Monday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

It’s Real Simple.

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The latest twist: a “Happiness Truck” — a Coke delivery truck converted into a mobile vending machine that dispenses free Coke and other unexpected prizes, such as surfboards and inflatable toys. …Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
New research from the National Retail Federation shows that Americans aren’t just spending again, they’re embracing many of the little luxuries they shunned during the worst of the recession — like trips to the salon and the occasional jaunt to Applebee’s. …Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The title partner, for the third year, is financial firm BNP Paribas. It will hold a VIP reception at the Garden for 900 guests (up from 500 last year), including appearances by the players. The company has been running signage in Times Square, on New York City buses, taxis and in Metro North trains. …Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
National financial services firms continue to suffer from an enormous consumer trust deficit, according to Edelman. Despite some recovery in the U.S. economy, nearly half of Individual Investors trusted financial services companies less in 2010 vs. 2009. …Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Aaron Baar
The Dove Close-Up Challenge encourages women to submit a 60-second video explaining why they are ready and deserve a close-up. The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles for the full “Dancing With the Stars” experience. …Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The report’s analysts tried to tease out the differences between generation-defining attitudes and those reflecting the joie de vivre of youth. What they found was that, when the lighthearted quality of youth is extracted from cohort survey responses, sanguine feelings about the future fade year by year, from the young end to the older side of the generational bracket. …Read the whole story >>

The Informed Consumer

When I was a kid, Consumer Reports was the “Buyers Bible”. Now we can ask our friends online via Social Media channels like Facebook & Twitter, or “Google It”:

Online Research a Significant Part of Consumer Buying

According to a new study, “Inside the Buy,” by the AMP Agency, to determine what’s behind consumer’s shopping behaviors, just 3% of consumers say they are loyal to a particular brand and never buy anything else. The study considered digital behaviors in five leading consumer categories: baby products, consumer electronics, food and beverage, health and beauty, and fashion.

Today’s digital minded consumer has widened the scope of purchase possibilities, which appears to have shifted consumers’ mindset and redefined contemporary brand loyalty. With only 3% of consumers loyal to a particular brand and never buy anything else, 97% have an apparent willingness to consider brand choices.

Allison Marsh, VP of Consumer Insights at AMP Agency, says “…new consumer behavior is redefining ‘contemporary loyalty’…consumers have seized control and are more open to the wide choices in the marketplace.”

Overall, 43% of consumers report doing some type of research before they buy. By category, 64% of consumers research consumer electronics before purchasing.

Close to one in four consumers report doing some type of research before making a decision in both the fashion and food and beverage categories.

Men are spending significantly more time doing pre-research: 46% of men reported that they always research fashion purchases, vs. 32% for females. Further, 37% of male respondents said they always research health and beauty products, while 25% of females stated the same. Also, 94% of consumers said that research positively influenced their decision to make a purchase, and 36% said they bought a product because of the research they found.

Though the web appears to offer an endless wealth of information and opinion, says the report, but the findings show that consumers want more information:

  • 30% of consumers stated they cannot find enough of the information they are looking for.
  • Only 4% felt overwhelmed by the amount of research available to them in a particular category.

The survey found that 47% of consumers look to a brand website for pre-purchase research, while 46% report visiting a retailer’s website first. Websites dedicated to reviews and social media sites come close, with 40% of consumers visiting sites dedicated to reviews and 38% doing research on social media websites. Blogs fell below, with just 18% of consumers reporting.

72% of respondents stated they turn most to general consumer reviews when it comes to seeking information on product performance, close to twice the importance they place on expert “durability” or “functionality” reviews, which came in at 42%. Only 22% reported specifically seeking out information about the quality of the product.

52% of respondents said online consumer reviews most influenced their purchase. 41% said feedback from a friend was important, and 37% were influenced by the number of positive reviews they read online. Only 17% stated the number of negative reviews had an effect.

36% consumers spent at least a few days researching a product, while 24% spent less than one day conducting an online search, says the report. Overall, most consumers say they conduct some research before purchasing a product, with only 2% stating they usually make their purchases on the spot.

Ms. Marsh concludes that “…consumers are being strongly influenced by information and opinions shared online… this new path to purchase…has become an everyday part of consumers’ behavior.”

(Source: The Center for Media Research, 02/22/11)

Where’s the Money?

This week I had coffee with a friend on his 50th Birthday and we were reflecting on how our lives have changed in the past 25 years.

