Marketing to Working Moms: New Scarborough Study!

January 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

Working Moms may have had a “pink collar” image in former generations, but today’s working mom is quite a different person.  They are more educated,  more affluent and more wired than ever before.  Working Moms represent 40% of moms.

Scarborough has surveyed this group and come up with some interesting statistics that marketers need to market to women, particularly working moms.  Here are just a few to whet your appetite.   For more, see the infographic below.

95% of working moms agree that spending time with their family is their top priority

27% of working moms are much more involved in their finances.  

72% of their households contributed to a charity in the past 12 months.

Working moms are spending less for name brands.  They use coupons and shop at Nordstrom Rack, Kohl’s Macy’s and TJ Maxx Home Goods.  

Working moms shop online and own smartphones, laptops, iPads and more.

Working moms are 22% more likely to attend professional sporting events and 24% more likely to have watched ESPN in the past 7 days.

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Holiday Marketing to Women: Instant Greetings vs. Greeting Cards

November 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s the time of the year when we begin thinking about sending holiday greetings to friends and family far and wide.  Will it be an online greeting this year or a sentimental real paper card with pictures of the family and a special note?  Will it be written in cursive or typed away on a convenient laptop?  Will it be mailed with a 46-cent stamp or whisked through the web at no cost?

img_easy-christmas_ss16Have we lost our social graces?  Or are we entering a new phase of how we relate our love?  It seems we are in a cultural shift brought about by technology, budget concerns, digital natives and time deprivation.

Decline of Traditional Greetings

The United States Postal Service, which has its own problems, reported that the number of greeting cards mailed within the US declined by 24 percent from 2002 to 2010 and is still dropping.  A perfect storm of migration to online services, a financial recession, busy lifestyles and younger digital consumers are creating new traditions for holidays and special days like birthdays.

A  greeting cards industry report this year from IbisWorld says the sale of traditional cards has fallen by 60 percent over the last decade, to $5 billion a year.  Last year Hallmark reported that their 2012 card sales dropped to 5 billion, from 6 billion in 2011. And American Greetings has had to go private after a 60% decline in revenue.

Growth of Digital Greetings

Remember your birthday this year?  Chances are you got more Facebook Birthday greetings than you ever received cards?  Why?  Well, it’s so easy.  Facebook reminds you.  And you can even send a gift card if you want to really express some love.  With Facebook, those annual holiday letters are not as important anymore.  We see regular updates of our friends and know what is going on in their lives.

All the while, e-greetings are growing.  Online card sales  (both e-cards and custom printed ones) have grown to $3.5 billion in 2012 from just $65 million a decade ago.  Both Hallmark, the number one provider, and American Greetings, the number two, have digital greetings divisions.  And there are a plethora of other greetings companies like Egreetings, Blue Mountain, someecards and Dayspring.  The trends are to more personalized or more irreverent cards than the traditional drugstore cards.

Growth of Handmade Cards

At the same time, there is a resurgence in small companies that provide special handmade cards.  With a higher price than normal cards, the handmade card is actually the gift itself.  There is also a big business in crafting for card making.  Just ask the ladies at my church who make very special cards with special design stamps, craft supplies, pictures and glue.

So what’s your choice this year?  Let me know how you will share your holiday greetings?

Marketing to Women: Third of Purchase Conversions Occur on Mobile

September 10, 2013 § 1 Comment

ipad_1791235bWhether we have the latest smartphone or a second generation tablet, we are all using them to shop!   A recent study by AOL showed that the conversion rate for mobile purchases grew 28%.  What does that mean?  Well, it means that people actually made a purchase while on their mobile device.  A whopping 31% of conversions across four verticals occurred while using a mobile device.  And the industries with the highest conversion rates were telecom, retail, auto and travel.

Mobile Device Share of Online Conversions (% on Smartphone and Tablet; August 2013)  The findings are based on analytics from more than 500 billion online ad impressions and 100M conversion events across all devices, such as mobile phones, desktop computer and tablets.

Telecom – Purchase of a new plan or device – 37%

Retail – Make a purchase – 35%

Auto – Find dealer, request info, configure, travel – 22%

Travel – Book hotel, flight or car reservation – 20%

There has been a misconception that mobile really means only mobile – that we are using devices only on the go.  But actually 25% of our digital is spent at home and that is where we are viewing and purchasing many things.  And 75% of all mobile ad impressions were viewed within the home.  A lot of that has to do with the amazing adoption of tablets, iPads in particular.  

