The tumultuous 24 months of presidential campaigning feels like an eternity. It has been bound by digital interactivity that has played an unprecedented role intensifying voices and votes and will continue to redefine American politics and democracy. That is a bipartisan victory for all the people.
As the demographics of the American population continue to shift, marketers understand that the opportunities provided by the growing diversity of consumers in the United States are not what they used to be.
Two out of every three adults who are online use social media. That’s amazing. It truly is. Wonder how many are still out there who still think social media is just a fad?
A new study from leading cause marketing firm, Cone, has revealed that moms are the most receptive demographic to cause marketing efforts and make the most cause-related purchases. "By all measures, moms lead the way as the demographic most amenable to cause marketing," according to the official press release. Ninety-five percent of moms find cause marketing acceptable, 92% want to buy products that support causes, and moms purchased more cause-related products than the other demographics surveyed. So why is this? Do moms simply have more care and empathy, by virtue of being moms?
All of us in the direct response industry talk about the importance of gaining further understanding of our client's customer. And today, frankly, we're all in direct response in one way or another. So we employ the use of syndicated data to reveal demographics of the category, we ask our clients for studies against their own customers and we even conduct surveys ourselves in order to gain additional insight. What we are often missing in this exploration is capitalizing on our client's own database and improving our understanding of the complexity of a target through segmentation.
How often do we hear about how many millions of dollars a start-up raised in this round or that? Venture capital is likely the most oft-cited figure for measuring the potential for a new business' success, but research firm CB Insights aims to change that misconception in a new report measuring human capital--not venture capital. "When we ask venture capitalists what gets them excited about the young, emerging, and often unproven companies in which they invest, we never hear about deals and dollars," reads part I of the report, released this morning. "Rather, the first answer is frequently 'the team' or 'the founders.'" In their first-ever VC Human Capital Report, CB Insights attempts to apply the "same rigor we apply to our quarterly tally of deals and dollars to provide an objective, data-driven perspective into the people dimension behind the deals and dollars we so often read about."
Over the next 20 years, powerful demographic, societal, and economic trends promise to reshape consumer behavior substantially in many of the world’s wealthier nations. The implications for business will be significant. To better understand how these trends will play out, McKinsey’s Consumer and Shopper Insights Center, with the support of the McKinsey Global Institute, examined the prospects of France and found that there, as in many of its European neighbors, the average household in 2030 will be older, better educated, and less wealthy than the average household today. We found three long-term trends reaching a tipping point that will fundamentally transform the country: an aging population, societal shifts altering what households look like, and economic factors slowing the expansion of wealth. As these trends sweep across France and, to varying degrees, the rest of Europe, they will impose pressure on consumption growth and dramatically change the consumer landscape.
More Men Getting Iced Every Day, Smirnoff Claims It Has Nothing To Do With Their Naming And Branding
Yesterday The New York Times picked up on the new drinking game called "icing." It's full name is "Bros Icing Bros." You can read the rules for yourself, suffice to say that this is a game aimed at the college age demographic and requires players to drink copious amounts of Smirnoff Ice, hence the name "icing." This game has spread out of the frat house to the world of Goldman Sachs and elsewhere. The word "Bros" and "Bro" has been given new life by this game.
In between posting updates about their lives, fascinating or otherwise, users of social media seem to have plenty of time to opine about brands. In a Harris Poll released this week, 34 percent of adults who use social media said they have employed them "as an outlet to rant or rave about a company, brand or product."
And now competing for our already frazzled attention, two somewhat contradictory studies: one by Pew Internet Project and the other from BlogHer and iVillage. Pew's latest study on how the 18-29 demographic are using social media found a decline in blog-writing and -reading by this text-happy generation. BlogHer and iVillage, meanwhile, report that millennials are the most avid blog-writers and -readers. Let's break this down.
