Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GenX has more Affluents than Baby Boomers

Part of media strategy includes understanding the generation shifts in the consumer marketplace. For years, the Baby Boomers have had the majority of Affluent status in America. A new report shows that Generation Xers have recently become the majority, which is a first.

According to the Center for Media Research, the 2015 Ipsos Affluent Survey USA reports the following generation breakdown for American Affluents.

American Affluents by Generation (At Least a HHI of $100K)
Share of Affluent Population
Median Self-Reported Annual HHI
Millennials (18-33)
GenX (34-50)
Baby Boomers (51-69)
Seniors (70+)

The Affluent group consists of the top 23% of American households. This group is defined as adults living in households with a minimum annual household income of $100,000.

While the GenX population has topped the largest share amongst the Affluent, the Baby Boomers and Seniors still index high on the annual household income.

In addition, the study reflects how even people within the same generation can respond more like other age groups. Findings show that the younger side of GenX acts similar to Millennials in the marketplace, and the older side tend to be more like-minded with Baby Boomers.

Marketers will have to absorb this generation move and evaluate what this will mean for a brand. Strategies may have to be altered.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Discovering Trends of Social Networking Users

Pew Research has recently reported that 65% of American adults are social networking users. Here, I’ll dig deeper into Pew’s study and share today’s trends amongst social media users.

Age: Unsurprisingly, young adults (ages 18-29) rank number one when it comes to social media users with a sturdy 90%. Looking on the opposite end of the spectrum, users 65 and older have made the biggest jump from 2% in 2005 to 35% in 2015.

Gender: Gender doesn’t hold a huge difference when it comes to social networking. Today, 68% of women and 62% of men use social media.

Socio-economic: Much like the 65+ aged social users, there has been a leap in the number of users coming from low income households (households making less than $30,000 a year). In 2005, only 4% of low income households used social media compared to the 56% that are users now, in 2015. Seventy-eight percent of those living in the highest income households use social.

Racial and ethical: Race comparisons hold relatively steady across the board with 65% of whites, 65% of Hispanics, and 56% of African Americans using social media.

Community: A consistent trend is that of users’ living communities. Only 58% of rural residents use social media compared with 68% and 64% of suburban and urban residents, respectively.

Education: The current 2015 trend is that the more education a person has, the more likely  they are to use social media with the numbers standing at 76% of  those with college or graduate degrees, 70% with some college education, and 54% with a high school diploma or less.

With these trends and percentages, marketers can target their audiences specifically and predict the trends of the future. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

SEO of The Future

Just when marketers begin to really understand Search Engine Optimization, it changes. Not a huge surprise as it is one of the leading tools in digital marketing, an ever changing apparatus.

Christine Birkner reports for Marketing News on the six new rules for SEO in 2016. Birkner sites the director of audience development at Moz, Cyrus Shepard, as he discusses the declining importance of simply getting a click on an ad. Shepard notes that advertisers are now able to track a viewer’s activity after a click, making the activity following the click more important than the click itself. Marketers must have a clear intention of what they desire from users to be able to track success more closely.

Next, is the diminishing importance of keywords for a SEO campaign. As Google’s technology improves, the ability to decipher between quality matches and flukes is becoming simpler. Today, instead of having to put a keyword multiple times within your ad/article/website, Google is able to better determine the relevance to a consumers’ search query. With that, search queries are typically (75%) between three and five words long which can help marketers know what to include in their content.

User experience is becoming more and more important as the amount of information in the digital world continues to expand. Original content is far better than re-used content. It’s as if the consumer is a self-centered teenager who believes the world revolves around them; the more marketers can make a user’s experience precise and tailored to their liking, the better.

In the same way that original content is superior, unique images are preferred by users as well.

Martin Laetsch (director of online marketing at Act-One Software Inc.) has discovered that there has been a significant difference in the size of articles that are successful as of late.  Two or three years ago, a 300 word page was a pretty common length. Now, Laetsch is noticing the popularity of 1,200 to 1,500 words performing better in search.

Optimizing for mobile might be an obvious rule of SEO, but it is a very important one. With users consistently utilizing mobile devices, marketers are required to adjust.

Birkner quotes Shepard saying, “In the past, it [SEO] was about marketers trying to promote what they wanted people to see. Today it’s about delivering what people actually want to see…” SEO is fitting in with other forms of marketing by encompassing the attitude that it’s all about the audience. Laetsch puts it well when he says, “It doesn’t matter how high you rank if your target audience goes to your site and they’re not happy.”

While clicks are great, it’s what happens after the click that truly matters. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Is Print Marketing a Thing of the Past?

What do you think? Is print marketing a thing of the past or will we continue to utilize the advertising vehicle in the future?

The digital world has emerged, expanded, evolved, and expanded some more. As marketers, we can expect this digital growth to continue as we make-way into the future. However, does that mean print media will be something our great grandchildren only read about in history books? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be too quick to jump to that conclusion.

This graph from Strategy Analytics shows that the digital platform has indeed surpassed the percentage spent on print advertising. Yet, print still holds 15% of the pie, ahead of radio, outdoor, and cinema. 

Elaine Fogel has an interesting article, “Why Print Marketing Materials Are Still Important in 2015” where she compiles statistic after statistic that show the importance of print advertising.

