May 11, 2013 § Leave a Comment
On the eve of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be important to salute those amazing women who are influential in the lives of their nieces and nephews but have not given birth to a child. I know lots of these important women who have been nicknamed PANKs, Professional Aunts No Kids. They are actively involved in the lives of children around them. In fact, one in five women is a PANK, or approximately 23 million Americans. PANKs are roughly half of all the women who are not a mother or grandmother. This group is actually growing as women are choosing to stay single or marry later.
PANKs spend $9 billion on toys and gifts for children annually, according to “The Power of the PANK”, a study by Savvy Auntie and public relations firm Weber Shandwich. PANKs tend to have about the same income as the average woman, but they have more disposable income because they do not have children and are more likely to be single. PANKs estimate that they spent an average of $387 on each child in their lives during the past year, with 76% having spent more than $500 per child.
Additionally, PANKs are younger. The average age of a PANK is 36 (vs. 46 years for overall women), a highly desirable age group for marketers because it suggests that PANKs potentially have a network of friends and family members with growing families. This important group of women are also mighty among social media influencers. PANKs tend to spend more time on social media than women in general.
PANKs are great at sharing information about clothing, vacation/travel, websites/social networks sites, and products for digital devices. They also index higher on traditionally “mom” categories, such as groceries/food and beverages, household appliances and home decorating goods, and knowledgeable about more male-dominated areas of expertise: electronics, automobiles/other vehicles, life and property insurance, and financial investments/services.
Some 43% of PANKs say advertising and marketing is not geared to them, and half of them say that society does not acknowledge them. Imagine what would happen if advertisers acknowledged this group. This important demographic would be extremely loyal to brands that reach out to them.
April 27, 2013 § 2 Comments
It’s the travel season. I recently booked rooms in far-flung places where I had to rely on online reviews to steer my decisions. I looked for high ratings, seemingly honest guest reviews and photos that travelers had taken.
Do consumers trust online reviews for hotels? Yes, of course they do, and they trust online reviews more than brand websites and ads. TripAdvisor recently celebrated an impressive new statistic: the travel review site reached 100 million reviews and opinions this month. The reviews include more than 2.5 million accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and local businesses in more than 116,000 destinations. Central Park in New York has more than 12,000 reviews!
Here are some of the findings from Trip Adviser:
95% of travelers say reviews are trustworthy.
78% of travelers say reviews help them feel more confident in their booking decisions.
74 percent of travelers say that they write and post online reviews because they want to share a good experience with others.
53% of travelers won’t book a hotel that has no reviews.
35% of new reviews on TripAdviser are submitted by Facebook-connected travelers.
5% claim the hotel was not as good as the reviews implied, but 80% say the hotel met their expectations based on the reviews.
What signals a trustworthy review? Travelers look for the number of reviews, pictures and images, and the quality and detail. And all hotels should respond to hotel reviews. I gave the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago high marks because they have an active social media presence and will respond to guests on social media. It sets them apart. Almost 90 percent of hotel general managers agree that it’s critical for their staff to manage, respond to, and monitor hotel reviews on user review websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google+ Local, and Travelocity.
To find out how to spot a fake review, check out the infographic from Olery.
April 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
Whether we buy online or research online, all retail is going to be impacted by online activity. Not ten years from now, but just a couple of years from now. How can that be, you ask, when only 5.4% of retail sales were reported as e-commerce in the fourth quarter of 2012?
Well, here’s the news bulletin. While online retail sales are a smaller portion, many of today’s sales are web-influenced. In fact, 70% of consumers research online before they make an in-store purchase. And the average shopper may be using 10.4 sources of information to make a purchase decision. Social media and mobile continue to become important influencers in this shopping behavior.
Moms continue to be the heavy shoppers and one-third of all moms own a connected device. Moms spend 6.1 hours per day on average on their smartphones – that’s more than magazines, TV or radio. 62% use shopping apps and 46% took action after seeing a mobile ad. Mobile usage is growing among moms. It’s 40% higher today than in 2009 for these mobile moms. The statistics for moms shopping on tablets are off the charts - 97% made a purchase using their tablet in the last month. And 46% actually want to receive information while they are in a store.
Warning to Retailers: many retailers have been shown to be slow to adapt, and are without tablet websites or iPad sites. When you don’t keep up, you are giving the competition the edge and giving iPad shopping startups a shot, like Pickie or Fab.com or others.
