Posts Tagged ‘customer research’

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

July 13, 2020

THIS WEEK  – Here are some marketing tips and research thoughts for your week. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

BEING A BETTER ZOOMER

Video meetings have gotten to the point where almost everyone hates them. But roughly two-thirds of workers who have been working from home say they would prefer to continue working remotely as much as possible when pandemic restrictions lift, according to a recent Gallup poll. So, get use to them. That’s why I thought these Zoom tips from the Walt St. Journal’s Betsy Morris needed to be shared. You can read more detailed info in the WSJ.

Don’t Be Late – Video meetings make it obvious when colleagues show up late, wasting the time of those who log in promptly. A rule of thumb: There’s no need to recap for a late arrival.

Turn on the Camera – Avatars and stock photos are no longer acceptable. Increasingly those who use avatars are known as “lurkers.”

Sit Still – Don’t pace. Colleagues stop listening because they’re watching you. If you need to change location, don’t just grab the laptop, and go, making everybody else feel like they’re on a wild amusement ride. Turn off the video momentarily so you don’t make everyone dizzy.

No Eating – Don’t eat on a video call—and especially don’t eat chips. “The crunchy crunch of chips is just gross. Stop it!” says Samantha Castro, director of video production at the digital platform InspireHUB.

Get Good at Interrupting – Asking permission to talk via chat or raising your hand is awkward. Those moves make it impossible to achieve what’s becoming the ultimate video chat: when everybody in attendance forgets they’re meeting remotely.

Close the Door – Turn off your phone. Stop notifications and Twitter alerts. Arrange for family (and pets) to stay out of the way.

Don’t Multitask – Asks everybody to close all other windows on their screens so they can be fully present.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TECH DEVICE?

Speaking of living in a COVID-19 World, what tech gadget is most important to you? A recent Deloitte Study reveals the smartphone is the winner. It has grown in importance from 6% in 2010 to 36% in 2019. They are even more popular with Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X, with more than 40% of those consumers ranking them as their most preferred device. Second place, flat-panel TV. Several devices, the basic mobile phone, portable music players, non-flat-panel TVs, and the DVR, disappeared from the top 10 list.

In 2010, desktop and laptop computers ranked first and second, respectively, in terms of perceived value. While both experienced a significant decline, 13% of consumers still rated them as their most valued devices in 2019. Laptops still ranked third overall (tied with desktops), according to the Digital Media Trends Survey.

Why is all this important to you as a marketer? You must make sure your website and marketing look good and functions well on smartphones.

BETTER, BUT NOT GREAT

Watched the PBS TV series “The Vote,” which was a fascinating look at the history of women earning the right to vote. That’s why I thought this Pew Research Study was interesting.

Today, only about half of Americans think women voting was a milestone, but a majority believe that the country hasn’t gone far enough. Among those who think we need to do more, 77% point to sexual harassment as a major obstacle. Fewer, but still majorities, point to women not having the same legal rights as men (67%), different societal expectations for men and women (66%) and not enough women in positions of power (64%) as major obstacles to gender equality. Women are more likely than men to see each of these as a major obstacle.

Marketing Takeaway: Women are not equal to men and you need to make sure you are aware of this with images and copy in your marketing materials. For example, are you showing mostly men only photos in your marketing?

PLANNING YOUR FUTURE

When can schools safely reopen? When will the economy really start recovering? And when will you next eat in a restaurant, go to a movie, watch pro sports, or hang out at a friend’s house? All of these are, in fact, versions of the same question: When will the United States finally start to get the coronavirus under control?

And the answer appears to be not any time soon. That’s why we are have launched our syndicated study “Understanding the Consumer in a Covid World.” This survey offers industry specific research: lodging, restaurants, destination marketing organizations, etc. If you have a customer email list, we can provide you with decision making data. Email me now to learn more.

Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, stay positive.

