the RedPlum print portfolio to RetailMeNot Everyday to complement RetailMeNot’s digital presence.

The collaboration “is an important milestone as we rebrand RedPlum, enabling our clients to extend their promotions across platforms and providing consumers with a single, powerful savings destination,” Tingle said in a news release.

RedPlum’s weekly audience of up to 78 million U.S. households hereafter will become RetailMeNot Everyday’s constituency and will complement RetailMeNot’s digital audience of 53 million monthly website visits and 23 million monthly mobile unique visits. The action will improve CPG brands’ scale of reach with combined audiences; targeting capabilities, including hyper-local and personalized content; integrated media and multi-channel options; and the ability to target shoppers throughout the shopping journey, the company said.

“It really starts with the consumer,” Tingle explained. “We’re in the business of consumer activation and anticipating consumer behavior. So now we’re delivering integrated print and digital campaigns that drive consumers to purchase, by fulfilling the need that consumers have for one digital partner.”

Consumers told the company in research that they’d prefer to go to one source for their coupons and other promotions “but they want it to be convenient and simple and to engage in savings across platforms,” including FSIs, direct-mail coupons, cash-back offers and other instruments that are available on mobile devices, online and in print formats.

“We’re making it easier for consumers to save and to do it in a way that allows marketers – CPG, quick-serve restaurants, retail and groceries – a very effective media strategy to anticipate behavior and drive great return on investment of their marketing dollars.”

Tingle maintained it’s a “myth” that print coupons are dying as newspapers slowly die and, with that, the audience for FSIs shrink. “The reality,” he said, “is that print promotions are evolving and integrating. Valassis has been taking on this challenge for a decade. It’s not about the FSI struggle as much as it is about consumer evolution for how they get and want to use coupons in both print and digital.

“What we didn’t have was a scalable digital audience and engagement of consumers at Red Plum,” Tingle said. “We never achieved the audience level that we needed to be effective as a digital outlet. Much as the rest of the industry, we relied on a network of digital coupon providers, both savings-oriented sites as well as retailers. We’ll continue to need to make things flexible for consumers to get coupons where they want to. But RetailMeNot enables us to deliver a very desirable audience at scale so we can reimagine integrated print and digital solutions with CPG partners.”

And anyway, Tingle emphasized, the favored print vehicle for Millennial consumers – now the nation’s largest demographic cohort, from their early twenties to their mid-thirties – is the mailbox.

Interestingly, too, he said, Valassis research has shown that Millennials are the most promotionally oriented consumers in America, more so than their Boomer parents and Generation X. This ensures a continued growing and more engaged audience for RetailMeNot’s integrated new couponing platforms.

Millennials “grew up during the Great Recession,” he explained, “and so they were forced to learn to live on a budget or watch their parents live on a tight budget as they went through the decade-long recovery. That has made Millennials the most promotionally sensitive generation in the market today. They’re actually the only generation increasing their use of coupons.”

                                               Early April 2018