Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The 12 Days of RB&A Christmas

The holidays are approaching and things here at Ruth Burke & Associates are a wee bit festive. So instead of your traditional media blog, this week will feature “The 12 Days of RB&A Christmas”, but bear with me, I work in media not music.

On the first day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: one very merry Christmas party.

On the second day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the third day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the fourth day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the fifth day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: five chocolate goodies, four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the sixth day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: six cups of coffee, five chocolate goodies, four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the seventh day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: seven candles burning, six cups of coffee, five chocolate goodies, four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the eighth day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: eight client meetings, seven candles burning, six cups of coffee, five chocolate goodies, four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the ninth day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: nine festive sweaters, eight client meetings, seven candles burning, six cups of coffee, five chocolate goodies, four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the tenth day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: ten phones a beeping, nine festive sweaters, eight client meetings, seven candles burning, six cups of coffee, five chocolate goodies, four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the eleventh day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: eleven orders transferring, ten phones a beeping, nine festive sweaters, eight client meetings, seven candles burning, six cups of coffee, five chocolate goodies, four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

On the twelfth day of Christmas RB&A gave to me: twelve women humming, eleven orders transferring, ten phones a beeping, nine festive sweaters, eight client meetings, seven candles burning, six cups of coffee, five chocolate goodies, four popcorn tins, three awesome bosses, two holiday lunches, and a very merry Christmas party.

Thanks for singing along! Have a Merry Christmas, from all of the ladies at Ruth Burke & Associates.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

With Gas Prices Down, Opportunities for Advertising Goes Up

You might be wondering what the price of gas has to do with advertising. Seems like a long stretch, doesn’t it? Well, think again. With the price of gas going down all across America, consumers are choosing to take advantage and get out more. For advertisers, this means more people to interact with while they are outside of their homes.

In America, the average price of gas in October 2014 was roughly $3/gallon. October 2015 lowered the average price to around $2.25/gallon. On this December day, I drove to work in Kansas City, MO, and saw gas prices for as low as $1.53/gallon.

The first trend influenced by lower gas prices is that Americans are driving more miles every year. As you can see from the graph below, provided by the Census Bureau, 
Americans are rapidly increasing the number of miles they drive.

The Census Bureau found that sales at restaurants/bars and hotels have increased from last year by 8% and 5%, respectively.

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Out of Home (OOH) advertising is, “second only to digital media in total growth from 2014-2016 (based on actual and projections)”.

Marketers now have a larger audience to reach while they are out and about and likely to be influenced. Consumers can be reached on a variety of OOH platforms like billboards, smartphones, social media, and more. For advertisers, this can be seen as a huge opportunity. Consumers now have more disposable income to spend along with the drive (pun intended) to spend it. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Futuristic Facial-Recognition Software is Coming... Soon

We’ve all seen futuristic movies with hi-tech technology that seems too far-fetched to ever be a reality; but could that very technology be right around the corner? Jason Warnock reports for Marketing Land that facial-recognition technology might be a reality sooner than most people think.

Among many assumed uses for facial-recognition software lies email marketing. Businesses have already started using geofencing software in their email campaigns. This software allows them to send emails to customers as they walk passed their store or walk into the mall. The biggest downfall to this is how easily customers can ignore or not even be notified about new emails. With facial-recognition, there is no hiding.

For this software to work, businesses would need to capture headshots of their customers. From there, they can take action. The first point of action will be working to solve the problem of consumers’ lack of brick-and-mortar shopping. Marketers can send emails to customers offering “deals at the door” that are only accessible when their face is recognized entering the store. This will also allow marketers to avoid the hassle of single-use coupons that are currently offered via email.

Thanks to modern day cameras, marketers will be able to retain information like height, weight, gender, and approximate age. These metrics will allow marketers to create more sophisticated promotions to combine consumers’ digital and physical personas. When these customers do enter the store, cameras will be able to track their purchases; even if these are cash purchases. Currently, purchase behavior can only be tracked through the use of credit cards, however, with facial-recognition that won’t be the case for much longer.

Just like with any new technology, this facial-recognition software may have some hurdles to jump like how to prevent information leaks, guard against hackers, and deal with customers refusing to participate.

