May 13, 2014 § 1 Comment
As I was munching on my McDonald’s salad at my desk today, I started wondering about the fate of lunch in America. I certainly don’t seem to break for lunch as often as I used to. In fact, the phrase lunch hour is even misleading. In a recent study , 48% of employees say that the typical lunch break is 30 minutes or less. And in another study by Staples, 19% of employees say they don’t stop for lunch at all. In 2010, Monster found that more than 20 percent of workers say they always eat lunch at their desks.
The lunch “break” has turned into a time for errands, online shopping, more work and maybe a quick bite. Here are some of the reasons behind these trends.
• The recession spawned a cutback in personal and business spending. And currently the IRS only allows 50% of entertainment expenses. With a focus on productivity, some employees feel pressure to work more and don’t feel they have time for lunch.
• Working women have a lot of tasks to accomplish. Any given day may include errands, online shopping, haircuts and a quick bite. Working moms are 13% more likely to have spent $2500+ on internet purchases, 10% more likely to do their banking online and they own almost every mobile device technology that allows them to shop.
• Lunch hour shopping trends show 84% of moms shop 15 minutes or more a day at work. And most of that shopping happens between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Some 43% of female workers say they did their holiday shopping online while at work, compared to only 35% of male workers. Not surprisingly, 21% of back to school shopping happens online. Woman shoppers use the time as a welcome break from their office routine and would rather shop online than go to a mall.
Some categories have benefitted from this trend. Certainly online shopping of all kinds has prospered. Retailers see rising traffic during the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. period and some are creating two-hour “stop, drop and shop” promotions during that lunch window. Grocery stores have embraced the trend with more “grab and go” lunch foods. According to market researcher NPD Group, grocers have seen their lunchtime purchases of prepared food like sandwiches and salads jump by 28% since 2008. And fast casual restaurants like Panera and Chipotle provide high quality food options with a lower time commitment. There is also a trend to wanting snacks at all times to tide workers over to dinner time.
In the world of advertising and marketing, the three martini lunches were legend. Gerald Ford said, “The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?” While some still remember those long lost “Mad Men” three martini lunches fondly, in retrospect, they seem indulgent and luxurious. Time might have been the true luxury. Maybe those lunches were not very productive, but they did provide opportunity for marketers and clients to know each other better. Maybe we have traded the martini for the macchiato, but that coffee with a client might be a great time to really talk, listen to each other and share ideas freely. Cheers!
December 14, 2013 § 1 Comment
‘Tis the season of lists so I thought that we might make a list of important learning from this Holiday Season of Marketing so that we could use it all next year. So here is my list. Feel free to add your learnings to the list.
1. Pinterest is the thing of Sugar Plums and Dreams. This female-focused audience is now 70 million strong and retailers need a Pinterest strategy. Holidays, DIY and Recipes are some of the top searches on Pinterest. And 47.7 percent of shoppers say that Pinterest content has inspired holiday gift purchases. Here’s an amazing fact – Amazon has been among the most popular holiday season e-retailers for passed-along Pinterest content, drawing more than 16,300 pins/shares a week since Thanksgiving, per Searchmetrics’ research. Walmart is second and Apple is third.
2. Gift guides are an important sales tool. Some of the most-opened emails during the holiday season are gift guides. Use your imagination for special groups, categories and price ranges. Also popular are gift guides for gifts under a certain price like $50 or $100. Pinterest would be a great place to create gift guides.
3. It’s online! Black Friday gave way to early Thanksgiving openings and Cyber Monday. These shopping holidays saw some new trends this year. Seventeen (17%) of consumers are expecting to increase their online purchases this year, including 2o% among more affluent households. For the first time, more consumers will shop online (47%) than at discount/value department stores (44%). While consumers did more of their pre-Thanksgiving shopping at online retailers than at mass merchants or department stores, they will do more last-minute shopping at mass merchants and department stores (presumably because they won’t have time to wait for the shipping). (Integer Group, M/A/R/C Research.) Oh, and there’s a new term to learn – Green Monday (the Monday with at least 10 days until Christmas).
4. Price checking abounds and Amazon is a clear leader in online shopping. Some 87% of consumers agree that they will always check Amazon before making most online purchases (MarketLive/e-tailing group.) Retailers’ sales and promotions are the most likely factor to influence shoppers’ holiday spending (44%), ahead of household expenses (27%) and existing debt obligations (14%). (Discover).
5. Free shipping is now the standard; 7 in 10 shoppers expect free shipping online, and 47% expect free returns. (Deloitte.)
Bonus Trend: One third of holiday shoppers will be buying gifts for themselves this year, while spending the rest of the budget on friends and family. However, holiday shoppers value generosity and social consciousness from their favorite brands.
There are only ten days left until Christmas. Make the time count – smile more, laugh more, treasure the time and be generous of spirit during these last days before Christmas.
December 10, 2013 § 1 Comment
Women are the holiday multi-taskers so it’s no surprise that 43% of female workers say they have holiday shopped online while at work, according to the new CareerBuilder CyberMonday study. Jennifer Sullivan Grasz from CareerBuilder reports only 35% of male workers are also holiday shopping online.
