May 29, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Here are some marketing and research thoughts that could help you this week.

IS FACEBOOK A GOOD MARKETING TOOL FOR YOU? – Today, most businesses have a Facebook (FB) page. Here are three questions you need to answer YES to, if you want to use Facebook as a marketing tool.

(1) Is your company ready for social engagement? – Facebook is a customer engagement tool. It is social media, which means users want a personal connection to your company and what you are doing. Your fans will see your page as a reflection of you, the company, not an advertising space. Can you share relevant and interesting tidbits often? If you hardly ever post, your customers might think you don’t care about them. And if you are facing a PR issue, you can bet your customers will post on your page – and elsewhere, too – about it. If you don’t have the staff or tools you need to respond in a timely way, Facebook is not for you.

(2) Do you know your customer? – Various studies have revealed that people spend a lot of time daily on social media: YouTube (40 minutes), Facebook (35 minutes), snapchat (25 minutes), Instagram (15 minutes) and Twitter (1 minute). Kids and teenagers spend 6-8 hours a day on social media (texting is number one). Interesting, as parents and grandparents have joined the Facebook generation, the under 30 group has shifted to other social media. But are your potential customers on Facebook? That is why every company needs to conduct customer research to know the social media habits of their customer base. We can help do this.

(3) Do people want engagement with your company? – Some industries are ideal for Facebook marketing. Travel and Leisure is one of them. People love to travel and they love sharing experiences on social media. But other industries like plumbing and banking are not good FB candidates. Do you really want more social connection with your banker or your plumber? A simple way to judge your engagement potential is to check your FB Likes. Are they growing? Likes, introduced in 2009, are not as valuable as they once were (I will cover this in a future post), but if your Likes are not growing, Facebook might not be the tool for your business. Sure, FB can be a useful online informational platform for you, but it won’t be a proactive marketing tool.

Have questions or need help with Facebook? We can conduct the research needed to discover your customers’ social media habits and we can also run your FB campaign. Let us know if you need help.

ARE YOU PART OF THE LOST GENERATION? – In an examination of household wealth, researchers have defined people that were born in the 1980s as the “lost generation.” For the analysis, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis researchers estimated typical life cycle wealth trajectories using the 1989 through 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances. Two stories emerged, and only one had a happy ending.

Here’s the story with the happy ending: By 2016, the net worth of older Americans (born in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s) had recovered from the Great Recession (2008).

Here’s the other story: By 2016, the net worth of younger adults (born in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s) had not recovered. Those born in the 1960s were still 11% short of their expected net worth in 2016. Those born in the 1970s were 18% short. Those born in the 1980s were 34% short.

Housing debt explains the shortfall for the 1960s and 1970s cohorts. But few in the 1980s were homeowners during the housing bubble, so the shortfall is caused by other types of debt – student loans, auto loans, and credit card debt, said the researchers. There is still hope. People born in the 1980s have higher educational attainment and many years to catch up. But, the report concluded, “the 1980s cohort is at greatest risk of becoming a ‘lost generation’ for wealth accumulation.”

WHY CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG? – It has a lot to do on where we live. In our research studies we have found that people that live in urban, suburban and rural counties see the world far differently. A new PEW Research survey also found that most urban and rural residents feel misunderstood by those who live in other types of communities.

While classifying counties as urban, suburban and rural is useful in helping understand how the country is changing, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a great deal of diversity within community types. To understand how these changes are playing out in your own community, you can use PEW’s interactive feature on their research, which has data on the nation’s 3,142 counties and county equivalents (such as parishes and independent cities). It is a fun bit of research to look at, click here

That is all for this week. Let me know if there are any specific research or marketing questions you are thinking about that I can cover in my weekly update.

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