What Should Marketers Do About Facebook Third Party Data Changes?

April 4, 2018 § Leave a comment

The big stat:  83% of female internet users and 75% of male internet users are Facebook users. There are 207 million Facebook users in the United States. 

Are advertisers concerned about the Facebook scandal?  We should.  Some 45% Facebook users say they are going to use Facebook less.  And let’s be real here. We need Facebook users and their data.  Because without the data, it could limit our ability to target specific audiences on Facebook and Instagram.

One agency exec James Douglas, head of media at Reprise, a digital agency owned by Interpublic commented, “If advertisers were suddenly unable to target certain segments, because of regulation—such as political affinities, income or wealth accumulation, or race/age/gender—that might challenge advertisers to look elsewhere for options.”  We rely on data that can be anonymized and aggregated, and doesn’t infringe on users’ privacy.

As advertisers, we have been able to target audiences on Facebook using three sets of data –

  1. Data from Facebook, which collects user data and profile info.
  2. Data from the advertiser, such as email lists used in look-alike audiences.
  3. The Holy Grail Data from 3rd Party providers like Experian and Acxiom who provide purchasing behavior information.

With the new changes Facebook is implementing, marketers will be limited to using only their own data and Facebook data. The third party data (from groups like Experian and Acxiom) has provided behaviors such as income, people buying a house or people having a baby. Facebook has also announced it is dropping audience reach estimates for custom audiences.

So what should we be doing to get ready for these changes?

  1. Rely on your own data more. Marketers may need to depend on their own data and possibly find similar audiences on Facebook and target them. Growing your own email list and using that to define a look-alike audience has always been possible. With reach estimates going away, it will be necessary to watch campaigns closely to see the audience reach delivered. Over time Facebook will figure out how to expand their data.
  2. Don’t step away from Facebook,  but think about expanding your social media platform usage to insure reach.  Marketers need to include more media than just Facebook in the media mix. Now’s the time to think about Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Waze, Instagram and more.
  3. Use Instagram more if it fits your demographic. Instagram fits a young adult audience, it’s growing and currently represents 28% of Facebook mobile dollars. No doubt it will continue to grow in older age groups as Facebook fatigue sets in. Instagram purchasing is going to give marketers an enlarged audience and great info on buyers.
  4. Don’t panic.  Facebook is not going away even if some users begin to use it less.  It is the Gorilla.  In 2018, the number of Facebook users in the United States is 207 million.

 

 

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Women Consuming 11 Hours of Media Daily

March 14, 2018 § 2 Comments

Nielsen has a new report out on media consumption by women.  And while digital continues to grow, traditional media still takes up a large portion of media time.  In fact, women are now consuming 11 hours of media a day.  Some of the highlights:

  1. Women still watch a lot of traditional live TV.  Women 18+ watch an average of 4 hours a day.  What about recorded TV? From 2015 to present, women have consistently spent an average of around 30+ minutes per day with time-shifted TV.
  2. Radio is still important among women, as they spend almost two hours a day listening.
  3. Digital, particularly smartphones, continues to grow.  Women spent 2.35 hours in 2017, compared to 1.45 hours in 2016.

Local is still important in targeting moms.  Nielsen’s Local Watch Report shows working mothers make up the majority of morning news (58%) and late night news (52%) viewing because as most are working during the daytime. Meanwhile, stay-at-home moms over index on catching up with the news at midday (61%) and early evening (57%) and spend much less time tuning into local news in the morning.

 

Convenience is the New Currency

February 27, 2018 § Leave a comment

We do a good bit of research on what drives purchases in retail. Our research among female retail consumers points to the truth that convenience is today’s currency. In fact, it is so important that it might be the most powerful force shaping our lives and economy, according to a recent New York Times article called it “The Tyranny of Convenience”.

Just think about the types of convenience that exists today – mobile banking, Amazon shopping, grocery pick-up and delivery services, all kinds task apps, movie apps, on-demand movies, ride-sharing, meal services, clothing services and more.

While conventional wisdom might think that women spend more time shopping,; men spend three hours shopping, versus women spending two and a half, and men are twice as likely to visit more stores than women do.

For your business to have cultural relevance today, it is imperative to understand what convenience means to your customers. What is convenient for your business may not be convenient for the customer. To your customer, their need may be same-day pick-up, self-checkout, more convenient hours or online chat to facilitate online shopping. It may be omni-shopping with the ability to shop online and pick up at the store.

A new research study by Catalyst, a marketing agency specializing in the retail sector, found that the top five motivators for brick and mortar shoppers were convenience, efficiency, good customer service, and product quality, with value important to all.

Time Well Spent. It seems that if shoppers are going to take the time to come to your store, you need to provide them with an experience that equates to value and convenience. Think about an Apple Store with its live demo of products, workshops, informed sales representatives, and iPad checkout.

Do a convenience audit of your business. Talk to your customers about what they value in the shopping experience. Don’t be afraid to make changes.

Super Bowl Audience Drops

February 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

The football industry and women are having an interesting time.  This year’s Super Bowl saw their audience drop while still being one of the most watched events. The number is down 7% from the 111.3 million that tuned in for last year’s Super Bowl, making it the least-watched Super Bowl since 2009.

Half of the viewers of the Super Bowl are women.  But declining football viewership may have been affected this season by player protests, domestic violence reports and continuing health concerns about players.

Moms are beginning to hold their sons back from the sport.  Even Justin Timberlake said he didn’t want his son playing football.  Today Show reported the issue of allowing children to play football has become part of a national conversation over the safety of the sport, particularly among youth. Many parents have become skeptical about letting their kids play football because of numerous studies over the link between repeated concussions and lasting brain damage.

