September 22, 2013 § 1 Comment
Consumers can be hiding their true motivations. That’s the findings of a new research study by Young & Rubicam. Consumers may be hiding their most important desires and motivations from marketers. In fact, consumers may hold views that are the opposite of what they say, and they are okay with that.
How did they discover this new finding? Y&R reports that they used traditional survey research to reveal what people think consciously and indirect questioning, Implicit Association, to get at the unconscious motivations. This is part of the movement to neuromarketing and will definitely be important when marketing to women.
Chip Walker, the Y&R EVP who was responsible for the study says that Consumers hide their motivations. While people may claim that achieving “meaning in life” is their most important value consciously, unconsciously “sexual fulfillment” ranks #1.
One of the contradictions you find in research is that while sex definitely sells, provocative advertising does not test well. Apparently, we do not like to admit that sex can be motivating. Maybe that’s the truth underlying the news uproar about Miley Cyrus “twerking” , while her new release has steadily climbed to #1 on the charts.
Some of the contradictions pointed out by the research are in top conscious and unconscious values. American’s top conscious values are helpfulness, choosing your own path, and meaning of life – while our top unconscious values are maintaining security, sexual fulfillment, and respect for tradition.
Brands both suffer and benefit from this dichotomy of unconscious and conscious desires. Brands that top the conscious list are Amazon, Google, Apple, Target, Whole Foods, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Facebook, AT&T and Prius. The top 10 brands that have a secret crush with consumers are Target, Amazon, Facebook, Whole Foods, National Enquirer, Exxon, McDonald’s, Apple, Starbucks and AT&T. Google and Prius drop off the top 10 list and amazingly National Enquirer and Exxon move up.
There is now a large group of consumers that appear to be fine with this conflicting mindset. They also feel that marketers don’t really understand them.
What should we takeaway from this study?
1. The Good v. Bad Mentality. Traditional research has limitations in certain areas. Researchers and marketers have intuitively known this for years. Ask restaurant diners if they want more healthy products on the menu and they will say yes. But those healthy products never make a huge dent in the product mix. I think there are many accepted contradictions in every industry, and marketers must be attune to both realities of the business and consumer insight.
2. One Size Doesn’t Fit All. Thankfully, we women consumers can’t always be grouped into easy to understand segments. But brands can reach us if they understand the emotional benefits of their brand. Since the Gulf oil spill, Dove detergent has done a good job of helping us understand that it is good for our hands and good for cleaning up oil-soaked birds. That emotional benefit is larger than the appeal of soft hands for busy Moms.
3. Marketing to Women is Complex. And in today’s world, our cultural view of women is in flux. Young women will hold vastly different views and opinions from older women. Breadwinner women may hold non-traditional views about work and family.
September 10, 2013 § 1 Comment
Whether 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.
September 4, 2013 § Leave a Comment
We can no longer separate the female shopper from her shopping tool of choice – the smartphone and the tablet. Retailers should understand that the love affair of women and their mobile devices is deep and growing. In fact, 57% of women would rather give up sex than give up their smartphone for seven days.
Who is the Mobile Shopper?
The mobile shopper is divided equally between men and women but women are more likely to use their devices for physical purchases. Mobile shoppers tend to skew younger. The majority (57%) are under 45 years old and make up a growing share of mobile shoppers, and 34 percent are under 34 years old.
Nielsen says that both men and women participate in shopping but women are the dominant shopper in every retailer category except convenience stores. Women drive the larger shopping trips outspending males by $14.31 per trip in supercenters and by $10.32 per trip in grocery stores.
Women Shop Mobile At Home
We are using our devices most frequently at home, according to Nielsen. More than two-thirds of smartphone shoppers and four-out-of-five tablet shoppers are shopping at home—sometimes while watching TV. Tablet owners are more likely to be doing research on purchases (59%) and are more likely to purchase physical items (38%) than smartphone shoppers (24%).
Women Shop Mobile In-Store
Smartphones are necessary shopping outside the home. The are the in-store device of choice for most. While on the way to the store, 70 percent of smartphone shoppers use a store locator to plan their shopping trip. Once inside the store, 37 percent stay organized using lists while shopping on their phones. We use our devices to check prices, and the majority of smartphone (63%) and tablet (53%) owners then use search and scanners to determine price and deals. At the checkout lane, smartphone shoppers then are more likely to use their devices for mobile coupons (34%) and for payment (23%).
