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b4p trends: Why advertising remains important, even in times of inflation

BCN Marketing

Inflation provides an opportunity to communicate offers

People want to maintain their standard of living despite inflation and increased prices, which means they tend to look for interesting deals. For example, 87% are currently paying more attention to prices and 80% always try to wait for the cheapest time to make a purchase when spending on items that are not everyday necessities. This behaviour offers advertisers the opportunity to respond to the need of consumers for information and to inform them specifically about these offers. After all, consumers in Germany are very receptive to advertising. If they need a certain product, nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents currently pay attention to advertising. Just under two-thirds (65%) would like to receive advertising precisely in the current situation – preferably advertising that addresses their current situation in life (74%).

Germans pay particular attention to advertising for meat (66%), fruit and vegetables (65%), petrol and diesel (62%) as well as clothing and shoes (61%). On the other hand, younger respondents aged 16 to 29 are more likely than average to be interested in special offers from streaming services (37% of younger respondents compared to 23% of the total population), while respondents aged 30 to 49 are more likely to look for special offers on children’s clothes/shoes (39% compared to 27%) and toys (33% compared to 22%).

The traditional advertising channels in the foreground, with digital channels increasing in popularity

In addition, the survey analysed the channels that people use to find out more information on products and offers. According to this, traditional advertising is the main conduit for the majority (76%) of respondents to find out about special deals. Ranking first among them are printed advertisements and printed supplements in newspapers/magazines (43%), followed by online advertising (30%). Radio (14%), social media platforms (11%) as well as posters and digital info screens (10%) follow at a considerable distance.

52% of respondents use other forms of advertising such as printed advertising leaflets by post or in advertising journals to find out about offers. There are considerable differences among the age groups. Only slightly more than one-third (37%) of respondents aged 16 to 29 receive their information regarding special offers via this advertising medium, whereas older respondents aged 30 to 49 (50%) and aged 50 and older (60%) use it significantly more often.

Digital customer apps from retail companies are becoming increasingly popular (31%). They are now used slightly more frequently than in-store advertising leaflets (29%), although this is partly due to the fact that many retailers have abandoned printed leaflets because of increasing costs of paper. More than one-quarter (27%) also use platforms on which digitalised advertising brochures from various retailers are made available. Younger people (aged 16 to 29) now use digital platforms just as frequently (37%) as they do printed advertising leaflets by post or in advertising journals (37%).

Methodology: This information is based on an online survey conducted in December 2022 in which questions were posed to 1,020 people in Germany aged 16 and over. The survey is representative of Germany’s entire online population. The complete study ‘b4p trends – Konsum und Werbung in Zeiten von Preissteigerungen’ [Consumption and advertising in times of price increases] is available in German for download on the GIK website free of charge.