July 6, 2016 § Leave a comment
New Research Study Will Be Revealed at Red Letter Day. Here’s a Preview.
Women have always had an ambiguous relationship with brands. Why? Women expect things that brands don’t deliver.
In at time, where marketers wax poetic about brand love, we are on a mission to find out what separates the famous love couple. Well, as they say, it’s complicated.
Brand Wise and Lipstick Economy just completed a study of 3,390 women representing the three most active buyer generations – Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers. We wanted to find out why 90% of women think brands don’t understand them.
And the results are fascinating. Women actually like to get information from brands. Only 13% of women are really annoyed at brands that are on social media. And more than 90% of women sign up for emails from brands.
Maybe women see shopping as part of their role in life. Women currently make 85% of all consumer purchases and they are the primary shopper for a myriad of expected categories like food and clothing. But women are the primary shopper of most categories, including 79% of healthcare decisions, 76% of travel and vacation decisions, 72% of housing decisions, 70% of restaurant decisions, 67% of financial decisions, and 53% of automotive decisions.
Our research shows that the biggest gap in this brand relationship tends to be over chronic issues: truth and accuracy, customer service, a realistic view of women, respect for women’s intelligence and an understanding of the multi-faceted lives women lead today.
I know this reads like a romance novel. The issues around trust run deep. Women expect deals, promotions, ideas and authenticity. So they seek out advice from their own experiences, friends and families and even online reviews.
To learn more about this research study and more ways that brands are hitting the market with women, sign up here for the Red Letter Day Marketing to Women Event, August 5 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.
January 4, 2016 § Leave a comment
So, the Force has awakened! No, not Star Wars; it’s social media advertising. While we were posting our holiday pictures, social media has moved from a “free” social platform for conversation and awareness to a bona fide advertising medium.
Social media is now a performance-driven marketing channel that delivers highly targeted audiences, new ad formats and a wide variety of measurement tools. On Facebook, desktop ads have 8.1X higher click-through rates and mobile ads have 9.1x higher click-through rates than normal web ads. And Promoted Tweets have shown average engagement rates of 1-3%, much higher than traditional banner ads.
Here’re the facts:
- According to Pew Research, 65% of all adults use social media.
- Women still lead men in the use of social media but barely. Since 2014, the differences in usage by gender have been modest. Today, 68% of all women use social media, compared with 62% of all men.
- Marketing will spend 13.2% of their budgets on social media this year. And of the $137.53 billion global digital ad expenditures in 2014, $16.1 billion was spent on social media, a 45% increase over 2013.
Targeting is key and social media has acknowledged their fierce advantage in geography, specific target audiences and engagement.
Facebook and Instagram are serious contenders for video advertising. Since the two share the same advertising platform, it’s important to look at them together. Oh, and Facebook has been tweaking its news feed algorithm in the past year, favoring videos users are more likely to watch. Facebook reports users view about four billion videos on the social network each day.
Twitter is also making changes that will bode well for advertisers. Twitter is the second-most popular social media platform among marketers with 77% of B2C and 83% of B2B marketers using the network. The new news for Twitter is their testing of displaying tweets based on curation rather than chronological order. Curation could help brand engagement. Twitter is also looking for the video audience and is providing new ad options.
Pinterest added buyable pins last year but is still struggling to make pins into sales conversions. Pinterest seems to be more aspirational than real like Instagram.
So what to do in 2016?
Here are some tips. Make sure you are spending a portion of your advertising dollars in social, testing the effectiveness for your business and honing your messages to your target audiences.
- Know your campaign objectives. Are you wanting to increase conversions on your website, promote your social media page or get your content seen by your target audience?
- Have relevant content. Use your free social media to beta test relevant social ads. Figure out what is resonating the most with your customers and build social ads around these topics.
- Know your customers so you can use the amazing targeting features of social media.
- Rotate messaging to mitigate ad fatigue and test content.
- Design content for the social media you are using and the engagement you desire. Create a video strategy.
