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. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Younger Generations and Social Sharing are Changing Tourism

Take a second and think about your family. Consider yourself, your children, your parents, and grandparents. Pinpoint which generation each member is a part of. Now that you’ve got that down, think about their travel habits: How often do they travel? Where do they go? Do they consider traveling a luxury or a priority? Etc.

Chances are, the older generations traveled less, traveled for different reasons, and didn’t expect to travel as a part of life.

In 2013, nearly 290 thousand American students studied abroad for academic credit. That number has since jumped to over 313 thousand in 2016! On top of that, there’s a rise in American young adults who travel for volunteer and internship positions worldwide.

If I think about my life, the first time I went out of the country was my sophomore year in high school. Since then, I have traveled to 6 different countries on three different adventures. My parents on the other hand first left the country on a cruise back when they were newlyweds. My mother now has no desire to travel outside the US and my dad visits to Scotland solely for golfing excursions.

So why is that? Well, there are a number of reasons as you can imagine. Millennials and Gen Z might have more disposable income than the Boomers had at our age; they definitely spend it differently. Younger generations tend to be stuck in a “right here right now” mindset instead of planning for the future. Traveling is easier than it was when our parents and grandparents were young adults. Alongside all of those easy to assume reasons is the less obvious answer of social media.

Yep, that’s right. Social media fills people with wanderlust. In fact, Millennials and Gen Zers are more likely to choose a travel destination from what they see on social media than any travel ad they may view. For younger generations, the word of another carries much more weight than an advertisement. Eighty-four percent of Millennials and Gen Zers will even make travel plans based off what their friends or influencers post online.

Comparing my dad’s travel plans verses my own shows firsthand the vast differences: he uses a travel agent; I use Pinterest and online blogs. He communicates directly with the hotels he will be staying at; I book online. He takes pictures to keep to himself; I take pictures to post on social media.

With this, how do advertisers get in front of these young travelers? Like in all areas of advertising, they have to adapt and evolve with the changes. Continuously put paid media in front of viewers without them thinking they’re viewing an advertisement. The use of social media is vastly important as well as native content, influencers, and user generated content. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Click-Thru Rates Compared Across the Globe

Billions of impressions are delivered each year across the world. Sizmek, an Open Ad Management company, decided to sift through those billion impressions and provide some detailed data on who clicks the most.

Regional Banner Ad Engagement (1st Half 2016; 1.3MM Individuals, Billions of Impressions.)
Standard Banner CTR
Rich Media CTR
Rich Media Unique Interaction
North America
Latin America
East Asia
South Asia
Data Source: Sizmek, November 2016

As you can see from the chart above, standard banners have a CTR of 0.16% globally across all industries. North America falls slightly shy of that with an average CTR of 0.14%.

Without much surprise, rich media ads have a higher CTR globally at 0.27%. Again, North America falls shy with a 0.21% average.

However, these numbers are for all industries. It would be foolish to think that an ad for the latest and greatest smartphone holds the same CTR as an ad for dentures. Of course, Sizmek knows this and took a look into industry categories as well.

For standard banners, apparel, telecom, and retail ads held the highest rates at 0.24%, 0.21% and 0.20% respectively. Falling in last were careers at 0.10%, corporate at 0.08% and sports at 0.07%.

Surprisingly enough, the script is flipped for rich media ads with corporate leading the pact with an average CTR of 0.53%. Bringing up the rear are gaming (0.13%) and medical (0.12%).

Sizmek reports that, “rich media CTRs outperformed standard banner CTRs in 19 of the 21 sectors analyzed, with standard banners holding a slight edge only in the gaming and medical verticles.”

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.