Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category



April 23, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Each week I highlight market research that could make your marketing efforts stronger. Want to conduct your own research? Let us help.

(1) ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS? – Many of the firms I work with are in the hospitality industry and summer is their peak season. That is why I am getting more calls for my “I’ll Be Back” 90-minute customer service workshop. They find that an outsider can make training more memorable and powerful. But regardless of how you conduct it, what customer service training are you doing? Surprisingly, many businesses have no formal program. Sure, they train people to handle their jobs, but few people know the basics of customer service today. Email me ( and I will send you a quick quiz you can share with your staff to see if you have the symptoms of service decay. It is a fun quiz.

(2) WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD PEOPLE GONE? – It seems every day I read more about people having a tough time finding good people to hire. I also know it is hard to keep good people. One of my first clients was a small bank in Southern Oregon. I will never forget their CEO John Anhorn telling me that they “hire for attitude and train for service.” I still think this is the key to success. That’s why I found this LinkedIn article by Brigette Hyacinth, author of The Future of Leadership: Rise of Automation, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence worth a quick read.

(3) CAN YOU FIND WELL-BEING IN A TECH WORLD? – Last weekend I helped plant trees in a Rotary project for Earth Day. We had two young helpers participating (grandkids of our president). Once the planting was completed, I was amused that the highlight of the day for these two boys was playing in a giant dirt pile. Refreshing. I may be showing my age, but spending more time with your digital devices doesn’t seem to make people happier. Now, many experts say digital life will expand people’s boundaries and opportunities. But nearly a third think that people’s overall well-being will be more harmed than helped in coming years. This PEW study shares what people think of living in our tech-saturated world.

(4) WHAT TO DO IF 60 MINUTES CALLS? – Well, the first thing you do is talk to them. Allegiant Air is finding out the consequences of “stonewalling.” In my marketing book, PowerShift Marketing, I devote an entire chapter on how to handle a PR crisis. Allegiant Air, so far, is writing a new book on how NOT TO HANDLE IT. Interesting read on how not to handle the media. Email me ( and I will send you a copy of this section of my book. 

(5) ACCESS MORE INFORMATION OR MORE CONTROL? – Fake news is a real issue, since the majority of people today use social media as their number one source for news. So, do we favor protecting access to information over government restricting false news? Nearly six-in-ten Americans say the freedom of accessing information is more important than protecting us from fake news. The public does like the idea of technology companies taking action. Interesting PEW study.

Thanks again for reading my blog. Here are links that related to the information I shared:








April 16, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Each week I highlight market research that could make your marketing efforts stronger. Want to conduct your own research? Let us help.

WHICH IS BETTER, PHONE OR ONLINE SURVEYS? We have just completed a comprehensive RFP for a major research project. While I certainly hope we will be able to work on this project, it did put in perspective why the use of online panels is growing in popularity. The cost advantage is dramatic. Phone surveys today are running around $25 per completed call. Using online panels run about $5.00 per complete. That’s why we are continuing to recruit people for the first local, Jackson County online panel. Learn more and join us!

IS TRADITIONAL TV GOING AWAY? – No. Younger millennials (18-24) are continuing to move away from television viewing, but don’t give up on TV. A Deloitte Global report predicts viewing of television — whether live or time-shifted — will decline slowly because forces that have been distracting young people from traditional TV are going away. Interesting article if you use TV advertising. You can read here.

DO REAL PEOPLE USE TWITTER? – It is estimated that two-thirds of tweeted links are posted by automated accounts (bots) – not human beings. As I’ve mentioned, I am not a big fan of Twitter. In our studies we have never seen a strong connection between Twitter and increased website views. Now, bots can play a valuable part in answering questions about a variety of topics in real time or providing automated updates for news stories or events. At the same time, they can alter perceptions of political discourse, spread misinformation, or manipulate online rating and review systems. If you use Twitter for marketing, you need to read this PEW study.

MARRIED COUPLES ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES – Today, 50% of adults are married, down from 72% in 1960. Why? Americans are marrying later in life. Seven years later than in 1960. Also, marriage rates vary widely by race and ethnicity. In 2015, 54% of white adults were married. This is lower than Asians (61%) but significantly higher than Hispanics (46%) or blacks (30%). Marriage rates are also more closely linked to socio-economic status than ever before, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. If you want to learn more about our changing marriage habits and how they could impact your marketing, this PEW report is excellent.