With this technology right around the corner, I am interested to see how this “futuristic” software integrates its way into our marketing world. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Last Minute Marketer's Guide to a Happy Holiday Season

It’s no secret that holiday advertising occurs way too soon (in my opinion) every year. However, from a marketing standpoint, it’s a necessity. Businesses want to get their products/sales/promotions to the public as early as possible to catch those early Christmas shoppers and all the shoppers to follow. So what happens when your business, whoops, didn’t start advertising around Halloween? Fear not! As Christmas approaches, there are still things you can do to draw customers to your business for their holiday shopping.

Ken Burke, founder and CEO of MarketLive, conducted a survey of more than 1,000 consumers that revealed many “merry methods” for marketers to capture those last minute holiday shoppers.

First and foremost, keep in mind the “mobile shopper”. This group of people is, well, just about everyone. Burke’s study suggests that the accessibility of a company’s website directly correlates to consumers’ perceptions of their business. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said the quality of their experience on a company’s mobile site always causes them to consider purchasing from that specific retailer while 53% responded “somewhat” or “very influential” to the same question. Tools such as the search bar and store locator should be easy to use as they are the most frequently used features by consumers. Lastly, it is imperative that businesses understand that mobile users and desktop users do not have the same motivation while online shopping. Burke says it well, “everybody thinks [they] have to provide the exact same experience [as on a desktop] going forward, but the mobile customer actually has different needs.”

Continuing with mobile site opportunities, make sure these sites enable customers with enough information that they can make purchase decisions while in-store. While customers are in-store, there’s a good chance their smartphone is in-hand. According to the study, 63% of customers are likely (or somewhat likely) to use their smartphone in-store to access promotional codes while 54% of surveyed respondents are likely (or somewhat likely) to look up product ratings and reviews.

Businesses should offer Wi-Fi to their customers in-store to provide them with a better and happier shopping experience.

Maybe your business left a sour taste in some customers’ mouths after last holiday season, no worries, make amends! It’s not too late to gain back the trust of a customer; it just takes a little effort. Try sending personalized emails apologizing and offering a “special” deal for this holiday season.

The bigger the better, right? Wrong. Burke suggests that retailers shy away from heavy discounts. Instead, focus on customer service, convenience, reliability, and product availability. His study shows that having products in stock and having guaranteed online delivery always leads to online purchases for 62% and 52% of respondents, respectively.

E-mail marketing is proven to still be effective; yes, even in 2015. In fact, “55% of respondents say they are highly likely to take advantage of retail emails revealing new products or personalized product recommendations”. However, be careful to not over-email. Burke says, “Make sure that when the consumer opens the email that there’s a benefit… It could be a discount; it could be content; it could be something that’s meaningful and relevant to them”.

With that being said, segment your messages. Tailor messages to specific people. I, a 23 year old female, have no interest in receiving offers/promotions/advertisements for football gear or the newest most gruesome video game. Make sure relevant emails go to each customer.

As the popularity of social media becomes more and more popular, it would be easy to rely too heavily on the medium. Burke suggests keeping social media as a channel for inspiration and education. Show consumers new products, gift ideas, and sale announcements, but don’t expect many sales to come from social advertising alone.

Now, after you’ve done all these last minute tricks to boost your holiday sales, begin preparing for next year so you’re not stuck in the same last minute bustle. Happy Holidays J

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GenX has more Affluents than Baby Boomers

Part of media strategy includes understanding the generation shifts in the consumer marketplace. For years, the Baby Boomers have had the majority of Affluent status in America. A new report shows that Generation Xers have recently become the majority, which is a first.

According to the Center for Media Research, the 2015 Ipsos Affluent Survey USA reports the following generation breakdown for American Affluents.

American Affluents by Generation (At Least a HHI of $100K)
Share of Affluent Population
Median Self-Reported Annual HHI
Millennials (18-33)
GenX (34-50)
Baby Boomers (51-69)
Seniors (70+)

The Affluent group consists of the top 23% of American households. This group is defined as adults living in households with a minimum annual household income of $100,000.

While the GenX population has topped the largest share amongst the Affluent, the Baby Boomers and Seniors still index high on the annual household income.

