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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

May 15, 2020

THIS WEEK OPENING UP – As many continue to shelter at home while businesses begin to reopen, here are a few more marketing tips and research thoughts. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

TRACKING SUCCESS

The most important part of any online ad is the call to action: the URL link to your website. But do you really know how many people clicked on your link? You can look at Google Analytics referral log, but it is not real accurate. The best way to track is to add a UTM code. Known as UTM parameters or tracking tags, this code is added to your existing URL, making each URL unique and trackable. Unfortunately, few businesses use this tool. Not sure why. It’s easy to set up. Here’s info on how from one of my favorite marketing blogs: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-are-utm-tracking-codes-ht

THE BIG DOG

If you are in marketing, this is BIG NEWS. Millennials have finally surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation, according to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Last year (July 2019) Millennials, defined as ages 23 to 38, numbered 72.1 million, and Boomers (ages 55 to 73) numbered 71.6 million. Generation X (ages 39 to 54) numbered 65.2 million and is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028. For an industry that for more than 50 years as focused on Baby Boomers, this is big news. In our visitor research, we are also seeing Baby Boomers becoming far less important than younger travelers.

I NEED A NEWS BREAK

A PEW study reveals that seven-in-ten of us need to a break from COVID-19 news. Many (43%) say that say keeping up with coronavirus news makes them feel worse emotionally. In addition, half say they find it difficult to sift through what is true and what is not. But Americans continue focusing on national and local news: 61% say they pay about equal attention to news at both levels.

THE C WORD

Not surprising, but “Coronavirus” is now the keyword blocked by online advertisers, having overtaken “Trump,” according to brand-safety firm Integral Ad Science. The targeted keyword blocking makes it even harder for publishers to sell ads at a time when many companies are pulling back ad spending to cut costs during the crisis.

CAN ONLINE MEDIA EVER MAKE A DIME?

I suspect I am one of thousands that just decided to subscribe to the New York Times for a few dollars a month (far cheaper than subscribing to my local paper). So, it does not surprise me that paper has recorded its biggest quarterly increase in digital subscriptions ever. Unfortunately, ad revenue is still going down. But Times CEO Mark Thompson is hopeful. “With its growing focus on digital subscription growth and diminishing reliance on advertising, the paper is very well positioned to ride out this storm and thrive in a post-pandemic world.” Well, that remains to be seen. No online media has found the business model that works.

WHO’S JOB IS IT TO CONNECT?

According to a recent PEW Research study, roughly half of us say the internet has been essential during the pandemic, while another 34% describe it as “important, but not essential.” Amid rekindled debates about the digital divide, more than six-in-ten Americans say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to ensure that all Americans have cellphone services or a high-speed internet connection at home during the outbreak.

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