- Think mobile. Most social media is consumed on our smartphones so make sure you social media ads are optimized for mobile.
January 4, 2016 § Leave a comment
Here are some insights that will help us navigate the New Year of Marketing to Women. They are less crystal ball thoughts and more practical information for the new year.
- Social is marketing. Women are embracing new platforms of social media and marketing needs to follow. Instagram is now larger than Twitter with more than 400 million users, with 59% using Instagram daily. Some 55% of online adults use Instagram, composed of 31% women and 24% men. On average, millennial moms have 3.4 social media accounts, versus the 2.6 for moms in general. (Weber Shandwick)
- Marketing to Moms means marketing to Millennials. Currently, one-third of millennials have children and that number will continue to grow in 2016. Millennials increase their smartphone usage by 63% after becoming moms, and they spend 35% more time on their mobile device than on their PC or laptop. Those numbers keep growing—a trend we expect to see continue in 2016. Some 81% of millennial moms researched or purchased items via on their phones while shopping in-store this year. And one in four moms do more than half of their shopping online. (BabyCenter/IAB)
- Women expect to shop anywhere, anytime. The online shopping tipping point happened this holiday season proving the importance of omnichannel and smartphone shopping. Retail sales were up 7.9% between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, with brick and mortar sales down while online sales grew 20%. And Amazon seems to be the touchstone. A poll conducted by CNBC this holiday season found that about 49 percent of shoppers say they ‘‘always’’ or ‘‘most of the time’’ browse Amazon when they shop online. Amazon says almost 70 percent of its customers this holiday season shopped via a mobile device and the number of Amazon app shoppers more than doubled in the same period. Amazon set the bar high this year with their same day Prime deliveries. In Seattle, Amazon Santa delivered its final pre-Christmas package at 11:59 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Free shipping seems so yesterday in this last minute world.
- Generation Z cannot be ignored. While some are just catching on to Millennials, it seems that Centennials or Generation Z (anyone born after 1995) are a new consumer not to be ignored. Gen Z makes up one-quarter of our country’s population, and by 2020, they will account for 40% of all consumers. Gen Z is exerting a powerful influence on their families’ spending. Indeed, 93% of parents say that their children shape their families’ spending and household purchases. Start studying this generation and see how they fit into your consumer world.
- Email is still relevant. The widely reported “death of email” was overblown. Research tells us that emails are hugely relevant for women, but they must be mobile-friendly. Best performing emails need to have a special offer, coupon or deal.
- The :15 video is the standard. Life is busy and women don’t have time to watch long videos. Consider how-to and product videos showing how the product is being used. Website videos still have a place as well as a source of buying information.
- The reviews are in. Nearly 70 percent of consumers and 82 percent of millennials seek opinions before buying, according to Mintel’s survey of 2,000 U.S. adults. Fifty-six percent of respondents said online reviews from people they don’t know help them decide which products or services to consider, and half said they would pay more for a product with positive online reviews. Women rely on reviews more than men. Top factors influencing women to purchase a product (84%) was a recommendation from family, friends or peers. On average women research 10 sources of information before buying a product (versus two for men). Brands need to give women an opportunity to learn more about them and give them the tools to try, share and recommend. Monitoring your reviews and providing information to buyers is extremely important. Research has shown that 42 percent of customers who complain via social media expect a response within 60 minutes. In addition, 52 percent expect responses at night and on weekends, even if it is not during the business hours.
- Brand values matter. Women expect brands to be more open and transparent about their philosophy and values. Brands can’t just sell warmth and empathy in big splashy media but not deliver when they meet the consumer online or in-store. Women expect brand service and brand delivery to be warm and empathetic.
- Marketing to women is not marketing to gender or just showing women in ads. Brands need to consider the various multiple roles of women and focus on her areas of interest – children, health, business, shopping.
- Bring back humanity. In a time of big data, programmatic digital and native experiences, the technology seemed to trump the message. In 2016, it is time for a return to the type of brand relationships that win over hearts and minds. We can no longer “sell”. It’s time for valuable content, engagement, personalized communication, and living experiences.