Women Continue After the Shopping Experience
After we finish our shopping, we pick up our tablets to track and share our shopping experience. Some 20 percent write comments on social media and 16 percent use their tablets to write reviews of their purchases. For the at-home mobile shopper, the majority of smartphone (55%) and tablet (52%) shoppers are using their devices to track the progress of their online orders.
September 2, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Generosity and kindness are important social behaviors for individuals, but they are also important for businesses. Yes, our moms taught us to share and to care about those around us. Some businesses have learned that lesson as well.
I was reminded of this last week when I was completing a purchase of t-shirts for my supper club. I had ordered the t-shirts from CustomInk. The company had sent me a delivery confirmation but I had not received the shirts. I shot an email back, not really expecting to speak to someone. And what do you know? I got an email from my very own T-shirt Ambassador. She tracked the purchase and told me if they were not there when I got home that evening, that she would be working until 10 pm my time and would immediately work on a replacement order. Well, the t-shirts did show up and all was well. And CustomInk now has a loyal customer. And I have a friend at CustomInk. When you look at their website, you see the importance of real human contact – they say “talk to a real person” and “chat with a real person”. Seems I am not the only fan of CustomInk. They say that 99% of customers would order again.
- For the past 6 years, CustomInk has been named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of the fastest- growing private companies in America – debuting at #55 in 2005; and, CustomInk has made the Internet Retailer list of America’s Top 500 retail websites based on online sales since 2007.
They also have a great program for fundraising for user groups. Seems like their core values of The Golden Rule, Ownership and Innovation are working well for them.
Here are some of other companies known for their generosity:
Costco. Have you ever seen Costco on a good sampling day? You can hardly navigate the aisles as samples of products are passed generously to all customers. And those cheap hot dogs and drinks keep shoppers in the store longer. And returns are easy for members.
Nordstrom. The return policy at Nordstroms is no return policy. It’s all about taking care of the customer – no time limit, no receipt, no paperwork. Free shipping is always available.
Southwest Airlines. Southwest has always been known for their humor and low prices. Recently, they have resisted charging for bags. So their policy for two free bags has certainly added to flyer preference.
Zappos. Well, Zappos knows that ordering shoes online takes a bit of faith. So, they allow you to order as many as you want, ship them for free and then let you return them for up to a full year.
Kroger. Did you know that Kroger tops the list in most generous companies through their community rewards program for schools? Kroger gives some 10% of their pre-tax profits back to schools and local charities.
TOMS. Sometimes generosity is to someone else other than the consumer. TOMS recently gave away their ten millionth pair of shoes. Their charitable business model has proven successful for them and the millions of children who have benefited from their high quality shoe gifts. The company has succeeded without outside investors and has never had to purchase an ad.
Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s has personality. The employees walk around ready to answer questions, easy to spot in their Hawaiian shirts and “ask me” signs. They always have a cup of coffee and a sample ready for you at the back of the store and are getting rid of plastic shopping bags with their own cute 99 cent bags.
What these companies have in common:
They recognize the importance of their customers. And they recognize that their benefit and value to a customer is comprised of more than just price. Here are just some of the lessons as reported in Harvest Business Review:
• Offering things that make consumers feel great with low cost. Nordstroms often has a pianist in their stores during the holidays. It’s a small thing but it makes us join in the celebration of the season. Those cute 99-cent bags at Trader Joe’s make me feel good and look cute.
• Providing customers with a friend. That t-shirt ambassador took the hassle and fear out of my t-shirt purchase. Having an ambassador is more than just answering questions. It is taking responsibility for the customer’s peace of mind.
• Sampling as a marketing strategy. A sampling study from Knowledge Networks PDI noted that sampling programs (the kind used at Costco) drove a 475% sales lift on the day of the event. A friend recently was invited to a sampling event at a restaurant which made her more involved and loyal to the restaurant.
• Offering benefits in exchange for important information. Free warranty programs gather detailed consumer information that can be used for customer relationship management purposes.
• Focusing on the life-time value of a customer. A single transaction might be a loss leader, but generosity may benefit in a life-time customer. That’s why Gillette gives away free razors for a teenager’s first shave.