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.
Rather 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.
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!
March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
Moms seem to have the most desire to find bargains and clip coupons. No doubt it’s because households with children under 18 spend more money than households with no children or with children 18+.
Moms are seeking discounts, whether they get them from an app or still cut them out of the newspaper. In a new report from eMarketer, Moms are seen to use coupons more than non-Moms.
The Allrecipes.com chart shows how printed coupons still reign, but coupon apps are still an important part of the mix. As the smartphone becomes the tool of choice for many, apps will continue to grow in use. Moms appear to be always on the alert for deals and ways to save money.
Also important in the total mix are the online saver sites. Womensforum reported that 37.8% of mothers reported using the food or frugal website/blogger sites that share coupons.
Being frugal is still cool and may be a residual effect of the Great Recession for some time to come. But certainly, households with children are looking for ways to stretch their dollar.
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.
July 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
Are you part of the two-screen world yet? I bet you are. If you ever use a mobile device (your smartphone or tablet) while watching television, you already are. We use our devices to communicate with friends and family, look up information related to what we are watching, or multi-task.
The Facts about Dual Screen Viewing
The facts vary, but the trend is clear. According to Nielsen, more than 39% of Americans use their smartphone while watching TV at least once each day, and 62% do so multiple times each week. Google recently reported that we use on average three different screen combinations everyday, including tablets and smartphones while watching TV. And, research from Yahoo! and Razorfish shows that nearly 80 percent of consumers are on mobile devices while watching TV.
More than half of all mobile device users say they visit social networking sites while watching TV. And the social aspect of watching TV is important too: 21% of tablet users and 18% of smartphone users say they read conversations about the program on a social networking site, and 20% of tablet users shop for products or services being advertised. Some even watched a particular TV program because comments on a social media site.
The Top Categories for Dual Screen Viewing
We use dual screen viewing for a variety of types of events. The top five show categories that attract multitaskers are reality, news, comedy, sports and food. I think we can understand why. You are not as intellectually engaged to a plot in these type of shows – leaving room for net surfing.
But how do marketers take advantage of this new behavior?
1. Apps are being built that enhance your viewing. Major media companies, like Discovery Networks International, are already taking advantage of new App Cloud solutions to build rich dual-screen experiences for their broadcast properties.
2. Synchronized Advertising may be around the corner. A national ad runs on the television while a mobile device delivers up a geo-targeted companion ad that gives you local dealer information.
3. Interactive applications allows an interactive quiz or game to be broadcast on television and viewers respond on their tablets, with results giving in real time.
4. Special offers are delivered on television driving consumers to their mobile devices to redeem the special offers.
The future of marketing to women will be exciting as we determine how to combine media for the richest engagement.
July 1, 2013 § 2 Comments
A new study from BrightLocal shows that consumers are increasingly trusting online reviews for local purchases. In fact, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Only one in five consumers say they do not trust online recommendations.
Our research at Brand Wise has shown similar patterns in shopping behavior. Most shopping starts online – whether the purchase is happening online or in-store. BrightLocal found that 37% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the past month. The top searches are for restaurants (67% of consumers), doctors/dentists (35%), general shopping (35%), hotel accommodations (30%) and clothes (28%).
And with a growth in online reviews, consumers can make decisions in advance before making their purchase. In fact, 85% of consumers say they have read online reviews for for local businesses, up from 76% in 2012. And of course, consumers say positive reviews raise their level of trust in the business, and their likelihood to use the business.
What are consumers looking to find in a customer review? When it comes to “reputation traits,” 71% chose reliability as the most important trait in a local business (up from 64%), while 45% pointed to good value.
While we trust online reviews, we are still using word of mouth as our personal way of informing friends and relatives. During the prior 12 months, 72% of consumers reported having recommended a local business by word of mouth (down from 78% last year), while 37% did so on Facebook (up from 32%).
Those who are marketing to women need to embrace reviews the way consumers have, providing ways for consumers to write reviews for your services, whether it is on your website or on review sites. Since much of that research is happening on smartphones, businesses need to have a clear, easy-to-read mobile site. And it is important to engage consumers on-line and respond to all comments, whether positive or negative.