Hulu is everyone's favorite provider of TV on the web, but it's facing an ideological battle over its future. On one side are its network backers, which would like Hulu to become a paid service. On the other is the advertising community, which would like to keep Hulu free as a test-bed for new targeted-ad formats that can't be skipped. It's an important issue, because any debate about Hulu is a debate about the future of purely ad-supported TV, which is increasingly becoming an endangered species.
If the U.S. population was represented by Woody Allen's "Manhattan," the Fed's $300 million investment in Draftfcb's 2010 census communications program will probably deliver the greatest ROI in marketing history. This sprawling campaign has been resoundingly criticized for lame humor, lackluster creative and missed targeting. But hold on, folks! Our fellow marketing brethren at Draftfcb didn't even get the contract until September 2007 and only had support from 11 other companies!
Social networks share a common ingredient in design and intent, the connection of people and the facilitation of conversations, sharing, and discovery. What they do not share however, are culture, behavior, and prevailing demographics. Each network is unique in its genetic and cultural composition and it is for that reason that we benefit by becoming digital anthropologists in addition to new media marketers. Demographics are distributed within all social networks, but only concentrated within a select few. Where specific demographics materialize varies from network to network and as such, the more effective social strategies and tactics are designed to reach target audiences where, when and how they engage.
What's the biggest emerging market of them all? I'll give you a hint: The answer isn't geographic but demographic. The answer is...women. Women leaders are the new power behind the global economy, proclaims Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's announcement of its second annual webcast celebrating International Women's Day. In developing nations, women's earned income is growing at 8.1 percent, compared to 5.8 percent for men. Globally, women control nearly $12 trillion of the $18 trillion total overall consumer spending, a figure predicted to rise to $15 trillion by 2014. More significant, the majority of tertiary degrees are now being awarded to women. Highly qualified, well-educated and ambitious, these women are taking over the talent pool from Delhi to Dubai and bringing new urgency to the issue of managing diversity.
It seems like the American marketing community is poised on the brink of an astounding discovery: the value of the post-war baby boom market! With the upcoming (and much anticipated) Tom Brokaw special, "Tom Brokaw Reports: Boomer$," it seems like everyone is trying to jump on this particular wagon. On March 1, Advertising Age published a fun piece by Judann Pollack called "The 15 Biggest Baby Boomer Brands" in which Pollack attempts to lay out the iconic products and their ad campaigns of her generation. This is precisely why marketing to boomers is in such a state of disarray. Folks are trying to take 20 pounds and shove it into a five-pound bag.
Are you a Burger King “super fan”? If you eat fast-food nine or 10 times per month – then you are. And we all thought it was all about males, ages 18-34 who liked ad campaigns like SpongeBob SquareButt or the Super Seven Incher. But Burger King's same-store sales have been slipping – dropping 3.3 percent in the US and Canada for the second fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31 compared to a 1.9 percent increase the year before. So John Chidsey, BK CEO, recently redefined “super fans” for investors: “To clarify, it’s not just 18-to-34-year-old males, it’s all ages and all household demographics, with over half of them having children. And interestingly, over 29 percent are 50 years of age or older.”
With 71% of Americans using the Internet at least monthly in 2010, US Internet users now closely resemble the general population. Over the next five years, that trend will continue. Overall, eMarketer forecasts the number of monthly Internet users in the US will rise to 250.7 million in 2014, up from 221 million in 2010. More than one-half of new users will be ages 45 and up, as many of the remaining laggards come on board. Among younger groups, the Internet is nearly ubiquitous, and most who are able to access it already do so, leaving limited potential for penetration growth.
The new report from the Pew Hispanic Trust -- Latinos Online -- shows that 64% of all U.S. Hispanics use the Internet and that foreign-born Latinos have crossed the tipping point with 52% online. As the Hispanic audience grows, they seek new content and increasingly find and regularly visit foreign web sites.
For most marketers, the growth of multicultural segments became a business imperative after the 2000 Census and the generational focus shifted from boomer to Gen Y. If you're managing a large brand today, you are likely addressing these opportunities through some combination of targeted Hispanic, African American or Asian, and youth-marketing initiatives. But today that segmentation is not enough; a bigger change is emerging that is more meaningful than just demography.