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

June 5, 2020

THIS WEEK – Here are some marketing tips and research thoughts for a post COVID-19 World. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

COMING TO A TV NEAR YOU

People are increasingly using TV sets to watch YouTube. Most smart TV’s offer this option. Now, YouTube wants you (advertisers) to spend more money to reach these people. They want a bigger piece of the traditional TV and streaming ad budget. But it’s not going to be easy according to a story by Wall St. Journal’s Sahil Patel (CMO Today). “Their soul is social media with user-generated video online… becoming a TV platform requires a lot of field work in curating the content and really defining the audiences you’re curating this content for.” Stay tuned.

A DIFFERENT TAKE ON FAMILY

If you market to families, listen up. As the oldest Millennials turn 39 this year, they are taking a different path in forming – or not forming – families of their own. According Pew Research, they are less likely to be married, have children, and live in a family, compared to previous generations at the same stage in life. Those who do get married or have children are doing so later in life. Here’s some other family facts from Pew:

Only 44% of Millennials are married, compared with 53% of Gen Xers, 61% of Boomers and 81% of Silents at a comparable age.

Overall, marriage rates have declined since 1970, and the sharpest declines have been amongst the least educated adults.

Intermarriage rates are higher for Millennials than any other generation across all racial and ethnic groups. The rate of intermarriage among black Millennials is nearly twice as high as that of black Gen Xers at a comparable age (18% vs. 10%).

CHANGING VIEW ON RACISM

One of the research themes I share often: research is a snapshot in time. So, in light of this week’s Black Lives Matter protests, it is interesting to note how quickly America’s view of racism is changing.

In two separate polls this week, 57% of Americans said the police were more likely to mistreat black people than white people, far more than ever before on record. In both polls, about half of white Americans said so — a stark jump. In 2016, shortly after the killing of Alton Sterling, just 34% said officers were more likely to use force against a black person, including only 25% of white people, according to a Monmouth University survey. In the poll that Monmouth released this week, three-quarters of all Americans said that racial discrimination was a “big problem” in the United States — 17% points higher than in 2015 — and 78% said the anger that led to the current protests was at least somewhat justified.

FACT-CHECKING, NOT EASY

President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order aimed at discouraging social media companies from censoring posts. But in a 2018 survey, 56% of Americans said tech companies should take steps to restrict false information online, even if it limits freedom of information.

About seven-in-ten Americans (72%) said in another 2018 survey that it is somewhat or very likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints they find objectionable. In the same survey, 43% said major technology companies support the views of liberals over conservatives, while 11% said they support the views of conservatives over liberals.

Half of U.S. adults believe fact-checking websites are fair. But 48% said they tend to favor one side. Democrats (69%) said they fairly with all sides. Republicans (70%) said they tend to favor one side.

Ok, enjoy getting out of the house… looks like we are making some progress on controlling COVID-19.

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

May 29, 2020

THIS WEEK – As businesses reopen, here are some marketing tips and research thoughts. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

UNCOMFORTABLE RESEARCH

Can research tell you something you don’t want to hear? Yes, it happens all the time. Take the case of a recent Facebook Study that showed that the company’s algorithms weren’t bringing people together. They were driving people apart. As reported in the Wall Street Journal: “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” read a slide from a 2018 presentation. “If left unchecked,” it warned, Facebook would feed users “more and more divisive content in an effort to gain user attention & increase time on the platform.” That presentation went to the heart of a question dogging Facebook almost since its founding: Does its platform aggravate polarization and tribal behavior? The answer it found, in some cases, was yes.”

Executives largely shelved the basic research, according to previously unreported internal documents and people familiar with the effort and weakened or blocked efforts to apply its conclusions to Facebook products. Why? Divisive content is good for business. It builds engagement (time on the site) even it is bad for society. Marketing lesson here: Self-interest is the real interest in society today.

MORE WAYS SPEND AD DOLLARS

People have been using Instagram to build their brands and businesses for years. Influencers often make deals with companies to create sponsored posts or set up revenue sharing to recommend specific products. Unlike YouTube, Instagram has never put its content creators on the payroll, until now.

Instagram has now announced two new ways for users with “creator” accounts to make money: ads on IGTV (Instagram TV) and badges for Instagram Live. Instagram will split the revenue, with at least 55 percent going to creators. The company will also give fans the chance to sponsor their favorite creators and businesses with paid “badges” on Instagram Live videos, which cost less than $5 and place a small heart-shaped icon next to their name. Instagram is testing right now.

