Posts Tagged ‘market research’

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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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POWERSHIFTING NOTES THIS WEEK – JAN 28-31

January 28, 2019

POWERSHIFT MARKETING – THIS WEEK – Here are 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.

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

DON’T ACCEPT DEBIT AND CREDIT CARDS? It could be time to rethink this approach. The all cash society is definitely on the way out. Roughly 29% of U.S. adults say they make no purchases using cash during a typical week. People who say they make all or almost all of their weekly purchases using cash has decreased to 18%, according to Pew Research. Some businesses are now thinking of becoming cashless establishments. Is this something you should consider? We can help with research to learn if this is wise for your business.

ARE TAXIS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES? The share of Americans who use ride-hailing services has increased dramatically. Today, 36% of U.S. adults say they have used a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft, compared to 15% in late 2015.

MORE INSIGHTS INTO GEN Z – Last week, after I predicted that marketers will need to understand Generation Z (people born in 1996 or before), the Wall St. Journal did an excellent article on seven things that make Gen Z different. As WSJ author Christopher Mims points out, members of the most racially diverse American generation ever, share one thing in common: their world has been defined by connecting online via social media and mobile devices. Here’s a quick recap of the seven things Mims pointed out in his January 26th article (just in case you can’t access it).

1. Gen Z doesn’t distinguish between online and real life. Common wisdom today says that young people don’t hang out with their friends in real life anymore. Perhaps, but Gen Z believes interacting digitally is real life.

2. Privacy online? Gen Z expects that everything typed into a keyboard or captured on a camera will end up on the internet. So, the smart ones never let down their guard.

3. Facebook is out, Instagram is in. I’ve commented on this before but Gen Z says that using Facebook to connect with peers is somewhere between never and no way. As reported in the story, “Facebook for my generation solely exists so that other generations can see that I’m still alive.” Now, this might be good news if you want to reach older consumers, but not if you want to reach Gen Z.

4. Social media is how they stay informed. I’ve commented on this too. Gen Z’s find news almost entirely via social media. Many use Twitter and Instagram to get news. For those with iPhones, Apple News is popular because it means one less app.

5. Video is important, but it isn’t everything. YouTube is huge. For those who are into the culture of influencers, many who spend time on Instagram use YouTube too. Twitter’s ill-fated Vine changed the way this generation views content, leading to a market for subsequent short-form video and apps including TikTok.

6. Gen Z thinks concerns about screens are overblown. If you grew up online, you are not concerned about spending too much time online. Some members of Gen Z believe that the media is obsessed with the negative impacts of tech and doesn’t talk enough about how it empowers their generation.

7. But they’re still susceptible to tech addiction and burnout. Gen Z are acutely aware that their level of online engagement isn’t always sustainable. Some take breaks from social media, others wonder how it’s changing their brains. They also report having trouble knowing where the line between healthy and unhealthy use should be.

Until next week, thanks for reading.

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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 #32

October 29, 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.

A BETTER WEBSITE – USING THE AIDA MODEL – Working this week on finishing a report for partners in our DMO Website Study #5. Study #6 starts this week, let me know if you want to join it. I was looking at different ways to evaluate the success of websites to influence people to visit (focus of these studies) and found an interesting post on The HubSpot Blog on using AIDA as website evaluation tool. What is AIDA?

Way back in 1898, Elias St. Elmo Lewis (Advertising Hall of Fame member) introduced the AIDA model: the four stages a consumer needs to go through to become a customer: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA). During these four stages, your website content will ideally attract attention to your brand, generate interest in your product or service, stimulate a desire for it, and spur action to try or buy it. Want to know more about how to use AIDA in evaluating your website? Email me and I will share the details.

I CAN’T DO MY HOMEWORK – This old excuse is taking on a new life because 15% of U.S. households with school-age children do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, according to an analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data. It is worse for lower-income families. Roughly one-third of households with children and income below $30,000 a year do not have a high-speed internet connection, compared with just 6% of households earning $75,000 or more a year. Bottom-line: If you are using digital advertising, you are reaching higher income consumers (not all bad).

FACT OR OPINION? – Does wisdom come with age? Well, younger adults (18-49) are better than older adults (50+) in separating fact and opinion. PEW asked U.S. adults to categorize five factual and five opinion statements. More younger adults (32%) could identify all five, compared to older adults (20%). Younger adults were not only better overall, they could do so regardless of the ideological appeal of the statements.

CABLE CUTTING IS REAL – The 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey, show a substantial drop in spending on cable and satellite television service. Spending is down 18% from 2016, after adjusting for inflation. Below is the percentage of households spending on cable/satellite service during an average quarter of 2017 compared to 2010. If you are using cable advertising, you need to focus on people age 45 years and older.

Under age 25: 23.0% (-26)
Aged 25 to 34: 41.9%(-26)
Aged 35 to 44: 53.5% (-22)
Aged 45 to 54: 62.2% (-15)
Aged 55 to 64: 65.6% (-12)
Aged 65-plus: 69.9% (-9)

CREATING A MORE SUCCESSFUL SURVEY – Been working on end-of-the-year customer surveys for a couple of clients, and it is critical that you select the appropriate research methodology. It is a vital first step in any market research process. If you are doing your own research, email me, and we will share ways to select the best research methodology.

SAVE 80% ON ADVERTISING – Having developed hundreds of cooperative advertising programs over the years, we have found that you can save up to 80% in media costs by working with others. Interested in saving money? Contact me for a copy of our 2019 program list.

Until next week, enjoy a beautiful Fall week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #31

October 22, 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.

HOW TO SAVE 80% ON ADVERTISING – Joining with other companies in a cooperative (coop) ad is a great way to expand your share of a market for less money. Having developed hundreds of programs over the years, we have found that you can save up to 80% in media costs. This week we released our 2019 cooperative advertising programs. If you would like a copy, let me know.

