Posts Tagged ‘change’



February 4, 2019

THIS WEEK (FEB 4 TO FEB 8) Here are a few marketing tips and research thoughts for this week. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.


Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. Kind of the Oscars for TV commercials. Although I personally thought the game was boring, I lost interest by half time, hard-core football fans probably loved it. Now comes the big questions. Did anyone remember the commercials? Is paying $5 million for a TV spot worth it? While I gathered up research of what ads scored the highest with consumers, what was your favorite? Please leave a comment on what commercials you liked.


I had an interesting discussion with the marketing head for a visitor attraction in Southern Oregon that saw their business drop 50% because of summer fires/smoke. Unfortunately, they were not alone. In fact, two straight summers of fires impacting visitor counts are forcing many to rethink their long-term business model. Why? Because it may not get better. Hot and dry summers with fires could be the new normal, according to Oregon State’s Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. They released their 2019 climate assessment report last week, and Philip Mote (co-author of the report) offered this pessimistic view of the region: “Southwest Oregon is sort of a ground zero for a lot of this with the many recent years with poor snowpack and fires and smoke.”

So, will you ever see the level of business that you had in the past? Tough question. But it is the kind of question you and your team need to be asking yourselves as we head into 2019. From the Oregon Shakespeare Festival looking at alternative venues for their outdoor theater, to local businesses looking to acquire businesses outside the area for growth, to realtors seeing fewer people willing to move into the area, this is the time for serious long-range planning. If you haven’t done a SWOT analysis, you should. If you need help in using this proven planning tool, conducting market research, or help in running a long-range planning session, give us a call. We can help. Time is running out.


Surprise, it’s people 60 years and older. Older Americans are being crushed by a mountain of student loans—their children’s and their own. Many of these seniors took out loans to help pay for their children’s college tuition and are still paying them off. Others took out student loans for themselves in the wake of the 2008 recession, as they went back to school to boost their own employment prospects.

On average, student loan borrowers in their 60s owed $33,800 in 2017, up 44% from 2010, according to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by credit-reporting firm TransUnion. Total student loan debt rose 161% for people aged 60 and older from 2010 to 2017—the biggest increase for any age group, according to the latest data available from TransUnion.


As a marketer, one of your main priorities is getting to know your customers and building relationships with them. As reported by Thinking with Google, this may look easy. Customers in a digital world generate rivers of data. But making sense of the data isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Sometimes there’s just too much of it. Filtering out the noise to find what matters can be a challenge. Other times, it’s hard to connect the dots. To discover the right insights, it takes quality data analysis. That is why clients turn to us. Using the analytic skills of our VP/Director of Research Dr. Nicholas Lougee, our team can help you review your data and find the marketing insights that you need for growth. Let’s talk.


So much for one of my 2019 predictions that Facebook may see a decline in growth. Well, they ended 2018 full of controversy and unflattering stories, but they reported 9% more monthly active users worldwide than a year earlier and 1% more in the U.S. and Canada. So, there is no evidence of mass defections. But it does show that Facebook growth is now being powered by worldwide use. And if marketers were going to delete Facebook, they weren’t going to do it before consumers did. Revenue growth slowed in the 4th Quarter, but ad growth was still 30% higher.


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April 18, 2014

A few years ago I was helping fellow homeowners in Ashland, Oregon to bring vacation home rentals into the mainstream. As expected, full-time bed and breakfast inns and hotels/motels were fighting this growing segment. Although I no longer have a dog in this fight (I sold my place), a recent story in the Wall Street Journal reveals how fast the lodging industry is changing.

Air B&B (Airbnb Inc.), which was launched in 2008 and allows you to rent out couches, rooms, apartments and homes through an online marketplace, now has more than 600,000 listings. It is planning on going public at a value of $10 billion. Compare this to Wyndham (they run Wyndham, Ramada and other brands) which has a market value of $9.4 billion. Or how about Hyatt Hotels that is valued at $8.4 billion. Even the runner-up in the vacation rental business, HomeAway Inc., which runs the major B&B site, is valued at $3.9 billion

In just a few years, vacation rentals have become the new force in tourism. They are a major alternative for millions of tourists, and a source of part-time income for homeowners. Their explosive growth demonstrates why you need to “embrace change” and why you need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to changing markets. Unfortunately, numerous small towns didn’t see this coming and are struggling with safety, oversight and tax collections issues with vacation rentals. It is easy to get blind sided if you only keep you eye on your business.



July 22, 2013

The two big dogs of the computer world, Microsoft and Apple, took two different roads to success; software (Windows) and hardware (Apple). Now these two worlds are merging quickly.

Microsoft’s restructuring completes a yearlong effort to shift its identity away from being a software producer to a firm known for devices—designed by Microsoft or by partners—and services that are closely tailored to work with that hardware. The strategy shift is similar to what Apple has done all along and what Google is also trying to accomplish.

The main marketing reason for this shift is that the personal computer market is disappearing in a sea of tablets and smartphones. Global sales of personal computers have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row. What are you doing to make sure your product or service is available on tablets and smartphones? How fast can you change?



March 5, 2013

It’s only human nature to try to protect what you have. But if your market is fundamentally changing you can’t circle the wagons. You have to adapt or die. This marketing principle can best be seen in the music industry. Since its 1999 peak, the global music industry’s revenues are down 40%. Now revenue is finally going up, not by much, just 0.3%. But for an industry that has been in turmoil since online file swapping started, they are finally accepting a new marketing model.

The music industry’s first reaction in 2000 to file sharing was to go to war with a barrage of lawsuits and lobbying. But once young people discovered a way to enjoy free music, the war was really over. By the time the industry decided to make legal music available via iTunes and others online sources, the industry was toast.

The physical music market (vinyl records to DVDs) continues to decline and 32 percent of internet users are still downloading pirated music according to industry reports. But the industry has finally placed its bets on downloads, streaming and subscription services. These services now account for most of the music sold in the United States, although physical music still accounts for the majority of industry revenue worldwide.

So, you think this couldn’t happen to you? Think again… banks, retirement communities, big box retailers, video stores, office supply stores, colleges and universities, and nonprofits are all on my list of industries that are facing fundamental changes, and this list could be much longer. What are you doing this week to change?




January 14, 2013

A quiet revolution happened last week in late night television. A new generation arrived. “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” which previously started at midnight, was watched by 3.1 million last Tuesday night, based on Nielsen research figures. Leno’s “The Tonight Show,” drew 3.27 million while Mr. Letterman’s “Late Show” had 2.88 million viewers. Although you could expect that the new guy would get good numbers at first, I believe something else is working here. The rise of Kimmel and other younger comedians reflects a generational change in late night TV audiences. Kimmel, 45 years old, is a full two decades younger than David Letterman, who is 65, and Leno, who is 62.

A question for this week’s marketing meeting: How is your market changing in age and expectations? Unfortunately, most businesses really don’t notice these changes until it is too late. That’s why researching your customers (one of the New Year resolutions I shared) is so critical. Don’t wait. Email me and I’ll share easy ways you can do research right now.