A lot of attention in the advertising business is placed on younger generations, but the real disposable income is with us older folks.

Mediapost has more:

Healthy, Wealthy And Online
Baby Boomers hold 77% of the U.S. wealth and they spend 15 hours per week online — two hours longer than teenagers each week. Let’s write that again, 77% of the U.S. wealth is held by Baby Boomers and they are online 15 hours per week. Why is that worth repeating? Apparently, there are still a few marketers and media buyers that believe people over age 50 are invisible. How very wrong they are. This is the generation of best-educated, financially healthy, ambitious, curious, creative, social connectors the U.S. has ever seen.

Here are a few highlights and insights from the technology, travel and entertainment industries:

Baby Boomers grew up with technology — they were the adopters of stereos, large cell phones, garage door openers, microwaves, home security systems, digital cameras, computers, cassettes, CDs, VCRs, DVRs, videos and DVDs. It’s no surprise Boomers embrace Kindle, smartphones, iPads, iPhones, home automation, GPS, Facebook, chat rooms and websites focused on their interests and passions.

Baby Boomers grew up with travel. Boomers watched as the highways were being built across the United States and airplane travel improved to become faster, better and cheaper. Autos were a part of culture and freedom; they took them on the highways to new jobs in other cities. Today, Boomers believe travel is an entitlement. They spend time online researching and purchasing their vacations at a growing rate.

Baby Boomers grew up with entertainment: Television, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Elvis, Beatles, attending football and baseball games, board games, train sets, hula hoops and dances. Today, Boomers spend more online than Gens X and Y. They are the largest audience for Wii and purchased the most concert tickets, making the following (Boomer-focused) bands and entertainers the highest earners: Eagles, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, U2, Paul McCartney, Elton John and Billy Joel.

From my daily interactions at Navigate Boomer Media, I observe dozens of conversations, emails and feedback that demonstrate marketers and media planners do not have enough or the right information to reach Boomers online. We work closely with our 124 web sites in the U.S. and Canada to better understand Boomer preferences, hobbies, time on sites, visitor impressions and engagement.

I recommend the following books for marketers and media executives looking for insightful information to build their brand and earn their share of the thick Boomer wallet from Boomers online:

  • Turning Silver into Gold by Dr. Mary Furlong
  • What Boomer Women 50 + Know, Think Do & Buy By Stephen Reily and Dr. Carol Orsborn
  • The New Old by David Cravit
  • Dot Boom by David Weigelt & Jonathan Boehman

If you are in the media or marketing industry, you have read various facts and stats about Boomers. Here are stats where baby Boomers have significant impact:

Baby Boomers ages 46 – 64 purchase:

  • 74% of prescription drugs
  • 51% of over-the counter drugs
  • 42% of online travel
  • 80% of luxury travel (those over 50)
  • $157 billion worth of leisure travel annually
  • 3 out of 5 new car buyers are over 50
  • 8 out of 10 Boomers own their homes
  • 1 out of 4 Boomers have a vacation home

Let me add some icing to the marketing cake. U.S. Baby Boomers will inherit $14 – 20 trillion over the next 20 years. Here are the categories of business that will benefit from the health and wealth of the Baby Boomers:

  • Financial planning
  • Education
  • Automotive
  • Travel
  • Active adult communities
  • Home builders
  • Clothing
  • Technology
  • Entertainment
  • Dining
  • Anti-aging lotions and creams
  • Weight loss
  • Hospitals
  • Automotive
  • Retail
  • Apparel
  • Packaged goods
  • Care giving

Marketers who engage and embrace Boomers in their marketing messages are speaking and attending conferences like Mary Furlong & Associates’ 8th Annual What’s Next Boomer Business Summit on April 29. See you there.

Nancy Shonka Padberg is CEO of Navigate Boomer Media Marketing.


This is from the LaBov Sales Channel:

Connect and Conquer

A diverse network of creative, connected, career-centric friends can help you get anything done. If you’re on a first-name basis with a plumber, painter, seamstress, and chef, you’ll never have to worry about leaky sinks, peeling shutters, missing buttons, or cravings for chevre and chardonnay. The same is true in sales. You may be able to help a customer with” X” and “Y,” but having a buddy on speed dial who specializes in “Z” really shows you know your “P’s” and “Q’s.” And in sales, it’s all about the T.L.C.