By the way, not getting as much news play as the question about citizenship, the 2020 census will ask about same-sex marriages for the first time. Check boxes for same-sex couples will be offered to fix a long-standing problem of overcounts of these couples. In addition, the census will ask white or black race boxes to say more about their national origins.

MORE LEISURE TRAVELERS BELONG TO LOYALTY PROGRAMS – When I helped develop the first airline loyalty program (1980), I simply could not envision the major role these programs would play in today’s travel market. A recent campaign by hotel chains to sign up more young people is working. Membership is up 10% from 2014 (pre-loyalty push). This rate is higher than both the air and online travel agency (OTA) segments. However, loyalty participation doesn’t equate to loyal customers. More and more travelers are joining multiple programs. Seven in 10 members participate in multiple programs. To learn more, read this Phocuswright Research story.

DOES YOUR RACE GIVE YOU BENEFITS? – Whites and blacks have distinctly different views on this. Majority of blacks (92%) say whites benefit a great deal or a fair amount from advantages that blacks do not have (68% of blacks say they benefit a great deal). By comparison, 46% of whites say whites benefit at least a fair amount,  and just 16% of whites say whites benefit a great deal.

Ok, thanks for reading. If you have any research or marketing question, let me know and I will try and cover them in my weekly MMQB Marketing Digest posts.




April 9, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Each week I highlight market research that could make your marketing efforts stronger. Want to conduct your own research? Let us help.

THE NEW AMERICAN FAMILY: KIDS, PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS? –Multigenerational households have continued to rise, a trend seen across a wide variety of U.S. demographic  groups. Marketing question to ask this week: Are you showing enough diversity and multigenerational pictures in your marketing material? I bet not. You can read more here.

WHAT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO HAVE MORE MONEY FOR MARKETING? – Spend someone else’s money. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I love cooperative marketing programs. They are the best way to make your market bigger by spending less of your money. I am currently developing a variety of travel and retirement industry programs using digital media for 2018 and 2019. If you are interested, email me for the details (

HOW DO YOU USE YOUR ONLINE VIDEO FOR MARKETING? – Americans are watching more digital video than ever before. Most advertisers only use this format for brand-building. Can you use it to sell something? A bit of a self-serving article, but Nicky Rettke of YouTube’s direct response ads team has some interesting reflections on using YouTube. Worth a quick read.

DO MILLENNIALS HAVE ANY MONEY? – We have all heard it. Move over Baby-boomers, the largest consumer market is now the Millennials. But do they have any money to spend? Well, yes, but a new study reveals that for many Millennials, the future may be dire indeed. A perfect storm of more debt, lower earnings, reduced homeownership, less wealth, and skimpier retirement savings relative to older generations suggests that many will experience a third-world standard of living in old age. The Center for Retirement Research reviews many of these concerns in a report examining whether Millennials will be ready for retirement. You can read the report here.

IS IT A BAD IDEA ASKING A CITIZEN QUESTION? – As a professional researcher, I am not sure. But for the first time since 1950, the census is planning to ask it in 2020. I think this points out the importance of really looking at questions you ask in a survey (and the order) – will they prevent people from taking it? Here’s what you need to know about the question, from its history to what happens if people don’t answer. Read here.

So you next week. Again, if you have a question, don’t hesitate to share.



April 2, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Each week I highlight market research that could make your marketing efforts stronger. Want to conduct your own research? Let us help.

IS YOUR DATA HOT? Mail Tribune Reporter Kaylee Tornay wrote an interesting story that shared a Southern Oregon view on the national Facebook data breach story. I was quoted in the story talking about the importance of market research and the role online panels can play. Click here to read the story.  If you live in Jackson County, I would like to invite you to join our online panel. Click here to learn more.

CAN YOU DEFEND YOUR BRAND? Peter Sage has a daily blog that provides his observations and commentary on American politics and culture. Peter has lots of liberal friends (and conservative enemies), but if you are a political junkie it is worth reading. A recent post pointed out the importance of understanding your brand weaknesses (problems) and how someone can attack you. While Peter was talking about political brands, the lessons apply to all business. Good marketing advice, click here to read.

