Want to See Your Competitor’s Facebook Ads? Now You Can.

August 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

dark-posts-1132x670Turns out all that Facebook transparency has an added benefit for marketers.  We can now see our competitors ads by just going to their Facebook page and looking under the heading that says Info and Ads.  On mobile, it is right under the header photo.  For instance, Panera is running ads about their new delivery program.

Why can we see them now?  The main reason for these new transparency tools is to provide more insight into how political advertisers are using social platforms to manipulate voter opinion, and promote certain candidates as a result.

Heard of dark posts?  Dark posts appeared on the news feeds of targeted users, but not on the company page of the brand that sent them.  But that’s all changed with this new ability to see what ads are running for Facebook Pages.

Facebook itself has previously described how its platform could be used to influence election outcomes, and with 2.2 billion users and growing, it’s a powerful tool of influence.  Women represent 52% of users and 78% of U. S. women are on Facebook, compared to 62% of  U. S. men.

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Women Make 80% of All Travel Decisions

June 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

Women make 80% of all the travel decisions. We represent two-thirds of all travelers in the United States.  47% of us are traveling for business and 72% of women are traveling solo. In all our travels, women want to be valued. And we should – we spend more, are more concerned about safety and want to be pampered. Women travel most for independence (73%), escape (52%), enjoyment (36%), reflection/growth (32%) and learning (31%).  Today’s travelers value experiences over “stuff”.

Reading People’s Body Language

May 29, 2018 § 2 Comments

There was a great television show back in 2009-2011 called Lie to Me about a deception expert who studied body language to expose the truth behind the lies.  Wouldn’t that be a great superpower to have in your next client meeting, performance review, interview or parental showdown?  UCLA research has shown that only 7% of communication is based on the actual words we say. As for the rest, 38% comes from tone of voice and the remaining 55% comes from body language. Learning how to become aware of and to interpret that 55% is an advantage that we need.

Well, here are some cues to look for.

  1. Crossed arms and legs signal resistance to your ideas. Crossed arms and legs are physical barriers that suggest the other person is not open to what you’re saying.  In fact, they are unconsciously saying they are mentally, emotionally and physically blocked off.
  2. Real smile crinkle the eyes.People often smile to hide what they’re really thinking and feeling, so the next time you want to know if someone’s smile is genuine, look for crinkles at the corners of their eyes.
  3. Copying body language signals a bond.Mirroring body language is something we do unconsciously when we feel a bond with the other person. It’s a sign that the conversation is going well and that the other party is receptive to your message.
  4. Posture is important.Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position.  Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement, whether you’re a leader or not.
  5. Eyes can lie.On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. If you’re talking with someone whose stare is making you uncomforable—especially if they’re very still and unblinking—something is up and they might be lying you.
  6. Raised eyebrows signal discomfort.There are three main emotions that make your eyebrows go up: surprise, worry, and fear.  If somebody who is talking to you raises their eyebrows and the topic isn’t one that would logically cause surprise, worry, or fear, there is something else going on.
  7. Lots of nodding signals anxiety.When you’re telling someone something and they nod excessively, this means that they are worried about what you think of them or that you doubt their ability to follow your instructions. 
  8. A clenched jaw means stress.A clenched jaw, a tightened neck, or a furrowed brow are all signs of stress. The person may be anxious about the conversation or thinking about a particular thing is stressing them out.

Gift Giving Benefits Retailers Two Times

May 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

Gift giving is an important part of retail sales.  It also represents an emotional bond made between the giver and the recipient.  Retailers should recognize the dual rewards in growing their gifting business because you are touching two targeted consumers at the same time – the purchaser and the recipient.  Gift giving strategy can provide exponential results for marketers if done correctly.

Unity Marketing estimates that $1 out every $10 spent in the typical retail store, (general merchandise, apparel, furnishings and others) is spent to buy a gift. Gifts represent approximately $128 billion in spending in 2017.  Consumers are typically buying a gift every one to two months.

So what’s behind the science of giving?  The act of gifting is typically meant to communicate feelings for and with another, fostering stronger social relationships.  New research by the Wharton School looked at what type of gifts build deeper personal relationships, a material gift or an experiential gift.

Experiential gifts win over material gifts

Despite gift givers’ tendencies to give material possessions, material gifts do less to foster meaningful relationships between gift givers and gift recipients. The researchers report, “Experiential gifts, in contrast, make recipients feel closer to the person who gave them the gift, regardless of whether the experience is consumed together with the gift giver. Experiential gifts have this effect because of the emotion they evoke when consumed, particularly when the emotion is shared.”

“Our findings demonstrate that giving experiential gifts is more effective at fostering closer relationships, and therefore implies that gift givers should feel happier as a result of giving an experiential gift compared to a material gift,”

What are experiential gifts?  An experience could be providing services like a meal, spa outing, horseback riding, or vacation.  But don’t dismay – material gifts can offer experiential aspects – candles, music, books, toys, food and drink items and even things that are nice to the touch – a furry throw, a cashmere pillow or silk pajamas.

Even the actual event of purchasing the gift can be experiential in a story setting or online by telling a story, allowing for touch and feel, and conjuring up warm feelings.

 

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.

 

 

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.

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