Roy Williams Predictions


In this weeks Monday Morning Memo, Roy listed these predictions for this year and beyond.

A Preview of Coming Attractions
As We Look at the Business Climate of 2009:

A new generation of entrepreneurs is emerging from the shadows. None of these is well funded but they are focused, relevant, and in step with the public. Some of them will grow to become business icons by mid-2012. (Three and a half years from now I’ll give you a hyperlink back to this column so that you can see how right I was.)

Yes, I know that sounded horribly egotistical.

The air is cold, the sky is clear, these are my trend predictions:

Cheap Thrills
“If it feels good, do it.”
Sales of alcohol, movie tickets and ice cream will increase. This happens during every recession. How might you offer your customer an altered consciousness, an alternative reality, an escape from the merely mundane? Think about it.

Repair Instead of Replace
“Instead of buying a new one, I’ll hold on to the one I’ve got.”
Sellers of new houses, new cars, clothing and jewelry are going to have to get creative. Repair businesses will trend magically upward. Expensive items will find their way to eBay as we liquidate the luxuries we bought in better days. Resale shops will appear in nicer parts of town. How might your business participate in this trend?

Tightrope Budgeting
“Should I shepherd my resources or push harder than ever?”
Market share is up for grabs because your competitors have slashed their ad budgets. Should you hunker down and try to hang on, or push harder than ever while your competitors hibernate? Some businesses will quit advertising and go broke as a direct result. Other businesses will advertise aggressively and go broke because they lacked financial staying power. Your correct course of action depends on your competitive environment. Do you know how to read your competitive environment or do you need help?

Fewer Competitors
“If the economy stays tough and fewer businesses occupy my category, won’t that leave more for me?” (1.) What was the sales volume of the failed competitor? (2.) How much has your category shrunk? If the competitor’s volume exceeded the shrinkage of your category, you might see some benefit. But if your competitor was a minor player, the shrinkage of your category will erase any good you might have experienced. You’ll get a larger slice, but of a smaller pie.

Media Makeover
“I walk to the end of the driveway each morning to retrieve a newspaper telling me things I’ve known for 24 hours.” Very few newspapers are healthy. The New York Times, that standard bearer of journalism, would have collapsed but for last week’s infusion of $250 million by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. With that newspaper’s $1 billion in debt recently reduced to junk-bond status and only $46 million in cash reserves, the Times would have failed in May, 2009. In the past, “columnists” and “reporters” were merely people who had access to a publishing pipeline. But in an Internet-connected world, isn’t every blogger both columnist and reporter? Last week MSNBC.com said, “Got some good photos of the inauguration? Send them to us.” How many more months will pass before newspapers are published digitally and round-the-clock from volunteer reports submitted from around the world?

Websites are Essential
Hillary Clinton and John McCain underestimated the power of the Internet. Barack Obama did not. Now tell the truth, don’t be embarrassed: Was your website designed by an acquaintance who “is really good with computers?” Someone who “knows all about the internet?” Then why isn’t it doing more for you? This is the year to get serious about your website. Your webmaster is learning by trial and error. You should buy him or her some expert guidance.

It Really is a World Wide Web


My life has become much more web oriented in the past couple of years. A concern of mine however was that we were creating a digital divide between those that have access to the the internet and those that don’t.

I use to stop in to a library and check email if I was away from my office. Now I check from my laptop from nearly everywhere. And it appears that the internet is not limited to the geeks and techies, most of us have no idea how it really works, it just does. And more of us are using it.

Click on the charts in this report from MarketingCharts.com to make them BIGGER.

Half of Americans ‘Frequent’ Internet Users; Digital Divide Narrows

Americans’ frequent use of the internet has nearly doubled over the past five years with 48% of adults – many in groups that have historically been less frequent users – now reporting that they use the Internet more than one hour per day, compared with 26% in 2002, according to results from a recent Gallup Poll.

gallup-time-spent-using-intenet-daily-dcember-2008.jpg

Though internet use is up overall, the poll of more than 1,000 Americans reveals that large education, income, and age gaps still exist in terms of internet usage. Those with advanced degrees, those who make more than than $75K per year, and those under age 30 continue to be the most frequent users, with more than 60% in each group reporting they go online more than one hour per day.

On the other hand, the least educated, least affluent, and oldest Americans are those who least often use the internet, with about one-third or fewer in each group saying they use the internet more than one hour per day. Smaller, though noteworthy, gaps also exist between men and women, and the employed vs. the non-working, Gallup said.

gallup-frequent-internet-use-demographic-group-december-2008.jpg

There are signs, however, that the digital divide is slowly narrowing. Several demographic groups in the lower income, lower education and older age brackets posted gains in frequent internet use in the past year that were significantly greater than the five-percentage-point gain measured among adults nationwide.

