Posts Tagged ‘wall st. journal’

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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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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #29

October 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok, see you all next week.

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #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 #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 #13

June 4, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is all for this week. Let me know if there are any specific research or marketing questions you are thinking about that I can cover in my weekly update.

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FACEBOOK IS CAUGHT FAKING IT

September 23, 2016

I am constantly telling companies to be very careful about asking their marketing department, ad agency or marketing firm to conduct market research. Why? They can have a vested interest in showing you positive results. You really need a third-party working with your marketing team to develop, conduct and analysis research data. This is especially true for online analysis. Yes, Google, Facebook and Yahoo love to share their metrics, but perhaps this is because they are faking it.

CASE IN POINT: For two years, Facebook overestimated to ad agency and firms the average amount of time people spent watching Facebook videos. They finally disclosed that a key metric was accidentally artificially inflated by only including videos viewed for more than three seconds. This may have caused Facebook to overestimate average time spent watching videos by 60% to 80%. Facebook’s solution? A new name for a new metric for what was meant to be measured in the first place.

As reported by the Wall St. Journal, this “miscalculation means marketers may have misjudged the performance of their video ads as well as decisions to move budgets into Facebook, while publishers who post videos on the platform are also affected. Maybe it’s time for the internet’s so-called walled gardens to finally allow true third-party verification of their data.”

Totally agree. I think that is one reason why our research business is growing. More and more people want real data that they can count on.

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THIS WEEK’S MARKETING QUESTION

May 23, 2016

Most of my blog readers (7,000+ as of today) live in the small business world. That’s why I don’t cover much big ad agency news or trends. Although I have lived in that world, it is not where my readers live. Recently, Martin Sorrell and Maurice Lévy, big names and ad agency owners in the international ad world, shared their belief that data-collection and data-analysis firms are now more important than ad agencies. Why is this important to you?

Because big data is driving most marketing decisions for larger firms, if you want to compete and increase your share of the business pie even small businesses need to base more marketing decisions on knowledge – hard data that tells you what your customers want and where you can find them.

Many of you have some of this data via online analytics (like Google Analytics) but you do not know how to use it or supplement it with your own research efforts. I say this because that seems to be the fastest growing segment of my business, helping people interrupt data and providing additional data.

But the problem with data, as pointed out in a Wall St. Journal editorial by Jeff Goodby co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (another big agency), is that “for enough money, everybody has the same stuff. It’s not that it’s not valuable. It’s just that it’s the same. It’s what is done with the data that makes all the difference.”

Yes, companies that don’t use research are, indeed, dinosaurs, but what you do with your research is what really will generate more profit. Numerous times I’ve seen companies that have research not know how to convert knowledge into marketing creativity. That is the ultimate goal of research.

QUESTION FOR THE WEEK: What big marketing ideas are you developing from knowing your customers?