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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #36

November 26, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving like we did. Here are a few post turkey day thoughts on marketing and research for the week.

BAD GOLF GAME – AT&T and other big television distributors are refunding customers who paid to watch a showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. AT&T intended to use the pay-per-view event as a showcase of its new media capabilities since buying Time Warner. They shanked it. The online transmission didn’t work and many saw it for free. In fact, it’s unclear how many people paid to watch the match. Oh, if anyone cares, Mickelson won with a birdie on the 22nd hole, giving him the $9 million prize. Marketing Lesson: Make sure you can deliver what you promise, before you promise it!

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT FACEBOOK LIVE? – Back in April 2016, Facebook launched a live video streaming service that lets anyone broadcast from their mobile devices straight to their Facebook News Feed. Since its launch, live video has exploded in popularity — particularly on Facebook Live, where according to Vimeo, 78% of online audiences are watching video on Facebook Live as of 2018. It’s no mystery why Facebook Live is popular: Videos enjoy a 300% engagement advantage to traditional videos shared on Facebook. Do you know how to use this tool? If not, we found a great guide that we can send you. Just let me now.

YOUR MARKETING FUTURE IS HERE – We have said often in this blog that you need to begin shifting your marketing to Millennials, even though Baby Boomers and Seniors still have the money. Millennials are now the largest demographic group and they are beginning to make a real impact. The 2018 midterm elections not only sent a record number of women to the House of Representatives – at least 102 in total, including 36 newly elected members, with a handful of races still to be called – but also significantly boosted the number of Millennials and Generation Xers in the lower chamber, according to a recent analysis. When the 116th Congress convenes in January, at least 26 House members will be Millennials (i.e., born between 1981 and 1996), up from only five at the start of the current Congress and six just before the Nov. 6 midterms. Marketing Lesson: No successful marketer is ignoring women or Millennials now.

THOSE DARN ALGORITHMS – They are all around us, utilizing massive stores of data and complex analytics to make decisions for us. They recommend books and movies for us to read and watch. They share news stories they think we might find relevant, estimate the likelihood that a tumor is cancerous and predict whether someone might be a criminal or a worthwhile credit risk. But despite the growing presence of algorithms, a Pew survey finds that the public is skeptical of these tools. At a broad level, 58% of Americans feel that computer programs will always reflect some level of human bias – although 40% think these programs can be designed in a way that is bias-free. And in various contexts, the public worries that these tools might violate privacy, fail to capture the nuance of complex situations, or simply put the people they are evaluating in an unfair situation.

IS GROWTH A GOOD GOAL? – Most businesses want to grow. We are working with a variety of companies setting goals for 2019. We have found that when you make growth the end-all-be-all, your bottom line, it can be at the expense of your customers. Some major companies have sacrificed long-term customer relationships for short-term gains. That’s why I enjoyed reading a HubSpot blog post that outlined their customer tenets. They believe their job is making customers more successful, building relationships by doing the right thing, and focusing on the long-term even when it’s not the easiest path. I totally agree. This week’s marketing goal: Develop your own customer tenets for 2019? Here’s HubSpot’s tenets, it is a good place to start.

1. Earn my attention, don’t steal it.
2. Treat me like a person, not a persona.
3. Solve for my success, not your systems.
4. Use my data, but don’t abuse it.
5. Ask for feedback, and act on it.
6. Own your screw-ups.
7. Help me help you, by helping myself.
8. I don’t mind paying, but I do mind being played.
9. Don’t block the exit.
10. Do the right thing, even when it’s hard.