The five groups posting double-digit gains:

  • Those making less than $30,000 per year
  • Those who are not working
  • The unmarried
  • Those under age 30
  • Those with post-graduate educations

Men and those 65+ round out the groups posting gains greater than the national average, while women showed a negligible change in usage, Gallup said.

Moreover, in an apparent reversal of trend, those ages 30-49 and those making $75K or more per year were slightly less likely than one year ago to report using the internet more than one hour each day.

“Business leaders – and advertisers in particular – will be well-served to keep these burgeoning trends in mind. While targeting content toward the most educated, most affluent, and youngest Americans may be an effective strategy today, the growth evident among their counterparts at the other end of the spectrum suggests new strategies may be needed to cater to the frequent internet users of tomorrow,” Gallup said.

About the poll: Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,009 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Dec. 4-7, 2008. Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).

2009 State of the Economy Part 1

I think that I’ll feature some occasional updates on the State of the Economy this year. Here’s the first one as we wrap up the month:

Study Explores the Grocery Shopper’s State of Mind

To cope with the current economic state, consumers say, they eat out less/eat in more, turn down the thermostat, are “more efficient with…shopping trips,” and buy less name brand products/buy in bulk, according to the first American Grocery Shopper Study from BrandSpark International’s Best New Product Awards (BNPA), writes Retailer Daily.

The survey of more than 50,000 US shoppers sought to understand shoppers’ current and future spending habits, brand preferences, attitudes toward organics and environmental accountability, and a profile of today’s “early adopter” shopper.

Below, some of the findings of the study issued at a joint New York presentation by Better Homes and Gardens and BrandSpark.

Consumer Spending and Confidence

Some of the top lifestyle changes that US grocery shoppers are making to cope with the recession:

  • 52% said they plan to eat at home more often than last year.
  • 96% considered it important that any new product provide them value for the dollar.
  • More than 80% said they will spend the same or more on essential personal care products as they did last year.
  • Asked to name their most trusted grocery-store brands, shoppers placed Kraft at the top of the list, followed by Campbell’s, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Betty Crocker, Del Monte, Tide and Clorox.

Green and Natural Products

  • 70% are motivated to buy products that are better for the environment, but only 40% are willing to pay more for those products.
  • 75% believe that some companies are exploiting environmentally friendly claims for marketing purposes.
  • 58% consider it important for a new product they purchase to be “natural.”
  • 78% believe that manufacturers have a long way to go to reduce the amount of packaging.

Health and Wellness

  • Shoppers revealed health as a greater priority, with 68% reporting increasing concerns about their health.
  • Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about chemicals in products: 68% expressed increased concern about chemicals in food products; 63% in household products; 57% in skin-care products.
  • Over 80% of respondents believe that making better food choices can prevent illness.
  • 71% of consumers are concerned about the added health claims of products they purchase.

Early Adopters

The survey revealed that “early adopters” show stronger brand loyalty and prefer products that are environmentally friendly and offer improved technology and innovation.

  • 80% of shoppers who qualify as “early adopters” (first to try new products) are women.
  • In relation to the larger shopper demographic, early adopters are more receptive to the influence of internet, social media and magazines: early adopters spend 50% more time per week reading magazines and 50% have downloaded coupons off the internet

About the findings: The Best New Product Awards survey was conducted between November 17 and December 19, 2008. The survey included questions about individual product appeal, intent to repurchase, consumer confidence level, expected future spending habits, and a number of other insight provoking queries. In total, a sample of 51,295 qualified grocery shoppers were surveyed, weighted (MRI) by region, language, age, and gender. This year, 77 products were evaluated, with 23 winners chosen from 38 leading manufacturers in categories that included cereal, juice, ice cream, anti-aging skin care, oral care, mascara, shampoo and household cleaners. Each category had a minimum of three products from at least two different manufacturers. In order to win, the product had to score highest on product appeal and also highest on re-purchase intent among those who had purchased the product.

New Ad Campaigns For Superbowl


Wrapping up our preview is Amy at Mediapost:

It’s the final day of pre-Super Bowl ad madness. Today we take a look at GE, Pepsi and Gatorade. Let’s launch!