Seth Godin wrote this on his blog in October 2008:

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love

The thing is, it’s far easier than ever before to surface your ideas. Far easier to have someone notice your art or your writing or your photography. Which means that people who might have hidden their talents are now finding them noticed…

That blog you’ve built, the one with a lot of traffic… perhaps it can’t be monetized.

That non-profit you work with, the one where you are able to change lives… perhaps turning it into a career will ruin it.

That passion you have for art… perhaps making your painting commercial enough to sell will squeeze the joy out of it.

When what you do is what you love, you’re able to invest more effort and care and time. That means you’re more likely to win, to gain share, to profit. On the other hand, poets don’t get paid. Even worse, poets that try to get paid end up writing jingles and failing and hating it at the same time.

Today, there are more ways than ever to share your talents and hobbies in public. And if you’re driven, talented and focused, you may discover that the market loves what you do. That people read your blog or click on your cartoons or listen to your mp3s. But, alas, that doesn’t mean you can monetize it, quit your day job and spend all day writing songs.

The pitfalls:
1. In order to monetize your work, you’ll probably corrupt it, taking out the magic in search of dollars
2. Attention doesn’t always equal significant cash flow.

I think it makes sense to make your art your art, to give yourself over to it without regard for commerce.

Doing what you love is as important as ever, but if you’re going to make a living at it, it helps to find a niche where money flows as a regular consequence of the success of your idea. Loving what you do is almost as important as doing what you love, especially if you need to make a living at it. Go find a job you can commit to, a career or a business you can fall in love with.

A friend who loved music, who wanted to spend his life doing it, got a job doing PR for a record label. He hated doing PR, realized that just because he was in the record business didn’t mean he had anything at all to do with music. Instead of finding a job he could love, he ended up being in proximity to, but nowhere involved with, something he cared about. I wish he had become a committed school teacher instead, spending every minute of his spare time making music and sharing it online for free. Instead, he’s a frazzled publicity hound working twice as many hours for less money and doing no music at all.

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love (at least what you love right now). But I bet you can figure out how to love what you do to make money (if you choose wisely).

Do your art. But don’t wreck your art if it doesn’t lend itself to paying the bills. That would be a tragedy.

(And the twist, because there is always a twist, is that as soon as you focus on your art and leave the money behind, you may just discover that this focus turns out to be the secret of actually breaking through and making money.)

Give Them Directions to Follow

I posted the original article from Drew last month, and it was so good, it bears revisiting. This is from

Customers Listen, so Tell Them What You Want

In a post at his Marketing Minute blog, Drew McLellan talks about the frustration he felt every time he made deposits at his bank. “Like most bank drive-throughs,” he says, “they have a commercial lane on the far left and then several ‘everybody and anybody’ lanes to the right of that.” The commercial lane at this branch, however, has a few impediments; it curves to the right and is hemmed in by large poles that keep cars from running into the building.

“I [could] never get quite close enough to the drawer (even when … fully extended) to comfortably put something in it or take out my receipt,” he explains. “More than once on a windy day, the receipt … fluttered off and I [had] had to chase it through their parking lot.” As a result, he dreaded the banking experience.

Then McLellan had an epiphany. “[I]t occurred to me that I didn’t need to use the commercial lane,” he says. “I could use any of the drive-through lanes [that] are straight and utilize the tube/chute thing rather than a drawer with a paperweight in it.”

Banking from the regular lane couldn’t have been more pleasant, and he realized why he hadn’t thought to try it before: He was a commercial customer and went where the sign told commercial customers to go. “Human beings, even incorrigible ones, typically do as they’re told,” he explains. “We are all, even me, rule followers by nature. We want to get it right.”

The Po!nt: If you tell customers what you want them to do, they will probably follow your instructions—just make sure it leads to an experience they’ll enjoy!

Source: Marketing Minute.


This is for the managers…

Daily Sales Tip: Don’t Over-Use Sales Incentives and Contests

Rather than constantly running new sales incentives and contests, save them for special situations such as jump-starting sales of new products or services or reinforcing desired changes in how your salespeople sell. Structure your company’s sales compensation plan to motivate desired daily behaviors such as new business generation, maximum account penetration, team selling, and cross-selling.

Top sales performers are usually very internally motivated, success-oriented and outcome-focused. If you hire the right kind of salespeople and provide them with a properly designed compensation plan that rewards the correct activities and results, you won’t need to offer a lot of sales incentives and contests to motivate your sales team!

Source: Sales consultant Alan Rigg