Super Bowl Audience Drops

February 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

The football industry and women are having an interesting time.  This year’s Super Bowl saw their audience drop while still being one of the most watched events. The number is down 7% from the 111.3 million that tuned in for last year’s Super Bowl, making it the least-watched Super Bowl since 2009.

Half of the viewers of the Super Bowl are women.  But declining football viewership may have been affected this season by player protests, domestic violence reports and continuing health concerns about players.

Moms are beginning to hold their sons back from the sport.  Even Justin Timberlake said he didn’t want his son playing football.  Today Show reported the issue of allowing children to play football has become part of a national conversation over the safety of the sport, particularly among youth. Many parents have become skeptical about letting their kids play football because of numerous studies over the link between repeated concussions and lasting brain damage.

On the flip side, women are looking at football as a career.  Women make up roughly half of all NFL fans but currently just a third of league employees with no female head coaches or general managers.  But the NFL is helping women get on the path to a career in the game with forums on the finer points of coaching, scouting players, and more.

On the advertising side, the 3% Conference were rating the advertising to women.  The #3percentsb hashtag asked viewers to rate spots on whether there was a woman in the spot, whether she was defying stereotypes or was she the hero.  This year there were less women spokespersons and some tone deaf ads were panned like the Dodge Ram MLK spot.  One tweeter said @jtimberlake has more backup dancers and band members that are female than all of the Super Bowl advertisements that have aired so far, combined.


Facebook Losing Its Cool?

February 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Well, the facts don’t lie.  This year, for the first time, less than half of US internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook  at least once per month. New users being added to Facebook are from older age groups.  eMarketer estimates Facebook will lose 2 million users ages 24 and younger this year. Where are they going?

The move to Instagram by younger people seems the obvious answer but eMarketer said it expects Instagram to add only 1.6 million users under the age of 25 this year. Snapchat is expected to add 1.9 million users in the same demographic and by year’s end, it’s expected to be the leader in users in the 12 to 24 age group.

And for those older users who never quite got Snapchat, the platform is being redesigned for easier use.  Of course, if older folks find Snapchat, younger users might move on like they did on Facebook.

Another issue that Facebook is facing is the backlash from advertisers threatening to pull ads from both Facebook  if the platform continues to provide a space for hate, creating division or failing to protect children.

Staying cool is hard.  And as always, marketers need to stay on top of these changes and experiment with new media to reach their audience.

What Marketers Need to Do About Facebook’s New Changes

January 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

(AP Photo/Manu Fernadez)

Facebook announced significant changes to its news feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. These updates will make it harder for pages to be seen in news feeds. Translation:  Organic reach will drop.

How low is it already? Currently Digiday reports organic reach for Facebook pages with fewer than 10,000 fans has hovered around 10 percent for some time.  That means that for every 700 people who liked a business page, for example, roughly 70 people would see a post in their news feeds organically without the company having to pay for the post to appear. The latest change drags that reach down to virtually zero, bringing it more in line with what larger brands have contended with for years.

So what are marketers to do?  Here are some suggestions from my Women in Digital peers, media experts and even Facebook.

Advertise.  Of course.  Currently only about 4% of businesses on Facebook advertise. That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it?  But Facebook is still currently a low cost alternative to other forms of advertising.  Use Facebook advertising for awareness and promotions.

Get users to mark you as ‘see first’.  Okay, this is a bit of a stretch and a type of double opt-in but if you can get users to do it, it will help your content appear in their news feed.  Ask your users to choose See First in their news feed preferences to make sure they will see your posts.
Create better content that invokes engagement.  Facebook’s change effectively means that posts that receive more comments carry more weight than ever, reducing likes and shares to vanity metrics.  So the quality of content and ways to create conversation become important.  When explaining these changes, Social Media Examiner asked for people to comment on their post so more people would see it.  And it seems that long comments are more important than a short comment.
Use Facebook Live more.  Videos usually elicit comments, so creating weekly Facebook Live events will help.  Facebook said Live videos are totaling six times the interactions of non-Live videos. Episodic videos will help as well.  Think storytelling for your brand.
Set up a Group.  Facebook groups usually inspire lots of meaningful content.  Is there a way to create a group around your product?
Start using Instagram more, and/or use influencers.  For the present, Instagram and influencers may offer an assist for brands.  Influencers are not currently penalized as businesses and may be a window of opportunity.  It’s time to experiment with other social sites.
“I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Mark Zuckerberg said in his post about the changes. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”



Women and their Love-Hate Relationship with Brands

July 6, 2016 § Leave a comment

635948590805299733-1825250646_e451f-love-over-hate1New 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.


Social Media Advertising in 2016: Don’t Be Scared!

January 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

So, the Force has awakened!social_media_freak 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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. Know your customers so you can use the amazing targeting features of social media.
  4. Rotate messaging to mitigate ad fatigue and test content.
  5. Design content for the social media you are using and the engagement you desire. Create a video strategy.
  6. Think mobile. Most social media is consumed on our smartphones so make sure you social media ads are optimized for mobile.


Marketing to Women in 2016: Ten Trends

January 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

Marketing to Women

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.

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.  
  10. 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.



Facebook Wants to Steal TV Dollars with TRP Buying

October 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Facebook-TVThe 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.

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