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Debra McAlister-Brown's Blog

Selling the Lifestyle of Southwest Florida

By Debra McAlister-Brown, P.A. | Agent in Estero, FL

Considering Retirement Consider Southwest Florida

Report: 'Cautiously Optimistic' Generation of Spenders Demand Value

RISMEDIA, August 10, 2010--Despite signs of economic recovery, value is here to stay. According to a recent consumer survey* conducted by Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America, 75 percent surveyed say searching for coupons and discounts will remain routine after the recession. Even more - 79 percent - planned to spend about the same or less this summer versus last summer. Consumers are emerging from the economic downturn cautiously optimistic and expecting more for their money.

Couponing Goes Digital
While print coupons continue to provide strong ROI for local advertisers and are expected to grow in use, digital couponing is also gaining popularity. Ninety-one percent of survey respondents claim to have redeemed an Internet coupon, compared to only 65 percent two years ago. Seventy seven percent say they have used the Internet to access coupon savings in the past 6 months, up from 62 percent in 2009. A recent survey by Borrell Associates confirms this trend, noting online coupon redemption is expected to increase by more than 160 percent by 2014.

Also growing at a fast pace, mobile coupon redemption saw a 250 percent increase in just one year. With Valpak's new apps for iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Pre and Android smartphones, consumers can access local coupons for restaurants, retailers and service providers no matter where they are.

"Saving money is easier than ever before with mobile coupons," said Deanna Willsey, director of corporate communications at Valpak. "With the Valpak app installed on your phone, you can use coupons on a whim because they're accessible 24/7. For example, say you're out running errands and decide to grab dinner, you can quickly look up which area restaurants are offering a great deal. There's no need to print, clip or run home to grab the coupon. Simply display the offer on your phone and you save money."

The Valucation
The staycation trend is waning and consumers are ready to hit the road, the seas and the air. Sixty-five percent of survey respondents plan to make purchases on travel, including international and domestic vacations and cruises, in the next six months. While consumers may have the travel bug this year, they don't want to spend a lot of money. Today's traveler is looking for the valucation - shopping for the best rates and discounts. When they're not on the road, other top planned expenditures include home improvement, auto and home entertainment technology purchases.

Everyone's Doing It
Sixty-six percent of survey respondents claim to search for coupons and discounts more than they have in the past, and that trend is anticipated to grow. Couponing is expected to increase more than 150 percent between 2009 and 2014, according to Borrell Associates. In addition to couponing, consumers across all demographics are doing more research, comparing prices, using ratings and reviews and actively searching for savings opportunities. As consumers are seeking ways to stretch their budget, businesses and advertisers are looking to make the most of their marketing budgets.

"Using all types of coupons - print, digital and mobile - consumers have embraced couponing and are much savvier in their search for value," said Willsey. "Likewise, businesses are seeking ways to reach those consumers with proven, results-oriented marketing. Value from all parties has and will continue to be the norm," said Willsey.
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