Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Growth in Email Shows Growth in ROI

In a world full of emerging technology some might be surprised that the “email users” category is growing. Not only is email continuing to grow, but it’s continuing to perform with high success for marketers.

eMarketer estimates that there will be 240.1 million email users in the United States in 2016 accounting for nearly 89.8% of internet users and 74.1% of the US population. On top of that, eMarketer expects there to be 258.9 million email users by 2020.

With the growth of people using email, the ROI (return on investment) for email advertising has surpassed other mediums by a long shot. 

The chart above shows an astonishing 122% ROI for email marketing! Other platforms like social, direct mail, search, and display don’t even come close with their success stories.

Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not saying 100% of ad dollars should be spent through email marketing; but if email isn’t a part of your media mix, maybe it should be! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Multitasking TV Watchers on the Rise

Have you ever been watching a television show when your mind wanders so you pick up your smartphone only to lose focus on the show causing you to rewind your show to re-watch what you just missed due to your smartphone distraction? I know I’m guilty!

Turns out, I’m not the only one. Ericsson, a communications technology company, conducted a survey concluding that a growing amount of people are multitasking while watching television programs. Ericsson surveyed over 30,000 internet users ages 16 to 69 and found the following insights:

eMarketer also looked into this trend and found that most people are multitasking during live television programming (53%) with time-shifted television following (28%) and third being streamed content (19%).

So how do marketers adjust to this trend? I have a couple ideas. One is to have a presence on a variety of mediums. Television, pre-roll video, display, etc. to reach people while their watching, but also email, outdoor, radio, print, etc. to reach people when they aren’t watching.

Another idea is to take advantage of the dual screens. Encourage viewers to visit your website, search for a video, login for a discount, etc. This way, you’re embracing the shifting behaviors instead of trying to ignore or reject them.

One thing that’s always been true is that in marketing, things change. All. The. Time. So embrace the changes and explore new opportunities. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

How Much Appreciation is Too Much Appreciation?

Businesses are always aiming to have better relationships with their customers. One way of doing this is by customer appreciation. You know what I’m talking about, that awesome time once a year when your favorite food joints have “customer appreciation day” and give out free food. Yeah, those days are the best!

However, there are other ways to appreciate your customers than handing out free lunches. Researchers from Duke University, University of Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt University came together to determine if a simple “thank you” is enough to ensure that customers feel appreciated after consuming a business’ product or service.

 Jumping to the conclusion, the study found that, “the inclusion of a financial benefit can actually subtract from, rather than add to, customer goodwill.”

So why is that? Why do customers sometimes feel more appreciated when they’re given a “thank you” without a monetary incentive? Well, as Lance A. Bettencourt puts it, “like many things in life, we compare what we get to norms of what we expect rather than nothing.”

One study tested the ways of “appreciating” people after taking an online survey in a hotel lobby. Some people were given a letter of thanks from the hotel and the others were given a letter of thanks in addition to a financial gift (worth $0.05). In the end, participants with the simple thank you letter felt significantly more appreciated. Most likely because a financial gift so small is lower than expectations resulting in disappointment whereas a simple “thank you” is sometimes more than expected all on its own.

Another study looked at financial acknowledgements in the form of a certain percentage off of a future purchase. In this case, consumers felt less appreciated when they received a 5% discount (compared to receiving nothing), equally appreciated with a 10 to 25% discount, and more appreciated when they received a discount of 30 to 40%.

In the end, a simple “thank you” can go a long way while sometimes monetary gestures can backfire. If a monetary gesture is the plan for appreciation, make sure it’s substantial enough to go above expectations.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Facebook Fights for Their Ads

In recent months, Facebook announced that they would begin blocking ad blockers and pushing ads through to users with the blocking software.

In a gist, it’s a back and forth battle: ad blocking engineers develop software to block ads – Facebook engineers develop software to block the ad blocking software – Ad block engineers develop new software to block ads – Facebook develops newer software to keep pushing ads through. You get the point.

