While it's a little too early for full-fledged yodeling, early surveys of retailers show that shoppers were out in force last weekend, and spending more than many had predicted as they trolled for holiday bargains.
Last year, research firm ITSMA surveyed the budgets of major B2B companies. The single largest budget item -- representing 16% of average spend -- was collateral.
The rich may have more money than the rest of us, but if you think they're all alike, you would be wrong.
Digital is fast becoming so pervasive for marketers that it may soon lose its meaning as a separate media designation, according to Procter & Gamble Co. Global Brand-Building Officer Marc Pritchard. It's one of the many ways the company is changing through a brand-building organization he brought together last year that encompasses all areas of marketing communications.
When I was a struggling freelancer, I hated to spend money. I hired myself to do everything possible, because money I spent was money I didn’t get to keep. When I was hiring researchers to find great leads for my first internet company, I loved to spend money. Every penny we spent made us four pennies, so I spent as many pennies as I possibly could. And there’s the key distinction between two approaches to money.
Though the economy is now hinting at improved conditions ahead, consensus remains that the recession's effects on consumer spending habits will endure beyond the recovery. Much like the Great Depression changed the spending habits of a generation, the current recession has left consumers reaching past the lure of luxury in search of value-driven purchases. While this has been a boon to mass and value-priced retailers such as Target and Amazon, it has left many premium brands swooning.
The wealthy are cautiously opening their wallets again. Some experts contend that much of the high-end spending before the recession was fueled by money borrowed by people who were trying to live beyond their means. Today there is a trend to reducing risk by cutting debt. But even people who came out of the financial crisis relatively unscathed are pulling back. The possibility of losing their wealth has become more real.
Companies are figuring out how to profit from anonomized customer data.
Consumer package-goods companies found a rare point of agreement at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference this week: the need for continued increases in marketing support. Marketers battling private label from Kraft to Procter & Gamble and General Mills promised bigger investments in advertising, in-store promotion, shelf signage, coupons and packaging. Hershey and Heinz, which have lagged the package-food industry in marketing spending, are racing to bridge the gap. Heinz CEO William R. Johnson noted "the industry's renewed focus on innovation and marketing in response to the challenge of store brands."
It's a simple formula: Recession requires more tactical spending. This year's budget = + online spend + social activity + lead generation campaigns - brand investment. When the dollars get tight, spend shifts to more tangible, less expensive marketing programs with the promise of shorter-term returns (or at least lower costs). Not that there's anything wrong with saving a few bucks wherever you can get the job done more efficiently. But when saving money becomes the goal instead of a guideline, something big always suffers -- and it's usually the brand.
The global advertising market will start to stabilize next year, following double-digits declines in 2009, but more-established markets such as the U.S. won't gain steam for some time, according to some of Madison Avenue's most closely watched forecasts. Fallout from the global financial crisis will linger in the U.S. ad market in 2010, the forecasts say. Interpublic Group media agency Magna predicts that U.S. ad revenues—the revenue reaped by media companies in selling ad space and time—will grow just 0.2% to $162.7 billion and reach low-single-digit growth rates by 2012. Publicis Groupe's Zenith Optimedia, which tracks ad spending instead, projects that it will shrink 2.6% to $144 billion in the U.S next year.
More consumers flooded the nation’s stores on Thanksgiving weekend in search of bargains. But with retailers dangling rock-bottom prices and consumers only biting at less expensive merchandise like small appliances and winter clothes, the average amount spent by each shopper declined from last year.
The ink had barely dried on Google’s $750 million deal to buy mobile ad network AdMob before some were saying it heralds “the year of mobile.” Of course, the year of mobile has been predicted virtually annually for the past decade. There is compelling evidence that this time it’s different. Overall, there are now more mobile phones in the world than personal computers. There are more than 4.6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, according to eMarketer. Yet mobile advertising remains a tiny market. eMarketer expects it to generate just $416 million in U.S. ad spending this year, about the same amount spent on search marketing in two weeks. This will undoubtedly change, although perhaps not as quickly as mobile’s biggest boosters hope, according to agency executives, analysts and mobile veterans. Here are the key reasons why:
By now, most marketers have a social network presence. But those looking to capture the attention (and even wallets) of women may want to dig a little deeper to make sure they have a presence in social gaming. "It's grown so fast and so rapidly that brands are struggling to keep up with it," Matt Wise, CEO of Q Interactive, tells Marketing Daily. "If you're looking to find consumers online, it would be hard to find a better opportunity than social games."
