New Research on Women’s Love-Hate Relationship with Brands

June 21, 2016 § 4 Comments

Love Hate We love learning new facts about marketing to women like 90% of women don’t think brands understand them. So we decided to find our own facts on how women interact with brands and learn about that crazy love-hate relationship women have with brands.

Our new Lipstick Economy Love-Hate Brand Study looks at 3500 women’s attitudes towards media, brand interaction and purchase influences. We asked about trusted sources of information, average number of social media contacts by network, how they receive brand information and what is important for brands to communicate. We also looked at why women will sign up for email, like a brand on Facebook, follow on Twitter or opt in-to receive text messages.

We thought we would tease you with a few of the interesting insights that will be part of the full research shared at Red Letter Day on August 5.

  • 94% of women receive information about brands through emails, while only 5% receive brand information through Snapchat.
  • Emails, online reviews and Facebook posts from friends are the top media influences when making purchase decisions.
  • Only 12.5% find brands on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram annoying.
  • 76% of women are the primary decision maker for healthcare in their household.
  • Only 1.5% admit that celebrity endorsements are trusted sources when making a purchase.
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Super Bowl 50 Ads. Proof Women Respond Differently.

February 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

Neilsen research shows there are significant differences in how men and women think, react, shop and watch.  Understanding how these differences can drive behavior can help marketers create more effective advertising and marketing campaigns.  Something Super Bowl 50 advertising clearly illustrated.

A Look at the Super Bowl 50 Ads

This year many of the ads appealed directly to women featuring racing dachshunds (my favorite), Doritos shopping dogs, Super Bowl babies and Hyundai’s spots featuring first dates and distracting men.   Spot Trender did interesting research comparing several spots for gender appeal.

UnknownIn a head to head playoff with Hyundai and Acura, Hyundai did a better job.  The Hyundai spot featuring Ryan Reynolds showed a car that didn’t get distracted like the women driving it.  Women loved this spot.  But a few men (13%) were offended by it, or maybe just a little jealous of Reynolds.  Acura’s “What He Said” ad for the Acura NSX was all rock music, special effects and speed.  It was liked less than the Hyundai ad by both genders but clearly less than females.

INTUIT-Death-Wish-Coffee-720x415 The Death Wish coffee spot featured Vikings in a masculine approach to advertising coffee, even using the line “fiercely caffeinated”.  The spot did well with men but the Starbucks ad showing a mom making her Starbucks on a lazy weekend morning did much better with women and did well with men as well.

Contrasts in Men and Women Brains

Nielsen says that while male and female brains may look alike on the outside, there are contrasts in how men and women process information, express emotion, interact with others and ultimately approach their daily activities that involve media and shopping.

Gender Differences

Women are hardwired for:

  • Big-picture thinking
  • Multi-tasking
  • “Gut” reasoning
  • Social and verbal skills
  • Worry/Empathy

Men are preconditioned for:

  • Concrete thinking
  • Goal-oriented tasks
  • Logical solutions
  • Competition/defense

Differences in Advertising Appeal

When looking at advertising, women under 35 like ads that are upbeat, aspirational, celebrity-focused, occasionally silly, but never mean-spirited.  Women 35-54 may respond more favorably to messages that are sentimental, highlight real-life activities, family friendly and relatable.  Men are looking for fast acting movement, competitive activities and often, sadly, suggestive humor.

 

Tying this together, we see shopping patterns emerge.  Men are goal-oriented shoppers.  They shop to win or complete a goal.  Women are more likely to browse around and shop for deals and special offers.  Research says women are more attuned to discount and promotional news than men (men 57% vs. women 62%).  Women might head to a factory outlet with name brands while men might go to the department store and pay full price.  A few years ago, J.C. Penney learned an expensive lesson on the importance of promotions when they eliminated sales, promotions and coupons and drove away their core audience.

Marketing should employ creative elements and styles that resonate with the way the female brain works. Emotion wins the day over logical facts every time.  That doesn’t mean women don’t want information; they will seek out the information after they become interested.   Women also appreciate authenticity, social consciousness, and nuance.   The female brain is programmed to maintain social harmony, so messaging shouldn’t focus on conflict.

