Paper vs Digital Study

from Mediapost this week:

Print Pervasive and Persuasive, But Digital Overtaking

According to new research from Nielsen, reported by Todd Hale, SVP Consumer & Shopper Insights, 60% of shoppers from the survey say they look at printed paper material either mailed to the home or in newspapers at least once per week. With 82% of Americans online, 93% owning mobile phones and 155 million using Facebook, access to digital technologies is pervasive, yet retailers still spend an estimated 60-70% of their marketing budget on printed ad circulars.

The only electronic tactic that matches printed paper’s weekly reach is email. But while far fewer people are looking at sales and product information from digital methods like social media sites, store sites using a tablet PC, or from smart or mobile phones, the weekly usage conversion rates are strong.

Weekly Usage of Retail Advertising Material

Sales Product Information

Weekly Usage

Materials mailed to home


Emails from retailers




Social Media


Smart or mobile phone


Printed material in store


Store site on computer


Store site using PC


In store kiosk


In store TV


Source: Nielsen, July 2011

When shoppers are asked what they want for the future, demand goes up for high tech information sources. While nearly 90% of consumers still want print, more than 70% want email and traditional websites and about one-third are interested in social and smartphone applications. These numbers are even higher among younger generations of shoppers who say they still want paper, but they are more accepting of all information sources.

Future Desires For Information Sources


% of Respondents


Direct mail




In store



Store website using computer


Emails from retailers


Store website using tablet


In store kiosk


TV in store


Social media site


Smart or mobile phone


Source: Nielsen, July 2011

The research showed that while printed material gets shoppers in the store, digital tactics reinforce and reward loyal shoppers. Printed campaigns help shoppers find deals about their favorite products and locate widespread sales and high-tech touch points such as tablets, social sites and in-store kiosks are used to more so for research purposes.

Printed circular response promotion lifts are less effective than five years ago, delivering about a 20% return on investment in 2010, compared to a 28% boost in 2005. The report suggests that an improved mixture of items with an overall higher lift profile and/or timing improvements can counterbalance smaller average lifts.

Printed Circular Ad Principles


Advertise for broad appeal

Deep discounts, but not excessive

Compare lift by category

Price multiples

Manage national brand ad composition


Worry about page count

Advertise multiple competing items

Use price multiples on new items

Deal low penetrtion

Source: Nielsen, July 2011

In study after study, Nielsen finds that the online circular is the most widely used part of a grocery/drug retailer’s web site, but the lift gained is a bit less than the lift seen for the site overall. The research also shows that:

  • Online display ads drive offline sales
  • ROI is generally higher than traditional media
  • Every online campaign does not work
  • Success is driven by new shoppers, not greater spending among existing shoppers
  • The best responding offline segments are not always the most responsive to online ads

For many brick and mortar retailers, figuring out how to effectively draw people to online offerings and then determining what contribution online efforts are having to offline sales is a challenge. Few of these retailers get more than 20% of store shoppers to visit their site, despite the fact that the majority of shoppers spend 25+ hours per week online.

The presentation concludes with these recommendations:

  • Put a process in place for both print and media campaigns that tracks ongoing optimization. A department-by-department win/loss weekly scorecard that includes display compliance should be deployed to get below the surface of the ad.
  • An understanding of past shopping behavior makes a big difference in the ROI of online campaigns on driving offline sales. Customer-based reach tactics can be effective, but requires a level of analysis beyond what is known about existing brick and mortar segments. Creative messaging with price and promotion on specific items is particularly effective.
  • Digital is necessary to bring about the type of consumer relevancy that future shoppers will expect. It will evolve along with development on the web and in social media, and will be driven to a large degree by younger and more diverse population segments.

For additional information from Nielsen, please visit here.


Social Media Advertising?

I have some very strong opinions about using social media to advertise your business.

Most of it is annoying.


Most of those doing it are not doing it right.

What are “they” not doing “right”?

They are treating it as a traditional advertising avenue, where you try and sell stuff by pushing out your stuff to anyone and everyone who may follow you, like you or add you to their Google+ Circles.

The right way, in my opinion is to:

Be social. That means conversational. Talk, listen, respond. This is two-way conversation.

Target. There are people who want to spend money with you, and if you take a strategic approach to find those folks and stop blasting the rest of us to the point of annoyance, you can use Social Media Channels to enhance your business reputation and sell stuff too.

The RAB shared this report:

Two-Thirds of Local Merchants Advertise on Social Network; One-Fifth Use Facebook

According to MerchantCircle, new local ad offerings from Facebook are making inroads with local merchants and may put increasing pressure on Google and pure-play deals companies such as Groupon for share of local marketing budgets. With its huge consumer adoption, ease-of-use and low barrier to entry, Facebook continues to be the most popular digital site for merchants to market their business, though, overall, 66% are using the social network for marketing.

The survey shows 22% of local merchants have used Facebook Ads, two-thirds would use them again and show increasing favorability towards group deals, with 77% now saying they would offer another daily deal.

