Posts Tagged ‘market research’

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

July 23, 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.

TIME TO GO NATIVE?

One of the biggest growth areas in online marketing is the use of native ads. These ads look like stories. I am sure you have seen these; I’ve included an example below. They are labeled “ads,” but they still get almost 3x the “click thru rate” compared to banner ads.

We’ve been running highly successful native campaigns for our clients for years. If you have not used them and want to test their use, we just launched a new GO NATIVE cooperative program that lets you run a 30 day campaign, targeting 10 zip codes of your choice, for as little as $420. If you are interested in more information, contact us.

THE BIG TWO

Speaking of online advertising, the majority of digital display ad  revenue goes to two companies: Facebook (42%) and Google (11%). Another 12% went to other tech companies, including Amazon; Verizon Media Group, which owns Yahoo and AOL; Twitter; and Microsoft, among others. I suspect that Facebook is now losing market share because of the July boycott and the challenge of controlling content.

THE FUTURE OF COVID-19?

Well, no one really has a crystal ball that works, that is why research is critical. As the country begins locking down again and demanding mask wearing, just wanted to remind everyone about 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.

THE SHY TRUMP

I keep warning people not to take presidential polls too seriously in July. I believe that many people being asked for their opinion fall into the “shy Trump”  phenomenon: the idea that some people who support Trump will refuse to tell pollsters that they plan to vote for him, out of fear that they will be judged negatively for it. This phenomenon can happen with any poll. People have a tendency to give answers that they think will make them sound smart and culturally correct. That is why research design and analysis is so important.

Now, some researchers disagree that this “shy Trump” affect had any impacted in the 2016 election. If you are interested in a scholarly look at what happened in 2016, you can read this very detailed report. It is kind of overkill, but interesting. Click here.

CONGRESS GOES SOCIAL

The President’s use of Twitter has dramatically changed the congressional social media landscape, according to PEW Research. Compared with a similar time period in 2016, the typical member of Congress now tweets nearly twice as often, has nearly three times as many followers and receives more than six times as many retweets on an average post. On Facebook, the typical member produces 48% more posts and has increased their total number of followers by half.

THE STREAM TURNS TO A RIVER

Living in a COVID-19 world has made streaming services a major winner. According to MoffettNathanson, a market-research firm, during the second quarter of 2020 Netflix was in  73% of American homes, Amazon Prime was in roughly 51%, and Hulu was in 36%. Disney+ is now in 28% and Apple TV+ is in 7%. Interestingly, the launch of Apple’s and Disney’s services didn’t bring a noticeable drop in their rivals’ numbers. Now NBC’s Peacock has just joined the streaming team. If you have not explored marketing on streaming services, you are behind the curve.

$21,000 PER MINUTE

Ending with some fun facts. That is what Amazon spends on advertising and promotion last year, according to the Ad Age Datacenter. It’s now the top U.S. advertiser. Here are some other facts about Amazon’s dominance online. Their cloud service (Amazon Web Services) controls 40% of the market, running the backend for Netflix, Pinterest, Slack, and dozens of other services. Bank of America estimates Amazon currently has about 44% of U.S. e-commerce market share. Almost 90% of UK shoppers use Amazon. No wonder that Jeff Bezos is the richest person in America according to Forbes.

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

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

July 7, 2020

THIS WEEK  – Here are some marketing tips and research thoughts for your post 4th of July week. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

FINDING A NEW PATH

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there has never been a more important time for customer research. You can’t afford to guess about the future. You need hard data. That’s why we have now 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 customer data. Email me now to learn more about this super low-cost research.

CAN A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE WORK?

As reported by the New York Times (NYT), many believe that the recent Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference was a bellwether for the future of online event as the coronavirus pandemic makes physical conferences impossible. NYT reported that most attendees said they missed the serendipitous social interactions of in-person conferences, but many praised the sharp production and easier access of this year’s event, which was streamed free for eligible participants. Making things free helps. With a hefty price tag, $1,599 last year, plus travel costs making it free made the event more accessible to programmers overseas and those with tighter budgets. Some said the format was less hectic and noted that one-on-one sessions were more productive because they were able to reach an Apple employee who could help them work out a specific problem or concern.

IS POSITIONING TRICKY?

Yes. Once you learn what your customers think via research, making sure they know where you stand is called positioning – staking out a unique selling propositions (USPs) that will increase your business and keep you in step with your customers. It is not easy and presidential election speeches over the 4th of July provide a case study on positioning.  Now, with four months to go, no poll can tell you who will win the presidential election. But research can tell you the mood of the voter (customer) at this point of time.

