Thursday, September 3, 2015

Women Three Times as Likely to Use Pinterest

Pinterest quickly attracted a substantial audience of committed users, and marketers are more interested in it than ever with the promise of social commerce on the horizon. But women are still the site's main audience, with male internet users in the US avoiding the network en masse.

Based on April 2015 polling from the Pew Research Center, 44% of female internet users in the US are also users of Pinterest. But among male internet users, that share drops to just 16%. No other demographic characteristic had such a major effect on Pinterest usage. Though older adults were less likely than their millennial and Gen X counterparts to spend time on the image-oriented site, the differential was closer to a factor of two than to a factor of three. And usage rates were comparatively even depending on income or ethnicity/race. 

Pinterest is a highly interesting social network for marketers. The site is popular in-store shopping tool for people who already use it, and it’s hoping to make inroads in the social shopping space with buyable pins.

Read the entire article here courtesy of 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Personalization Drives Engagement, Conversions

Enriched content and creative is good for the bottom line

Higher response and engagement rates are the No. 1 reason to use personalized content, according to June 2015 polling from the CMO Council. It was the only benefit cited by more than half of senior marketers worldwide who responded to the survey.

But many other benefits had solid followings backing them up. Just under half of respondents said personalized or enriched content made for more timely and relevant interactions—which, presumably, are themselves a way of boosting response and engagement rates. More than two in five also agreed that personalized content converted more customers. While there are many challenges associated with personalized content and creative, the rise of programmatic is also driving greater usage of it. Nurullo Makhmudov, director, online user experience & strategic initiatives at Sears Canada, told eMarketer earlier this year that the retailer had extensive capabilities to serve relevant marketing messages to shoppers on its site.  Read the entire article here courtesy of 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Not Just Millennials: Consumers Want Experiences, Not Things

Three Tips for Brands to Create Meaningful Experiences with Consumers
By Brian Schultz. Published on August 18, 2015

In their endless quest to decode millennial behavior, marketers have placed a microscope on millennials' spending habits, hoping to glean patterns for how their behavior differs from previous generations. Good luck cracking that one.

We're a long way from anyone being able to proclaim that they've "figured out the millennial consumer," but we have gathered some valuable research. For example, millennials eschew luxury goods for sustainable ones; prefer buying organic and fair trade; and they're a lot more willing to shell out money on experiences that enhance their lives (and their Instagram and Snapchat feeds) rather than on material things.
The thing is, it isn't just millennials. The interesting trend I'm seeing is that these traits are bleeding beyond this demographic. Millennials are proving to be cultural trailblazers for older and newer generations. Consumers today are broadly catching on to the notion that experiences make you happier and are as valuable ‐‐ or more ‐‐ than buying fancy things.  Read the entire article here courtesy of Advertising Age.

Monday, August 31, 2015

US Consumers Continue to Turn Off Pay TV Subscriptions

The 13 largest US pay TV providers saw worst quarterly net loss ever in Q2 2015

According to data from Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG), the 13 largest pay TV providers in the US, which account for approximately 95% of the market, saw a net loss of 470,855 subscribers in Q2 2015—the worst quarterly drop ever. In all, US pay TV subscribers to the providers studied totaled 94.9 million in Q2 2015.

Top cable provider subscribers totaled nearly 49 million, representing a net loss of 260,855—far better than the approximately 510,000 lost in the same period last year, and the smallest in any second quarter since Q2 2008. Comcast, which had the most subscribers, also saw the biggest drop. The satellite pay TV audience recorded a net loss of 214,000 last quarter, vs. just 78,000 in Q2 2014, putting total subscribers at 34.2 million. No. 1 DirecTV was hit far harder than Dish Network, with a net decline of 133,000—its lowest quarterly loss.

Telco providers added 4,000 subscribers in Q2 2015—miniscule compared with a net addition of 284,000 in the same quarter last year, and the smallest since the services started in 2006. The rise was thanks to Verizon FiOS, which gained almost as many subscribers as leader AT&T U-verse lost. In all, telco subscribers totaled 11.7 million.  Read the entire article from here. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Boomerang home buyers poised to return to market with a roar

By Tamara Lush, Associated Press
August 20, 2015

TRINITY, Fla. (AP) -- Tears still spring into Debbie Cooley-Guy's eyes when she thinks about her dream home, with its wide, sweeping porch. It overlooked a bayou filledwith wading birds, a glittering blue pool and the space for not only a 12-foot Christmas tree, but a grand piano as well.
She bought the home in a suburb west of Tampa for $637,000 in 2002. Seven years later, after the economy tanked, she sold it for less than she owed on her mortgage to avoid foreclosure. She recalls the black moment when she was still caring for the lawn but not living there. A falling branch knocked down an outdoor staircase railing.

