This paper illustrates that once predictable behavior is now being replaced with a new type of consumer that is constantly seeking value in nearly all elements of product variety. This is making the process of marketing and advertising significantly difficult in an environment where competition is high, especially in areas of food consumption and technology consumption. At the same time, marketers are resorting to new promotional campaigns in order to remain competitive and gain consumer attention in the face of this current economic downturn. Statistics indicate that six in 10 consumers have reduced the volume of frequency as it pertains to eating-out in restaurant environments. As a result, especially noticeable in the pizza restaurant industry, marketers have changed their promotional activities to include vouchers with significant pricing discounts. Where once major companies in this industry, such as Pizza Hut, used psychographic segmentation and targeting to gain attention and loyalty, they are finding it more difficult to compete especially when their products carry high price tags over the competition. Companies like Pizza Hut once had well-established consumer segments that were devoted to the brand and were able to use rather low-cost marketing and higher price methodology to ensure positioning in terms of quality. Today, however, the recession has created price wars that continue to erode profitability especially with more consumers eating within the home and avoiding the high costs of restaurant eating. This is also noticeable in the fast food industry with new promotions being added to traditional menus, such as McDonald’s with its dollar menu variety. However, this marketing effort is not to bring the type of profit results marketers had once experienced early in the recession. Today, new freebie offers and Internet-based incentives coupons are becoming the norm for many consumer segments. This shows a shift in consumer behavior toward active searching in the consumer search process to identify coupons before they will frequent even their favorite restaurants. There is clearly a value-driven methodology in consumer groups that change their buying behaviors and choices.
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