Even though the use of newspaper circulars is decreasing, they remain important for attracting customers. When Walmart shifted its marketing funds over to digital advertisements in several markets, reducing spending on newspaper circulars, traffic declined in those areas, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The experiment ran between 2011 and 2012, and since then newspaper advertising was restored and the number of Walmart circulars has remained steady. However, the company has complimented circulars with an increase in digital advertising and coupons on company websites, according to a study by Kantar Media.
While overall consumer packaged good retail advertising spending was down 2.8% in 2014 compared to 2013, spending on free standing insert (FSI) pages was up 11.8%, while spending on digital coupons was up 16.5%. The trend was attributed to how these forms of advertising easily communicate value to consumers.
Walmart was the largest spender in general on both FSI and digital coupons. The company's FSI spending was up 15.7%, while digital coupon events were up 18.4%. Kroger Co. had the largest spending among grocers, and its FSI spending was up 10.9% while its digital spending was up 29.1%.