Americans appear to be cutting back on their Starbucks. After reporters in several different cities noticed much shorter lines at their coffee outlets, Ad Age decided to commission Lightspeed Research to find out whether either New Year's resolutions or a tough economy were turning latte sippers into bean counters.
Two years after the economic crisis, executives’ confidence has returned—albeit tenuously—suggesting a better ability to cope with and manage economic volatility.
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.
Launched in the distant dot-com era of 1999, SurveyMonkey has grown to be the self-proclaimed “world’s leading provider of web-based survey solutions.” Considering that there isn’t much competition — Zoomerang and the lovely bare-bones Google Docs come to mind — I imagine the claim is true, but we’re not here to debate the merits of facts stated in About Us pages. Last month SurveyMonkey introduced a new logo.
Once, TV was the symbolic water-cooler that drove consumer conversations. It still is. But the tube is being upstaged by the web, which now nearly matches it in terms of influence on conversations, according to a new study from Yahoo and Keller Fay Group. Keller Fay has taken the air out of the online buzz balloon for years with survey research finding that most discussion about brands still happen face-to-face, and are influenced far more by traditional media than what happens online. But that is changing.
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."
Despite all kinds of mixed economic tea leaves, a new study of consumer perception from Deloitte indicates that most Americans do believe financial recovery has arrived, and that view is especially strong among affluents. "Consumer confidence is really strengthening," Scott Erickson, a partner in the firm's retail practice, tells Marketing Daily. "And people with higher incomes are more likely to believe we are in recovery."
According to Internet Retailer's recent search engine marketing survey of 102 web-only retailers, chain retailers, catalogers and consumer brand manufacturers, 28.0% of merchants report more than 25% of their site traffic stems from paid search advertisements, while 51.5% say more than a quarter of their traffic comes from natural search. Search engine marketing is one of Internet retailing's fundamentals, says the report. Web merchants keep pouring money into advertising on search results pages and on search engine optimization projects to move up in natural search results.
With words like "value" and "50% off" dominating so much of apparel marketing in the last two years, there's refreshing news from Brand Keys 10th Annual Fashion Index: Brands, topped by companies like Ralph Lauren, Armani and Banana Republic, matter more to consumers than they have since the 1960s.
For the second year in a row, Southwest Airlines is the top-rated brand among the nation’s small- and midsize-business owners and top executives. That’s the conclusion of a new survey of men and women who lead businesses with less than 500 employees that was conducted by American City Business Journals, the parent company of Portfolio.com. Although this is the sixth year of the survey, it’s the first year ACBJ has released the findings to the general public.
Respondents to a 23-country survey largely agreed that store brands are at least as good as national brands in many respects. Released yesterday by Ipsos Marketing the Consumer Goods poll (conducted last November through this January) found 89 percent of respondents saying store brands are "the same as or better than" national brands when it comes to "providing a good value for the money."
Last week I was given a rare opportunity to participate in a friends and family market research study. The subject was dishwashing. When I arrived at the facility where the research was taking place, I was asked to fill out a lengthy survey on my dishwashing habits. Next, I was asked to wash a stack of dishes by hand. As I spent the next hour scrubbing my way through the pile, I realized that my real dishwashing habits were entirely different from what I had reported in the survey.
Despite few options, about one quarter of U.S. consumers surveyed said they are likely to consider a plug-in vehicle on their next auto purchase, according to a survey from the Consumer Reports National Survey Center. Consumer reports on Thursday published the results of the survey which asked 1,752 adults about their views regarding plug-in electric vehicles. In a random phone interview, 26 percent of people said they are likely to consider a plug-in car when shopping, with seven percent saying they are very likely to do so.
Search engine marketing no longer exists in an online vacuum. In today’s multi-channel world, people search online, visit stores to test out products, return to the internet to compare prices and then complete purchases in-store, online or via a call center. Over $155 billion worth of consumer goods was purchased online in the U.S. in 2009, yet a far larger portion of offline sales were influenced by online research, according to a March report from Forrester Research. Forrester estimates that $917 billion worth of retail sales last year were “web-influenced,” with online and web-influenced offline sales combined accounting for 42% of total retail sales. That percentage will grow to 53% by 2014, when the web will influence $1.4 billion worth of in-store sales.
Starbucks coffee was the No. 1 brand tried by consumers in the coffee/tea category in January, earning twice as many mentions as No. 2 Dunkin' Donuts coffee and No. 3 Celestial Seasonings tea in a consumer survey conducted by Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions.