“What we’re learning is that consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices in much the same way they do with their computers when they’re at home,” said  Chad Gallagher, director of mobile for AOL networks.  “Looking at holistic impression volume, 25 percent of all digital impressions are consumed on a mobile device at home – which speaks to why users are performing complex functionality on their mobile devices. The data means that companies must understand mobile tracking and enable technology that can run across all platforms to account for the massive business opportunity on mobile devices. Net-net, we need to re-think how we market through the tablet. Marketers are realizing that they can’t afford to run desktop-only campaigns anymore.”

Historically, advertisers focus on branding or driving the purchase of mobile-centric offerings.   The AOL points to an opportunity to drive conversions for a much wider array of products and services through mobile.

 

Google This: How Google Makes Its Money

July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

How is this for a fact!  The $32.2 billion Google made from Google Ads last year is more valuable than the country of Panama and the 31 poorest countries in the world combined!

Some more fun facts are included in this infographic about Google –  like the most expensive keywords.

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Marketing to Women: Dual Screen Viewing is Here!

July 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

UnknownAre you part of the two-screen world yet?  I bet you are.  If you ever use a mobile device (your smartphone or tablet) while watching television, you already are.  We use our devices to communicate with friends and family, look up information related to what we are watching, or multi-task.

The Facts about Dual Screen Viewing

The facts vary, but the trend is clear.  According to Nielsen, more than 39% of Americans use their smartphone while watching TV at least once each day, and 62% do so multiple times each week.  Google recently reported that we use on average three different screen combinations everyday, including tablets and smartphones while watching TV. And, research from Yahoo! and Razorfish shows that nearly 80 percent of consumers are on mobile devices while watching TV.

More than half of all mobile device users say they visit social networking sites while watching TV. And the social aspect of watching TV is important too: 21% of  tablet users and 18% of smartphone users say they read conversations about the program on a social networking site, and 20% of tablet users shop for products or services being advertised. Some even watched a particular TV program because comments on a social media site.

The Top Categories for Dual Screen Viewing

We use dual screen viewing for a variety of types of events.  The top five show categories that attract multitaskers are reality, news, comedy, sports and food.  I think we can understand why.  You are not as intellectually engaged to a plot in these type of shows – leaving room for net surfing.

But how do marketers take advantage of this new behavior?

1.  Apps are being built that enhance your viewing.  Major media companies, like Discovery Networks International, are already taking advantage of new App Cloud solutions to build rich dual-screen experiences for their broadcast properties.

2.  Synchronized Advertising may be around the corner.  A national ad runs on the television while a mobile device delivers up a geo-targeted companion ad that gives you local dealer information.

3.  Interactive applications allows an interactive quiz or game to be broadcast on television and viewers respond on their tablets, with results giving in real time.

4.  Special offers are delivered on television driving consumers to their mobile devices to redeem the special offers.

The future of marketing to women will be exciting as we determine how to combine media for the richest engagement.

Marketing to Women: Mobile Advertising Yet?

April 23, 2013 § 1 Comment

Smartphones now comprise 57% of the mobile market in the United States.  By next year, there will be more mobile devices than there are people in the world and more mobile phones than desktop PCs.

mobile-adsWith all that mobile action, why then is mobile advertising not growing as fast as smartphone adoption?  According to IAB, some 53% of agencies say they don’t have experience in mobile advertising.  And 70% say they would purchase more if clients understood it better.  Translation:  Agencies and clients need to go to school on mobile.

The Google Factor

mobileimage2So here’s a tip for all the late adopters:  Mobile ads work!  Or at least that’s what Google says.  Mobile ads appear to be the most effective paid method of driving page likes, and Google reports that smartphone users are unusually responsive to advertising. Forty-two percent of users click on mobile ads they like, found the Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users survey. Of those, 49 percent go on to make a purchase, while 35 percent visit the advertiser’s site, and 27 percent call the business in question.  A lot of that clicking is on local sites;  95% of people look for local info on their smartphone.

All that smartphone usage leads to smartphone shopping. While strolling the aisles, 49% of us compare prices, 44 percent read reviews of stuff while we shop, and 34 percent are using their phones to check the store’s inventory.

Gender differences in shopping:  In a new study by Millennial Media and comScore, findings show men are more likely to use phones to check product availability, compare prices, find deals or make online purchases. Women are more likely than men to use phones in stores to text or call friends about products, send pictures of products, or research product features.

Mobile-Optimized Sites and Apps Necessary

Those that will win in mobile will have sites that are responsive and won’t have roadblocks like Flash.  I was working with a client recently, and I tried to view her website on my iPad.  Because her site was built in Flash, it was not at all accessible on any Apple devices.

Right now, people spend more time on apps than mobile websites.  Tablets seem to be the online shopping tool of choice.  Important features include side-by-side product comparison, 360-degree zoom, customer ratings, and an easy checkout process are most important to shoppers.

So let’s go mobile!

