Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gen X Surpass Millennials in Social Media Usage

Surprisingly enough, Millennials are not the strongest social media users of the bunch. That’s right, according to Nielsen; Generation X (ages 35-49) spends the most time on social media at nearly 7 hours per week.

Millennials do fall in second place with over 6 hours on social media weekly. Across gender lines, females spend 25% of online time on social media while men only reach the 19% mark.

Sean Casey, President of Nielsen Social states that 39% of heavy social users believe that finding out about products and services is an important reason for using social networks.

Thirty-five percent of heavy social users say that special discounts are important and 29% say supporting their favorite brands or companies is important.
On top of that, women are likely to interact with social and television simultaneously. 

Sixty-one percent of unique Facebook users who discuss television on the social network are female.

Generation X females may be the best people to target with a mix of television and social. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Emotions Brought to Marketing in 2017

What’s one thing that the recent election, inauguration, and Super Bowl all have in common? Empathy. That’s right; all three events have given the people of the United States a feeling of empathy or a desiring to receive empathy. But how are they connected exactly?

Kevin McKeon puts it this way, “The election fueled it, the inauguration sealed it, and the Super Bowl was its first big state, offering a $5 million shot to put your brand’s empathy on display for all America to see and admire.” Sure enough, the Super Bowl hosted many more politically driven commercials than in previous years. Brands took a stance on today’s hot topics and let their opinions be known thus kicking off the newest trend in marketing for 2017: empathy.

Empathy is defined as: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

McKeon, author of the article, “A Brand’s Guide to Empathy: Marketing’s Latest Buzzword”, gives advice to advertisers as they strive to be empathetic in order to win customers for their brand.

You don’t own empathy
That’s right, empathy isn’t something you have; it’s something you give. Empathy isn’t about you; it’s about the person you’re relating to. In a business worldview, empathy isn’t about your company or how great you are, it’s about the customer feeling understood and welcomed.

Empathy isn’t just something you feel – it’s something you do
While empathy may begin as a feeling, it has the ability to grow into action. Businesses have the resources to make action out of feeling. Let empathy be shown through your company’s deeds.

Think like people, not like marketers
Why would people care? Would people want this? How is this delivering real value? If I were in their shoes, would I buy it? Think like people who are in search of something, not like marketers trying to sell something. Understand what people want and provide that for them.

Empathy should also be fun
Let’s face it; Super Bowl 51 lacked some “laugh until your stomach hurts” commercials. But empathy and humor don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Ikea (Sweden) reminds the world that life should be fun and provide laughter with their “Retail Therapy” campaign. They’ve got a whole website ( filled with products renamed to match Google search results regarding relationships in Sweden. Some of my favorites being a mattress wedge titled, “She Doesn’t Want to Cuddle”, a floor length mirror called, “World’s Most Beautiful People List”, and a pair of scissors named, “My Son Plays Too Much Computer Games”.

Empathy isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution
Remember your audience, your brand, and your message.

While 2017 may be the year of empathy, remember that your customer is the most important part of the equation. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ads are Introduced to Facebook Messenger

In 2011 Facebook released the first version of the Facebook Messenger App. As with most new social platforms, some people loved the new offering and others hated it. However, as time went on, the Messenger App became the only option for Facebook users as Facebook removed the option to message directly from the Facebook app.

Now, roughly six years later, Facebook is doing the inevitable and introducing ads to the Messenger app.

Ads will be displayed in a “sponsored” section which will be added to the same window that shows which of your friends is active on the app. At least in the beginning stages, Facebook has assured users that the ads will not appear in a conversation; unless of course a user activates the “ad experience” or starts a conversation with a sponsored brand.

Similar to most new advertising opportunities, Facebook is rolling out the platform piece by piece in order to control any issues should they come up.

Advertisements are currently active on the Messenger app in Australia and Thailand.
As predictable as this change was, consumers aren’t too happy about it. However, once the dust settles and advertisements in the app become old news, I am willing to bet that business will go on as usual.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Secret to Great Content Marketing: Storytelling

To many advertisers, “content marketing” sounds strange, bizarre, and maybe a little too confusing of a task to tackle. However, there’s no need to fret, content marketing is not near as challenging as it may seem. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as, “the marketing a business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”.