Darren Waddell, vice president of marketing at MerchantCircle, says “Facebook…has established (itself) as an important marketing channel for local businesses… and is effectively parlaying this popularity into local ad sales…”

Key conclusions from the survey include:

1. Facebook continues to be the most popular way for merchants to market their business, with 66% overall using the social network for marketing. Facebook’s targeted display ad offering boasts a remarkable 94% awareness rate among local merchants.

  • 22% of merchants report having used Facebook ads since its launch
  • 65% of these merchants say that they would use the service again
  • 67% say because of ease of use
  • 65% say the top reason for continuing is the ability to start and stop campaigns

However, of the 35% of merchants who said they would not advertise with Facebook again, 69% said that the ads did not help them to acquire new customers, and 35% said the ads were too expensive.

2. The study indicates that familiarity with Facebook and Google will make these well-known brands a strong alternative to Groupon and LivingSocial, with 52% saying that familiarity with these brands would lead them to choose Facebook Deals or Google Offers over competitive offerings. Other reasons for choosing:


  • Bigger audience size (26%)
  • Better local targeting (21%)


  • Bigger audience size (42%)
  • Brand reputation (34%)

3. While three months ago, only 50% of merchants who had tried offering a group deal said they would do so again, 77% now say they would be willing to offer another daily deal, 58% citing effectiveness in customer acquisition, 30% favorable deal structure, and 24% profitability of the deal as their top three reasons.

Among those who wouldn’t offer another daily deal, 42% said that it was not effective in customer acquisition, 25% said it was too costly and 24% said they lost money.

Mixed opinions about the medium’s effectiveness for customer acquisition may be contributing to its slow growth among local merchants. This is not for lack of aggressive sales and marketing efforts, notes the report. 34% of respondents who offered a daily deal did so after being contacted by a sales rep, or 31% seeing an ad for the service.

4. Investment in traditional offline marketing methods continues to decline among local merchants. Over the past three months:

  • Use of print advertising dropped from 27% to 24%
  • Use of print Yellow Pages declined from 37% to 29%
  • Use of direct mail decreased from 28% to 26%

The popularity of location-based marketing services has also dropped over the past quarter. Data shows that 22% of businesses are using Facebook Places to market their business, while just 7% are using Foursquare. This is trending downward from the last survey in January 2011, when 32% said they were using Facebook Places and 9% said they were using Foursquare.

In spite of the hype around mobile marketing, just 18% of merchants report doing any sort of mobile marketing or advertising. Lack of understanding continues to be a major barrier to adoption: 71% of merchants state that they don’t have a good idea of how to reach consumers via mobile marketing. Additionally, only nine% said they own a tablet, with 9% said they planned to buy one in the next six months.

5. Local merchants continue to have little time or money for marketing. 61% of local merchants are spending less than $2,500 a year on marketing, and 73% have no plans to raise their budgets this year. Time is also a critical issue for merchants, with 37% citing lack of time and resources as their top marketing challenge.

(Source: The Center for Media Research, 06/28/11)

When Is the Best Time for a Staff Sales Meeting?


Daily Sales Tip: The Dreaded Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Some sales managers believe in gathering the troops first thing Monday morning. Others disagree and prefer sales meetings later in the week; and maybe late in the day. The positives and negatives of each have been debated at length. After all, keeping salespeople in the office rather than in front of clients is expensive, so this is an important decision. Now there is new scientific data available.

A recent study led by Jason Devereux of University College London shows that levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to increased blood pressure and weakened immune responses, are higher in white-collar workers’ saliva on Monday mornings than on Sunday mornings. The higher levels of secretion may be in anticipation of a stressful day at work, the researchers say.

What’s the application of this research to radio sales? We know that making a decision to purchase advertising is often a stressful situation. If Monday mornings are a time of increased stress in white-collar workers, our primary advertising decision-makers, another time would be better to be making presentations. If we are not going to be making client presentations, Monday mornings may be the best time to get that sales meeting out of the way.

Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:


by Karl Greenberg

Believe it or not, it seemed both totally appropriate and totally inappropriate that Hyundai Motor America held its Northeast press event for two of its cars at the luxurious/rustic Blue Hill Farm and restaurant on the sprawling Rockefeller estate in Tarrytown, N.Y. …Read the whole story >>

Packaged Goods

by Tanya Irwin

Secret consumers will also be able to show support for “Mean Stinks” by purchasing a T-shirt at the eStore via the Facebook page. Secret is also launching an iAd for the program on Apple’s mobile advertising network and will donate $1 for every user who saves a “Mean Stinks” wallpaper to their iPhone and iPod touch when they see the ad in their favorite apps. …Read the whole story >>


by Sarah Mahoney

While the shoes themselves may evoke ’80s flashbacks, the new campaign is pure urban club culture. It includes 25 dancers, 150 extras and choreography from Hi-Hat, as lasers, smoke and an acrylic box create a multidimensional Classic R, enclosed within a box. …Read the whole story >>


by Aaron Baar

The television and Internet video campaign, with the tagline “Tougher is Smarter,” depicts the phone going through a series of real-life tests designed to show off its military-grade specifications, which include being able to withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, drops and submersion. …Read the whole story >>


by Karl Greenberg

Josh Donnelly, who works in Fiat brand marketing, tells Marketing Daily that the goal was to create an app that wasn’t a flash in the pan. “When we sat down with the creative team, my mission was to create an application that people want to open frequently,” he says. …Read the whole story >>

Groupon or No Groupon?

