Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK #3

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.

SUPER COMMERCIALS?

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.

ARE YOU PLANNING FOR THE RIGHT FUTURE?

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.

WHAT GENERATION OWES $86 BILLION IN STUDENT DEBT?

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.

GATHERING DATA IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP

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.

PREDICTIONS ARE TOUGH

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.

NEW SERVICE

Just another pitch for my new proofing and editing service. Check it out here.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #34

November 12, 2018

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

THE YOU TUBE SOLUTION – I had to turn off the “Maintenance Required” light on my car. Did I look at the manual? No, I just went to You Tube. Apparently, I am not alone. A new Pew survey finds that roughly half of You Tube users say it is very important for helping them figure out how to do things. And around one-in-five You Tube users say it is very important for helping them understand events that are happening in the world. Bottom-line: You Tube is not just for entertainment, it is increasingly becoming a vital information source. Just another reasons YouTube must be part of your marketing effort. Contact us and we can work with you in harnessing the power of You Tube for your business.

THE DOWNSIDE OF OUTSOURCING – Many businesses save money by outsourcing. There is a trial going on right now that is testing the wisdom of 100% outsourcing. Pabst Brewing and MillerCoors are going to trial today because MillerCoors wants to end its agreement to brew Pabst’s beers. They basically brew, package and market all Pabst beers. They are willing to continue, but they want a 300% increase in fees. Why is this important to you? Because outsourcing production or marketing often leaves the success of your company in other hands, especially if the market is dramatically changing.

Because I live in Oregon, it is easy to believe that more and more people are enjoying beer. But U.S. beer sales are actually down from 213.1 million barrels in 2008 to 204.2 million in 2017, according to the Brewers Association. MillerCoors and Anheuser- Busch, the two biggest U.S. brewers, have been losing business to local craft brewers, imports, and wine and spirits in recent years, according to the Brewers Association.

“The beer market has shifted and beer lovers are increasingly demanding more variety, fuller-flavor, and local products from small and independent producers,” said Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist. Is your market changing? Do you know how to recognize and react to these changes? This will require some research and we can help.

YOUR GUT VS. DATA – The Wall St. Journal recently reported that Netflix’s executives had a challenge in trusting their data or being kind to Jane Fonda. Their algorithm revealed that U.S. subscribers were more likely to click on the image promoting the comedy “Grace and Frankie” if it only included an image of co-star Lily Tomlin. Netflix eventually decided to keep the picture of Fonda. Why? They decided to trust their got, not data. Interesting marketing lesson here. Most small businesses rely 100% on their gut, and totally ignore data or research. The best decisions are made when you work with both – your gut and data.

SOCIAL MEDIA’S DARK SIDE – We are currently working with a variety of companies in improving their social media marketing. But increasingly, social media has a dark side – a turn off too many people. Case in point: Tim Kendall, early architect of Facebook’s business model and past president of Pinterest, has deleted the Facebook app from his phone for reasons that are becoming increasingly common: a sense of anxiety and dissatisfaction after viewing other people’s filtered lives, frustration at the divisive political discourse and harassment from trolls. Mr. Kendall report to the Wall Street Journal that social media was producing unwanted negativity in his life. “I felt bad about myself. I felt inadequate,” he says. “I felt like most people had better lives than I did on every dimension.” Recently Kendall invested $7 million to fund Moment, an app that helps reduce the time people spend on their phones. His position isn’t that social media is bad, but that users understandably struggle at times to find the right balance for it in their lives.

THANKSGIVING WARNING – As we gather with family and friends, remember, talking politics can add a lot of stress and frustration to the celebration, especially if you have more liberal friends. A national survey by Pew, conducted Sept. 24 to Oct. 7, finds that Americans have become more likely to say it is “stressful and frustrating” to have political conversations with those they disagree with. The change in opinions has come largely among Democrats: 57%, up from 45% two years ago. By contrast, Republicans’ feelings have changed very little. About half (49%) continue to find it stressful and frustrating. Overall, 53% of Americans say talking about politics with people they disagree with is stressful; only 45% say such conversations are usually “interesting and informative.”

Until next week, enjoy a beautiful Fall week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #29

October 8, 2018

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

SEARCH TURNS 20 YEARS OLD – Kind of hard to believe, but Google Search is now two decades old! The impact of search on your marketing can not be underestimated. Today, people are constantly searching: 84% of people are shopping at any given moment online and in up to six different categories according to Google Research. Online search has destroyed the print Yellow Pages. If you are spending any money on yellow page ads, think again.