Toby Nwazor’s interpretation of content marketing is that it’s simply good storytelling, and who doesn’t love a good story? Nwazor clarifies in his article, “5 Reasons Businesses Shouldn’t Keep Ignoring Content Marketing”.

Everyone reacts to a good story – whether that story is in video form, words on a page, or told directly from the storyteller’s mouth; good stories bring out emotions that incline listeners to react in some way. For businesses, their job is to make their audiences emotions encourage them to react in a way that is profitable for their business.

Everyone likes a storyteller – and when everyone likes the storyteller they’ll begin to be aware and like your business as well; since the storyteller is in some way or another a part of said business.

Great storytellers can put you before the right audience – and keep you away from the wrong audience. Moment of truth here: I like cats and baseball. Because of this, I am prone to engage with stories regarding cats and baseball (or better yet, both). I am not a fan of the Kardashians or MMA fighting so if I come across an article on either of those topics, I’ll probably ignore it, but that is okay. Advertisers don’t want to be in front of an audience that doesn’t care about their product, they want to be seen by people who will interact and convert. This target audience is also likely to share a story they enjoy with other like-minded individuals, boosting your brand for free.

A great story is cheaper than a news article – and has the potential to be more creative. News articles definitely have their place and purpose, but stories have the ability to go above and beyond your traditional news article for a fraction of the cost.

Everyone can get hooked into a great storyteller – so let’s make sure it’s your storyteller. Get consumers hooked on your stories means getting them hooked on your brand. Top of mind is huge when it comes to consumer decision making and with consistent and relatable stories, your brand will be the first thing to come to mind.

Get personal, get creative, and get in front of your desired audience. Tell a story, trigger emotions, and drive consumers to react. Stop worrying about the unknown “content marketing” and remember the great stories you heard as a kid. Now, revamp those stories, connect them with your brand, and build a loyal customer base. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Long Live Radio

The casket may have been built by skeptics in anticipation of broadcast radio dying off, but that casket is far from being put in the ground. In fact, traditional AM/FM radio remains the number one medium in terms of reach across the United States reaching 93% of the population according to Nielsen.

Radio remains relevant for a variety of reasons including the fact that listeners are usually on the go. According to Edison Research, 86% of Americans drive to work and broadcast radio accounts for 70% of in-car audio. This means, drivers are consistently listening to AM/FM stations on their daily commute giving advertisers a reliable medium to reach them through.

On top of that, Americans listen to the radio when they’re driving for reasons beyond going into the office. With more leisurely drive times, advertisers can entice listeners with timely, local, and influential messages.

Radio is also changing on the back end of things that remains a mystery to your everyday listener. The push of programmatic buying has begun and companies like iHeartMedia and Jelli are jumping on board quickly. Jelli has created a platform for the radio giant, iHeartMedia, giving them the ability to sell inventory across all 858 network stations reaching a quarter of a billion people.

“Smart Audio Audience” buys have some obvious pros and cons. Pros consist of the ability to reach a large amount of people, targeting an audience rather than a daypart & demo, and the data to conduct more sophisticated buys to name a few. On the flip side, with such a large geographic, programmatic lacks the ability to buy locally eliminating the option for advertisers to promote local deals.

Digital support has also immerged in efforts to keep broadcast radio alive. Entercom, a broadcast radio company, created 120 websites for each of its 120 broadcast stations giving listeners the ability to interact socially, engage with DJ’s, and be connected like never before. In fact, Kansas City’s own 96.5 The Buzz doubled their station listenership when they added a streaming component.

All of that to say, radio isn’t ready to wave the white flag. In fact, radio isn’t even close to calling it quits, and neither are advertisers who take advantage of the successful media outlet. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

How Millennials Didn't Live Up to Expectations in 2016... In a Good Way

We’ve all read blogs, seen news stories, and heard comments about how Millennials are changing the world; sometimes for the better but usually it’s the opposite. eMarketer has compiled a list of six things that weren’t true of Millennials in 2016; a list that provides some light on the typically negative viewpoint of these young adults.