Though many marketers are focusing on how the 2010 U.S. Census will show growth in the Hispanic population, a new study argues that the African-American community presents another great opportunity. The report, commissioned by BET and based on U.S. Census Bureau data, shows that black Americans are both more well-off and more suburban than previously thought.
As the flame of 2009 flickered into the history books, Facebook celebrated its rise to 350 million users and certain dominance in the U.S. social networking market. However, in December, analysts questioned whether or not Facebook was losing its cool as time spent on the popular social network dropped three consecutive months among 18-24 year old users. Experts feared that the “family effect” was having a negative impact within this highly coveted demographic.
Facebook is getting old. No, people aren't getting tired of it, it's actually getting old, as in its population is aging. In May of 2008, the median age for Facebook was 26. Today, it's 33, a good seven years older. That's an interesting turn of events for a site once built for the exclusive use of college students. So where are today's college students hanging out now? Well, to some extent, they're still on Facebook, despite having to share the space with moms, dads, grandparents, and bosses. Surprisingly though, they're also headed to another network you may have heard of: Twitter.
The 2010 census will officially record that more than 300 million people live in this country. It's a diverse group, as we've known for a while now. But a study commissioned by the trade magazine Advertising Age will pose some problems for marketers in the second decade of the century. We've now become so diverse that there's no such thing as an average American anymore.
Kristen Nagy, an 18-year-old from Sparta, N.J., sends and receives 500 text messages a day. But she never uses Twitter, even though it publishes similar snippets of conversations and observations. “I just think it’s weird and I don’t feel like everyone needs to know what I’m doing every second of my life,” she said. Her reluctance to use Twitter, a feeling shared by others in her age group, has not doomed the microblogging service.
Starting with the book "Groundswell" and continuing now for three years running, we've analyzed consumers' participation in social technologies around the world with a tool called the Social Technographics Profile. The profile puts online people into overlapping groups based on their participation (at least once a month) in a ladder of behaviors, from Inactives, a group that doesn't participate in social technologies, to Creators, who pen blogs, publish web pages, upload video and photos and write and post stories.
Consumers are cutting back on just about everything right now, but some items—paper towels and diapers, for instance—will always be musts. That said, recession-conscious shoppers won’t part with their money unless there’s a promise of value. It’s a dynamic that David Miller Gomez-Giron, Procter & Gamble’s associate marketing director, sees in action every day. Gomez-Giron—who oversees multicultural marketing for Bounty, Charmin and Pampers—has his sights trained on the Hispanic shopper. And for good reason. Not only is the demo huge (46.9 million), but it also responds especially well to quality/value messages.
The folks at condom marketer Durex had an identity problem. Brand leader Trojan was known as the brand men grew up with, the "boy scout" of condoms, if you will, for its preparedness in the wallet. No. 3 LifeStyles brand is associated with the partying lounge lizard. So what's the niche for the No. 2 seller, Durex? Somewhere in between.
Mashable this week posted about the low numbers of teens on Twitter. The post invited readers to weigh in on why they thought this was (e.g. they’re too private, they prefer texting, etc) – once the comment count spilled into the hundreds, Mashable wrote a follow up post further analyzing the issue. At the risk of throwing my hat into an already crowded ring, here’s why I think Twitter sees low adoption among teens: Teenagers, for the most part, do not yet posses weak social ties – the very connections that fuel nearly all of twitter’s growth.
At Pangea Media, we regularly gauge the attitudes of tweens and teens who make up the bulk of visitors to our site, Quibblo.com. Recently, we conducted two surveys which asked them to tell us how they interact with brands and, specifically, which brands they think are "cooler." True to the demographic, some of the 2,000-plus results were in line with what we expected them to say ... others were not.