Marketing to Women: Slideshare as Advertising on LinkedIn

March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

operafrocks460For marketers trying to reach business audiences, this new LinkedIn ad feature is something to sing about.  For advertising folks, it might be a nightmare, depending on how creative the slideshow is.   Imagine this – you can include your slide presentation in an ad.  It’s turning the humble Powerpoint into a new form of interactive advertising.

slide-3-638_610x458Here’s how it works.

On your LinkedIn page, you have a sidebar area where text ads are included.  Now, you will see the Slideshare box in that sidebar. (See red outlined area.)  It’s a Slideshare presentation sized down for the ad dimensions.  You will be able to click on it and see the presentation without leaving LinkedIn.  You will only be served an ad if you are the target audience.

The concept was initially tested with GE and Constant Contact with success.  The ads are called SlideShare Content Ads.  They will appear as a “sponsored presentation,” and users can click through it within the advertisement or they can expand it into a full-page view. It’s also a way to acquire leads through links and information capture.

For us advertising geeks, here’s the scoop from Adweek:  “The ads are being priced on a cost-per-thousand-impressions basis and can be targeted to LinkedIn users’ profile information, such as company name or size, seniority and job function, said a LinkedIn spokesperson. In terms of reporting metrics, “LinkedIn provides an aggregate of non-personally identifiable profile and demographic data of members who see a campaign. This includes things like the job function, industry and seniority of those that view and click.  Also included is content viewing metrics like number of views, average time on presentations, and average time spent per slide,” the spokesperson said.”

Sample Ad

Why Slideshare?

These LinkedIn folks are pretty smart.  They purchased Slideshare last year and we are now seeing the fruits of their labor.  They recently launched their Influencer prominent blogger program.  And now there is chatter about the purchase of my favorite news reader Pulse.  Imagine what they can do with that platform.  LinkedIn is definitely building a unique business content platform.

Guerrilla Marketing Strategies in a World of Marketing Automation and Software Bots

March 12, 2013 § 1 Comment

You know that guy– the guy who recently bought a beach front house and now goes on vacations to Corsica and Maldives? Yeah, that guy.

That guy and the millions of others of those guys who did that all have one big thing in common. They were not middle or late adopters of change. They were able to forecast, anticipate, and take advantage of change. During all that randomness and chaos around any disruptive change, it’s actually possible to take a quantum leap in your business positioning. We all know that. But oddly, its those few million guys with a Yacht in places like San Diego Harbor who don’t resist change.

You may not think you do. But I remember not too long ago when just about everybody said, “Well, that’s the end of personal safety. Crime is going to skyrocket because of these darn automated teller machines.”

“I would never put money in an ATM! How do I know that they’re not going to say they didn’t get my deposit in the morning?!”

Yep, if you look back to when you were still in school, people actually said those things.

What about, “I’d never buy a compact disk. It doesn’t have that authentic pop, fiz, and scratching sound.”

Then there’s, “Why would anyone buy an iPhone? A phone is for p-h-o-n-e-c-a-l-l-s. Apps? I got plenty on my Pentium 3 workstation!”

Or how about, “Email? Why would I possibly want to give everyone in the world access to my personal communications? All they have to do is guess my password!”

This one is my favorite, “That’s the dumbest idea in the world! None of your personality comes through in a typewriter written letter!”

Yep, people actually said these things.

Ironically, the people who said these things and resist change now fall into two categories today. First, the people who never see any quantum leaps in their business growth; Second, the people who do. The second group want everyone to think that the new disruptive technology won’t go anywhere until they’re fully positioned in it.

Right now, the biggest change happening in media is marketing automation.

Image

If you tell anyone you’re using automation software to do your social media marketing, their immediate reaction is going to be disgust and objections of disauthenticity. But these people fall into two categories, the people who won’t see any business advantage as the new world of automated marketing sweeps through media and the ones who want you to think it won’t until it’s too late for you.

Major Fortune 500 companies use companies like Marketo and Hubspot. You may have even heard of these companies. Many have. Few realize they make software that automates marketing.

I changed banks when BofA first used an voice automated operator. The technology sucked. I was sure BofA would go bankrupt but instead, every bank started using IVR technology. Now, it’s faster than a human operator.

You’re busy enough just trying to give your customers and clients exceptional value. Use deeply experienced and persuasive marketing consultants like Jamie Dunham|Brand Wise to craft your marketing message. Use marketing automation to reach an unfair (to your competition) number of potential customers. Let me borrow your new yacht from time to time.

by Robert Wan, Business Consultant, iPhone App Programmer, and Forbes Contributor. Follow him @journik

Marketing to Women: Get Ready! New Face for Facebook!