WHY DO PEOPLE PICK YOUR SERVICE OR PRODUCT? One of my “PowerShift Marketing” strategies is that most people do not have a favorite product or service. They pick the least objectionable. Many businesses that dominant a segment think they are first because people love them. Truth is, they just don’t like the other guy. That is why a new business can come in and take your market. A recent study by PEW Research supports this. Again, it is a political study, but it certainly applies to business marketing too. They found that negative views of an opposing political party were a major factor in supporting another party. You don’t love your party, but it is the least objectionable. Click here to read.

YOU CAN TARGET ALMOST ANYONE. I am currently researching online marketing opportunities for several clients. It is fascinating what you can now target. Below are some of the audiences you can retarget (on mobile or desktop) from just one digital provider.

Retargeting: I talked about this last week, you target people that have visited your website in the past but have not bought your product.

Mail Retargeting: Target people based on the commercial email messages they receive – by sender domain. You can even target competitor emails to increase market share.

Look-a-Like Targeting: You build a look-a-like audience, similar the profile to the people that bought your service/product. You reach relevant users with a similar online profile based on 1st party data, their online activity and search behaviors.

Interest Targeting: Focus your ads at a specific interest: arts & entertainment, health & fitness, home & garden, just to name a few.

Purchase Receipt Targeting: You target individuals that completed a purchase or payment on your website. You can offer them new items or related products.

Ok, thanks for reading. If you have any research or marketing question, let me know and I will try and cover them in my weekly MMQB Marketing Digest posts.



March 26, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Each week I highlight market research that could make your marketing efforts stronger. Want to conduct your own research? Let us help.

CHANGING GENERATIONS – With kids “Marching for Our Lives” and parents and grandparents joining them this past weekend, it is interesting to look at how generations have changed in the past 50 years. PEW Research offers an interactive research look at how today’s young adults compare with their grandparents five decades ago. In my opinion, politicians are about to be blindsided by Millennials’ new social beliefs that were on display this past weekend. Click here to go the story.

DO YOU USE RETARGETING ADS? – Most marketers that use Google AdWords, use some retargeting ads – these are ads that show up on someone’s computer after they have visited your website. I think these annoying ads are a major negative marketing tools. However, if used sparingly and strategically they do have a place. Need to learn more? I think Google’s retargeting article is a good place to start. Click here to read.

WHY DO PEOPLE NOT READ YOUR ADS? – How can you make people notice your ads? When I published my PowerShift Marketing Book, I stated that “What you say, and how you say it, is more important than where you say it.” My point was that ads that are more relevant to the viewer will always have greater engagement, no matter where they appear. I ran across an article from Google’s VP of Agency and Media Solutions, Tara Walpert Levy, that spells out how the bar for relevant, attention-worthy ads is rising, along with consumer expectations. Tara’s focus is online video ads, but the lessons are relevant to all advertising. It is worth a read, click here.

WHO ARE FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS TODAY? – Householders aged 30 to 34 were once the nation’s leading first-time home buyers. But their homeownership rate has fallen by a stunning 11.7% since the homeownership peaked in 2004. Our research review  shows three reasons: 1) Limited supply and cost of starter homes in major urban areas, 2) Lack of income growth, and 3) Lack of social desire to own a home. Here is the current Census Bureau homeownership rate by age, 2017 (and percentage point changed since 2004 peak):

Under age 25: 22.6 (-2.6)
Aged 25 to 29: 32.1 (-8.1)
Aged 30 to 34: 45.7 (-11.7)
Aged 35 to 39: 56.4 (-9.8)
Aged 40 to 44: 61.8 (-10.1)
Aged 45 to 54: 69.3 (-7.9)
Aged 55 to 64: 75.3 (-6.4)
Aged 65-plus: 78.7 (-2.4)

SURVEY FOR GOOD – Do you live in Jackson Country, Oregon? Then I would like to invite you to join our new Southern Oregon research panel. Check it out right here.



March 20, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Each week I highlight market research that could make your marketing efforts stronger.

IS THERE A DANGER IN PLAYING FACEBOOK QUIZZES? Yes, those harmless quizzes are a research data gathering tool. The hot news item this week is that Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica, the data firm used by the Trump campaign, after finding that it improperly harvested data. They got the data from Global Science Research, which used a personality test to collect info from you and your FB friends — some 50 million profiles overall.