STILL A VAST WASTE LAND – On an average day, 79% of Americans aged 15 or older watch television as a primary activity–meaning their main activity at the time. The percentage who watch television is lowest among 15-to-19-year-olds (73%) and highest among people aged 65 or older (89%). These facts come from a Bureau of Labor Statistics’ analysis of the American Time Use Survey. For many, watching television is a solitary activity. Forty-eight percent of television time is spent alone.

WELL, IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE – It is hard to stand out in tourism marketing. I know. I have had the pleasure of working with numerous tourism groups. That’s why I love Nebraska’s new sales pitch: “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” State tourism director John Ricks says that because Nebraska consistently ranks as the least likely state that tourists plan to visit, the marketing campaign needed to be different. One of their new TV spots shows a boy peering through oversized glasses into the camera. Then comes a voice: “Nebraska is kind of like that odd kid. Didn’t say much in school. Slightly peculiar maybe. But when you took the time to get to know him, turned out he was pretty interesting.” Bravo Nebraska. Heck, you even won a football game last week!

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? – In honor of Halloween, we took a quick look at a 2018 Chapman University Survey of American Fears. This year as in past years, the number one fear — mentioned by the largest share of the public — is fear of corrupt government officials. But the percentage of Americans who say government corruption scares them has climbed, rising from 61% to 74% between 2016 and 2018.

Top 10 fears of 2018 (percent saying they are afraid)

1. Corrupt government officials: 74%
2. Pollution of oceans rivers, and lakes: 62%
3. Pollution of drinking water: 61%
4. Not enough money for the future: 57%
5. Someone you love will become seriously ill: 57%
6. People you love dying: 56%
7. Air pollution: 55%
8. Extinction of plant and animal species: 54%
9. Global warming and climate change: 53%
10. High medical bills: 53%

OLDER PEOPLE STILL CONTROL THE BALLOT BOX – If you live in Oregon, you should have your ballot and are ready to send it in (I love Oregon’s Vote by Mail System). If you need mid-term voting motivation, a very recent PEW poll reveals that Republican and Democratic voters differ widely in views of problems facing the United States. So, if you want your view of the world to prevail, vote! Also, if you want to stop letting seniors and baby-boomers run your world, encourage someone younger than you to vote! Here’s the percentage of people that voted in 2016:

People 65+ – 85%
People 64 to 45 – 62%
People 44 to 30 – 40%
People 29 to 18 – 30%

Until next week, enjoy a beautiful Fall week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #27

September 24, 2018

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

TWO QUICK REMINDERS – Do you need end-of-the-year research or a facilitator for a planning meeting? Contact us and let’s get you on the calendar. Also, our 6th Annual Destination Website Research Study will begin next month. The cost is just $125 per month for a one-year study.

AS ANYTHING CHANGED IN 27 YEARS? – Stay tuned this week for “she said, he said” 2018 version when we find out at Kavanaugh hearing if anything has changed since Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. Interestingly, our view of women in leadership has definitely changed. According to a current Pew Research Center survey, today the majority of Americans say they would like to see more women in top leadership positions – not only in politics, but also in the corporate world. But Republicans and Democrats have widely different views on this subject.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are more than twice as likely as Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to say there are too few women in office (79% vs. 33%). While 64% of Democrats say gender discrimination is a major reason woman are underrepresented in these positions, only 30% of Republicans agree. Will party differences in their view of women in power make any difference when it comes to sexual harassment? We will see.

THE WORLD OF FACEBOOK HAS CHANGED –Take note if you use Facebook (FB) for marketing. People’s relationship with FB is changing. Just over half of FB (54%) users say they have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Around 42% say they have taken a break from checking the platform for a period of several weeks or more, while around a quarter 26% say they have deleted the Facebook app from their cellphone. All told, some 74% of FB users say they have taken at least one of these three actions in the past year. These changes could have a long-term impact on using FB as a marketing tool.

NIKE GAMBLES – Nike’s “Just do it” campaign is three decades old. So, how do you breathe life into a slogan that is not relevant to a new generation of consumers (most were not even born when the campaign was launched in 1988)? Just add controversy. It was a risky marketing step. It started off with a ton of angry and upset people (mostly baby-boomers and older). But it spoke to a new generation that is far more tolerant. The result? According to a Thomson Reuters Research Study, Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick paid off handsomely. The company got a load of free publicity, its online sales saw a big boost after the campaign launched, and its stock hit a record high last week. Nike’s online sales in the 10 days following the campaign’s launch saw a 61% rise in the amount of sold-out merchandise, compared to 10 days before the launch. Researchers also noted that, immediately following the launch, Nike managed to cut the number of items it was discounting on its e-commerce site by almost a third, and still do well. The marketing lesson here: if you have an old brand that is relevant only to people over 40, drastic action may be required.

LOYALTY PROGRAMS ARE CHANGING – I was involved in launching the first frequent flyer program, 38 years ago! So, like Nike, how do you keep a loyalty program going for four decades? You need to change-up the rewards. Retailers, who used to just offer discounts, are finally changing their approach according to The Wall Street Journal. Many retail loyalty clubs are shifting to experiences. Recently J. Crew members were treated to breakfast when the store opened an hour early to give them first dibs on sales items. Nike’s Manhattan flagship store, which will open in 2019, is set to have a members-only floor with exclusive products and services. Macy’s platinum cardholders get VIP access to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, cooking classes and Broadway show previews. Lesson here: you must keep your loyalty programs relevant. Is it time to look at your program? By the way, if you don’t have a loyalty program, we help set one up for you.

Ok, see you all next week.

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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.