Until next week, enjoy holiday shopping.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #35

November 20, 2018

Tuesday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. After an amazing NFL Monday Night Football game (54-51), it seems like a good morning for my digest, even if it is a day late. Here are a few marketing and research thoughts for the week. Short week, short digest. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

A MEANINGFUL WEEK FOR MOST OF US – What makes life meaningful? To tackle this topic, Pew Research Center conducted two separate surveys in late 2017. The first included open-ended questions. The second survey included closed-ended (also known as forced-choice) questions. Across both surveys, the most popular answer is clear and consistent: Americans are most likely to mention family when asked what makes life meaningful in the open-ended question, and they are most likely to report that they find “a great deal” of meaning in spending time with family in the closed-ended question. Among the key findings from the surveys:

• Family is among the most popular topics across all demographic groups.

• Americans with higher incomes and education are more likely to mention friendship, good health, stability and travel as meaningful.

• Many evangelicals find meaning in faith, while atheists often find it in activities and finances.

• Politically conservative Americans are more likely than liberals to find meaning in religion, while liberals find more meaning in creativity and social causes than conservatives.

YOUR CAR CAN KNOW ORDER DONUTS – Last year, millions of Americans got into their cars and discovered they could order donuts, breakfast or coffee while they drove because GM had downloaded a new application called Marketplace, which operated in their cars’ center touchscreens. Not terribly important marketing news now, but let’s jump a few decades into the future. Let’s imagine that General Motors’ investment in Cruise Automation has paid off and the company now makes cars that completely drive themselves. These cars have no steering wheels or pedals. People just ride in them. So, instead of making one pile of money when a car gets sold, GM and others could now make money off an app and selling things to you as you ride.

THEY ARE COMING – As a new American generation moves toward adulthood, will this new group (6- to 21-year-olds now), for many our grandkids, change the social fabric of the United States? Yes, according to a new research analysis of Census Bureau data. It finds that the “post-Millennial” generation is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation ever. A bare majority (52%) are non-Hispanic whites. And while most are still pursuing their K-12 education, the oldest post-Millennials are enrolling in college at a significantly higher rate than Millennials were at a comparable age.

Until next week, enjoy Thanksgiving and shopping! OK, I guess I will put up my Christmas lights.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #34

November 12, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Here are some marketing and research thoughts for the week. Email me (Mark@dennettgroup.com) if you need more info on any subject.

THE YOU TUBE SOLUTION – I had to turn off the “Maintenance Required” light on my car. Did I look at the manual? No, I just went to You Tube. Apparently, I am not alone. A new Pew survey finds that roughly half of You Tube users say it is very important for helping them figure out how to do things. And around one-in-five You Tube users say it is very important for helping them understand events that are happening in the world. Bottom-line: You Tube is not just for entertainment, it is increasingly becoming a vital information source. Just another reasons YouTube must be part of your marketing effort. Contact us and we can work with you in harnessing the power of You Tube for your business.

THE DOWNSIDE OF OUTSOURCING – Many businesses save money by outsourcing. There is a trial going on right now that is testing the wisdom of 100% outsourcing. Pabst Brewing and MillerCoors are going to trial today because MillerCoors wants to end its agreement to brew Pabst’s beers. They basically brew, package and market all Pabst beers. They are willing to continue, but they want a 300% increase in fees. Why is this important to you? Because outsourcing production or marketing often leaves the success of your company in other hands, especially if the market is dramatically changing.

Because I live in Oregon, it is easy to believe that more and more people are enjoying beer. But U.S. beer sales are actually down from 213.1 million barrels in 2008 to 204.2 million in 2017, according to the Brewers Association. MillerCoors and Anheuser- Busch, the two biggest U.S. brewers, have been losing business to local craft brewers, imports, and wine and spirits in recent years, according to the Brewers Association.

“The beer market has shifted and beer lovers are increasingly demanding more variety, fuller-flavor, and local products from small and independent producers,” said Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist. Is your market changing? Do you know how to recognize and react to these changes? This will require some research and we can help.