ANOTHER VIRUS VICTIM

News Corp (they own the Wall St. Journal) will stop printing more than 100 Australian newspapers, closing 36 outright and moving the rest 100% online, citing media shifts accelerated by the pandemic. The New York-based media company said 76 local and regional newspapers in Australia would become online only, with 36 closing altogether. There is no question that the stay at home order has increased internet media viewing and decreased print advertisers. Another sign of the times, Wall Street Journal now has 3 million total subscribers, a record—more than 2.2 million of whom are digital-only subscribers.

ANOTHER ACRONYM

When I was in the Navy, I thought the military had a corner on abbreviations and acronyms – shortened forms of words and phrases.. But keeping up with marketing today continually adds new ones. How about OTT? That stands for “over-the-top” media – delivering media over the internet, bypassing cable, broadband and satellite platforms. Think Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Hulu and others. It is the fastest growing media option today. Many research studies are showing that OTT viewing is changing due to the growth of services, content, and devices as well as the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on consumer behavior. Marketing takeaway: the ability to reach consumers is changing rapidly. You need to keep up.

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK #4

February 12, 2019

THIS WEEK #4 (FEB 11 – FEB 17) – 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.

 

 

CUSTOMER RESEARCH – LUXURY OR NECESSITY?

I am often surprised by how many small businesses think finding out more about their customers is a luxury. Tell that to Amazon. Their success is primarily based on knowing more about their customers than anyone. This allows them to customize their offerings to you. The best thing about customer research today? If you have a customer email list, we can conduct a study for you for literally pennies per customer. Our new DCG TIP SHEET outlines the seven major benefits of conducting customer research.

1. Measuring Customer Loyalty
2. Discovering How Customers Find You
3. Learning Why People Buy or Don’t Buy
4. Generating Feedback on Your Business
5. Analyzing Your Customer Experience
6. Helping Create Market Segmentation Strategies
7. Creating Brand Advocates

Click here to see the entire tip sheet. Then give us a call.

CREATING YOUR OWN YOU TUBE CHANNEL

Trying to decide what your marketing team should focus on in 2019? If you have videos, then it should be creating your own YouTube channel. Video content now accounts for over 74% of all online traffic. Five billion YouTube videos are watched every single day. Amanda Zantal-Wiener has prepared a solid “How To” blog post for Hubspot.com providing a quick and easy-to-follow guide to creating your own YouTube channel, from setup to optimization. Contact me and I will link you up to this excellent guide.

WILL 2019 BE BETTER THAN 2018?

Everyone loves predictions, right? Only in America would we accept a weather forecast from a ground hog telling us that Spring will arrive early (and that was just a few days before the biggest winter storms in recent memory hit). So, let’s turn to another unreliable source, political parties, to see if 2019 will be a better than 2018.

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, conducted Jan. 9-14 before the partial shutdown of the federal government ended, Republicans and Democrats both see less reason for optimism. About 70% of Republicans say 2019 will be better, compared with 32% of Democrats. In both parties, these shares have declined since last year. If we look at all Americans: 47% say they expect 2019 will be better, 43% say it will be worse. Last January, those figures were 61% saying 2018 would be better than 2017.

Now why is this important? Because in marketing, perception is reality. Numerous studies have shown that if you think it is going to be a better year, you spend more. That’s another reason you must conduct customer research right now. How optimistic are your customers? It could make a big difference in your business this year.

THE BEST SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS?

Ok, I didn’t get many comments about Super Bowl commercials, so perhaps they were as dull as the game? Jacob Oller, a writer and film critic, created one of the better Top 10 lists with video clips. Except for the annoying Bud Light dark-age commercial (this campaign has to go), I agree with many of his selections. Here’s a link to his list, CLICK HERE.

SHOULD YOU STILL WISH PEOPLE HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY?