GE is making its Super Bowl debut as the first commercial to run during the fourth quarter. “Scarecrow” is a modern-day take on “The Wizard of Oz” song, “If I only had a brain.” It’s great. The 30-second spot begins with a scarecrow made from old, outdated electrical parts, singing and dancing atop a power grid. Much like the movie scarecrow, this electrically-crafted version is also afraid of birds. The ad promotes GE’s Smart Grid technology, an effort to create more efficient, sustainable electrical energy grids. Smart Grid technology “will make the way we distribute energy more efficient simply by making it more intelligent,” says the voiceover. The ad ends with the scarecrow en route to the Emerald City, or should I say sustainable energy city? Watch the ad here, created by BBDO New York.

Pepsi is launching a 60-second feel-good spot called “Refresh Anthem” during the big game. The spot takes Bob Dylan’s popular hit from the ’70s, “Forever Young,” and refreshes it for the younger generation. We’re treated to vintage Dylan shots as he croons in the background. Then the song is “refreshed” with Will.i.am, from the Black Eyed Peas. Was no other artist from the current generation available? Will.i.am raps a verse from “Forever Young” as events from the past are updated with present-day occurrences. Remember when lighters were used to illuminate concerts? These days, that’s what cell phones are for. Shrek replaces Gumby, but patriotism remains the same. “Every generation refreshes the world,” concludes the ad, seen here. TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles created the commercial.

What is G? It’s the new brand identity for Gatorade and consonant that differentiates dedicated athletes from everyone else. Athletes from Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Derek Jeter and Misty May-Treanor appear in the ad that uses Lil Wayne as the voiceover. And I recognized his distinctive voice immediately. What does that say about me? Gifted, glorious, genius and G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) are spoken, as athletes, shot in black and white, pass by. “What’s G? It is the heart, hustle and soul of the game,” ends the ad, seen here. The ad also directs eyeballs to a newly launched Web site, MissionG.com, featuring a hodgepodge of content. “Talking Heads” lets the athletes do the talking about what “G” is and what they do to differentiate themselves from others. Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, among others, share inspirational nuggets on how to succeed. My favorite: “G is what gets you up at 6 a.m. when no one else is awake because you want to be better than anyone else out there.” See the ad here. TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles created the campaign.

I’ve watched the Monster.com ad, created by BBDO New York. I can’t post or talk about it, however; but I will say this: I thought it was funny, but in the Super Bowl ad battle between online job sites, I think Careerbuilder.com wins.

I can’t talk about the two E*TRADE ads, created by Grey New York, either. But I will leave you with this: one ad I watched five times, because I thought it was that funny, while the other ad I watched just once and walked away with that “eh” feeling.


And this concludes the pre-game Super Bowl ad extravaganza; I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to see you on Monday for post-Super Bowl highlights in my other column, Media Creativity. Enjoy the game!


Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at amyc@mediapost.com.

Protecting your investment


The subject is client retention:

Don’t Forget Your Current Clients

Most sales representatives spend far more time researching and preparing for calls with new customers than they do on preparing for calls with existing customers. This is because they believe they “know their customers” and that they have already won their loyalty.

In fact, rapidly changing conditions are affecting your existing base just as strongly as they are affecting prospective customers.

Maintaining a keen awareness of your current customers’ issues and concerns and taking steps to strengthen your relationships can make the difference between falling behind and continuing to thrive, even in the current hard times.

Source: Ed Emde, Executive Vice President of Wilson Learning Corporation (www.wilsonlearning.com, 2009)

Friday Night Marketing News


Clickables from Mediapost:

Restaurants
by Karlene Lukovitz
The campaign “communicates a real point of differentiation between KFC and many of our competitors,” says spokesperson Rick Maynard. “Sixty-five years after the Colonel invented the Original Recipe, if you visit a restaurant that bears his likeness, you’ll still find a cook in the kitchen preparing fresh KFC Original Recipe chicken on the bone–just like the Colonel did.” … Read the whole story > >
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
New-product launches for categories including toothpaste, manual toothbrushes, power toothbrushes, liquid hand soap, hand dish liquid and fabric conditioner built market share. Last year the company launched Colgate Total Advanced Clean and Colgate Total Advanced Whitening toothpastes with ad campaigns starring Brooke Shields and grassroots efforts such as sampling programs. … Read the whole story > >
Retail
by Sarah Mahoney
This Valentine’s Day, consumers will focus more on cards and kisses, less on restaurants and candy. A new survey from the National Retail Federation shows that while spending will be down, shoppers will look for ways to be creative in inexpensive ways. One of them includes making a meal at home for one’s beloved. … Read the whole story > >
Telecom
by Aaron Baar
“As more and more Americans shift their phone use to cell phones, the costs and pitfalls associated with contract-based cell phones become clearer and clearer,” said Consumer Action’s Ken McEldowney. “Consumers worried about recession-driven pressure on their jobs and pocketbooks need to be more careful than ever about avoiding paying more than is necessary for cell phone service.” … Read the whole story > >
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
The Nashville, Tenn.-based U.S. sales arm of the Japanese automaker saw U.S. sales drop 30% in December and over 10% for the year. Sales of Infiniti vehicles decreased by 34.6% in December and 11.1% for the year. Nissan is restructuring North America sales and marketing operations and integrating the Nissan Design America. … Read the whole story > >