I am a proud, flag-waving member of Generation X, the latchkey kids born between the early 1960s and late 1970s who listened to grunge music while worrying that we'd never make as much money as our parents. My children, 4 and 6, are part of the emerging Generation Z, a demographic too young to be stereotyped. In between are the mysterious creatures known as Generation Y. Born between the late 1970s and late 1990s, these so-called "millenials" intrigue me. As the first generation raised on the Internet, I suspect that they offer a glimpse into our future. They are more comfortable with technology than any other generation, they live at a faster pace, and yet they are more distracted. They mature slower, marry later, but use social networks to build large groups of friends. They have more choice and opportunity, and also more stress and anxiety as a result.
2009 was a bad year for online advertising, too. This year figures to be the first down year for online ads since 2002, the hangover from the internet-bubble years.Spending on online advertising is expected to come in at $22.8 billion in 2009 in the U.S., down 2.9% from a year ago, due to steep declines in sponsorships, classifieds and e-mail advertising, according to a projection from eMarketer issued today. Banner ads were virtually flat with 2008. The lone bright spot: search, which will grow 4% overall, proving itself the most resilient and counter-cyclical form of online marketing. Video also grew, but it's still too small a category to make a difference in the overall numbers.
China's economy has positively purred over the past year compared to the rest of the world, with its gross domestic product growth hovering around 8%. But retail stores, airlines and hotels got an extra bump during the first week of October, when the entire country took an eight-day holiday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.
A year after the U.S. economy was brought to its knees by the bursting of the housing bubble, credit for consumers is still being aggressively ratcheted back. Total consumer credit outstanding, which includes everything from credit-card debt to loans for recreational vehicles, fell $12 billion in August, or at a 5.8% seasonally adjusted annual rate, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. It was the seventh straight month of declines, the longest stretch since 1991. The drop is a stark demonstration of how banks and other lenders are scaling back, owing to their own exposure to the struggling real-estate market. But it also reflects a reluctance by Americans to hold big loads of debt at a time when the job market remains in bad shape and the value of their homes has fallen.
For one answer to the nation's most pressing economic question -- when will the recession end? -- just take a peek inside the American man's underwear drawer. There may be some new pairs there, judging by recent reports from retailers and analysts, and that could mean better days ahead for everyone. Here's the theory, briefly: Sales of men's underwear typically are stable because they rank as a necessity. But during times of severe financial strain, men will try to stretch the time between buying new pairs, causing underwear sales to dip.
These days most companies have no choice but to cut their marketing budgets. And that's a good thing. You read that right -- it's a good thing. The reason it's a good thing is that most marketing bucks are spent on depreciating messaging. Either the medium is failing to deliver the numbers it used to or the creative is ignored by the target audience. Think about it. Most marketing teams are investing in a product that has gone down in value for the past 30 years, that product being network television.
CMOs are feeling better about the economy, but they're not about to spend more on traditional advertising. Such marketers expect an increase in customer activity over the next year, and to shift more dollars toward Internet marketing, per a study released this week by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business in conjunction with the American Marketing Association. Don't expect a surge in offline ad revenue to follow suit—such adverting is expected to fall 8 percent.
The deep recession and financial meltdown we are experiencing have put consumer-goods marketers into an enterprise-threatening economic environment. How long it will last, of course, is anyone's guess. As we well know, a market for a product must meet three conditions before consumer spending occurs. First, there must be a need or want in the consumer's mind. Marketers are trained to stimulate existing wants and create new ones.
Spend and you will get buzz. That seems to be one takeaway from YouGov's BrandIndex, which compiled daily feedback from thousands of consumers for the first half of the year in order to find out which brands consumers are buzzing about and which brands they're not.
Here's one of the things we do at Forrester Research: we interview as many marketers as we can about their plans, identify trends and project future likely conditions, and then we put together some numbers to make a projection. If you've ever seen a Forrester projection, it comes from a process like this.
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.
Creative agencies generally have free rein and a wide field to choose from when hiring production companies. But in the current era of compulsive cost control, this is changing. One large global marketer is rewriting the rules for the hiring of production houses with an eye towards exerting more control and reducing costs, with another said by sources to be making a similar move.
There is a lot of talk about "green shoots" lately. Is prosperity just around the corner, or is the worst still ahead? For marketers, uncertainty about what's next for the economy poses a conundrum: how to plan for the future when the only thing forecasters can agree on is that the future is murky?
The consumer-driven economy will survive the current recession. But it will look different afterward. How different? For starters, it'll likely be smaller. Home ownership will be less widespread; anxieties about paying for health care, retirement and college will run high; and purchase financing will change.
A pair of mobile studies in the last week offer a sobering contrast to the hoopla surrounding the launch of the Palm Pre Saturday and the upgraded iPhone today. Based on a survey of brands and agencies, the Mobile Marketing Association estimated mobile will garner less than 2% of total marketing dollars this year.