Also, search has also gotten very personal: Google reports a 60% growth in mobile searches that refer to yourself “find the best computer for me” in the past two years. Over half of Google searches are now conducted on mobile devices. Want to know more about how search is impacting your online business? Join our website study (see story below).

TRAVEL WEBSITE STUDY LAUNCHING – Our 6th Annual Destination Website Research Study launches this month (October). We currently have five research partners, but we have room for more. If you want to discover the importance of search and why people come to your website, what website info has the most value, and if online visitors will become real visitors (economic impact of your website), join our study. Contact me ASAP.

IS IT TIME TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMER? – As the fourth quarter begins, we are getting more requests to help with end-of-the year customer surveys. It makes sense. Understanding your current customer is critical in planning 2019 marketing programs. Whether you are designing your own survey or working with us, survey creation is a critical task. So, before hitting “send” with an online survey provider, contact us. With the help of our Research Director, Dr. Nick Lougee, we can help you design (or review) a survey that gets the most from your data. Plus, we can tell you how to prevent respondent fatigue, optimize survey language and more.

MORE CHALLENGES FOR FACEBOOK – Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research reports in the Wall St. Journal that his analysis of Nielsen’s U.S. Digital Consumption Trends reveals that the numbers are down (again) for Facebook: had a 14.3% share in August, down from a 16.9% share in August last year. Does the drop-off reflect user concerns around data privacy? Hard to say. Where are these people going? Google’s properties accounted for 56% of the growth in digital content consumption in August. Its share rose to 32.8% from 29.4% in August 2017. For 2019, you may want to rethink your digital investments in Facebook and Google properties.

WHY ARE PEOPLE POOR? – It seems it is all about your political view, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Democrats (and Democratic leaners) say the reason someone is poor has more to do with circumstances beyond their control (69%) than a lack of effort (18%). Republicans (and Republican leaners) say that people are poor because of lack of effort (48%) rather than circumstances (31%). Among all adults, 52% say it is circumstances, 31% say it is a lack of effort; 12% say these two reasons are equal contributors. No matter what you believe, it points out the importance of shaping national policy, so please vote November 6th.

Ok, see you all next week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #28

October 1, 2018

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

NEW TRAVEL WEBSITE STUDY IS LAUNCHING – Our 5th Annual Destination Website Research Study ended yesterday. I want to thank all our research partners that participated and are now joining us for our next study that will launch this month. If you want to discover why people come to your website, what website info has the most value, and if online visitors will become real visitors (economic impact of your website), there is still time to join our 2018-2019 6th Annual Study. Contact me ASAP.

EVERYONE IS DOING IT – Dunkin’ Donuts just dropped “Donuts” from its name. Executives said they reached this decision after testing the shorter name, adding that the rebrand is aimed at honing the company’s focus on coffee amid increasing competition. Weight Watchers also announced a rebranding to “WW” as it shifts its focus away from dieting and more toward wellness. WW spent decades building its reputation as “the world’s leading provider of weight management services,” so their new focus on wellness has been met with some skepticism. Yes, rebrands can be traumatic for consumers. Are you thinking of a rebrand? Let us conduct some market research for you to make sure you get it right.

MOST OF US WORK – Only 11 million U.S. parents – or 18% – were not working outside the home in 2016. The stay-at-home share of U.S. parents was almost identical to what it was in 1989, but there has been a modest increase among fathers.

SOME OF US ARE MAKING MORE MONEY – Median household income climbed to $61,372 in 2017, according to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. This is 1.8% higher than the 2016 median, after adjusting for inflation. But not all age groups made gains. The Householders under age 25 saw their median household income fall by 5.8%. Householders aged 25 to 34 struggled to keep up, their income rising just 0.1%. Most of the gains were from older age groups. Happy to share all the details, email me.

A NO GROWTH MARKET – Adults who say they use the internet, social media, own a smartphone or tablet are nearly identical to the shares who said so in 2016. Why? Parts of the population (people under 50) have reached near-saturation levels of adoption.

FACEBOOK UPDATE – Last week the company revealed that hackers had managed to gain access to nearly 50 million accounts. This attack looks to be its largest-ever security breach. Speaking of Facebook, our friends over at Raving Consulting (Reno) had some excellent tips in their newsletter (thanks Justin Shank) on using Facebook advertising. Contact me and I will be happy to share.