PEW research reveals Americans are deeply unhappy with the state of the nation. As we face a pandemic, an economic recession, and protests about police violence and racial justice, only 12% say they are satisfied with the way things are going. The majority, 71%, think the country is going in the wrong direction. But what direction should we be going?

If you listened to President’s Trump 4th of July speeches, while praising peaceful protestors he believes that people think the country is going in the wrong direction because of “the radical left, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and the people who, in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing.” Polls that revealed that 26 million people protested the death of George Floyd (CBS Sunday Morning), his position is that these people our misguided and they want to destroy our history, our cultural icons, our societal privileges, and only Trump has the strengthen to stop these attackers.

On the other hand, the Biden camp, reviewing the same research, decided to position Biden as someone that believes the country is going in the wrong direction because we have not lived up to the promise of our founders. “Our country was founded on an idea: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ We’ve never lived up to it. Jefferson himself didn’t. He held slaves. Women were excluded. But once proposed, it was an idea that couldn’t be restrained. We have a chance to live up to the words that founded this nation.”

What positioning is correct? Only time will tell. But the marketing lesson is clear: you have to listen to your customer, then stake out a position, a brand, and execute a marketing strategy that supports it.

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

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

June 26, 2020

THIS WEEK  – Here are some marketing tips and research thoughts as COVID-19 makes a dramatic return (30,000 cases a day). As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

FINDING YOUR PATH

Let’s open up. Let’s get back to normal. Wow, 30,000 cases a day, let’s lockdown, again. What is a business owner to do? There has never been a more important time for customer research. You can’t afford to guess about the future. You need hard data. That’s why we are developing a series of short, industry specific, surveys so you can find out what your customers are thinking about coming back to your business. Each of our “Understanding the Consumer in a COVID World” surveys are focused on a specific segment: lodging, restaurants, destination marketing organizations, etc. If you have a customer email list we can provide you with decision making data.

We plan to launch these surveys in July. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR FREE BETA TEST, JUST EMAIL ME NOW.

IT’S NOT GOING TO BE EASY

One of the reasons we are launching our ““Understanding the Consumer in a COVID World” study is that the marketing landscape has never been more challenging. This is readily evident looking at national TV spots. Sad piano music is out, and turning on the lights is in. Clydesdales gallop, and bars with neon “Open” signs are featured in Budweiser’s newest ad. It concludes, “Buds are back.” Of course, Texas just closed bars again. “The phase we’re in now is a phase of euphoria,” as Bud’s chief marketing officer stated. “People who are tired of being locked down see an opportunity to resume elements of normal life.” But is that still true? The unity that largely marked the early stage of the pandemic has given way to divisions around numerous issues. Janet Balis of Ernst & Young, believes that “brands need to be even more careful than at the beginning of the crisis.” And that is why being a part of our “Understanding the Consumer in a COVID World study may be one key to your survival.

GOOGLE TAKES A HIT

If you think you can resume your social media marketing, as usual, think again. Major advertisers are cutting back. That’s one reason Google’s U.S. ad revenue will decline this year. Their money-printing machine, overall ad revenue, has seen double-digit growth in its two-decade existence, except for the 2008-09 financial crisis. What’s different this time? Many consumers are cutting and shifting their use of social media. Why? That is one of the questions we are asking in our “Understanding the Consumer in a COVID World” survey.

PAYING FOR CONVENIENCE

Thousands of small businesses use the payment service Square for credit cards. That’s why this news item caught my eye. The company is now holding back up to 30% of the money they collect. Square, which is led by the Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, says the reserves are meant to protect consumers who may ask for refunds. Don’t believe Jack. My bet is that they are shielding their own struggling bottom line. So that begs a question. Are U.S. businesses going to join the worldwide trend of charging for credit? Having recently returned from Australia/New Zealand, if you use a credit card down under, you pay extra for it.

Why should struggling small businesses, who are being forced to use credit cards more in coronavirus protection protocol, pay banks and others (like Square) for your convenience? Will customers accept this extra charge? That is one of the questions we ask on our “Understanding the Consumer in a COVID World” survey.

Bottom Line: Knowing what your customers think about living and working in a post Covid world is critical to your long-term survival. Email me now to learn more about our survey.

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

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

June 13, 2020

THIS WEEK – Here are some marketing tips and research thoughts as COVID-19 begins to make a comeback into our lives. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

EVENTS CREATE PUBLIC OPINION

That is one of the basic tenets of public relations. The public really doesn’t have an “opinion” until an event creates one. That is why the remarkable events over the past few weeks have dramatically shifted social attitudes. As David Brooks pointed on PBS (June12th), “If you ask people, do you support the Black Lives Matter, most people said no. And now, by 29 points, they say yes. If you ask people, what do you fear more, police violence or the violence of the rioting and looting, they say, I fear police violence more by 2-1. If you ask people, are black people treated unfairly and abused unfairly by the police, after Eric Garner was killed in 2014, only 33% said that. Now 58% say that.”