I say it is a winner for consumers, but a loser for businesses.

Which in turn hurts consumers in the long run.

Here’s more:

Daily Deals Aren’t Always a Good Deal for Businesses

The daily deal frenzy appeared to reach a crescendo a few weeks ago when Groupon — the company most associated with the group coupon model — announced plans for an initial public offering.

Now, a new study is raising concerns about some possible pitfalls of the daily deal model of offering steep discounts for a limited time, mostly from local retailers and restaurants.

Utpal Dholakia, an associate professor of management at Rice University, surveyed 324 businesses in 23 markets who had participated in daily deals with Groupon, LivingSocial, OpenTable, Travelzoo and BuyWithMe.

He found that the good deals for consumers weren’t always good deals for businesses.

A little more than half of the businesses Dholakia surveyed made money on the deals, while a little more than one-fourth said they lost money and the rest said they broke even.

That might not be so bad for retailers, if they thought they’d gain a new customer or make money in other ways. But the retailers said about 36 percent of users spent beyond the deal’s value, and only about 20 percent of customers returned for a full-price purchase.

About half of the retailers said they’d run a deal again, while around 20 percent said they would not, according to the study. About 30 percent were unsure.

The fact that some retailers aren’t clamoring to do another deal could be a red flag for the daily deal companies, whose business model depends on companies who are willing to provide the deals.

Another potential problem: Dholakia’s survey found that more than 20 percent of the people who bought the deals never actually used them.

Groupon has impressed retail industry watchers with its astounding growth — the company has more than 80 million users, and more than 7,000 employees, even though it has been in business less than three years.

But some also have worried about how well the company can sustain its success, and make money. Groupon has lost hundreds of millions of dollars since it was founded, which is one of the arguments against investing in Groupon’s stock.

Nevertheless, an intriguing mix of deep discounting, web-based marketing and local business support has clearly touched a nerve for many people. It’s also spawned a massive influx of daily deal companies, including Living Social, Google Offers, a Facebook deal site and countless other niche players.

The crowded field appears to have few loyalists. Dholakia noted that the vast majority of the businesses who responded to his survey said they would consider doing a deal with another daily deal site, rather than sticking with the one they’d already used.

“Overall, our findings lead us to conclude that there are relatively few points of differentiation between the daily deal sites, making it harder for any one site to stand out from the others,” Dholakia wrote.

(Source: Life, Inc., 06/22/11)

How Honest are you?


Daily Sales Tip: Honesty is the Best Policy

Successful salespeople all use a range of different styles and techniques, but they also all share one key thing in common: they know that honest communication is the single most important secret to increasing sales, and commissions.

By focusing their efforts on creating a positive customer experience based on openness and trust, these top performers can almost always rely on an extraordinary level of repeat sales. Nine times out of ten, their customers would simply never even think of looking elsewhere when they need to reorder. As we all know, it’s far easier — and far more profitable — to keep repeat business, than it is to land a whole new account.

So what’s the “secret” to establishing and maintaining credibility in the eyes of your clients?

Don’t lie. Ever. End of story.

Lies not only damage the ability of salespeople to communicate with their clients. They can also result in a complete communication breakdown that is difficult — or even impossible — to repair.

Source: Colleen Francis, founder and president of Engage Selling Solutions

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and read these as bedtime stories… if you want:


by Aaron Baar

“The Olympic Games bring the world together unlike any other event,” said McDonald’s global marketing officer Dean Barrett during the webcast. “This one-year-out date is important for us because for London 2012, every dimension of our sponsorship will be bigger and better than ever.” …Read the whole story >>


by Sarah Mahoney

The National Retail Federation is predicting that parents will keep the reins tight this back-to-school season, spending an average of $603.63 on apparel, school supplies and electronics, just under the $606.40 predicted last year at this time. …Read the whole story >>


by Tanya Irwin

Drury Inn & Suites, Embassy Suites Hotels, Holiday Inn, Homewood Suites, Hotel Indigo, Microtel Inns & Suites and The Ritz-Carlton rank highest in customer satisfaction in their respective segments, although overall hotel guest satisfaction has declined. …Read the whole story >>


by Karl Greenberg

Nearly nine out of ten LGBT adults (versus about 75% of heterosexual adults) said they are likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits for all of their employees. Nearly half said they are extremely or very likely to consider such brands. …Read the whole story >>


by Erik Sass

Pandora’s push to become a multiplatform service got a boost this week with Verizon’s announcement that it will make the personalized Internet radio service available to FiOS TV subscribers in major media markets. …Read the whole story >>