Finally, this may be a sad reflection on today’s society. Only 51% of Americans plan to do something for Valentine’s Day this week, down from 63% in 2007, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Younger consumers associate Valentine’s Day with their parents, says retail analyst Marshal Cohen. What are retailers and restaurants to do? Ah, why not promote Galentine’s Day, February 13th? This is a female-friendship take on Valentine’s Day spun out of an episode of “Parks and Recreation.” It is becoming popular in urban hip communities.

Until next week, thanks for reading.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #20

July 30, 2018

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

NEW RESEARCH AND FALL COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS – Just a final reminder that we are now recruiting for our Fall cooperative marketing programs. If you are interested in saving up to 90% on your media expense, contact me. We will also launch our next 6th annual Destination Marketing Organization research study in October.

A BAD (AND GOOD) CUSTOMER TALE – I recently left my laptop charger/power cord at a client’s location (a four and half hour roundtrip away). My first thought was to order one from Amazon, which I did, but it wasn’t going to arrive for two days. I panicked (that is my wife’s view). I frantically tried to locate one that I could pick up the same day. I contacted a variety of local stores. Most had horrendous automated phone systems. After a very long time on the phone with Best Buy, I fought my way through their automated national inventory system – couldn’t talk to someone in the local store – to discover that my local store had a replacement. I rushed off. When I got to the store I was SHOCKED. In-store customer service was great. Plenty of people to help (surprised) and knowledgeable too. I was out in 10 minutes – back in business. What can you learn from this experience?

You Must Make it Easier for People to Call You! Are businesses so afraid of online giants (like Amazon) they are spending too much money on online access and forgetting that many people just want to call and talk to someone? How do you know? Let us conduct a customer service audit for you – we also offer Mystery Shopper programs.

MARKETING 101 – THIS DOG WON’T HUNT – I noticed that MoviePass (you pay $10 a month to see all the movies you want) got an emergency loan to stay in business. An independent study showed that they need to charge $99 per month to break even. They believe their current two million subscribers can be five million by yearend. Are you kidding me? Reminds me of a meeting I attended when I was in the airline industry. A top marketing executive recommended that we lower fares. When I pointed out that the proposed fares would be below breakeven, he added “oh, we will make it up in volume.” Fortunately, someone ended the discussion with “This dog won’t hunt.” Marketing 101: Selling more of a product you lose money on doesn’t work. Why is common sense missing from so many marketing decisions? Is it because you are too close to the marketing process? An outside opinion from a marketing coach (like us) can save time and money in developing winning marketing strategies.

MOST HOMEOWNERS ARE STILL HURTING FROM HOUSING COLLAPSE – Generation Xers (people born between 1965 and 1980) were hit the hardest in the housing collapse of 2008. But a new Pew Research Center analysis of Federal Reserve data finds that Gen Xers are the only generation to recover the wealth they lost during this collapse. The rest of us are still waiting. Are Gen Xers a good target for your marketing? Could be.

Until next week, enjoy summer (stay out of the smoke if you are in Oregon) and have a great day.

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MORE THOUGHTS ON CUSTOMERS TODAY

July 18, 2013

Following my last post, here’s more bad news for customers. Most businesses are not customer-focused. A survey of global marketing and non-marketing executives (SAS/Economist Intelligence Unit, June 2013) reveals that only six in ten senior executives see their companies as customer-centric, and only 56% of senior executives have a clear understanding of customers’ tastes and needs. The report also highlights a real disconnect among business leaders on who should be the leader in creating a customer-focused culture. In most cases, it falls to the head of marketing (the Chief Marketing Officer).

But today’s head of marketing has a full plate. They are busy with advertising, brand marketing, product marketing, and all forms of communications. They are also expected to increase revenue by adding new customers. So how much time can they spend focusing on the customer? Not much and that’s a big problem.

In the study, when asked what marketing investments would be most important for improving business in the next three years, respondents listed customer analytics as the most important, followed by customer relationship management, and social media.

So, are these your top priorities? What research are you doing to understand your customer? How are you managing the customer experience? How are you creating value rich content for social media channels?

Most importantly, if you are head of marketing, are you translating and sharing customer insights with everyone in your business, so you have a company of customer advocates? I don’t see this happening. That is one reason why my customer service workshops are popular.