YOUR GUT VS. DATA – The Wall St. Journal recently reported that Netflix’s executives had a challenge in trusting their data or being kind to Jane Fonda. Their algorithm revealed that U.S. subscribers were more likely to click on the image promoting the comedy “Grace and Frankie” if it only included an image of co-star Lily Tomlin. Netflix eventually decided to keep the picture of Fonda. Why? They decided to trust their got, not data. Interesting marketing lesson here. Most small businesses rely 100% on their gut, and totally ignore data or research. The best decisions are made when you work with both – your gut and data.

SOCIAL MEDIA’S DARK SIDE – We are currently working with a variety of companies in improving their social media marketing. But increasingly, social media has a dark side – a turn off too many people. Case in point: Tim Kendall, early architect of Facebook’s business model and past president of Pinterest, has deleted the Facebook app from his phone for reasons that are becoming increasingly common: a sense of anxiety and dissatisfaction after viewing other people’s filtered lives, frustration at the divisive political discourse and harassment from trolls. Mr. Kendall report to the Wall Street Journal that social media was producing unwanted negativity in his life. “I felt bad about myself. I felt inadequate,” he says. “I felt like most people had better lives than I did on every dimension.” Recently Kendall invested $7 million to fund Moment, an app that helps reduce the time people spend on their phones. His position isn’t that social media is bad, but that users understandably struggle at times to find the right balance for it in their lives.

THANKSGIVING WARNING – As we gather with family and friends, remember, talking politics can add a lot of stress and frustration to the celebration, especially if you have more liberal friends. A national survey by Pew, conducted Sept. 24 to Oct. 7, finds that Americans have become more likely to say it is “stressful and frustrating” to have political conversations with those they disagree with. The change in opinions has come largely among Democrats: 57%, up from 45% two years ago. By contrast, Republicans’ feelings have changed very little. About half (49%) continue to find it stressful and frustrating. Overall, 53% of Americans say talking about politics with people they disagree with is stressful; only 45% say such conversations are usually “interesting and informative.”

Until next week, enjoy a beautiful Fall week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #33

November 5, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Tomorrow is a special day, we all get to vote! So, I want to suspend my usual blog and encourage everyone to vote! And don’t let polls influence you. You simply can’t trust polls, but you can trust voters. Here’s a few things you should know about polls:

• Polls are a snapshot in time – the way people feel at that particular moment. Things can change quickly – in fact, they can change within minutes before voting.

• Randomness is the key to polling and it is not easy. Are you getting a good sample? Today, that is very tough. A lot of younger people are rarely at home. Few people have land lines anymore. Plus, people are wary of callers who may be trying to sell them something. Our experience shows that only 10-20% of people will now respond to phone surveys. That is why we and others are using more online panels (like our Survey for Good).

• Respondents tend to think of a poll as a quiz. So, they want to give the right answer. They want to support social norms. For example, back in 2012, Gallup asks people if they would vote for a well-qualified candidate for President who happens to be a woman, 95% said yes. But would they? What the poll actually revealed was that people know what the social norms are: don’t endorse prejudice. In the same poll, 68% said they would vote for a gay or lesbian.

Yes, polling can be tricky. That’s why people ask for our help all the time.

One last thought, newspaper media endorsement (newspapers, TV, radio) usually don’t change people’s vote. According to research, they reinforce the opinions you have for a candidate or measure.

Have a great week and vote! Then, on Wednesday, be kind and gracious to others – no matter who won. If you voted, you showed up and that makes you special.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #32

October 29, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Here are some marketing and research thoughts for the week. Email me (Mark@dennettgroup.com) if you need more info on any subject.

A BETTER WEBSITE – USING THE AIDA MODEL – Working this week on finishing a report for partners in our DMO Website Study #5. Study #6 starts this week, let me know if you want to join it. I was looking at different ways to evaluate the success of websites to influence people to visit (focus of these studies) and found an interesting post on The HubSpot Blog on using AIDA as website evaluation tool. What is AIDA?