CyberMonday shoppers work too!
Over half (54 percent) of all workers expect to be shopping online for the holidays. Many of those will be planning to spend the time during lunch or during breaks. The survey finds that one in five workers will spend between one and three hours browsing Internet deals from the office over the course of the holiday season and 10 percent will spend 3 hours or more; a quarter report just planning to spend an hour or less.
Back in 2010, we reported on a similar study that found that 40% of female workers 18-54 said they shopped online, and a whopping 84% of moms said they spent 15 minutes or more daily shopping. And emails were a definite trigger for with 60% responding to email offers.
Workers are responding to lots of holiday emails.
No wonder we are responding to emails. Some 28 percent of all emails are sent during the holiday season. In fact, every brand is sending consumers an average of six emails, up from five last year. Experian says that email accounts for nearly 3 percent of website visits (ahead of social) and higher conversions (3.58 percent) than search (2.49 percent) and social (.71 percent) combined. Oh, and don’t forget – half of all emails are now read on mobile devices.
Email tips for marketers.
For marketers, we need to take all of this in consideration and start planning early. Some of the important considerations are:
1. Test emails and offers for effectiveness.
2. Test timing of emails. Weekends versus weekdays may yield different results. By the way, half of all working women do their shopping between 11 am and 2 pm.
3. Make sure your subject lines are appealing and stand out to your consumers. Subject lines are where most people make a decision to unsubscribe.
4. Help your customer with gift guides. According to Experian, gift guide emails experience 48% higher transaction rates than normal promotion emails.
4. Look for new ways to build your list and reach new people.
5. Be more personal. Address your customer by name or tailor the message to your geography, weather or preferences.
6. Use re-targeting and abandoned cart messages.
7. Make sure you are optimized for mobile.
The CareerBuilder survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,484 U.S. workers and 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between August 13 and September 6, 2013.
January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
Guest Post by Scott Zimmerman
High-Tech Healthcare Engagement: Helping Women Make Their Own Health a Priority
Conventional wisdom tells us that women take care of everyone else before taking care of themselves, and research, including our own, supports this. You do it all—own businesses while having kids, running marathons, making family decisions, and earning degrees. And because you’re busy taking care of everyone else, you tend put your own health last.
In a study conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Family Physicians, 90 percent of adult women in the United States are responsible for making healthcare decisions for themselves and their family members. This includes spouses, children, and other relatives, such as parents and grandparents. Unfortunately, while you make care and treatment decisions, most of you aren’t following doctor’s orders. In fact, 81 percent of the women we surveyed in our TeleVox Healthy World study, “A Fragile Nation in Poor Health,” admitted they do not follow treatment plans as exactly prescribed by doctors.
Luckily, we live in a technological age that enables patients to communicate with doctors and nurses more frequently and with greater ease. Through mobile apps, text messaging, email, and voicemail, patients now have the opportunity to stay connected with their doctors outside of the exam room, making location and lack of time both issues of the past. Today’s digital media is advancing wellness efforts and strengthening patient engagement—all while saving time and money.
Our studies showed that women requested the highest amount of between-visit care—and when you consider that they are the primary caregivers in most homes—this makes complete sense. So it follows that, as the decision makers when it comes to healthcare, you need adequate knowledge and tools to help you achieve success in that role. One of our TeleVox Healthy World studies, “Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care,” revealed that 84 percent of women said receiving digital communication updates from their healthcare professional, such as text messages, emails or voicemails, are as helpful, if not more helpful, than in-person conversations.
We found that when women integrate doctor-patient communication into their daily lives, they look for physicians who are attentive, receptive and accessible. You want to know that your doctor is listening. Some women reported wanting doctors to take a few more minutes to just ask them about their day—How’s the family? How’s the job? What’s new? Personalized engagement efforts go a long way. “Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care,” found that 55 percent of women want the communication they receive from healthcare professionals to be relevant to them as an individual, with 51 percent reporting that communication received from healthcare professionals should be personalized with information that is tailored to their specific needs. Thirty-four percent of women would like all communication from their doctor to be personalized with their name, and 11 percent said that they would ignore or refuse digital healthcare communication if it is not personalized. Another 23 percent expect the communication they receive outside of the exam room to help them become or remain healthy individuals.
It’s these small, but meaningful touches doctors can do to help you make your own well-being a priority. Whether it’s through emails that provide health and fitness tips, text messages that remind you to take medication, or voicemails reminding you to schedule a yearly exam, you want doctors who genuinely care about keeping you healthy. Doctors need to remind you that it’s okay to prioritize your own healthcare.
Scott Zimmerman is a regularly-published thought leader on engaging patients via ongoing communication between office visits. He is the President of TeleVox Software, Inc, a high-tech Engagement Communications company that provides automated voice, email, SMS and web solutions that activate positive patient behaviors by applying technology to deliver a human touch. Scott spearheads TeleVox’s Healthy World initiative, a program that leverages ethnographic research to uncover, understand and interpret both patient and provider points of view with the end goal of creating a healthy world–one person at a time.