  • Forbes reports that 46% of US Internet users read only printed books as opposed to eBooks.
  • According to AllBusiness Networks, 56 percent of all consumers put their trust in print advertising above other advertisement types.
  • 70% of Americans find direct mail pieces (print) to be more personal than online advertisements.
  • Within direct mail marketing, 56% of recipients read postcards making them the direct mail leader according to the 2014 DMA Fact Book.
  • The CMO of Adobe’s research shows that on average, readers will spend 20-25 minutes with a branded magazine as opposed to a few minutes on the Web.
  • In Business Magazine discovered that for every $1 spent on direct mail, $12.57 was spent by customers in sales.
  • Fogel found that people read print text 25% quicker than they do online text.
  • Fogel also discovered that 15% of adult Americas do not use the Internet.

Still not convinced that print advertising is still effective today?

Think back to the last time you got a direct mail (print) piece sent to your house. For me, it was a mail piece from Bath and Body Works. It had my name printed directly on the front with fall colors to catch my eye. There were enticing pictures of the new candles, lotions, and hand soaps. So, might as well look inside, right? That’s where I find the “goods”. Coupons right there in the mail, “FREE travel size hand lotion” “$5 hand soap” “3 for $15 body wash”. And just like that, I unstick them from the mail piece and stash them away in my purse. Chances are I spent a few minutes looking over the advertisement and collecting coupons. On the flip side, if I had seen a Bath and Body Works advertisement digitally with a, “click here for coupons” option, I most likely would’ve kept on scrolling through my web browser.

Sound familiar? There’s a good chance that your response, whether recognized or not, is similar to mine when it comes to print advertising.

So, what do you think? Is print marketing a thing of the past?

Friday, October 23, 2015

All in a week of digital marketing

A lot can happen in just one week, especially when it comes to the continuously evolving world of digital and social media. Here are some statistics from the last week alone that may just blow your mind.

1.      According to eMarketer, by the end of 2015, 32 percent of US companies with 100 or more employees will use Instagram for marketing. That percent is expected to jump to 71 in 2017!
2.      BuzzFeed’s CEO, Evan Spiegel forecasts that Snapchat’s Sponsored Selfie Filters will reach up to 16 million viewers a day. This ad purchase will cost roughly $700,000 per day.
3.      P.F. Chang’s is running a social event with the hashtag #PFChangsPink that has bumped their user generated content by 1,300 percent! This campaign is all to support October in the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
4.      Fast Company has reported that 60-70 percent of Snapchat users were clicking off of their video ads after only three seconds. This unwelcoming statistic has been crushed by Coca-Cola who is seeing video ads being watched in full completion by 54% of viewers
5.      Twitter is making news with their new Conversion Lift tool which, “helps brands measure the effectiveness of Promoted Tweets, enabling them to better target ads”. A San Francisco tech company claims that, “people who see promoted tweets are 1.4 times more likely to interact with a brand than those who don’t”.
6.      Millward Brown found that consumers between the ages of 16 and 45 watch an equal amount of video on television and online.
7.      eMarketer discovered that 88 percent of companies will use at least one form of social media this year.
8.      Thanks to the Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton had 293,696 mentions via Twitter.

This can only leave one to wonder, what will be discovered next week?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Online Video Catches Up with Television

According to a new report from Millward Brown, consumers are spending just as much time watching online video as they are watching television.

This might not come as a surprise to many advertisers, as we have seen growth in online video streaming, however, this shifts how advertisers can best reach their target audience.

Millward Brown conducted a global study of over 13,500 multiscreen viewers (people with a TV and either a smartphone or tablet) in 42 different countries. The study showed that people between the ages of 16 and 45 watch 204 minutes of video a day. 
Those 204 minutes are split equally between television viewing and online viewing.
This study has shown that not only younger generations utilize online video, but also Generation X-ers.

Consequently, viewers tend to find online advertisements irritating. Only 19 percent of online viewers responded in favor of online ads during their videos while 27 percent of viewers feel positively about television ads.

Interestingly enough, 41 percent of people who were included in the study responded favorably to ads tailored to their interest. With that being said, only 25 percent of respondents like ads that had tracked their browsing history and promoted something from a website they had previously visited.

With this information, advertisers can start pushing their video ads onto online platforms. The most important measure of this transition will be the content and context in which the advertisements are displayed to make sure it is received with a positive connotation.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Generations of Consumers Keeping Their Trust in Tradition

Nielsen recently released its newest study on “Global Trust in Advertising”. This study breaks down who trusts which type of advertisements. Nielsen created the graph below that shows 19 different mediums along with the percentage of trust held by each generation. In this study, 30,000 consumers in 60 countries were surveyed.

It could be considered common knowledge that typically younger consumers are more “up to date” with today’s technology and trends. For that reason, it is no surprise that the younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials) trust advertisements from newer vehicles (online, mobile, movies) more than older generations (Boomers and Silent Gen).

What is interesting is the trend of trusting more traditional advertisements above digital ads. Personal recommendations, television ads, and print ads are all within the top ten most trusted advertising methods while more “trendy” advertisements like online video ads, TV program product placements, mobile ads, social media ads, and text ads to mobile phones are amongst the least trusted types of advertisement.

With more and more advertisers taking advantage of these new advertising opportunities, it will be interesting to review an updated survey in a few years to see if customers have placed their trust in new formats or if they continue to be creatures of habit.