Way back in 1898, Elias St. Elmo Lewis (Advertising Hall of Fame member) introduced the AIDA model: the four stages a consumer needs to go through to become a customer: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA). During these four stages, your website content will ideally attract attention to your brand, generate interest in your product or service, stimulate a desire for it, and spur action to try or buy it. Want to know more about how to use AIDA in evaluating your website? Email me and I will share the details.

I CAN’T DO MY HOMEWORK – This old excuse is taking on a new life because 15% of U.S. households with school-age children do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, according to an analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data. It is worse for lower-income families. Roughly one-third of households with children and income below $30,000 a year do not have a high-speed internet connection, compared with just 6% of households earning $75,000 or more a year. Bottom-line: If you are using digital advertising, you are reaching higher income consumers (not all bad).

FACT OR OPINION? – Does wisdom come with age? Well, younger adults (18-49) are better than older adults (50+) in separating fact and opinion. PEW asked U.S. adults to categorize five factual and five opinion statements. More younger adults (32%) could identify all five, compared to older adults (20%). Younger adults were not only better overall, they could do so regardless of the ideological appeal of the statements.

CABLE CUTTING IS REAL – The 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey, show a substantial drop in spending on cable and satellite television service. Spending is down 18% from 2016, after adjusting for inflation. Below is the percentage of households spending on cable/satellite service during an average quarter of 2017 compared to 2010. If you are using cable advertising, you need to focus on people age 45 years and older.

Under age 25: 23.0% (-26)
Aged 25 to 34: 41.9%(-26)
Aged 35 to 44: 53.5% (-22)
Aged 45 to 54: 62.2% (-15)
Aged 55 to 64: 65.6% (-12)
Aged 65-plus: 69.9% (-9)

CREATING A MORE SUCCESSFUL SURVEY – Been working on end-of-the-year customer surveys for a couple of clients, and it is critical that you select the appropriate research methodology. It is a vital first step in any market research process. If you are doing your own research, email me, and we will share ways to select the best research methodology.

SAVE 80% ON ADVERTISING – Having developed hundreds of cooperative advertising programs over the years, we have found that you can save up to 80% in media costs by working with others. Interested in saving money? Contact me for a copy of our 2019 program list.

Until next week, enjoy a beautiful Fall week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #31

October 22, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Here are some marketing and research thoughts for the week. Email me (Mark@dennettgroup.com) if you need more info on any subject.

HOW TO SAVE 80% ON ADVERTISING – Joining with other companies in a cooperative (coop) ad is a great way to expand your share of a market for less money. Having developed hundreds of programs over the years, we have found that you can save up to 80% in media costs. This week we released our 2019 cooperative advertising programs. If you would like a copy, let me know.

STILL A VAST WASTE LAND – On an average day, 79% of Americans aged 15 or older watch television as a primary activity–meaning their main activity at the time. The percentage who watch television is lowest among 15-to-19-year-olds (73%) and highest among people aged 65 or older (89%). These facts come from a Bureau of Labor Statistics’ analysis of the American Time Use Survey. For many, watching television is a solitary activity. Forty-eight percent of television time is spent alone.

WELL, IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE – It is hard to stand out in tourism marketing. I know. I have had the pleasure of working with numerous tourism groups. That’s why I love Nebraska’s new sales pitch: “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” State tourism director John Ricks says that because Nebraska consistently ranks as the least likely state that tourists plan to visit, the marketing campaign needed to be different. One of their new TV spots shows a boy peering through oversized glasses into the camera. Then comes a voice: “Nebraska is kind of like that odd kid. Didn’t say much in school. Slightly peculiar maybe. But when you took the time to get to know him, turned out he was pretty interesting.” Bravo Nebraska. Heck, you even won a football game last week!

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? – In honor of Halloween, we took a quick look at a 2018 Chapman University Survey of American Fears. This year as in past years, the number one fear — mentioned by the largest share of the public — is fear of corrupt government officials. But the percentage of Americans who say government corruption scares them has climbed, rising from 61% to 74% between 2016 and 2018.