For more statistics on shopping, read more here.
April 13, 2013 § 1 Comment
A new report from Nielsen confirms that women still control the spending power in the US. Some people estimate that we control $5-15 trillion annually. Now, I know that saying women still dominate retail shopping is like saying that it still snows at the North Pole, but there are some shifts going on that are interesting.
The report points out that men are taking a more active role in the shopping process than they have in the past. Woo-hoo! Between 2004 and 2012, U.S. women reduced the number of trips they made across most retail channels, while men increased their visits to all outlets except grocery and drug stores.
However women are still spending more money per trip than men in all shopping channels. Women drive the larger stock-up or planned trips and outspend males by $14.31 per trip in supercenters and by $10.32 per trip in grocery stores.
So basically, women are still doing the majority of shopping, but the data tends to suggest that men are beginning to assume more shopping duties beyond the trip to the convenience store for beer and chips.
Talking to the female shopper is more important than ever. So those at Nielsen are concerned, like we are, about the emotional and rational content of marketing and advertising messages.
Women remember more and differently than men do, so talk to both her emotional and rational sides and acknowledge her attention to detail. Layering emotional decision-making opportunities with rational information will increase purchase intent and will have strong “sticking” power. According to Nielsen NeuroFocus, the female brain is programmed to maintain social harmony, so messaging should be positive and not focus on negative comparisons or associations.
In other words, women form value opinions based on both emotional and rational reasons to buy. That’s why the Darth Vader spot for Volkswagen was a game changer. It spoke to both men and women about the special moments of family life yet focused on a buying feature of the car. And yes, women are the buyers of most cars too.
March 12, 2013 § Leave a 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.
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
March 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
Content marketing is important to healthcare brands. For many reasons. The idea of content marketing is to intersect the consumer with content that promotes an idea, spurs an action or engages the audience. No, this is not cat videos or elderly people playing dueling pianos. This is real information that consumers can discover for themselves. It is a targeted marketing approach that has quality, original content at its heart – hence, the infographic below – The Anatomy of Content Marketing from Content Plus.
Here are just some of the important facts to consider:
HubSpot research shows companies that blog typically get 55% more visitors than non-blogging competitors. This might have something to do with the fact that such sites get 97% more inbound links than others, which is also beneficial for their performance in search engine results pages (SERPs).
McKinsey Quarterly found up to half of all buying decisions are driven by a word-of-mouth recommendation.
Around 60% of Twitter and Facebook users are more likely to recommend brands they follow, so small businesses should focus on building their fanbase via quality content so they reap rewards.
The majority of consumers say they’d much rather get to know a brand through reading articles they publish than checking out advertisements about them. And 60% of consumers said they felt more positive about a brand after reading custom content on their site.
March 9, 2013 § 2 Comments
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?
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.
March 2, 2013 § 7 Comments
It’s a new day for women and there is even a new term for the group that are over 27, not married, not living with a partner, and without children. They are called the Indies. This group has been growing and currently include some 31 million women, about a third of all adult women. They now surpass the number of married moms! Time for marketers to make a mind shift! Some say this is the most neglected segment of the population.
What happened to the nuclear family? It has blown up! It represented 44% of homes in 1960 and is only 22% of homes today.
Click here to see a film about Indies produced by NBCUniversal’s Integrated Media group.
Some 96% of Millennials list “being independent as their single most important life goal” and only 50% said that getting married was a priority. They are well educated and successful. They are 57% of undergrads, 59% of masters degree holders, and 52% of managerial positions. And having a significant other does not define them – 77% of them are happy being single.
Adweek reported last year that young professionals “often find it’s easier to [build their networks and careers] if they don’t have obligations to others,” adds Eric Klinenberg, author and professor of sociology, public policy and media, culture and communications at New York University. Moreover, living alone, he says, gives them control: “They can work late or go out late, and they can bring home whoever they want.”
This group of “indies” should be important to marketers because they have more disposable income that other women. They spend about $1 trillion each year. They buy one-fifth of all homes. They spend on cars ($22 billion which is five times more than independent men), entertainment ($20 billion), and food ($50 billion).
Marketers may find them easier to target because they over-index for television by 12% and they are multi-screen users. They spend more time on social media and on their smartphones. They are online seeking information and acting as advocates. They are reading peer reviews and ratings, giving health and nutrition advice and are more likely to be the first to shop at a new store.