On the flip side, women are looking at football as a career.  Women make up roughly half of all NFL fans but currently just a third of league employees with no female head coaches or general managers.  But the NFL is helping women get on the path to a career in the game with forums on the finer points of coaching, scouting players, and more.

On the advertising side, the 3% Conference were rating the advertising to women.  The #3percentsb hashtag asked viewers to rate spots on whether there was a woman in the spot, whether she was defying stereotypes or was she the hero.  This year there were less women spokespersons and some tone deaf ads were panned like the Dodge Ram MLK spot.  One tweeter said @jtimberlake has more backup dancers and band members that are female than all of the Super Bowl advertisements that have aired so far, combined.

Facebook Losing Its Cool?

February 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Well, the facts don’t lie.  This year, for the first time, less than half of US internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook  at least once per month. New users being added to Facebook are from older age groups.  eMarketer estimates Facebook will lose 2 million users ages 24 and younger this year. Where are they going?

The move to Instagram by younger people seems the obvious answer but eMarketer said it expects Instagram to add only 1.6 million users under the age of 25 this year. Snapchat is expected to add 1.9 million users in the same demographic and by year’s end, it’s expected to be the leader in users in the 12 to 24 age group.

And for those older users who never quite got Snapchat, the platform is being redesigned for easier use.  Of course, if older folks find Snapchat, younger users might move on like they did on Facebook.

Another issue that Facebook is facing is the backlash from advertisers threatening to pull ads from both Facebook  if the platform continues to provide a space for hate, creating division or failing to protect children.

Staying cool is hard.  And as always, marketers need to stay on top of these changes and experiment with new media to reach their audience.

What Marketers Need to Do About Facebook’s New Changes

January 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

(AP Photo/Manu Fernadez)

Facebook announced significant changes to its news feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. These updates will make it harder for pages to be seen in news feeds. Translation:  Organic reach will drop.

How low is it already? Currently Digiday reports organic reach for Facebook pages with fewer than 10,000 fans has hovered around 10 percent for some time.  That means that for every 700 people who liked a business page, for example, roughly 70 people would see a post in their news feeds organically without the company having to pay for the post to appear. The latest change drags that reach down to virtually zero, bringing it more in line with what larger brands have contended with for years.

So what are marketers to do?  Here are some suggestions from my Women in Digital peers, media experts and even Facebook.

Advertise.  Of course.  Currently only about 4% of businesses on Facebook advertise. That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it?  But Facebook is still currently a low cost alternative to other forms of advertising.  Use Facebook advertising for awareness and promotions.

Get users to mark you as ‘see first’.  Okay, this is a bit of a stretch and a type of double opt-in but if you can get users to do it, it will help your content appear in their news feed.  Ask your users to choose See First in their news feed preferences to make sure they will see your posts.
Create better content that invokes engagement.  Facebook’s change effectively means that posts that receive more comments carry more weight than ever, reducing likes and shares to vanity metrics.  So the quality of content and ways to create conversation become important.  When explaining these changes, Social Media Examiner asked for people to comment on their post so more people would see it.  And it seems that long comments are more important than a short comment.
Use Facebook Live more.  Videos usually elicit comments, so creating weekly Facebook Live events will help.  Facebook said Live videos are totaling six times the interactions of non-Live videos. Episodic videos will help as well.  Think storytelling for your brand.
Set up a Group.  Facebook groups usually inspire lots of meaningful content.  Is there a way to create a group around your product?
Start using Instagram more, and/or use influencers.  For the present, Instagram and influencers may offer an assist for brands.  Influencers are not currently penalized as businesses and may be a window of opportunity.  It’s time to experiment with other social sites.
“I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Mark Zuckerberg said in his post about the changes. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”

 

 

The World of Modeling and Instagram

January 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

By Lauren Staub, Model

Modeling has always been viewed as a superficial line of work, where the young and beautiful get compensated on their features rather than their intelligence. As a model for the past four years, I disagree with this sentiment. I have gathered a collection of connections and have created a business off of my work ethic and extroversion. Because of this I am currently represented by agencies in Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, and Orlando.

The World of Modeling. The modeling industry has always been brutal, as agencies rarely care about your resume of experience. An agency visit is most often like this: you walk into their office, they take a look at your pictures, a look at you, then they send you off. Within this short period of time they are able to determine if you are too tall, too short, if your hair color is desirable, etc. The list of assessment is long and invasive. But recently a new critique has arrived: how many Instagram followers you have.

IMG_5112The Invasion of Instagram.  Modeling is all about visual stimulation, what better way to exemplify this than through a photo sharing service? In a new effort to glamorize the modeling world, agencies have recently started inspecting social media outlets to see the amount of people who are interested in your life. When applying to agencies, many now ask about your Instagram and if you have over 10,000 followers. The question is, why does this matter? The more followers an agency’s models have, the better they look. If these models keep posting high quality content, it reflects highly on them and creates a sense of elitism. So not only does a model need to have “the look”, they now need the popularity. The issue here is that followers can be bought or created through software. A model can have 10,000 followers, but how many of them are actual interested individuals? How many of them are software robots created specifically to make the follower count go up? Despite the shakiness and stressful nature, a larger following is still something I must strive for to keep up. To fulfill this demand I make sure to post photos 3-4 times a week, but this also means having enough content to post, which I dedicate much of my free time compiling.

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