March 9, 2013 § 2 Comments

li-852-facebook-news-feed-new-facebook
When Facebook announced its new design for the Facebook newsfeed, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was their goal to to give everyone in the world “the best personalized newspaper.” Who is everyone?  The 67% of online adults that use Facebook —  71% of women and  62% of men.  Read on to see what it means for consumers and marketers.

What does this mean for consumers?

Larger Images.  Well, it means there are larger images in your feed.  According to Facebook, photos make up 50% of all news feed stories.  So the new news feed takes up more of your Facebook page.  They call it putting a spotlight on what friends are sharing.  The shared articles also feature larger images and more information like longer snippets. Check-ins are also more visual with large map images, as is content from third-party sites like Pinterest.

Multiple Feeds.  Content specific feeds will allow you to sort between a range of different categories: Close friends, all friends, music, photos, games and people and brands you “follow” (as opposed to friend). And you can still see the chronological news feed.

Continuity in Look across All Devices.  Instead of a different interface on all media, Facebook has figured out how to incorporate the same look across smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Okay, how do I get it? Well, there’s a site for that and it’s pretty simple.  But don’t hold your breath, it’s a rolling conversion so you may have to wait awhile.  First, go to facebook.com/about/newsfeed.  Second, click the big green “Join Waiting List” button at the top of the page. Done!

What do marketers need to know?  

facebook-hangoverGood news here:  Ad Are Much Bigger!  Even the sidebar ads look bigger.  The larger canvas is good news for creative – but will it by annoying to users?  It will need to be engaging.

New Opportunities for advertising.  Promoted Posts, Sponsored Stories, and Page promotion ads can be visually engrossing - to flow with the rest of the news feed.

Filters for content are a question mark.  Facebook says there’s been consumer demand for filtered content like photos and music.  But will users use the filters.

If the filtered feeds are used, it could make for a splintered, hard to reach audience.  If people use the feeds, it will fragment the audience.  And, if they only use their friends feed, advertising will be lost to them.

Filtered feed might become sponsorship opportunities.  No real news here but if the music feeds and other entertainment feeds take off, sponsorships might follow.

Marketing to Women: 8 Reasons In Defense of Twitter

January 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Wall Street Journal published a survey in January revealing that just 3% of small business owners polled believed that Twitter had the most potential to help their companies.  However, 60% of those small business owners believed that social media was important to their companies.  I believe most businesses do not understand the way to use Twitter.  Most think only about sales leads, rather than thinking of the other important purposes of Twitter.

MK-CA546_SBSOCI_NS_20130130180907What social media did small businesses prefer?  LinkedIn was preferred by 41% of the respondents, 16% picked YouTube and 14% chose Facebook.  About 14% of the business owners surveyed said they use Twitter. That figure matches with research released last year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which found that about 15% of all online adults are Twitter users.

In Defense of Twitter, I think that many businesses do not understand the strengths of Twitter and how to use it.  So here are some of the strengths of Twitter —

1.  Research.  Because of the amazing topics covered on Twitter, you can use it for research, listening to customers and competition, and discovering new topics of interest.  The multitude of interests covered can help you stay informed on a wide breadth of topics.  You are exposed to an amazing array of thought, wisdom and insight.  One company learned a new use for their product just by listening to their Twitter users.  Twitter is often a quick way to get a response to a question, find out about referrals or get comments on new ideas.

2.  Customer Service.  Twitter is a wonderful customer service tool.  Everyone from airlines to local restaurants sue Twitter to connect with customers to offer information, assistance, updates or apologies for poor service.

3.  Real Time News.  This is where the real breaking news is – across all topics – across the planet.  Citizen journalists across the world come to Twitter with news bulletins for almost any topic.  Even Twitter users in countries that are war torn or in rebellion have used the media to get their message out.

4.  Syndication of Your Content.  Your content is news on Twitter.  Twitter is an effective tool to share blog posts, pictures, videos and others relevant content.  Some groups hold Tweeting Parties, giving a way for groups to interact.

5.  Grow Your Circle of Influence.  As you find people who are of interest to your business, you can follow up to 2,000 Twitterers without any limits.  This service allows you to interact with potential customers, current customers and peer groups.  It’s a great way to meet people that complement your services and to learn from others.  Twitter is very democratic.  You can converse with business contacts online that you might not ever be able to meet otherwise.

6.  Search Engine Optimization.  Activity on Twitter will boost your search engine visibility.

7.  Strut Your Social Savvy.  Depending on what business you are in, it might be embarassing if you do not participate in Twitter.  I always advise clients to check out the social activity of potential marketing partners to see if they practice what they preach.  It’s amazing how many don’t.

8.  Public Relations Opportunities.  Since journalists troll Twitter, it is a great place to be seen and potentially picked up and to add to your authority.

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