The goal of blocking the blockers was to first and foremost to grow their ad revenue from advertisers. After all, that is how Facebook receives money to keep the business running and free for users. Second, Facebook created a setting allowing users to tell Facebook what type of ads they do and do not wish to see. Basically, they made ads user friendly. Not interested in Chinese food? Fine, we won’t show you that ad. Not only does this make ads more relatable to users, it also assures less waste for advertisers.

So is the consistent battle of fending off ad blockers worth it? After seeing desktop ad revenue increase by 18%, I would say their approach thus far has been a success. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

How to Make Video Marketing More "Do-able"

Digital video is a new and intriguing opportunity for many advertisers. However, the first obvious roadblock in a video marketing campaign is the cost of production. Common sense tells us that creating a video is more expensive and time consuming than creating an image, however I’m here to tell you to not mark it off your list of opportunities just yet.

Forbes recently published an article titled, “How To Master Video Marketing On a Budget” and listed several tips to get the job done.

First, do your research. With any marketing campaign, you want to make sure you’ll stand out, be noticed, and be successful. Make sure to nail down the purpose of the video. Are you trying to get people to purchase a product, visit a new place, or simply become aware of your brand? Once you’ve figured out your goals, make sure you research your competitors to avoid creating a look-alike ad causing consumers to get déjà vu when they view.

The next suggestion is to ask your audience. Consider using user generated content to increase engagement and authenticity.

Third is to cut back on actors. Let’s face it, actors are expensive. If budget is an issue, try going for animation or only using a few faces to get your message across.

Which leads me to the next recommendation, get to the point. Think about a child telling you a story, you know how it takes forever for them to build to the climax? Well, we don’t want that (usually). On average, “your audience’s attention span is just eight seconds” so we want to deliver the message before they get distracted.

Promote Promote Promote! Put some targeting behind your message. Use tags and keywords to give your video higher rankings. Make sure it’s on YouTube! YouTube is the second largest search engine by volume only falling behind Google, so make sure you’re where the audience is.

Also, feel free to repurpose your video content across a multitude of platforms. Share it on social, send it in your email marketing, post it with a blog, etc.

Lastly, be sure to keep quality high. Never sacrifice the quality of your content. If budgets are tight, look for other ways to make due. Lowering the quality of your content will only lower the viewers opinions of your brand.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mothers Mindfully Manage Their Role as Household CFO

Take a minute to think about who holds the spending power in your household, your friends’ households, or the household you lived in while growing up. While no family operates in the exact same way, it wouldn’t surprise me if most of the money spenders were the mothers.

Consider this, who is the person that buys groceries, goes back to school shopping with the kids, and purchases the household necessities like shampoo and laundry detergent? Chances are it’s the mother who is often referred to as the “chief financial officer” for their household by marketers.

It’s important for marketers to define their target audience but more importantly they need to know their behaviors. eMarketer released a study claiming that mothers tend to be bargain hunters. There are more single mothers in today’s society than in the past which means more women are living in a one paycheck household. For these women especially, good deals are important.

This chart shows that mothers are more likely to shop around, wait for sales, and cut coupons than women without children.

In order to reach mothers, marketers must know their priorities, and for most moms out there, price is at the top of the list. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Software Updates Shine New Light for Mobile Video

Recently, iPhone and Android users have been able to update their smartphones to the newest software iOS10 and Chrome 53. Typically, these updates simply improve user experience and keep customers interested. However, this recent update might be a huge step for advertisers as well.

iOS10 and Chrome 53 lift strict guidelines that restricted auto play and inline video on their devices. Now, video can play automatically on a mobile web browser without any interaction by the user. The only catch is that video cannot have sound that plays unless the user interacts.

Video can also be “inline” or weaved throughout content. Formerly, video had to be played with the software’s native video player whereas now, video can stream seamlessly wherever it is placed.

Facebook and Snapchat have already benefitted from these changes as they continue to explore options with full screen vertical video and automatically played content.

Previously, advertisers aimed to get around the restrictions by creating GIFs with heavy movement to resemble a video ad. With a substantial amount of animation, the GIF files were huge and ultimately, slow to load. Now, heavy GIFs can be replaced with light video and run automatically and quickly without slow load times.

Thanks to iOS10 and Chrome 53, vendors will surely begin to fiddle with new ad sizes, elements, and varieties to excite their advertisers.