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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.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #29

October 8, 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.

SEARCH TURNS 20 YEARS OLD – Kind of hard to believe, but Google Search is now two decades old! The impact of search on your marketing can not be underestimated. Today, people are constantly searching: 84% of people are shopping at any given moment online and in up to six different categories according to Google Research. Online search has destroyed the print Yellow Pages. If you are spending any money on yellow page ads, think again.

Also, search has also gotten very personal: Google reports a 60% growth in mobile searches that refer to yourself “find the best computer for me” in the past two years. Over half of Google searches are now conducted on mobile devices. Want to know more about how search is impacting your online business? Join our website study (see story below).

TRAVEL WEBSITE STUDY LAUNCHING – Our 6th Annual Destination Website Research Study launches this month (October). We currently have five research partners, but we have room for more. If you want to discover the importance of search and why people come to your website, what website info has the most value, and if online visitors will become real visitors (economic impact of your website), join our study. Contact me ASAP.

IS IT TIME TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMER? – As the fourth quarter begins, we are getting more requests to help with end-of-the year customer surveys. It makes sense. Understanding your current customer is critical in planning 2019 marketing programs. Whether you are designing your own survey or working with us, survey creation is a critical task. So, before hitting “send” with an online survey provider, contact us. With the help of our Research Director, Dr. Nick Lougee, we can help you design (or review) a survey that gets the most from your data. Plus, we can tell you how to prevent respondent fatigue, optimize survey language and more.

MORE CHALLENGES FOR FACEBOOK – Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research reports in the Wall St. Journal that his analysis of Nielsen’s U.S. Digital Consumption Trends reveals that the numbers are down (again) for Facebook: had a 14.3% share in August, down from a 16.9% share in August last year. Does the drop-off reflect user concerns around data privacy? Hard to say. Where are these people going? Google’s properties accounted for 56% of the growth in digital content consumption in August. Its share rose to 32.8% from 29.4% in August 2017. For 2019, you may want to rethink your digital investments in Facebook and Google properties.

WHY ARE PEOPLE POOR? – It seems it is all about your political view, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Democrats (and Democratic leaners) say the reason someone is poor has more to do with circumstances beyond their control (69%) than a lack of effort (18%). Republicans (and Republican leaners) say that people are poor because of lack of effort (48%) rather than circumstances (31%). Among all adults, 52% say it is circumstances, 31% say it is a lack of effort; 12% say these two reasons are equal contributors. No matter what you believe, it points out the importance of shaping national policy, so please vote November 6th.

Ok, see you all next week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #28

October 1, 2018

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

NEW TRAVEL WEBSITE STUDY IS LAUNCHING – Our 5th Annual Destination Website Research Study ended yesterday. I want to thank all our research partners that participated and are now joining us for our next study that will launch this month. If you want to discover why people come to your website, what website info has the most value, and if online visitors will become real visitors (economic impact of your website), there is still time to join our 2018-2019 6th Annual Study. Contact me ASAP.

EVERYONE IS DOING IT – Dunkin’ Donuts just dropped “Donuts” from its name. Executives said they reached this decision after testing the shorter name, adding that the rebrand is aimed at honing the company’s focus on coffee amid increasing competition. Weight Watchers also announced a rebranding to “WW” as it shifts its focus away from dieting and more toward wellness. WW spent decades building its reputation as “the world’s leading provider of weight management services,” so their new focus on wellness has been met with some skepticism. Yes, rebrands can be traumatic for consumers. Are you thinking of a rebrand? Let us conduct some market research for you to make sure you get it right.

MOST OF US WORK – Only 11 million U.S. parents – or 18% – were not working outside the home in 2016. The stay-at-home share of U.S. parents was almost identical to what it was in 1989, but there has been a modest increase among fathers.

SOME OF US ARE MAKING MORE MONEY – Median household income climbed to $61,372 in 2017, according to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. This is 1.8% higher than the 2016 median, after adjusting for inflation. But not all age groups made gains. The Householders under age 25 saw their median household income fall by 5.8%. Householders aged 25 to 34 struggled to keep up, their income rising just 0.1%. Most of the gains were from older age groups. Happy to share all the details, email me.

A NO GROWTH MARKET – Adults who say they use the internet, social media, own a smartphone or tablet are nearly identical to the shares who said so in 2016. Why? Parts of the population (people under 50) have reached near-saturation levels of adoption.

FACEBOOK UPDATE – Last week the company revealed that hackers had managed to gain access to nearly 50 million accounts. This attack looks to be its largest-ever security breach. Speaking of Facebook, our friends over at Raving Consulting (Reno) had some excellent tips in their newsletter (thanks Justin Shank) on using Facebook advertising. Contact me and I will be happy to share.

ENTHUSIASTIC VOTERS COMING – A survey by Pew Research Center finds voter enthusiasm is at its highest level for a midterm in more than two decades. A record share of registered voters – 72% – say the issue of which party controls Congress will be a factor. A majority (60%) view the midterm vote also as a vote on Trump – more saying their vote will be “against” Trump (37%) than “for” him (23%).

Ok, see you all next week. Enjoy the Fall weather – nice in Oregon.