In addition, the study reflects how even people within the same generation can respond more like other age groups. Findings show that the younger side of GenX acts similar to Millennials in the marketplace, and the older side tend to be more like-minded with Baby Boomers.

Marketers will have to absorb this generation move and evaluate what this will mean for a brand. Strategies may have to be altered.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Discovering Trends of Social Networking Users

Pew Research has recently reported that 65% of American adults are social networking users. Here, I’ll dig deeper into Pew’s study and share today’s trends amongst social media users.

Age: Unsurprisingly, young adults (ages 18-29) rank number one when it comes to social media users with a sturdy 90%. Looking on the opposite end of the spectrum, users 65 and older have made the biggest jump from 2% in 2005 to 35% in 2015.

Gender: Gender doesn’t hold a huge difference when it comes to social networking. Today, 68% of women and 62% of men use social media.

Socio-economic: Much like the 65+ aged social users, there has been a leap in the number of users coming from low income households (households making less than $30,000 a year). In 2005, only 4% of low income households used social media compared to the 56% that are users now, in 2015. Seventy-eight percent of those living in the highest income households use social.

Racial and ethical: Race comparisons hold relatively steady across the board with 65% of whites, 65% of Hispanics, and 56% of African Americans using social media.

Community: A consistent trend is that of users’ living communities. Only 58% of rural residents use social media compared with 68% and 64% of suburban and urban residents, respectively.

Education: The current 2015 trend is that the more education a person has, the more likely  they are to use social media with the numbers standing at 76% of  those with college or graduate degrees, 70% with some college education, and 54% with a high school diploma or less.

With these trends and percentages, marketers can target their audiences specifically and predict the trends of the future. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

SEO of The Future

Just when marketers begin to really understand Search Engine Optimization, it changes. Not a huge surprise as it is one of the leading tools in digital marketing, an ever changing apparatus.

Christine Birkner reports for Marketing News on the six new rules for SEO in 2016. Birkner sites the director of audience development at Moz, Cyrus Shepard, as he discusses the declining importance of simply getting a click on an ad. Shepard notes that advertisers are now able to track a viewer’s activity after a click, making the activity following the click more important than the click itself. Marketers must have a clear intention of what they desire from users to be able to track success more closely.

Next, is the diminishing importance of keywords for a SEO campaign. As Google’s technology improves, the ability to decipher between quality matches and flukes is becoming simpler. Today, instead of having to put a keyword multiple times within your ad/article/website, Google is able to better determine the relevance to a consumers’ search query. With that, search queries are typically (75%) between three and five words long which can help marketers know what to include in their content.

User experience is becoming more and more important as the amount of information in the digital world continues to expand. Original content is far better than re-used content. It’s as if the consumer is a self-centered teenager who believes the world revolves around them; the more marketers can make a user’s experience precise and tailored to their liking, the better.

In the same way that original content is superior, unique images are preferred by users as well.

Martin Laetsch (director of online marketing at Act-One Software Inc.) has discovered that there has been a significant difference in the size of articles that are successful as of late.  Two or three years ago, a 300 word page was a pretty common length. Now, Laetsch is noticing the popularity of 1,200 to 1,500 words performing better in search.

Optimizing for mobile might be an obvious rule of SEO, but it is a very important one. With users consistently utilizing mobile devices, marketers are required to adjust.

Birkner quotes Shepard saying, “In the past, it [SEO] was about marketers trying to promote what they wanted people to see. Today it’s about delivering what people actually want to see…” SEO is fitting in with other forms of marketing by encompassing the attitude that it’s all about the audience. Laetsch puts it well when he says, “It doesn’t matter how high you rank if your target audience goes to your site and they’re not happy.”

While clicks are great, it’s what happens after the click that truly matters. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Is Print Marketing a Thing of the Past?

What do you think? Is print marketing a thing of the past or will we continue to utilize the advertising vehicle in the future?

The digital world has emerged, expanded, evolved, and expanded some more. As marketers, we can expect this digital growth to continue as we make-way into the future. However, does that mean print media will be something our great grandchildren only read about in history books? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be too quick to jump to that conclusion.

This graph from Strategy Analytics shows that the digital platform has indeed surpassed the percentage spent on print advertising. Yet, print still holds 15% of the pie, ahead of radio, outdoor, and cinema. 

