There is a lesson in president-elect Barack Obama’s calculated win for all media and advertising players struggling to crack the targeted demographics code: Know your constituents.
There is so much noise about social media, much of it not very helpful. Myths about how and why to use these networks abound, spread by networking neophytes and so-called experts (like me) alike. What none of us can afford is to stand by and watch it all unfold, for there is money to be made. Here, then, is a comprehensive guide to networking misconceptions, each accompanied by a tangible action plan that you can take right now.
Courting millennials is something of an obsession among media types. With brands chasing the digital trendsetters born between 1980 and 2000, marketing campaigns seem increasingly driven by Twitter hashtags, Facebook follows and all manner of social media buzzwords. This could be a huge mistake.
So whether it’s adventure or astrology, it’s important for marketers to expand the brand experience. The only way to do this is to develop a real understanding of the target audience.
Is it possible that Facebook is getting ready to abandon the teen market to concentrate on the 18-49 demographic that is so important to advertisers?
Anheuser-Busch— whose Budweiser brand sales and image have taken a serious licking — today will announce plans to push free beer and a hipper Bud image to younger beer drinkers over the next several weeks. To appeal to the under-30 set that has ignored the brand — but is a prime consumer group for beer — Budweiser will unleash its biggest-ever national free-sample effort in trendy bars and eateries. The campaign begins Monday, with the slogan "Grab some Buds."
According to a white paper to be released in September, "Affluent Mothers Of Young Children," by Donna Sabino, SVP, Ipsos OTX, "kid" effects are evident when comparing affluent women with children under 18 to those without children. Sacrifice and lifestyle reprioritization are clear. Of the 15.6 million affluent female heads of house age 18 to 54 (annual household incomes of $100,000 or more) more than half, or 9.4 million, are mothers of children under 18. Even when age is accounted for, affluent women without children are far more likely to demonstrate stereotypically "affluent" behaviors, living, consuming, and acting in a manner typically associated with upper-class lifestyles.
I don't have to tell you about the incredible marketing opportunity that is the 45-65 consumer in America today. You know those numbers inside and out. And therein lies the problem. Yes, the numbers are great. In fact, the numbers are amazing and incredible and stupendous and shocking and undeniable. So what.
Will the idea of a "generation gap" eventually atrophy into obsolescence? We see this not only in the video-game world, but also in other brands: moms and daughters with matching Ugg boots, Juicy Couture sweatsuits, Abercrombie hoodies and Coach handbags. Fathers and sons comparing fantasy football rankings on matching iPhones or killing precious productivity hours on YouTube. Teachers and students sipping from matching Starbucks latte cups or ordering the same items from Pinkberry. Moms and daughters rooting feverishly for their favorite "American Idol" contestants or shaking their heads in utter disgust at the shameless and hygienically dubious conduct of the latest batch of "The Real World" participants.
Microsoft is trying to home in on a younger, chattier demographic with two new cellphones centered on social networking. The Kin One and Kin Two allow users to keep closely synched with sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The start menu displays a montage of photographs from friends with notes about what they are doing rather than a more traditional menu that caters to phone functions. The Kins also have touch screens, links to the Zune music service and high-powered cameras for capturing photographs and video.
How are BMW, VW, Honda and Toyota bringing in younger consumers? VW of America COO Mark Barnes says it's about product and bringing in a new generation. "The mass media we are using is TV, but we are getting far more engaged in the digital world," he says. "When we introduced the new GTI, we used iPod and iPhone. Our GTI sales were up tremendously versus last year so that has worked very well."
Lifetime is in transition, again. The latest chapter in the network’s search for itself includes a push for younger viewers – a sweet spot for advertisers – and has resulted in a dwindling audience of loyal, older viewers. The current perception of Lifetime: “‘It’s great for my mom, but I wouldn't watch it.' That has to change," said JoAnn Alfano, Lifetime's executive vice president of programming. "In some ways it's not rocket science. We want to invite all women into the tent and offer a cross-section of programming."
Think of someone you know who is graduating from high school in 2010. Maybe it’s your younger cousin, or a niece or nephew. Perhaps it’s your son or daughter. Or perhaps it’s some young folks in your town you may know. Take a minute to think about someone you have watched grow up for the past 15 or so years. Furthermore, let’s acknowledge that your young high school graduate represents, quite literally, the “18” in the coveted “18-35 demographic” that many marketers are constantly trying to reach. Now think about the fact that the high school graduating “Class of 2010” was born around the time that Netscape Navigator arrived—the time when the Web was born.
Chances are, a good portion of your target audience is actively engaged in online games. And if they're there, you should be there, too. Gamers are not passive observers; they're active and motivated participants. Brands have a chance to be part of that experience -- often in the very moment when players are willing to give something to get ahead in the game. This is a level of attention that few, if any, other media can offer.
Social networking is one of the fastest-growing activities among mobile users around the world. And as one of the primary ways mobile users communicate with one another, it is proving a significant driver of Internet usage on mobile devices. eMarketer predicts the number of mobile users accessing social networks from their mobile devices will reach 607.5 million worldwide by 2013, representing 43% of global mobile Internet users. In the US, mobile social networkers will total 56.2 million by 2013, accounting for 45% of the mobile Internet user population.
Women ages 20 to 30 represent a $54 billion marketing opportunity for packaged goods companies, but their needs and values are vastly different from the generation before them, a new report from Information Resources found. “Winning with Millennial Women Shoppers” outlines this growing consumer demographic’s key behaviors. Compared to the preceding generation, women born between 1979 and 1989 tend to shop less, buy more during each trip, and frequent supercenters and Walmart more. The economy has also forced these shoppers to cut back on indulgent food categories like frozen poultry, chewing gum, salty snacks and frozen pizza, the report said.
Every trend requires a spark, an event that serves as a catalyst to galvanize a series of actions that reverberate throughout society. Twitter has surely experienced its share of incremental touchstones that continually propels the service across deeper oceans of users and followers. One such instance would ultimately represent the bridge for “crossing the chasm” into the teen demographic. The celebrity adoption of Twitter, en masse, may indeed symbolize the stimulus necessary to reach and recruit the youth onto Twitter. At it’s forefront was a much publicized race between Ashton Kutcher and CNN. Kutcher, either intentionally or unknowingly, would become was the accidental Pied Piper for attracting America’s youth to Twitter.
Pepsi is targeting a somewhat overlooked demographic—African-American moms—with a digital community where such consumers will be asked to share personal and inspirational thoughts. The effort, promoted across various media with the tagline “We inspire,” will serve as the cornerstone of Pepsi’s African-American marketing outreach for 2010. Pepsi is aiming to build buzz for Pepsiweinspire.com via Facebook and print ads, in Essence and Black Enterprise, featuring actress Taraji P. Henson reflecting on the love she has for her mother.
While 99 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds have profiles on social networks, only 22 percent use Twitter, according to a new survey from Pace University and the Participatory Media Network.
There’s a healthy debate going on over at AdAge.com this week — a POV by Michael Fassnacht, Chief Customer Intelligence Officer at DRAFTFCB entitled “The Death of Consumer Segmentation?” has prompted a lot of comments. While the traditional consumer segmentation vs. “self-segmentation” discussion is interesting, I found myself wanting to return to the basics of segmentation. It seems that, before we debate the merits of any segmentation approach, we should revisit why segment at all.
Facebook is aging fast. The number of U.S. users over 35 has doubled in just the last 60 days, according to new data from Inside Facebook. The burgeoning crowd of older users means that the majority of Facebook members are now over age 25.
In the U.S., Hispanics consumers are bypassing other groups in Web savvy, according to a new report from Chicago-based research firm Mintel.