“Women relate to a more aspirational approach, connecting with happy situations that feature characters who allow a woman to imagine herself in their shoes,” says the report. Men like the offbeat humor embodied by “normal guys” in exaggerated situations.

Frequency of advertising also plays into gender receptivity.  Women can absorb more information in a 30-second ad than men but they are harder to convince, often only deciding to buy after multiple exposures.

 

A Google Survey Can Answer Burning Questions Quickly and Inexpensively

November 8, 2015 § 1 Comment

11665626_10153123754483752_7259716457234014637_nWant to know something right away? The Google Consumer Survey is a new way to quickly answer marketing questions like “are brides keeping their maiden names”. The New York Times recently quoted a Google Consumer Survey, reporting some 20% of women married in recent years have kept their names. The Google Consumer Survey is a great alternative for quick-turn around questions. How does it work?

If you are thinking about a pre-test of a marketing campaign, testing some key product messages or gauging opinion or reactions, Google Consumer Surveys could be your answer.

With Google Consumer Surveys, you can write your own survey questions online.  You pick your target, either the entire US internet population or a custom audience: 25-34 year olds, people who live in Nashville, women, etc. The survey can be fielded to a validated, representative sample of respondents whenever you want it.  That means quick results.

Where do the respondents come from?  Unlike traditional survey methods, Google survey respondents are people browsing the web who come across your questions as they seek out online content, such as news, entertainment and reference sites.  I have answered questions on sites like The Tennessean to be able to access stories. Users answer up to 10 questions in exchange for access to the content.  

Google says they automatically aggregate and analyze responses, providing the data through a simple online interface. They give you interactive histograms, clickable demographic segmentation and comparisons, and statistically significant insights―all easily sharable.   Results appear as they come in, with full survey completion within days.

And pricing is really attractive.  General population surveys are $.10 per complete for 1 question surveys and $1.00 per complete for 2-10 question surveys (regardless of how many questions you have).

Surveys targeted towards specific age, gender, or location demographics are now $.15 for 1 question surveys and $1.50 per complete for 2-10 question surveys.

So back to maiden names for women today!  The Google survey found that higher-income urban women were much more likely to keep their names.  The Times compared this subgroup to the wedding pages of The Times. Their results: nearly half of women featured in The Times since 1985 changed their names, while about a quarter kept their names and a quarter did not say, according to an analysis of 7,835 opposite-sex wedding announcements in five-year intervals.

It seems the resurgence in keeping names could be because women now go to college at higher rates than men, celebrities usually opt for their single names and couples commonly live together before marriage using both names.  By the time, women marry, they have established themselves by their maiden name.

So, Google on friends.

 

 

Gift Cards Essential to 4Q Retail Marketing Strategies

October 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

redGift cards have topped the list of most requested gifts for the last eight years, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that one out of three gifts is a gift card. Retailers should make gift card sales an important part of their 4Q sales strategy. Fourth quarter sales of gift cards can contribute to strong sales during January.

“It varies based on the business you’re in, but it is not unusual for as much 50 percent of some retailers’ business in the fourth quarter to come from gift cards,” says Ben Kaplan, president and CEO of digital gifting and incentive platform CashStar.

And some retailers are finding that gift cards are a better way to promote their products than the typical discounts.  Discounts can have a negative perception.  Customers might think “that you are just trying to move product. If you give a gift card instead of a discount, you’re sending a more positive perception of your product to customers.

Gift Card Buyer Segments

In a recent Blackhawk study of gift card buyers, 63% of respondents had purchased at least one gift card in the last year and 94% stated they would be likely to purchase a gift card in the next year.

So it should be no surprise that birthdays (70%) and winter holidays (64%) were the most popular occasions to buy gift cards.

The study segmented gift card buyers into four groups: It’s a Busy Life (33%), Budgeting for a Practical Gift (23%), The Meaningful Gift (22%) and It’s All About the Gift (21%). Marketers can use this information for gift card planning.

It’s All About the Gift. This is a group that loves to give and receive gift cards. Gift cards are their gift of choice. Although they give slightly less than the average amount of gift cards per year, they spend more on individual gift cards. These buyers purchase more restaurant, mass merchandiser, department store gift cards and open loop gift cards than other groups. They buy gift cards in more channels (than other groups) as they tend to buy gifts while doing other shopping. When redeeming gift cards, most spend more than the value of the gift card. This group is approximately 61% female and has a higher percentage of married people. They tend to be more middle aged.