Social Media is Growing

Wow, this is some amazing stuff. Click on the charts to make them BIGGER:

SocNet Use Quadruples among US Adults; 35% Have Profiles

The share of adult internet users who have a profile on a social networking site has more than quadrupled in the past four years – from 8% in 2005 to 35% in 2008 – according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s December 2008 tracking survey.

pew-social-networks-growth-use-december-2008.jpg

The survey reveals that while teens often get significant media and public-policy attention for their use of such sites, adults still make up the bulk of America’s social-networking population.

Though social networkers are equally likely to be men and women, not surprisingly, Pew finds that younger adults are much more likely than older ones to have profiles on social networks:

  • 75% of online adults 18-24 have a profile on a social network site
  • 57% of online adults 25-34 have a profile on a social network site
  • 30% of online adults 35-44 have one
  • 19% of online 45 to 54 year olds have a profile
  • 10% of online 55 to 64 year olds have a profile
  • 7% of online adults 65+ have a profile

Moreover, social network users are also more likely to be students, Pew said. More than two-thirds (68% )of full-time students and 71% of part-time students have a social network profile, while just 28% of non-student adults use social networks.

pew-social-network-users-demographics-january-2009.jpg

Whites are less likely than African-Americans or Hispanics to have a profile on an online social network. Nearly one third 31% of online White adults have a social networking profile, compared with 43% of African-Americans and 48% of Hispanics.

Visits to SocNets Up Too

In addition to the burgeoning number of profiles being added to social networks by adults, the number of visits on any given day also is on the rise. In February 2005, just 2% of adult internet users had visited an online social network “yesterday,” while 19% had done so in December 2008. More than one-third of adults now say they visit social networks “daily.”

pew-adults-socnets-visit-sns-sites-daily-may-2008.jpg

Personal More Prevalent than Professional

Overall, Pew found that personal use of social networks among adults appears to be more common than professional use, both in the types of networks adults select as well as the reasons they give for using them.

According to just-released May 2008 survey findings:

  • 50% of adult social network users have a profile on MySpace
  • 22% have a profile on Facebook
  • 6% have a profile on LinkedIn

Respondents also said that they primarily use their online social network presence/profile for explaining and maintaining the personal networks. Most adults, like teens, are using their profile/s to connect with people they already know.

pew-social-networks-adults-teens-use-networks-stay-touch-friends-may-2008.jpg

  • 89% use their online profiles to keep up with friends
  • 57% use their profile to make plans with friends
  • 49% use them to make new friends

Other uses cited by respondents in the study were: Organizing with other people for an event, issue or cause; flirting with someone; promoting themselves or their work; and making new business contacts

CHART

The survey also found that when users do use social networks for professional and personal reasons, they will often maintain multiple profiles, generally on different sites. More than half (51%) of social network users have two or more online profiles, while 43% have only one online profile.

Among social network users with multiple profiles:

  • 83% have those profiles on different sites
  • 17% have those profiles on one site
  • 24% have multiple profiles so they can keep up with friends on different sites
  • 19% have multiple profiles to separate the personal and the professional
  • 6% just use different sites
  • 4% have different profiles for different parts of their personality
  • 4% have older profiles on sites they do not use anymore

Most Users are Privacy-Conscious

Regarding privacy issues, the survey found that the majority of – but not all – adult social networkers are privacy conscious:

  • 60% of adult social network users restrict access to their profiles so that only their friends can see it.
  • 36% of social network users allow anyone to see their online profile.
  • 58% of adult social network users restrict access to certain content within their profile.
  • 43% of adults think it would be pretty easy for someone to find out who they are from their profile; 23% of teens say it would be “pretty easy.”
  • 33% of adults with profiles think that they would have to work at it, but that someone could eventually find out who they are; 40% of teens say the same.
  • 20% of adults think that it would be difficult for someone to find out who they are; 36% of teens say it would be difficult for someone to find out who they are.

About the survey: Findings are based on two daily tracking surveys on Americans’ use of the Internet. The bulk of the results are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between April 8 to May 11, 2008, among a sample of 2,251 adults, ages 18+. The data on overall use of social networks and the demographics of social network users came from a national phone survey fielded from November 19 – December 20, 2008 among 2,253 Americans, including 1,650 internet users.