ENTHUSIASTIC VOTERS COMING – A survey by Pew Research Center finds voter enthusiasm is at its highest level for a midterm in more than two decades. A record share of registered voters – 72% – say the issue of which party controls Congress will be a factor. A majority (60%) view the midterm vote also as a vote on Trump – more saying their vote will be “against” Trump (37%) than “for” him (23%).

Ok, see you all next week. Enjoy the Fall weather – nice in Oregon.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #25

September 4, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend… I am one day late, but here are some marketing and research thoughts for this week. Email me (Mark@dennettgroup.com) if you need more info on any subject.

TIME FOR PLANNING AND RETREATS – Only 6.7% of marketing budgets on average are spent on analytics. That is the findings of a study sponsored by Duke University. Kind of shocking that people would spend less than 10% of their budget evaluating the success of the 90% spent on programs. That is why, as we say goodbye to summer, it is time to focus on planning. Do you need someone to look at your analytics? Do you need an independent SWOT analysis? Do you want help in creating a customer survey or an experienced facilitator for your planning session? We are currently booking assignments in all these areas for the 4th quarter. Contact us and let’s discuss your needs.

WHAT IS YOUR EXPECTATION FOR FACEBOOK MARKETING? – We have been managing a Facebook campaign for a client this summer (June, July, August). We just finished an analysis and the results have been dramatic. In the past three months, we have generated more than 820,000 impressions (up from 106,000 in 2017). And these impressions were targeted directly at followers, people that like and love this client. If you want to turn Facebook into a real marketing tool, let us help. You will be surprised how little it costs.

STUDENT LOANS IMPACT ALL AGE GROUPS – As a marketer, it is easy to think that student loan debt is only a problem for young households. Think again. Loan debt has more than doubled in the past 24 years, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis of the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances. The median amount owed has more than tripled, after adjusting for inflation–rising from $5,363 in 1992 to $19,000 in 2016. But here’s why you should care about student debt: households with loans have increased in every age group during those years. These loans are decreasing home buying, vacation spending, and household spending for a lot more Americans than you might expect.

FIGURES: First percentage is 2016, second (percentage) is 1992

Under age 35: 44.8% (24.4%)
Aged 35 to 44: 34.3% (11.7%)
Aged 45 to 54: 23.7% (5.7%)
Aged 55 to 64: 12.9% (2.9%)
Aged 65-plus: 2.4% (1.2%)

HOW MUCH REVENUE ARE YOU GENERATING ONLINE? According to several research studies, businesses today estimate that an average of 45% of their revenue is directly or indirectly attributed to digital activity. Those same businesses expect that figure to increase to 55% within two years (2020). So, how much revenue are you generating directly or indirectly from digital activity? A great question for a marketing meeting this week.

Until next week, have a great day.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #14

June 11, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Here are some marketing and research thoughts that could help you this week.

IT’S OFFICIAL – HAVE A BURGER – Last Tuesday, June 5th, the IHOP breakfast food chain — International House of Pancakes — announced on Twitter their plans for a name change to IHOb. Well,  the b stands for burgers (it is official today). Not sure why someone would want to rebrand into a burger joint, but the marketing news here is that they got tremendous media coverage and exposure by using social media for a stupid no news story. Social media is becoming the 24/7 go to media for sharing PR news. Why? Because today most people (93%) say they get some news from social media (see the next story) and you can publish what you like – no gate keepers here.

STATE OF THE MEDIA – Pew Research Center has issued an annual report on U.S. news media since 2004. Their latest report is being released via a series of fact sheets, starting with public broadcasting and digital news. This is quality research and it is worth the time to review. Here’s some of the more interesting findings from their digital news fact sheet:

Roughly nine-in-ten American adults (93%) get at least some news online (either via mobile or desktop).

A slight majority of high traffic news outlets (57%) use apps. However, websites are moving away from apps because most website today are mobile friendly. Is your site mobile friendly?

News outlets are adopting many engagement methods. About eight-in-ten (83%) offer newsletters, and 86% have an official presence on Apple News. A large majority (71%) release podcasts, and 63% allow comments on their articles.

Web news outlets use social media. Nearly all have official pages or accounts on Facebook (100%), Twitter (100%), YouTube (94%) and Instagram (89%). However, only about one-in-ten (14%) have an official channel or account on Snapchat, down about 10 percentage points from 2017.