A current PEW Research Study shows that Americans have been following news of George Floyd’s death and the demonstrations nearly as closely as COVID-19 news, and many are discussing it frequently with others. Six-in-ten say President Trump’s message in response to the protests has been wrong, while 57% say news organizations have done a “good” or “excellent” job covering the protests.

Why does all this matter when it comes to marketing your business? Because it shows the importance of constantly listening to your customers. Being aware of shifting attitudes. I think customer listening is more important than ever. Unfortunately, few business took the lockdown period as a research opportunity to listen to their customers. Your customers were stuck at home, with little to do, and wanted to hear from you. They wanted to share their opinions. We know this, because we conducted research in this period and that is what they told us. They also provided some feedback that is changing how our clients reopen. Now, it is not too late to listen. Make reaching out to your customers a goal for June. Contact us if we can help.

UPSIDE DOWN BUSINESS MODELS

Now that businesses are reopening, most are facing a nasty truth: Their current business model may not work in a post COVID-19 world. And this may require massive investments in changing your environment or services. Case in point, Starbucks is building drive-through stores and to-go only locations faster. It is going take roll these out in 12 to 18 months, instead of three to five years, Starbucks said. The company is also rolling out ads encouraging customers to order ahead through its app. Homework for next week: Bring your team together and see what you have to do to survive long-term.

UNMASKING THE TRUTH

The debate over “to mask or not to mask” lead me to this research. The Washington Post reported that Italian Massimo Marchiori, a professor at the University of Padua, has done one of the first studies on the impact of a mask on social behavior. “Everyone talks about social distancing,” Marchiori said, “but no one had actually measured actual social distancing.” His findings suggest that wearing masks has a profound effect on how we perceive others, and in particular how close we are willing to get to strangers.

Unmasked, Marchiori found that fellow pedestrians actually drew closer to him as he passed them on a sidewalk, typically within a foot. But when he donned a mask, people drifted back — nearly twice as far as when he wasn’t wearing a mask — suggesting the mere sight of protective gear activated the underlying knowledge among pedestrians that keeping their distance helped keep them safe. In other words, masks appeared to make an extremely social species less social — and less vulnerable. “It’s our humanity that is actually bringing us toward the virus,” said Marchiori. “You have to take away a bit of humanity, to become a bit antisocial, to protect humanity.”

THE SECRET AMAZON ADVANTAGE

If you are marketing online, you can’t ignore the power of Google and Amazon. Google continues to dominate online search. And Amazon controls online buying. Period. That’s why it is very disturbing that Amazon takes advantage of third-party sellers. Finally, someone is doing something about this, but not in America.

The European Union plans to file formal antitrust charges against Amazon over stealing data from third-party sellers and using it to compete against them by launching similar products. A Wall Street Journal investigation published in April found that employees at the online retailer at times used data from other sellers to develop competing products.

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

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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

May 8, 2020

THIS WEEK AT HOME – As many of us continue to shelter at home, here are a few more marketing tips and research thoughts. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

ARE YOU READY TO REOPEN?

What reopening challenges will you be facing? Will people feel secure in going into your business? Many of these questions can be answered by research. It may seem counterintuitive, but this is a great time to do online research. People are home, bored, online a lot, and have the time to share their opinions. We are exploring many of these issues right now with studies we are doing for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs). Contact me if you have interest in your own study.

HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW

Numerous research studies are showing a major change in consumer media habits due to the COVID-19 lockdown. There has been a major increase in viewing online news and local broadcast TV. Increased demands on streaming services have led YouTube and Netflix, among others, to reduce video quality in an effort to reduce bandwidth usage. Whether these habits are long-lasting or temporary remains to be seen. Do not assume these habits will remain once the world opens up. Old media habits are hard to break.

WILL YOUR BEST CUSTOMERS RETURN?

As someone that helped create the first frequent flyer program, I want to urge you to protect and reach out to your frequent user members if you have a program. With airline travel down 95% or more, many airlines and hotels are giving members an extra year to accumulate the points that result in free upgrades, breakfasts, club access and other perks. Delta, American, Southwest, United and Alaska Airlines have all announced status extensions into 2022.

Major hotel companies are also ensuring their most valuable customers keep their perks. Hilton Honors elite status is extended through March 2022; Marriott Bonvoy through February 2022; and World of Hyatt’s tier membership is extended through February 2022. The companies are also delaying the expiration of earned rewards — like suite upgrades, club access and free-night certificates — to the end of 2021.

