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Activating on promotion: Key considerations

Shopper marketeers often question whether shopper media works harder when activated alongside a price promotion. Below we investigate this query and consider in detail the nuances around activating when on promotion as well as how this impacts media activation decisions.

Gabby Donnelly

Headline findings

If we investigate the performance of shopper media, we can see that when a media’s live period overlaps with a price promotion it does indeed work harder, delivering a stronger trending ROI at both a featured SKU and total brand level.

Key considerations

Given the clear benefit of running media alongside promotional activity, what should we as shopper marketeers consider when planning our activations? Below we’ve explored some key themes:

In-charge dates: When placing media bookings, ensure you are aware of the exact promotion period your brand is featured within as well as how ‘media in-charge’ dates interact with this period. Always push for media live dates to align as much as possible with your promotions and ensure you check the rules around landing price messaging on creative where dates don’t exactly match.

Booking deadlines: Ensure your colleagues in Sales are aware of your earliest booking deadlines so that they can apply pressure as needed with customer contacts around confirming the promotional activity in question. Equally important, with this free-flowing dialogue shopper contacts can be made aware at the earliest possible moment if a promotion is not going to get retailer approval, facilitating swift amendments to media plans.

Double discounting: Be cautious of ‘double discounting’ within your activation plan. For example, when landing coupon activity or ‘extra’ sales incentives phase this activity either side of your promotion. Typically, a single price reduction is enough to reduce any cost-based barrier to purchase with shoppers.

Product distribution: As shopper media works to enhance the effect of promotional activity ensure there is enough stock in-store to facilitate incremental demand.

Price messaging: Please see below how price messaging impacts shopper media performance across the shopper journey. This insight can be used to prioritise ‘price’ within your communication strategy across media:


When media is aligned to promotional activity we know it works hard however be on the front foot with planning to ensure the most effective use of investment across your total campaign.

PlanVault data: Q4 2019

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