I could go on and on… but the fact sheet is too lengthy for presenting here. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing information from them. Here’s a link to the Digital News fact sheets.

WANTING TO SAY THE RIGHT THING – If you are conducting consumer research, here’s a term you should know: Social Desirability. This is when users feel the need to shift their opinion to provide an answer based on societal standards they feel more comfortable with. One of the reasons we review surveys or conduct them for clients, is because we know how to avoid social desirability bias. If you would like more information on this survey danger or other survey challenges, we would be happy to provide it. Contact me.

THE IMPORTANCE OF “NEAR ME” SEARCHES – Google recently shared some facts about the use of “near me” searches. Beyond the typical “restaurants near me” or “gas station near me,” Google is seeing growth in “near me” searches for almost every kind of items. From “cowboy boots near me” to “where to get a facial near me” and “tarragon near me.”

If you want a crystal-clear example of purchase intent, “near me” mobile searches that contain a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” have grown over 500% over the last two years. These include things like “where can I buy stamps near me,” “places to buy scrubs near me,” and “where to buy vinyl records near me.” Today’s impatient consumers want things the moment they need them — which is typically “now.” Google has also seen more than 200% growth in mobile searches. for “open” + “now” + “near me” (for example, “stores open near me right now” and “pharmacy near me open now”).

The challenge for marketers is to make sure you’re giving people the answers they’re looking for as quickly as possible. This research clearly shows why yellow page advertising is practically dead, especially for consumers under the age of 50.

STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE – As I’ve mentioned, Peter Sage runs a well-written political blog. If you love the world of political marketing, Peter has some interest takes. I found his recent post (Friday, June 8th) on Congressman Greg Walden spot on. Peter points out at that language and tone are more important than political reality. Totally agree. In marketing, what you say is NEVER more important than how you say it to your target audience. This is why research today is so important for shaping messages. Here’s a link to his blog if you want to read more. 

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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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #13

June 4, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Welcome to June! Here are some marketing and research thoughts that could help you this week.

FORGET FACEBOOK IF YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH TEENS. As mention in previous posts, Facebook is now a great way to reach parents and grandparents, but not teens. I mean, why would any self-respecting teen use something that their parents use? Want to reach teens, shift your advertising eye to: YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Those are the most popular online platforms among teens. Fully 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online ‘almost constantly’… a bit frightening.

According to a new PEW survey, half (51%) of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 say they use Facebook, notably lower than YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat. This shift in teens’ social media use is just one example of how the things have changed for young people since PEW’s last survey of teens in 2014-2015. For the most part, teens tend to use similar platforms regardless of their demographics, but there are exceptions. Lower-income teens (living in households that make less than $30,000 a year) use Facebook more than those living in higher-income households of $75,000 or more a year. If you want to learn more, click here for the complete story.

SAY YOUR SORRY, BUT DON’T OVER DO IT. The Roseanne and Samantha Bee comments and then apologies, points out that we live in the age of apologies, sincere or otherwise. As reported by the Wall St. Journal, companies are spending millions of dollars to make their mea culpas a part of their ad strategies. Once confined to a full-page newspaper ad at best, apology campaigns from Uber, Facebook and Wells Fargo have expanded from print to digital, billboards and TV.

“The cost of a crisis campaign can now be up to 20 times what it was in 2000,” said Edelman PR firm’s Harlan Loeb, global chair of crisis (can you believe they have a title like that?). Facebook had spent $30 million on TV commercials. But there is a danger of apology fatigue. So, yes, tell consumers you were a jerk, but then move on.

ARE PUBLIC OPINIONS BASED ON FACT OR FICTION? In my marketing book, I point out that public opinions are created by events. People simply do not have an opinion on most things until something happens (an event) and then they form opinions. But in this age of fake news, does that event have to be real? No.

For example, there is simply no truth to “Spygate,” the President’s belief that someone was planted as a spy in his campaign. Yet, by just making a public accusation (the event), most people now have an opinion on it. Public opinions of men that have been accused of sexual misbehavior have changed because of the charge (the event), not necessarily the facts. Another example, accepting refugees. A PEW study shows that half of Americans (51%) say yes we should accept refugees. However, 62% of Republicans say no and 74% of Democrats say yes. Today, public opinion is being created by the 24/7 partisan stories shared on social media. That is why researching people’s opinions today is far more challenging. It is also why we are doing far more awareness and opinion studies for clients. If you need to know what your customer things of you, we can help.

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.