What can we learn from the promotions of 2022?

By: Csaba Péter Date: 2023. 07. 20. 12:55

Market researcher Kantar Hoffmann has done an exclusive focus group survey for Trade magazine, on what shoppers think about the promotions that entered the “Most successful promotion of the year” competition.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2023/6-7.


Gábor Tolnai
head of marketing insight division
Kantar Hoffmann

Gábor Tolnai, the head of Kantar Hoffmann’s marketing insight division presented the results at the Day of Promotions conference on 27 April.

Winning mechanisms

Promotions in which shoppers can get products cheaper remained very popular. Prize games were also favoured by many, but the participation depended on how much consumers felt they had a chance to win, so those prize games were more popular where there were lots of smaller prizes in addition to the main prize. Shoppers also liked it better if they had to make just minimal effort. Most people detest uploading codes and keeping receipts, and they don’t really fancy downloading various apps just for the sake of a promotion. It works much better for a company if it uses the apps that consumers already know and have, e.g. the smartphone apps of retail chains. It proved to be a big plus among respondents if the participants of a game felt the prizes were tailor-made.

Customers neither like keeping receipts, nor do they like having to download more and more random apps for promotions

Children and games

It remains true that “children take all” – in promotions that targeted them, parents were willing to make a bigger effort, mailing receipts or collecting points or stickers. This is only true if the children’s experience remains intact during the promotion: it is an absolute priority of parents to have gifts that are really accessible, as children’s trust shouldn’t be played with. It is interesting that parents also love those children’s promotions which aren’t only about prizes, but about educating children or raising their awareness of something important, such as health, helping people in a difficult situation or environmental protection.

What do shoppers feel?

As regards 2022, it is an interesting observation that the consumers in the 4 focus groups had the feeling that there were fewer promotions than in earlier years. They also reported that they miss the mechanisms they know and like.

Promotions offering monetisable benefits remain very popular

There were fewer promotions where one could win something instantly, e.g. when the packaging of a chocolate bar says “you won another one”.

Customers perceive that there are fewer and fewer promotions that offer immediate prizes

There are also fewer free gifts with products and tasting sessions too. It is noteworthy that shoppers are hunting for promotions by the products they already like, and they aren’t easy to persuade to purchase new products even with superb promotions – especially if they are more expensive than the one they regularly buy.

Promotions this side of the polycrisis and beyond

The main reason behind the changes that sometimes contradict one another is what Gábor Tolnai called “polycrisis” – consumers facing several crisis situations at the same time, or one after the other in quick succession, such as the Covid pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and a quasi global crisis that is hanging over our heads like the sword of Damocles. Skyrocketing inflation and rising prices constitute one of these crises. Probably it has to do with this phenomenon that tangible prizes are popular again, while digital ones have lost popularity. It is also true that practical products and gifts generate more interest than “l’art pour l’art” promotional gifts. //

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