Now there are legitimate research firms trying to create online research panels. We are developing one for Southern Oregon – check it out But they will be very upfront and will require an opt in.

ARE YOU OVERLOOKING OLD FOLKS? According to Phocuswright research, millennials are the current focus of most travel marketing. They are an adventurous demographic that seeks authentic experiences. However, they are price-sensitive and brand-agnostic; millennials like to shop around and find the best deals.

Do not overlook baby-boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964). They are still spend more money on travel. Unfortunately, our research shows that most travel websites are being designed by millennials for millennials. Many are just not user-friendly for older travelers. Want to know if your website is baby-boomer friendly. We can tell you.

ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS CONSTANTLY ONLINE? Yes, according to a PEW study that revealed that 26% of U.S. adults go online “almost constantly,” up from 21% in 2015. Younger adults are at the vanguard of the constantly connected. Click here to read more.

ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS CONSTANTLY ON THEIR CELL PHONE? Yes, again, more than ever. A 2000 Gallup survey showed cell phone ownership at 50%. Now look at it. Virtually everyone under 50 owns a cell phone. Gallup believes that the introduction of the smartphone in 2007 turned cell phones into an essential tool of modern life.

Percent owning a cell phone in 2018
Total adults: 95%
Aged 18 to 29: 100%
Aged 30 to 49: 98%
Aged 50 to 64: 94%
Aged 65-plus: 85%

IS INSTAGRAM MARKETING DECLINING? Yes, because a new algorithm shift has taken millions of viewers away, according to social media stars and companies interviewed by Business Insider. The news comes weeks after Instagram-parent Facebook announced its decision to reduce the number of posts from publishers that appear in its news feed. Remember, when you rely on social media marketing, someone else controls your marketing! That’s why you can’t focus 100% on social media.

Thanks for reading. If you have any research or marketing question, let me know and I will try and cover them in my weekly MMQB Marketing Digest posts.



March 12, 2018

Welcome to my first Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Each Monday I will be highlighting interesting market research that could make your marketing efforts stronger.

ARE YOU WASTING TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING? Our research (DCG Research) for a variety of visitor associations shows that social media generates very little traffic to visitor websites. Current PEW RESEARCH supports this. Some 68% of U.S. adults are now Facebook users. Other than YouTube, none of the other sites or apps are used by more than 40% of Americans. ? Click here to read a story about the PEW Study.

Americans 18 to 24 are substantially more likely to use Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter even when compared with those in their mid- to late-20s. Our research also questions using Twitter for business marketing. You must really care about a business or a person to want to know what they are up to 24/7. Unless you are President Trump, most people simply do not care about any business 24/7. Don’t spend much time on Twitter unless you have a very personal connection with your customers.

So, pick your social media wisely. Focus on Facebook and YouTube. Only use Snapchat and Instagram if you want to focus on people under 24. The key to social media? Knowing customer demographics. We can create a very simple survey to do this.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE ONLINE BUYING EXPERIENCE? – According to the “Think with Google” weekly email, over 40% of people say they prefer to complete their entire shopping experience on mobile—from research to purchase. So why are mobile sales lower than desktop sales? It’s because the experience is often terrible. The average mobile webpage takes 15.3 seconds to load. Count that off to yourself. Feels like an eternity, doesn’t it?

Google says it time to start obsessing over each second, each step, and each user in the mobile experience. Totally agree. If you want mobile sales, you need to be looking at Progressive Web Apps to help customers complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Talk to your Webmaster or IT person today.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED ENTERTAINMENT TODAY? The average household spends around $3,000 annually on entertainment. How do they spend this money? According to the American Consumer (one of my favorite newsletters), the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey (click to report here), shows that there are five entertainment categories with the fastest growth:.

1. Streamed and downloaded video. It has increased 2,000% since 2006. Streaming has replaced watching videos and DVDs.

2. Pets: Spending on pets climbed 55% between 2006 and 2016. .

3. Hunting and fishing equipment: Guns are included in this category. Between 2006 and 2016, spending increased 54%. The biggest spenders are non-Hispanic Whites.

4. Toys, games, arts and crafts: Spending grew 47% between 2006 and 2016.

5. Bicycles: Spending grew 46%, spending on new cars and trucks fell 23%.

Ok, thanks for reading. If you have any research or marketing questions, let me know and I will cover them in my weekly Marketing Digest post.