So, if you have a program, what are you doing to make sure your most loyal customers still see value in your program and will return once it is safe? Definitely worth a discuss and a plan.

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS

One sign of Americans’ anxiety about the virus: Even in some states that have started to reopen, many people have said, in effect, no thanks. In Alaska, Georgia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina — all states that have removed some restrictions — there has been little increase in the number of small businesses that are open or the amount of time people spend at work, according to an analysis by economists. Consumer spending has risen, but not by much more than in states that remain shut down. Mental health will be far more difficult to rebuilt than physical health.

NO SURPRISE HERE

The sharing economy—sharing cars, homes, and anything else you can think of – is not faring well in the pandemic. Uber is planning $1 billion in cost cuts, including reducing marketing and cutting staff 14%. Lyft’s cost-cutting efforts will lower expenses $300 million this year. And home sharing services (VRBO, Air b&b, HomeAway, etc.) are all looking at months before they are acceptable to virus concerned travelers.

Stay Safe. Stay Health. Stay Positive.

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

April 28, 2020

THIS WEEK AT HOME – As many of us continue to shelter at home, here are a few more marketing tips and research thoughts. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

GOOD TIME FOR RESEARCH?

It may seem counterintuitive, but this is a great time to do online research. People are home, bored, using the internet a lot, and have plenty of time to share their opinions. Here are three more reasons you should be doing research right now:

REMIND PEOPLE YOU ARE ALIVE AND WELL – Let your people know that even during this time of social distancing you are thinking of them… that you care about their safety and look forward to their return.

SHARE A POSITIVE MESSAGE WHEN PEOPLE NEED IT THE MOST – Reassure everyone that even during this period, you are preparing to welcome them back. A survey is a nice way to invite them to tell you more about how you can do a better job of meeting their needs in the future.

STRENGTHEN BRAND LOYALTY – People love to talk about themselves. That is why customer surveys increase engagement and loyalty. By telling people they have value by asking for their opinions is a great way to build your brand.

We are doing several studies right now. We are gaining some great insight into post COVID-19 behavior. Contact me if you would like to explore conducting research. It is cheaper than you think.

ZOOMING IN ON COMPETITION

Family and friends have made Zoom a household word. The video communications firm has seen their usage go from 10 million to 200 million. Yes, they have experienced a host of video quality and security issues (Zoombombing), but their stock price is up 142%. It is no wonder that the elephants in the room have made them a target. Last Friday, Facebook announced a new service called Rooms that would let their 1.6 billion daily users run video gatherings for up to 50 people. Google has added a new viewing option for its Meet service that mimics Zoom’s popular Gallery View (pictures of everyone in the group chat). And Microsoft is adding new video capabilities to its Teams platform. I predict that video connecting will decline a bit once we are open, but it will become a part of our new normal. So, ask your kids how to use it!

THE NATIVES ARE RESTLESS

Native ads are ads that look like stories. I recommend them often to clients. The internet’s two largest content-recommendation firms, Taboola and Outbrain, both generate “promoted stories” and “around the web” sections that appear next to articles and videos online, including sponsored content and native ads. They typically use click baiting headlines like “The Best Way to Stop a Barking Dog (It’s Genius)” and “She Had No Clue Why the Crowd Started Cheering.” The Justice Department is now examining whether a deal to merge the two will hurt competition in a product that generates significant revenue to publishers and ads that marketers use because they have a much higher click thru rate than banner ads. Stay tuned. The world of native ads is about to change dramatically.

NOT IN THE SAME BOAT

Its popular today for COVID-19 marketing to echo the message, “We all in the same boat.” Not true. Yes, we are in the same storm, but every boat is different. If you are a retiree, your boat is pretty much the same as it was before the lock down (assuming you have time for your portfolio to bounce back). If you are in the 1% boat, you are fine too. America’s billionaires have increased their wealth in less than a month by $282 billion. But if you are in the lower-income boat, PEW Research reports that roughly half in this boat report that they or someone in their household has lost a job or taken a pay cut, compared with 43% of all U.S. adults. And only 23% say they have emergency funds that would keep their lower-income boat afloat for three months. So be kind, there many be a lot of people that are in boats not has shipshape as yours.

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POWERSHIFT MARKETING THIS WEEK

October 31, 2019

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

BIG SPLASH, LITTLE RIPPLES

As you heard, Twitter is banning political advertising, taking the opposite position of rival Facebook. The timing of Twitter’s announcement, minutes before Facebook posted its quarterly results, highlighted the two companies’ diverging positions. “Paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle,” stated Twitter’s Mr. Dorsey.