"It made the house look so sad. I was so sad," said Cooley-Guy, 60. "I drove away crying. I just didn't think it was how the story would end with this house."

On that dark January day, Cooley-Guy thought her home owning days were over.

Just a few years later, she's back in a new, smaller home, one of America's growing ranks of "boomerang buyers."

Seven years after the real estate bust, many who lost their homes have rebuilt their credit and are back in the market. Experts say these boomerang buyers will be an important segment of the real estate market in the coming years.  Read the entire article here courtesy of Yahoo Finance.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 Brilliant Content Marketing Techniques That Connect With Millennials

By now, it's common knowledge that content marketing is a smart strategy. A full 92 percent of marketers embrace content marketing as a choice method, and 58 percent of them plan to increase content marketing budgets (source).

Like any marketing method, however, content marketing needs focus. It's not enough to simply publish content. Instead, marketers must define who they want to reach and how they're going to do it.

Millennials are a great marketing target. The question is: How do you conduct a content marketing approach that will connect with them? Here are the five techniques proven to get results.  Read the five techniques and the rest of the article here courtesy of 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Millennials: What Marketers Need to Know

From Business 2 Community...

Tweet. Pin. Snap. Meme. Hashtag. Selfie. Follow

While we were watching Friends, drinking Pepsi Blue, and texting in T9 on our Motorola Razrs, these words were nearly non-existent. Hard to believe, right?

A lot has changed since this era, including the large increase in spending power of the 15-38 age group, referred to as the Millennials. And by large, I’m referring to buyer power valued at over $3 trillion. Starting in 2017, the Millennials are collectively expected to spend more than $200 billion annually and $10 trillion in their lifetimes. Millennials are also considered to be extremely influential to the buying practices of older generations.

Seems like a no-brainer to target this market. You’re probably thinking you hit the jackpot. But there are reasons why so many marketers have failed to successfully market to Millennials. What has worked in the past is not going to work in the present, or the future. If you want to effectively market to Millennials, you better learn to keep up. And it starts with: Understanding the makeup of Millennials, Understanding their values and Understanding their behavior.

Meet the Millennials

Millennials currently make up approximately 25% of the US population. They are becoming parents (1 in 4 Millennials are now parents), and gradually saturating another consumer market segment. They are brand loyal but are subject to trends. They believe in good causes (50% of Millennials) are more willing to make a purchase from a company if it supports a good cause.

Evolution has allowed for their smartphones to become one with their bodies. An extension to their hand. Today, Millennials all find themselves mixing technology terms like “timelines”, “shares”, “insta”, “wall” and “snap story” into their everyday conversations with ease and normality. Millennials grew up in an environment powered by the internet. They have a limited collection of memories from a time before everything was online. The internet has entertained, socialized, informed, organized, and educated this generation.

Millennials are reachable at nearly any hour of the day on one of the many social media accounts, and are extremely expressive of their interests, needs and wants. They’ve grown up targeted by specific brands based on their demographics and not at the convenience of their attention or interest. It takes devotion and care when it comes to getting a Millennial’s attention and maintaining it, as they are expert multitaskers, technology enthusiasts, and hard-wired to distrust brands.

They have the ability to research, compare, and review any product, service, or brand they want, at their fingertips. The Millennial’s phones are cameras, schedulers, music players, and mini computers. Their world is smaller, and they are very aware of what is happening around it. They take interest in societal issues and value support from their peers.

Any question Millennials have can be answered in seconds by typing it word for word into a Google search bar that understands full sentences. They are a traditional advertiser’s nightmare, but a digital marketer’s dream audience, if approached correctly. These are the Millennials, and they refuse to be simple.

What Drives A Millennial?

Insight #1: Millennials can smell phony brands a mile away

They crave the authenticity that comes from a real, online community. Contrary to their craving, they believe that their current interactions with brands are mostly synthetic and cold-blooded.

Authenticity comes from being transparent. As a marketer, you can gain consumers’ business if you build their trust. By addressing the problems you’ve encountered, the challenges you’ve overcome, and the values you represent, you show genuine interest in building a relationship with them by being transparent. You are showing the human element to your brand.

This is particularly effective when executed within online communities, where consumer discussions are taking place. The authenticity found in influencer marketing campaigns is the reason why this form of marketing is so successful. By engaging with influencers who millennials trust, your brand gains trust through association. In turn, consumers will see your company as warm-blooded humans as opposed to an object or faceless entity.

Patagonia saw an incredible opportunity to reinvent their relationship with customers by

creating Footprint Chronicles. This ongoing campaign’s purpose is to communicate their sustainability efforts by creating videos that show the supply chain of their products, going all the way back to the farm where the cotton of their sweater was gathered. As a result, Patagonia saw a 10% growth in just 2 years and attracted loyal customers who support ethical and ecological business practices.