The first quarter of 2009 will be remembered for many things, mostly bad. But it may also mark a turning point when the world's biggest marketer and its broader industry finally got serious about digital media.
Spend on marketing, capital investment and innovation or risk losing your business within the next five years. That tough talk came from Del Monte Foods Co. Senior VP-CMO Bill Pearce at the Argyle Executive Forum's CMO Leadership Forum, where his keynote offered bold advice for navigating the titanic shifts that have resulted from the worst economic crisis since the Depression. In an environment where the name of the game is to manage risks, he challenged marketers to take them and offered eight tips for marketing in the downturn.
Mary Pryor was doing pretty well until January, when she got laid off from her web-project-management job at cable channel Fuse. Now she's replenishing her wardrobe at clothing swaps, eating on $25 a week, living without cable TV and doing her laundry in the bathtub. "My gym membership is gone," she said, "so I'm running around outside and doing jumping jacks in my living room."
Today, everyone knows we have to be smarter about how we spend marketing dollars regardless of whether we're increasing, decreasing or holding steady. But with an ever-changing media landscape and our country in an economic slump, the question becomes: is now the time to focus on short-term success, or do we wait patiently with a long-term vision in place?
Luxury goods consumers in China rank third in the world behind the Americans and Japanese, spending an average of US$ 6.5 billion a year. While the financial crisis has convinced many in the US and Japan that they can do without that Fendi bag, similar decreases in consumption of luxury goods in China have yet to appear.
Dial CEO Brad Casper has picked a funny time to go on a spending spree: the deepest recession in a half century. For the first time since he became CEO of the notoriously thrifty unit of Germany's Henkel four years ago, all five of Dial's largest brands will simultaneously have substantial consumer marketing campaigns this year -- including TV, print and digital -- led by Energy BBDO, Chicago.
If you page through The Wall Street Journal or New York Times, you might discover a few surprises. FedEx, General Electric and IBM have recently launched corporate branding campaigns, and tech power SAP made a splash just last week with a global push from Ogilvy themed "Time for a clear new world."
High- and middle-income shoppers are increasingly turning to dollar stores, according to Nielsen Co. research presented today at Nielsen’s Consumer 360 conference.
One way to read these studies is simply that recessions make the strong stronger and the weak weaker, since the strong can afford to keep investing while the weak have to devote all their energies to staying afloat. But although deep pockets help in a downturn, recessions nonetheless create more opportunity for challengers, not less. That may be why during the 1990-91 recession, according to a Bain & Company study, twice as many companies leaped from the bottom of their industries to the top as did so in the years before and after.
In an economic downturn of such weight and impact as this, now being referred to as the "Great Recession" due to our love for branding our own historical periods, how does a mass-market consumer brand react to ensure success? I've been paying close attention to various answers to this question over the last few months, and I've learned there are two distinct camps of response. They are diametrically opposed in process and structure, but each can be successful in its own right.
With their jobs less secure, their houses worth less and their stock-market portfolios shrunken, Americans are saving more now. But will they still be thrifty when the recession ends? No one will know for sure for years, but there's good reason to believe Americans will be saving more in the next decade than they did in the last one.
While most of America is shopping less these days, a new study finds that there's no sign of a slow-down among mall-loving teens. It finds they're still spending plenty of time sashaying through their favorite stores.
This new environment is shaping spending patterns in ways we've never seen before. Cash, not credit, is the new currency. A trip to the local cobbler is replacing one to the shoe store. And nail polish from the drug store is supplanting the spa manicure. Shoppers are finding there is plenty they can live without, and few things once considered untouchable are safe. So what's a marketer to do? Get to know the recession shopper.
Given the worldwide economic decline, the once seemingly-recession-proof luxury sector is under siege. It's no longer just the aspirational customer--families with household incomes of $250,000 to $500,000--that are pulling back. It's the buyers of couture products and services: people with liquid portfolios, investible assets of $1,000,000 and more.
General Mills, one of the package-food industry's top performers, laid out a number of recent marketing successes at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York conference this morning, and offered a preview of the rest of its fiscal year.
While it's no secret that the dead-in-the-water real-estate market means fewer people are buying and selling homes, a new study shows that turmoil in job markets means people are moving, but the opportunities for marketers are narrower.
Most marketers looking to get their messages out by using NBC's popular morning-news program, "Today," figure they'll need to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a 30-second spot. And yet Taylor Larouche and her pals were able to snag much more time than that -- for free.
While it's no surprise that consumers plan to cut way back on how much they will spend on their sweetie this Valentine's Day, a new survey from the National Retail Federation shows that people will be surprisingly sentimental, despite the grim economy.
Lavish parties and extravagant events are in vogue as the economic slowdown causes marketers to focus on their high-net-worth customers.