Millennials will never become homeowners
False- according to a Navient survey in May, 71% of Millennials aged 31 to 35 own their home and most of these homeowners living in the suburbs.

Millennials barely watch any traditional TV
It’s true that Millennials watch less traditional TV, but they haven’t cut out “the tube” all together. eMarketer estimates that nine in 10 Millennials watch non-digital TV at least once a month in 2016.

Millennials have stopped listening to traditional radio
Not the case! Yes, with options like Pandora and Spotify, traditional radio usage has declined but it is not extinct. The trend is similar with that of television; there are more convenient options that Millennials are taking advantage of, but they’re not completely leaving traditional methods in the dust. In fact, younger Millennials (18-24) average 10 hours and 24 minutes per week with AM/FM radio. That number jumps to 11 hours and 20 minutes when talking about Millennials aged 25-34.

Millennials are moving their social presence from Facebook
With the addition of new social sites, the options are much broader, but Millennials are still actively on Facebook. Buzz Marketing Group asked Millennials to list their daily activities and 85% of respondents reported that one daily activity was posting or reading posts on Facebook. According to Roth Capital Partners, Facebook is the most frequently used social network by millennial mothers.

Millennials always ignore marketing emails
Nope! Millennials might frequently ignore said emails, but always is a bit drastic. A survey by Fluent shows that 12% of 18 to 29 year olds find marketing emails to always be useful. Averagely, 30% said marketing emails are sometimes useful.

Millennials have no intentions of getting married
That is just not true.  Today’s young adults are getting married later in life than their parents and grandparents did, however that doesn’t mean they won’t marry at all. Census Bureau data for 2016 shows that 62.2% of 25-29 year olds have never married, 38.6% of 30-34 year olds have never married, and only 24.1% of 35-39 year olds have never married.

Millennials might be different than the generations they follow, but they don’t seem to be living up to all the negative expectations. As for marketers, there are still tons of ways to reach these young adults from traditional TV to internet streaming radio, social media to wedding magazines, even real estate flyers and e-newsletters. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Influencers Take "Popular" To The Next Level

Remember the popular kids in high school? Maybe you were that kid, maybe you wished you were that kid, or maybe you despised that kid. Wherever you fit on the popularity spectrum, I’m sure no one saw the new level of popular in the world.

The popular kids used to be the caption of the cheerleading squad, the prom queen, or the student council president. Now the popular kids have hundreds of thousands of online followers, a presence nationally or even globally, and are getting paid to be, well… popular.

With a connected social world and the rapid speed in which internet sensations go viral, the popular kids, now known as influencers, can reach more people than ever imagined. On top of that, influencers reach a select niche audience. Advertisers are becoming more and more aware of this emerging opportunity.

Kylie Jenner posted a simple Instagram post showing off her new Fashion Nova jeans and received a ridiculous 2.2 million likes from her followers. There’s no doubt that Fashion Nova paid a pretty penny to have Kylie pose with their product, however, the return was surely worth it. With loyal followers, Kylie’s post first appears to be an organic post, only to be noted as an ad with the #ad at the end of the caption which will go unnoticed by many. Similarly to desiring to be like the popular kids in high school, Kylie’s groupies have a strong desire to be like her causing them to go on a shopping spree for the perfect pair of Fashion Nova jeans.

According to Forbes, 84% of marketers plan to execute at least one influencer campaign in 2017. Influencer campaigns don’t stop at Kylie Jenner either. Influencers are in all market categories from travel to makeup to athletic equipment to organic food. These campaigns also aren’t limited to social networks. Many influencers have strong followings on their blogs where they share in more detail about their experiences.

Through these influential people, advertisers can target their audience directly, make a lasting impression, strongly sway the opinions of viewers, and avoid waste. Forty-seven percent of online consumers use ad blockers which increases the effectiveness of people sending messages through their personal and un-blockable accounts enormously.

Internet stars come in all ages, genders, races, beliefs, cultures, lifestyles, personalities, etc. making it easy for advertisers to find the perfect fit for their company. As the social world expands, influencers are likely to do the same. You’ll be targeted through your favorite celebrities whether you know it or not.