Insight #2: Millennials have selective attention spans

Millennials’ patience is dwindling when it comes to marketers’ attempts to “reach” them. They avoid traditional advertisement channels by using PVR, online streaming, or podcasts. Only 22% of media viewing time is dedicated to traditional TV series. Sites such as Netflix allow for Millennials to engage in periods of “binge watching”, where ads can be avoided entirely for a small price, nearly eliminating the need for cable television.

If marketers are trying to get through to Millennials, they need to explore other ways of conveying their message. And equally as important, they need to pay attention to what they are trying to communicate. Millennials want to be provided with good, original content that is valuable and personalized. By sending content that is relevant to them, they will want to do something about it, including sharing it with their friends.

Sephora’s winning formula includes paying careful attention to highly relevant, personalized data. Through their Beauty Insider loyalty program, they were able to gather specific information on their members. In return, members would receive emails with product suggestions relevant to the information they provided. 80% of Sephora’s transactions run through their loyalty program.

Insight #3: Millennials crave an experience

70% of 13-23 year olds say experiential marketing is extremely or very influential on their opinion of a product or brand, according to those surveyed by PR Newswire. This generation’s happiness isn’t focused so much on ‘things’ but creating and sharing memories. They are looking for new and creative activities that appeal to their current interests, ever-changing world, and that will add a check to their “life experiences” list. Experiential marketing has been around for ages, but now, there’s the added component of reaching larger audiences through social media. This is where the infamous FOMO (fear of missing out) comes into play. These generational factors must be taken into consideration when creating a campaign targeting Millennials.

Marriott Hotels has taken steps towards reaching the Millennial guest. In London, the Marriott Hotel hosted an outdoor rooftop picnic (#roofnic), aiming to attract and win over Millennials with their never-before-used rooftop turned rural picnic park, during London’s summer heat wave. Marriott Dubai took on a similar, but less subtle approach to attracting Millennials, by creating Square – a nightclub to host some of the world’s hottest DJ’s. The hotel kitchen matched the theme by serving square shaped hors d’oeuvres using the slogan and #bedifferent.

These new locations and venues are all active in the social word, promoting location specific hashtags and active engagement with the visitors. Each update is meant to appeal to the local environment and be unique to the city as well as attract the newest generation of guests.

Insight #4: Millennials are the social generation

Millennials are more likely to learn about new products using social media before making a purchase. They value the ideologies of ‘word of mouth’ and the sought-after “review”. A whopping 70% of Millennials feel responsible to share feedback with companies after a good OR bad experience. Millennials require on-demand information, and trust the advice of friends and even strangers over that of authority figures, organizations, and brands using social media.

The age of digital marketing has given way to ‘influencers’ and the progression of peer reviews, blogs, and influencer campaigns. This clears the pathway for influencer outreach within the marketing industry as a whole, due to its powerful ability in reaching Millennials.

Through influencer marketing, there is opportunity for brands to engage with “experts” in specific categories, such as fashion, food or technology. By channeling their authenticity and transparency in reviewing products or services, their messages have the potential to have an echo effect on the audience they influence, also known as ‘amplification’ in the marketing world.

This influence can take place over any number of social media outlets. And when it comes to Millennials, there are a few networks that reflect their needs from the insights gathered, and they could be holding the key to ultimate success.

Where to find Millennials

Millennials saturate the social scene, spending nearly 18 hours a day consuming media, and 5.4 hours per day on social networks. 85% of Millennials own a smartphone, that they check nearly 42 times per day, this generation seems to be ever-present and accessible online. Being highly visual, Millennials use their social networks as multi-use tools. These networks provide insight on news, social updates, shopping, and industry trends.

Millennials are extremely connected and present, but much of their social interactions take place virtually. A study by the Pew Research Center shows that 87% of Millennials ages 18-29 can be found on Facebook, 53% on Instagram, 37% on Twitter, and 34% on Pinterest. They engage with social networking sites to collect reviews, updates, trends, advice, and to be entertained. More recently its been evident that Millennials gather much of their news from various social networks rather than seeking traditional media. According to theAmerican Press Institution, 88% of those surveyed gather their news from Facebook occasionally, 83% from YouTube, and 50% from Instagram. These visual networks are important to consider when planning a campaign that targets Millennials, as this will be a direct path into their socially-driven world.

Now, what?

Millennials are savvy and aware. They crave information, personalization, trust, and authenticity. They’re a generation that possesses a buying power greater than what the world has witnessed before them. They accept information presented to them from reliable and credible sources, but have adapted their methods of information intake to conform with the growth and development of technology. It is only fitting that marketing methods grow with them.

Over to you! What other insight has driven your marketing strategy to target Millennials? How have you used it to successful target this generation?

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