Is anonymity online coming to an end? The pervasive attitude says yes. The Pew Research Center teamed up with Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center to survey 895 experts on the future of the Internet--and at the forefront of the discussion is the sticky topic of anonymity. Experts were nearly split down the middle, with 55% agreeing that Internet users will be able to communicate anonymously and 41% agreeing that, by 2002, "anonymous online activity is sharply curtailed." Not only are there divergent opinions on whether online anonymity will be possible in the future, there isn't even a consensus on whether anonymity is universally desirable.
A national survey, conducted by Cision and Don Bates of The George Washington University, found that an overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media sources when researching their stories. Among the journalists surveyed, 89% said they turn to blogs for story research, 65% to social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and 52% to microblogging services such as Twitter. The survey also found that 61% use Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia.
Social Media impacts every business, every brand, and in doing so, connects a network of distributed communities of influence, making the world a much smaller place in the process. Small businesses are in fact at an advantage in Social Media Marketing as they can focus on hyper-local activity that can offer immediate rewards or at the very least, the real-time feedback or lack thereof says everything about next steps.
Senior marketers, ask yourselves: Is marketing's inability to get the type of traction it seeks within your organization real or self-imposed? In other words, do you actually have control over the perception, power, influence and abilities that marketing can truly bring to the table? A recent study by Prophet and the Association of National Advertisers revealed several alarming findings that point to the need for marketers to start taking back control of the dialogue, and their destiny, within their own organizations. Some of the more startling findings: While almost 70% of those surveyed view themselves as visionary marketers or leaders, the vast majority of them state that the way they actually spend their time is heavily focused on tactical behaviors, such as working the budget, operating month-to-month and being guided by a short-term marcomm plan.
Watch this video by Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek's innovation editor and veteran employee with the company. It's a fascinating illustration of the shifts in business we are seeing in real time. Media outlets in particular have been on the front lines of this shift. As I've said many times before, the Web and its latest social iteration has introduced ultra deep and pervasive niche content and experiences which directly compete with many business models. There is a unique online destination for everyone, no matter how specialized the interest. The network economy is the opposite of mass—it's niche, fragmented and content distributers are feeling the heat.
Over the past three years, we have tracked the rising adoption of Web 2.0 technologies, as well as the ways organizations are using them. This year, we sought to get a clear idea of whether companies are deriving measurable business benefits from their investments in the Web. Our findings indicate that they are.
Some pundits talk about Internet users having a “Google habit” that keeps them hooked on Google and keeps Google the No. 1 Internet search engine. That habit is far from harmful, and consumers don’t feel a need to kick it for a simple reason: Google gives them what they want.
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.
Sunday Business analyzed new data from the American Time Use Survey to compare the 2008 weekday activities of the employed and unemployed. The comparison may seem obvious, but differences in time spent by these two groups can be striking.
I just re-read The Economist's "Future Tense: The Global CMO" survey from late last year. And I'm not encouraged that there's even a future for the job description. The report reflected results from a survey of 250+ senior marketing execs around the world, so it's far more of a snapshot of the present than an insight into what the future might reveal. EIU.com normally studies countries and other substantive subjects; this report was sponsored by Google, which has an obvious interest in what CMOs think they're supposed to be doing.
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.
With American consumers reluctant to pry open their wallets for retail spending, a greater percentage plan to spend more at longtime discount giant Walmart than at Target, a new survey finds.
Own Your Choices is claimed to be the "first-ever choice making community". At first, the website was part of the Own your C campaign, and meant to encourage teens not to smoke. Currently, it aims to reveal how personal choices affect others and characterize one's self. In particular, the website focuses on starting the conversation around topics such as tobacco, health, self-image, culture, alcohol, relationships and school. Users are invited to connect with peers on these issues, to share their opinion and influence the conversation. And by accident, the interface seems driven by simple dynamic graphs of the statistics resulting from the data-gathering surveys.
Social media is seen by many marketers as the next gold rush. To understand how marketers are using social media, we commissioned the Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses.
Some good news for marketing heads: Chief marketing officers are holding on to their jobs longer. Spencer Stuart's annual survey of CMO tenure at the 100 most advertised brands in the U.S. reveals average time on the job has risen to 28.4 months from 26.8 months in 2007 and 23.2 months in 2006.
Executives view their economies as bad but, in a change from recent months, do not see them getting much worse. Government actions have helped, many say. Companies are hanging on, and many are taking long-term actions to cope with economic turmoil.