Key Emerging Trends Presented at Annual ACP Conference    

By Jack Grant

Topics such as security, omnichannel, ecommerce, consumer insight and universal digital coupons took center stage recently in Orlando at the annual conference of the Association of Coupon Professionals (ACP). Also, best practices to maximize efficiency and effectiveness while minimizing risk were on the agenda of the event, which celebrated the theme of “Ruling the Coupon Galaxy.”

New this year was a Coupon Security Best Practices & Risk Mitigation Workshop. This two-hour interactive workshop included discussions regarding coupon policy, process best practices, recent successes delivered through partner collaboration, and new technology solutions under development.

“The thought leaders of our industry met in Orlando to discuss emerging trends and share expertise,” said John Morgan, ACP Executive Director. “There was a variety of content that covered all aspects of coupons. We have again demonstrated the value of in-person, peer-to-peer learning; nearly 90 percent of ACP member companies sent one or more attendees.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Val Stark of S.M.S. Promo. The Industry Impact Award was given to Darcy Douglas of Kantar.

The conference was also setting for the annual meeting of the ACP. Elected to the board of directors for two-year terms: Jackie Broberg, General Mills; Loreli Cobb, Kellogg Company; Val Stark, S.M.S. Promo; Curtis Jackson, Procter & Gamble; Jennifer Connelly, Quotient; Mary Aghassi, The Clorox Company; and Debbie Gauthier, Valassis. In addition, Mary Aghassi, The Clorox Company, was elected to a two-year term as vice president and Jackie Broberg, General Mills, was re-elected as president for a two-year term.

Other conference highlights:

  • Keynote Barbara Kahn, Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor of Marketing of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, shared the “Kahn Matrix” which enables retailers and brands to evaluate their brands strategically against consumers who desire retailers and brands they trust and value, as they define it.

  • Casan Callaway of Quotient shared consumer insights on all the paths to purchase, including consuming media, planning the trip, commuting to store, shopping in store, and checking out.

  • Catalina shared a consumer marketing mix model used widely in Europe that captures media exposure, social media, promotions, and purchase by household. The results can be deployed to optimize media and the promotion plan. It is said to be proven more effective and a “deeper dive” than marketing mix models.

  • Curtis Jackson of Procter & Gamble led a panel of top retailers discussing the challenges of opportunities of promotions and coupons in-store and online.

  • John Ross, President & CEO of IGA assembled a panel of IGA independent retailers to discuss innovation and how independent retailers can compete like never before by using technology.

  • A live consumer panel spoke how they feel about coupons, the process, and the brands and stores they like.
  • There was much research and consumer insights shared with presentations by Inmar, Kantar, and Valassis with an overall theme that marketers need to be personal and relevant and must meet and exceed consumers’ rising expectations regardless of where they are on the path to purchase.
This was the only national conference this year dedicated exclusively to the overall coupon industry. The event was developed under the leadership of the Association of Coupon Professionals in collaboration with the Joint Industry Coupon Committee, Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, GS1 US, and the Coupon Information Center.

The conference was chaired by Darcy Douglas, Kantar. Sponsors included: Gold: Catalina; Silver: Flipp, Quotient, Intelligent Clearing Network, LM Gordon, Premier Packaging, Pinpoint Data, Inmar, You Tech, NCH Marketing, S.M.S. Promo, Popwallet; Breakfast: Cunningham Electronics Corporation; Break: Mandlik & Rhodes, Atlantic Coupon Service.

                                               Early June 2019
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