Experts predict a surge in the men's grooming market -- just as they've been doing for the past decade. The men's grooming market is only about one-fifth the size of the women's market, according to Euromonitor. But if the men's market is so dramatically underdeveloped, why has the oft- predicted explosion failed to materialize? Why is it so hard for men's grooming brands to catch a man?
Earlier this year, Forrester Research released its five year advertising forecast which found that marketers were shifting substantial advertising dollars out of traditional media and into interactive channels such as mobile marketing, display ads, search, social media and email. Yet, marketers who rely too heavily on interactive channels, at the expense of traditional channels, risk losing out on the lucrative Boomer segment that are avid multi-media consumers.
Stick around for seven or more decades and you're apt to become the focal point of some stereotypes before you're done. In the case of today's 65-and-older consumers, though, the problem is that the stereotypes of frail-and-lonely ancients are more creaky than the people to whom they're applied. And it doesn't help matters that baby boomers talk loudly about being poised to transform the nature of old age, as if it has heretofore been unchanged dating back to the Stone Age. Looking at some survey data on 65-plusers, and hearing from people professionally engaged in understanding and marketing to this cohort, we get a clearer picture of how older Americans see themselves and the advertising that's aimed (or, often, misaimed) at them.
The downturn is putting a crimp on baby boomers' free-spending ways, and the likes of Mercedes and Starwood Hotels are scrambling to keep up.
Baby boomers changed the world, ended a war, created a new culture of values and morphed our style and politics with every move of the Beatles. In the end, it was all rock and roll to us. We won the right to vote, and then turned around and voted for Nixon. We baby boomers have been puzzling ourselves and the rest of world since then. Who are we? As we enter our 60s, we have to answer that question ourselves. If our high point was when we were 19 or 20, what will be our second act?
Teens create their identities by defining and redefining who they are -- a constant creative and collaborative process by seeking friends' input and, ultimately, their endorsements. Fashion is one of the key outlets teens have for self expression as well as assimilation. How teens dress signifies many things, from what peer group they associate with to how they want the world to perceive them.
Wheaties, invented accidentally when a health clinician in Minneapolis who was simmering bran gruel for intestinally distressed patients spilled it onto a hot stove and it dried into flakes, was introduced by the Washburn Crosby Company (now General Mills) in 1924. The brand adopted the “Breakfast of Champions” slogan in 1933, and in 1934 the Wheaties box featured its first athlete, Lou Gehrig. It is a formula — slogan, athletes (from Bruce Jenner to Mary Lou Retton to Tiger Woods), block letters on orange box — that has kept Wheaties in the game for more than eight decades. But that formula does not seem to be winning new fans.
Today's advertising agencies are filled with young, talented people whose job is to create messages for a world of consumers who look, act and feel just like they do. In advertising parlance, reaching the 18-to-34-year-old demographic is called targeting the "sweet spot." Ninety percent of today's marketing dollars are spent trying to reach this group. Marketers lust after them, and media companies do everything in their power to lure them to their Web sites, magazines, TV shows and radio stations.
Games have long been fertile marketing ground for movie studios, soda companies and fast feeders -- youth-targeted brands counting on a cache of cool. So what are Alka-Seltzer and Knorr doing in the space?
U.S. consumer participation in rewards programs is on the rise across all demographic segments, according to Colloquy, the Cincinnati-based loyalty marketing consultancy. The study reports a 19% participation growth by the general population since 2007.
With more than 60 percent of Toyota Motor’s WAP traffic coming from the iPhone, the automaker decided to take a different approach to mobile with the promotion of the newest Prius car model. To better cater to these loyal iPhone users, Toyota launched a mobile site optimized specifically for touchscreen devices such as the iPhone. IPhone users can access the Toyota site at http://m.toyota.com and click on the Prius icon to get rerouted to the iPhone optimized site.