October 3, 2015 § Leave a comment
The space between television and online videos is narrowing. Facebook confirmed last week it is launching a new product to let advertisers buy Facebook ads based on Target Rating Points in hopes of getting a larger share of media dollars currently spent on TV.
The product named TRP buying is a nod to the time honored way of purchasing media, with target rating points in mind. Facebook has a partnership with Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings division to verify video ad performance in conjunction with TV spots.
The idea is that media planners can build a campaign across TV and Facebook with a TRP target in mind, based on Nielsen verification. The tool will allow TV campaigns to be extended and augmented through Facebook video ads.
And the results should be interesting. The Facebook blog post says that Facebook and Nielsen studied 42 U.S. campaigns and found a 19% increase in targeted reach when Facebook and TV ads were combined versus television along. When they looked just at Millennial consumers, the reach was 37% better.
Facebook also says that Facebook video impressions were two times more likely to hit their target audience than TV impressions. Of course, most of us know that Facebook has quickly become pay-to-play. Not surprisingly, since February, Facebook has seen a 25% growth in ad buyers.
Of course, the majority of consumers being targeted in Facebook are women. This year’s Pew study found online women are more likely than online men to use Facebook and Instagram. Some 77% of online women are Facebook users, compared with two-thirds of online men.
July 1, 2015 § 2 Comments
Today you start seeing buyable Pins on Pinterest. According to their blog, when you spot a Pin with a blue price that means you can buy it. Pinterest is rolling it out to U.S. Pinners on iPhone and iPad, so make sure you have the latest app version.
Buyable pins are simply the way you buy your favorite products on Pinterest. The pins will be viewable in your Home feed, boards you visit and in search results. After putting in credit card information, users will get what they purchase delivered to them once they click the buy button.
What makes this so great is that Pinterest users generally have a strong purchase intent. They are in a planning mode and that might make them closer to a purchase consideration. They are searching for ideas for a new nursery, a wardrobe or their next party. So rather than going to a specific merchant, you are going to a bazaar of ideas that leads to a purchase.
Retailers will be in charge of applying the buy buttons so it may take a while for Buyable Pins to be prolific on the site. Two-thirds of content on Pinterest is pinned by businesses. Pinterest says within a few weeks there will be 30 million Buyable Pins all over Pinterest, from name brands like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.
Retailers don’t pay for the pins, and Pinterest won’t be currently taking a percentage of purchases. Advertisers will pay to promote the pins as native ads however. Pinterest did their homework and found users wanted buy buttons. Almost 90% of pinners have made a purchase because of Pinterest, according to a recent study by market research firm Millward Brown found. With 70 million monthly active users, these Buyable Pins could make Pinterest a major e-commerce player.
Buyable Pins will not be available for Android users or desktop users for a while, but it’s coming.
March 10, 2015 § Leave a comment
Sixty-one percent (61%) of travelers report using social media while on vacation because most don’t want to miss out on any of their friends’ or families’ news while away, and 10 percent (10%) want to make their friends jealous with their travel updates.
When traveling, we are still using our smartphones for calling and texting. But we are also looking for restaurants, posting those great pictures on Facebook, looking for travel sites and reading reviews. Once we are at our destination, some 58% of leisure travelers use online sources to evaluate local activities.
Travel professionals are trying to make their mobile offerings a priority. And for good reason, the top mobile offerings U.S. travelers are looking for from a travel business are a mobile-friendly website, ability to book and special offers.
According to Trip Advisor, the top five apps we use for travel planning are travel advice/recommendation like TripAdvisor, weather, hotel/accommodation, airline and activity.
So it is no surprise, that 2015 will be the tipping point for digital travel research. eMarketer reports half of digital travel researchers will check out flights, hotels and more, not just on a laptop or desktop, but also on a mobile device. By 2018, 71% of travel research will be mobile.
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.
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
The 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.