It’s a Busy Life.   This group buys gift cards for convenience. They are time strapped and buy out of necessity, rather than affinity. Overall, they tend to buy more than the average number of gift cards per year (8.7) and buy them more often for more occasions—for almost all occasions more than any other group. Because of convenience needs, this buyer tends to buy e-gift cards (47%) and they prefer to shop online or on their phone or tablet. There is a higher percentage of males in this group. They tend to have higher income, be employed full time and the group is more ethnically diverse.

 A Meaningful Gift. This cluster of givers want to make people happy. They focus their gifting choices on gifts that have emotional meaning. Eighty-one percent want to give gifts that have an emotional meaning. In the past, gift cards tended to be viewed as impersonal or the lazy person’s gift. However, this viewpoint has changed, mainly because of public opinion. People have begun to realize that people prefer them to physical gifts. Gift cards are the most requested gift and people prefer them.

Budgeting for the Practical Gift. This is a fairly new segment. This group focuses on saving money. Buying gift cards help them budget their gift spending. This group is the most price conscious of all of the clusters. They tend to use coupons and look for promotions. Interestingly, this group uses gift cards as the highest percentage of all their gifts and they do that because they think gift cards are such practical gifts. They tend to give fewer gifts than the other groups and prefer to give a gift that is useful. They spend less on individual gift cards and tend to buy gift cards in mass merchandisers and in the grocery channel (already shopping there.) Of all the clusters, the consumers in this group buy the most for self-use. Birthdays and winter holidays are the most popular occasions for purchase. They tend to buy more restaurant and mass merchandiser gift cards.  Only one-third purchase online. This cluster is about two-thirds female and contains more single moms. Overall they have a lower household income level and tend to have less education.

 

 

 

Marketing Healthcare to Women: Google Search Joins with Mayo Clinic

February 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Google has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to deliver health information through search in a totally new way to provide more information on symptoms and treatment.  This change, which began on February 10, will certainly set a new bar for how Americans seek information and medical facilities respond.  But it may also pose a challenge for marketers.

Screenshot 2015-02-18 19.46.10Rather than relying on information resulting from a regular search, Google has taken the position that health information needs to be presented in a different and more reliable way.  Mayo Clinic has partnered with Google to review all the information provided.  Now, when a consumer does a search, they will see an expanded box next to their Google search on desktop and more detailed information on the Google app.

And while this new search box will provide useful information, the change certainly impacts content and search strategy for marketers.  The addition of this information box to the search results may likely mean a reduction in clicks to the websites in the SERPs.  The person searching may not perceive a need to go to the website with specific information.  For instance, if a person needs information on heart attack warning signs, they may never go to a local hospital site, only relying on the Google box of information.  Video may be a strong tool in getting around the knowledge graph.  Currently videos are not included in the knowledge graph.   A 2011 study by AimClear demonstrated that video can receive as much as 41 percent more clicks in organic search over text results.

According to Google,  “the box will be filled with enhanced information culled from throughout the web, verified by multiple physicians and, finally, signed off by doctors from Mayo. Altogether, an average of 11.1 physicians have inspected and approved the information Google will now present.”

The information may include special illustrations, symptoms and treatments.  Google is beginning with 400 medical conditions which will inform about 10% of current health searches.

This initiative is huge in Google.  Here are some of the reasons why Google has made this change:

1.  One in every 20 searches on Google is about health information.

2.  Three-quarters of all health inquiries start with a search engine, according to Pew Research.

3.  The most commonly-researched topics are specific diseases or conditions, treatments or procedures, and doctors for health professionals.

4.  35% of US adult say that they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they have or someone else has.

5.  One in five internet users have consulted online reviews and/or rankings of healthcare providers/treatments.

6.  31% of cell phone owners, and 52% of smartphone owners, have used their phone to look up health or medical information.

The technology that Google is using is part of the Knowledge Graph which links searches to connected information.  Now, you currently see this technology at work when you see the box of information to the right of a search results displayed for a celebrity or famous personality.

Are TV and Digital Still Going Steady?

