Posts Tagged ‘market research’

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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.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #24

August 27, 2018

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

FOCUS ON FAILURE, NOT SUCCESS – David Baekholm of HomeAway, Expedia Group’s vacation rental company, offered some great insights into improving a website in a recent Think with Google newsletter. David pointed out that instead of trying to define success, which means different things to different people, focus on failure. What don’t people like about your website experience? David points out that they don’t want irrelevant landing pages, slow loading speeds, annoying ads, or a cumbersome checkout process. Our six-year Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) website study reveals even more insights into what people don’t want. If you would like to join our next study and have your website confidentially studied to discover better ways to make digital visitors, real visitors, contact us. We will be launching our next study in October and the cost is only $150 per month.

PUT THE SMARTPHONE DOWN – Because we run social media campaigns for various clients (happy to help you too), we constantly review user research about smartphones since it is the primary access point to social media today. According to a recent study, 54% of U.S. teens say they spend too much time on their cellphones, and two-thirds of parents express concern over their teen’s screen time. But parents face their own challenges: 36% say they themselves spend too much time on their cellphone. And 51% of teens say they often or sometimes find their parent or caregiver to be distracted by their own cellphone when they are trying to have a conversation with them.

LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME – Viking River Cruises have formally repositioned itself as an adults-only line. It is no longer accepting guests under the age of 18. The U by Uniworld river cruise brand is also grown-ups only, and the yet-to-launch Virgin Voyages cruise line will also be adults-only. Why is this news important? Because it shows the importance of knowing the demographics of your customer. That is why customer research is a must today. Contact us if you need help in developing your own study.

ARE MOST AMERICANS TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT? Almost. Because most Americans are overweight, and many are trying to do something about it. You could almost call it a national obsession. In the past 12 months, nearly half (49%) of adults aged 20 or older tried to lose weight, according to a National Center for Health Statistics report. The attempt to shed pounds is embraced by 52% of 40-to-49-year-olds, 50% of 20-to-39-year-olds, and 43% of those aged 60-plus. And 56% of women are trying to lose weight, as are 42% of men. This obsession with weight is one reason you don’t see many “plus size” people in ads. People want to think we don’t have a weight problem. Want to discover other things you should be concerned with in creating ads? Contact us and we will share some of our current ad research. 

REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS AGREE ON ONE THING – They can’t agree on basic facts of issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, conducted July 30-Aug. 12 among 4,581 adults. Tough to do marketing in a world where no one agrees on what is a fact. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (81%) say Republican and Democratic voters disagree on basic facts of issues. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (76%) say the same. Just 18% of Republicans and 23% of Democrats say that voters of the two parties can agree on basic facts even if they disagree over policies and plans. Sad, we have come to the point that facts are not facts.

Until next week, have a great day.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #23

August 20, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. OK, it is not Monday morning, but it is still Monday and here are some marketing and research thoughts for this week. Email me (Mark@dennettgroup.com) if you need more info on any subject.

CAN SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGE OPINIONS? – Research shows that most people today believe that social media is a giant echo chamber. People simply spend time with friends that agree with them. For most Americans that is true. But a small share of the public – 14% – say they have changed their views because of something they saw on social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted May 29-June 11, 2018. This number changes significantly when you look at age, gender and race.

Almost a third (29%) of young men 18 to 29 say their views changed in the past year due to social media. This is more than double the percent of men and women ages 30 and older (12% and 11%, respectively). There are also differences by race. One-in-five black (19%) and Hispanic (22%) say their views changed, compared with 11% of whites. Bottom line: This an important study because it reveals what audiences may be willing to change their opinions the most about your product, service or cause. 

TAKE A VACATION, PLEASE – As the travel industry in the West struggles with smoky skies and fires, many Americans are canceling their vacations. To make these time even more tough, a research study from Project: Time Off shows that Americans are taking less time off. About half of American workers (52%) aren’t using all the vacation time they have. A quarter, 24%, have gone a year without a vacation; 12% say it’s been three years or more since they took a holiday.

What’s stopping them from getting away? Job insecurity – 61% say it’s the “fear of looking replaceable,” while 56% insist their “workload is too heavy.” Which generation is better at taking vacations? Millennials are the worst at 14.5 days of vacation. Generation X takes 17.9 and Baby Boomers take 19.8. That is why even aging Baby Boomers remain a key segment to target for leisure marketers. If you want to see the report, email me.

SEARCHING FOR THE BEST? – Some interesting insights from Google’s “Think with Google” email newsletter. Mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% over the past two years. People are searching for “best” for even the smallest item. Google research reveals that looking for “the best” isn’t an objective absolute. Since “best” is personal, it is important that website content and search copy convey how your products meet these needs and that you show relatable, real-life use cases. This is one of several studies you will find in our new white paper “KEYS TO MAKING WEB VISITORS, REAL VISITORS.” This report shares findings from various content studies including our six-year study of Oregon visitor websites. Contact me if you are interested.

THE NEWEST WEALTH GAP – YOUNG AND OLD – You would expect that Americans aged 65 or older would have more resources than younger Americans. But a report published in Demography (Children and the Elderly: Wealth Inequality among America’s Dependents) is troubling if you are marketing to families with children.

Looking at two types of households, one with children under age 18 (child households), and the other with someone 65 or older with no children under 18 (elderly households), there is a growing gap between them. In 1989, elderly households had a median net worth 3.8 time that of child households ($106,647 vs. $27,889). By 2013 elderly households had a worth that was 12.5 times as high ($154,998 vs. $12,413). The median net worth of elderly households grew 45% between 1989 and 2013, after adjusting for inflation, while the net worth of child households fell 56%. That is why you need to do a demographic study of your customers. We can provide this type of study.

TRUE OR FALSE: MOST IMMIGRANTS ARE HERE LEGALLY. True, but only 45% of the public knows that most immigrants in the United States are here legally. Nearly as many (42%) think most immigrants are here illegally. Marketing lesson: If you repeat something long enough, even if it is not true, people will believe it. I guess we should call this the “Trump Effect.”

Until next week, enjoy the last few weeks of summer and have a great day.