Do you Twitter? Then you are more interested in sex than the average Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn user. Like LinkedIn? You're more likely to watch soap operas. Favor MySpace? You're probably not into exercise. Which social network you favor says a lot about you -- and you might be surprised just what it says. A new study by Anderson Analytics is helping identify users' likely interests, buying habits, media consumption and more for marketers. The survey studied the demographics and psychographics of both social networkers and non-users and found that "there are definite data-driven segments in the social-networking-site market, both for non-users and users," said Tom Anderson, founder and managing partner.
Marketers looking to connect with kids should go online, since kids are more willing than ever to spend money there. Separate studies from research firm Nielsen and virtual world WeeWorld released this week suggest that kids are spending more time on the Web. While the research firm Nielsen reveals the online behavior of kids ages 2 to 11, WeeWorld looks at the time spent and spending habits of those age 12 to 18.
Marketers love Gen Yers. They've got roughly $200 billion in disposable income, and they aren't afraid to spend it on clothes, designer sneakers, alcohol, fast food, cellphones and video games. I'm familiar with the lackadaisical spending habits of Gen Yers, because I am one, and until last fall, I, too, splurged on things such as a Wii and an iPhone.
Remember the old joke about the camel? That it's a horse built by a committee? Many of the ads targeting mature consumers these days appear to be built by committee. Chock full of pictures. Lots of messages all at once. You could consider them visual camels.
If today's youth are truly a colorblind demographic, how does that influence the way brands should market to them?
When I attended TWTRCON in San Francisco and also the 140 Twitter Conference in Mountain View recently, the intent of businesses was perspicuous. Speakers and attendees were on hand to actively share, inquire, and learn about how to increase visibility, engagement, and brand presence on Twitter and other social networks.
Our friend Peggy Ann Salz over at M Search Groove mentioned the diminshing utility of using demographics in marketing segmentation and targeting. I wanted to return to this topic, and argue loud and clear, that the evidence is overwhelming, that we (marketing professional) have experienced in the past few years a total shift where customer demographics have gone from utility to futility. Yes, futility. They are now counter-productive. You, reading this blog, need to start to remove all references to demographics in all of your company marketing.
In Atlanta, I met a shy quiet 14-year-old girl that I'll call Kaitlyn. She wasn't particularly interested in talking to me, but she answered my questions diligently. She said that she was on both MySpace and Facebook, but quickly started talking about MySpace as the place where she gathered with her friends. At some point, I asked her if her friends also gathered on Facebook and her face took on a combination of puzzlement and horror before she exclaimed, "Facebook is for old people!" Of course, Kaitlyn still uses Facebook to communicate with her mother, aunt, cousins in Kentucky, and other family members.
Procter & Gamble has embarked on what it's calling "the most ambitious expansion plan in company history" - an aggressive campaign that will extend the reach of the consumer goods company into some of the world's poorest countries.
One of the most important paradigms governing today's marketing world is the constant drive to better segment a brand's customer and prospect base. Conventional wisdom says that the better we segment consumers, the better we can market to them. Consumer segmentation is viewed as a "best-in-class" practice across the marketing world. But are we on the right track?
Corona Extra's formidable brand was built, in part, on crackerjack marketing campaigns equating the Mexican brew with tranquil vacations on pristine beaches. But Corona's falling sales have some beer business watchers wondering whether there's trouble in paradise. A tough economy and intense competition are weighing on some of the higher-priced imports. Their future, and whether beer drinkers' habits have permanently changed, are being closely watched in the $26 billion-a-year industry.
A recent study by InsightExpress, exploring participation trends across social networks, as well as how receptive their members are to advertising, found that 43% of the online population reports using a social networking site. And, no matter their age or number of profiles, social networkers see advertising as a hot topic.
Social media is now ubiquitous. Usage of blogs, social networks, and video sharing sites is increasing rapidly, and millions of people now look to social media sites as their primary source of news, opinion, and entertainment. As we witness this dramatic shift from traditional to social media, we believe it's important to examine its cultural dimensions - that is, who is driving this shift, what are the cultural factors behind it, and what are the implications for marketers seeking to reach specific ethnic/cultural groups via social media?