October 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

There is so much talk about the close relationship between television and your second screen but new reports show that the relationship may not always be as close as we think.  We need to understand our target audience and what they are doing on that second screen.

Ellen_Degeneres_Twitter.pngTelevision and Twitter.  

We might think the top shows have the most Twitter traffic but that’s not always the case, it depends on the audience. While CBS had five of the top ten broadcast shows for the 2013-2014 season,  they don’t have the most Twitter active crowd.  You see, CBS has an older audience among networks, with a median viewer age of 58. And it follows, older adults use Twitter less.  Pew Research says 9% of Americans 50-64 and 5% of those 65 and older used Twitter in 2013, compared to 31% of those 18-29 and 19% of those 30-49.

Who did have the highest Twitter traffic? Blockbuster events that cross many age groups like the Super Bowl, the Grammys and the Oscars score high on Twitter usage.   The Super Bowl had 1.8 billion tweets and Ellen DeGeneres selfie-stunt was shared some 1.1 million times and even knocked Twitter offline for a few minutes.  “Breaking Bad” had the highest traffic for a single airing of a show and of course, it was the finale.  And that amazing Bryan Cranston had 6 million followers.  Other popular Twitter shows include “Walking Dead”, “Pretty Little Liars”, “The Bachelor”, “Game of Thrones”,  “Teen Wolf”, “American Horror Story”, “Scandal” and “Dancing with the Stars”.   These shows have a younger audience and some of them use Twitter in an interesting way.  Variety reports “The Voice” set a record for most tweets during their May 13 telecast.  Some 1.92 million posted #VoiceSave to rescue their favorite contestant.  Nielsen research shows the volume of tweets can relate to statistically significant increases in live ratings in some 39% of the episodes tested.

Twitter has their own study that says 48% of Twitter users said that after seeing a brand’s on-air ad they were more likely to remember seeing a tweet from that brand.

Television and the Second Screen

175879The most common use of digital is while we are watching TV, but it doesn’t always mean our activity is directly related to the show or ad we happen to have onscreen.  According to 2014 Millard Brown study, some 78% of US internet users accessed second screens during shows, compared with 71% who did so during ads.  And it seems that most of our second screen viewing happens during the show, not during previews, credits or commercials.

What are we doing online while watching TV?  We are reading our email, checking into social media, texting, calling someone, searching online and shopping.  Only some 4-7% of viewers are actually looking at the product being advertised.  So, it seems that a large percentage of our second screen time is not triggered by the program or advertising calls to action.  When we plan synergistic activities, we should understand our demographic and their online habits to know how best to interact with them.

 

 

Move Over Millennials. There’s a New Kid in Town!

September 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Naming Gen Edge

A Guest Post by Amy Lynch

001-goodnight-ipad-by-ann-droydRecently demographers and gen theorists documented a clear shift–new behaviors and attitudes that signaled the start of a new generation. Technology plays a role here. For people 19 and under, social media and multi-tasking on five screens at once are the norm. In fact, many of them were read “Goodnight iPad” rather than “Goodnight Moon” at bedtime.

Now the question: what to call this new group? Names abound–Homelanders, iGen, Gen Z–but the name that sticks seems to be Gen Edge. Here’s why.

Each generation is born into a time of stability and belonging, a time of idealism and awakening, or into a period of skepticism and instability. And then (drum roll) once every 100 years or so a generation is born into a world that sees on the edge of collapse. Economically, socially, politically and technologically, things are changing so quickly that the whole era feels unpredictable, risky, edgy.

Of necessity, a generation of kids who grow up on the constant edge of change become edgy themselves. Resourceful and resilient, they find their way through minefields of uncertainty and figure out new ways of making things work.

Parenting comes into the mix as well. Today’s kids are being raised by Gen X parents who have nurtured without coddling. Unlike Millennials, Gen Edge has not been overprotected. They’ve known about adult problems, like unemployment and bills to pay, from early on. So they navigate the work with savvy beyond their years. Realists to the core, they have an edge. Gen Edge just fits.

AmyLynch2013Amy Lynch is president of Generational Edge, helping companies move beyond generational awareness to generational strategies that increase innovation, engagement and sales.  She has talked with groups as diverse as MTV, Boeing, Johnson and Johnson, and the Staff of the US Senate.  

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