Now, it’s kind of easy to make a “big announcement” when it really doesn’t impact your business. Political ads represents a small portion of Twitter’s overall $2.11 billion annual Ad revenue. Marketing lesson: You can grab headlines by making statements that really don’t impact your business. On the other hand, I do believe that online political ads will be a giant issue in 2020.

LOVE BEER AND WINE, SKIP THE SMOKES

Just finishing up our Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Website Study #6. Since 2012 we have been working with various DMO’s to learn more about the people that go to travel websites. We added a question last year to find out how important Oregon’s wine, beer and cannabis industries are to visitors. Craft beer and wineries (in that order) are VERY IMPORTANT to visitors. Both are far more important than purchasing cannabis on vacation. The full study will be released in November. If you would like to participate in Study #7, contact me and I will share how you can be a part of this low-cost study. 

APPLE ENTERS THE BATTLE

Tomorrow (Nov 1st) Apple plans to launch the Apple TV+ video service, its contender in the battle for people’s streaming dollars. Apple TV+ is slated to start with nine programs. But that is just the beginning. With $100-billion cash hoard and fat profit margins Apple can afford the costs of developing and distributing new content. With 900 million iPhones and 500 million Apple gadgets in use, they have an enormous built-in base of potential TV+ customers. So, pop quiz, I am curious how many people are now paying for streaming and what service? Please leave me a comment.

LESS TARGETING COMING TO FACEBOOK

I used Facebook (sponsored posts) often for my clients because you can really target audiences by demographics and interests. But Facebook has now removed age, gender and ZIP code targeting for housing, employment and credit-related ads as part of a settlement with advocacy groups and other plaintiffs.

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?

When something is working, most firms double down on it. That is not always a good idea. The auto industry is a good example of this. The Wall St. Journal reported that the number of crossover and sport-utility models has steadily climbed from 70 (2014), to 96 (2018) and is expected to rise to 149 models by 2023. “This is a very significant trouble spot for the industry,” said John Murphy, an auto analyst with Bank of America. “The pendulum is swinging too far in the other direction.” If trends continue, he estimates the profit premiums auto makers have long enjoyed on these models will fall, eventually matching the lower margins now earned on sedans. Marketing lesson: What worked in the past does not always work in the future. What changes in your product or marketing are you planning for 2020?

Until next time, thanks for reading. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

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THIS WEEK AT POWERSHIFT MARKETING – NOTES

July 8, 2019

THIS WEEK (JULY 8-14) – Took a bit of a break to move and sell a home… but I am back. 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.

IS THE FAMILY VACATION DISAPPEARING?

As family vacation season hits its full stride, you need to be aware that research (including ours) reveals that the percent of people traveling with kids is declining. The number of young Americans who are single, now more than half (according to a study released recently) has reached its peak since at least the 1980s. It has drastically increased in just the past 15 years. That’s according to data from a General Social Survey that showed in 2018, 51% of Americans ages 18 to 34 said they didn’t currently have a “steady partner,” up from 33% in 2004. How much do you know about your current customer? Give us a call, we can help.

BUSINESSES NOW NEED TO MONITOR TEXT MESSAGES

Messaging apps aren’t just for friends and family anymore. People are using them to communicate with businesses too, doing everything from learning about a business to making a purchase. According to Google research, more than 66% of people who use text messaging say they have messaged a business in the past three months. Why?

  • Convenient. Messaging gives customers the flexibility to reach out and respond on their own time.
  • Simple. Messaging is a communication channel that is familiar to people and intuitive to use.
  • Personal. Messaging allows you to connect one on one with customers.

THE STATE OF DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Ad spending is increasing, and it should grow 19% this year. But only 8% of people remember seeing an ad that is relevant to them in a given moment. Even more significantly, 30% of internet users are expected to be using ad blockers by the end of this year. That is why we are running more and more native ads. If you are not using these online ads, we can help set up a program for you.

GENDER NEUTRAL AIRLINES TICKETS ARRIVE

I’m sorry, but this whole bathroom debate about who can go where, is just humorous to me. Let’s face it, most of us grew up in gender neutral bathrooms. Of course, my big sister and I never really liked sharing our Jack and Jill bathroom, but it was no big deal. Airlines have offered gender neutral bathrooms forever. But now, the airline industry has final come to its senses and are now offering gender-neutral tickets. You can identify yourself as M (male), F (female), U (undisclosed), or X (unspecified) as well as selecting ‘Mx’ as a title. Just one more thing you have to worry about when traveling, how are you going to identify yourself?

Until next time, thanks for reading. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.

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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.

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