Top 10 fears of 2018 (percent saying they are afraid)

1. Corrupt government officials: 74%
2. Pollution of oceans rivers, and lakes: 62%
3. Pollution of drinking water: 61%
4. Not enough money for the future: 57%
5. Someone you love will become seriously ill: 57%
6. People you love dying: 56%
7. Air pollution: 55%
8. Extinction of plant and animal species: 54%
9. Global warming and climate change: 53%
10. High medical bills: 53%

OLDER PEOPLE STILL CONTROL THE BALLOT BOX – If you live in Oregon, you should have your ballot and are ready to send it in (I love Oregon’s Vote by Mail System). If you need mid-term voting motivation, a very recent PEW poll reveals that Republican and Democratic voters differ widely in views of problems facing the United States. So, if you want your view of the world to prevail, vote! Also, if you want to stop letting seniors and baby-boomers run your world, encourage someone younger than you to vote! Here’s the percentage of people that voted in 2016:

People 65+ – 85%
People 64 to 45 – 62%
People 44 to 30 – 40%
People 29 to 18 – 30%

Until next week, enjoy a beautiful Fall week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #30

October 15, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Here are some marketing and research thoughts for the week. Email me (Mark@dennettgroup.com) if you need more info on any subject.

COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS AVAILABLE – This week we will be releasing our 2019 cooperative advertising programs. These programs use online mobile ads, native ads, video ads, and a unique print/social media effort. Cooperative ads are a great way to expand your share of a market for less money. If you would like a copy, let me know.

ONLINE VIDEO ADS, WHAT WORK BEST? – We have been running cooperative online video campaigns for years. So, what online ads work best? A recent blog post by Hubspot reviewed an eMarketer Study that shared some insight into this question. The study asked internet users: Which ad format is most likely to lead you to purchase an item online? Nearly half (48.5%) indicated that they’re most likely to purchase after seeing a video ad, over all other ad formats: 19.7% banner ads, 9.1% text ads, and 22.7% something else.

While numbers look different for each business, 64% of consumers said they are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video. Why? Videos show users how a product or service is used. They also are great in showing how your product/service might fill a previously unmet need. They can also capture multiple moments in a visual way that’s more engaging and allows someone to imagine themselves in a similar situation. If you need help in using your TV spots online, we can help.

MORE DESTINATIONS SIGN UP FOR WEBSITE STUDY – Just another reminder, our 6th Annual Destination Website Research Study launches very soon. Compared to our last study, we have doubled the number of DMO’s participating this time. Why? Probably because people are spending more money on websites and they want to know why people come to a DMO website, what info those visitors value most, and whether online visitors will become real visitors. Contact me ASAP if you want to join the study.

DO YOU BUY MEDIA BASED ON YOUR HABITS? – Last week I was helping a client develop a 2019 marketing plan and I recommended TV spots on local news. “Gee, I never watch the local news,” was my client’s first reaction. One of the mistakes people make in media planning is thinking their media habits are their customers’ habits. That’s why surveying your 2018 customers MUST BE THE FIRST STEP IN PLANNING 2019. Whether you are designing your own survey or working with us, we can help you develop a survey that gets the most from your data. Early November or December are the ideal times to conduct these studies. So, back to the question, is local TV news a good media buy?

Although people are relying less on television for their news, a recent study reveals that 47% of adults ages 50 and older and 18% of young people still rely on local TV news. While local TV news has declined in viewers, it still garners the largest news audience of the three television sectors: local, network and cable.

WHERE CAN YOU FIND RESEARCH? – If you follow this blog, you know that I am a big believer in the PEW Research Center. I quote their studies often because the Center is strictly neutral and their experts provide analysis of trends using rigorous empirical research. One of their best services is their Fact Tank and their search feature. Contact me and I will send you links to these services.

Until next week, enjoy a beautiful Fall week.