Elaine Fogel has an interesting article, “Why Print Marketing Materials Are Still Important in 2015” where she compiles statistic after statistic that show the importance of print advertising.

  • Forbes reports that 46% of US Internet users read only printed books as opposed to eBooks.
  • According to AllBusiness Networks, 56 percent of all consumers put their trust in print advertising above other advertisement types.
  • 70% of Americans find direct mail pieces (print) to be more personal than online advertisements.
  • Within direct mail marketing, 56% of recipients read postcards making them the direct mail leader according to the 2014 DMA Fact Book.
  • The CMO of Adobe’s research shows that on average, readers will spend 20-25 minutes with a branded magazine as opposed to a few minutes on the Web.
  • In Business Magazine discovered that for every $1 spent on direct mail, $12.57 was spent by customers in sales.
  • Fogel found that people read print text 25% quicker than they do online text.
  • Fogel also discovered that 15% of adult Americas do not use the Internet.

Still not convinced that print advertising is still effective today?

Think back to the last time you got a direct mail (print) piece sent to your house. For me, it was a mail piece from Bath and Body Works. It had my name printed directly on the front with fall colors to catch my eye. There were enticing pictures of the new candles, lotions, and hand soaps. So, might as well look inside, right? That’s where I find the “goods”. Coupons right there in the mail, “FREE travel size hand lotion” “$5 hand soap” “3 for $15 body wash”. And just like that, I unstick them from the mail piece and stash them away in my purse. Chances are I spent a few minutes looking over the advertisement and collecting coupons. On the flip side, if I had seen a Bath and Body Works advertisement digitally with a, “click here for coupons” option, I most likely would’ve kept on scrolling through my web browser.

Sound familiar? There’s a good chance that your response, whether recognized or not, is similar to mine when it comes to print advertising.

So, what do you think? Is print marketing a thing of the past?

Friday, October 23, 2015

All in a week of digital marketing

A lot can happen in just one week, especially when it comes to the continuously evolving world of digital and social media. Here are some statistics from the last week alone that may just blow your mind.

1.      According to eMarketer, by the end of 2015, 32 percent of US companies with 100 or more employees will use Instagram for marketing. That percent is expected to jump to 71 in 2017!
2.      BuzzFeed’s CEO, Evan Spiegel forecasts that Snapchat’s Sponsored Selfie Filters will reach up to 16 million viewers a day. This ad purchase will cost roughly $700,000 per day.
3.      P.F. Chang’s is running a social event with the hashtag #PFChangsPink that has bumped their user generated content by 1,300 percent! This campaign is all to support October in the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
4.      Fast Company has reported that 60-70 percent of Snapchat users were clicking off of their video ads after only three seconds. This unwelcoming statistic has been crushed by Coca-Cola who is seeing video ads being watched in full completion by 54% of viewers
5.      Twitter is making news with their new Conversion Lift tool which, “helps brands measure the effectiveness of Promoted Tweets, enabling them to better target ads”. A San Francisco tech company claims that, “people who see promoted tweets are 1.4 times more likely to interact with a brand than those who don’t”.
6.      Millward Brown found that consumers between the ages of 16 and 45 watch an equal amount of video on television and online.
7.      eMarketer discovered that 88 percent of companies will use at least one form of social media this year.
8.      Thanks to the Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton had 293,696 mentions via Twitter.

This can only leave one to wonder, what will be discovered next week?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Online Video Catches Up with Television

According to a new report from Millward Brown, consumers are spending just as much time watching online video as they are watching television.

This might not come as a surprise to many advertisers, as we have seen growth in online video streaming, however, this shifts how advertisers can best reach their target audience.

Millward Brown conducted a global study of over 13,500 multiscreen viewers (people with a TV and either a smartphone or tablet) in 42 different countries. The study showed that people between the ages of 16 and 45 watch 204 minutes of video a day. 
Those 204 minutes are split equally between television viewing and online viewing.
This study has shown that not only younger generations utilize online video, but also Generation X-ers.

Consequently, viewers tend to find online advertisements irritating. Only 19 percent of online viewers responded in favor of online ads during their videos while 27 percent of viewers feel positively about television ads.

Interestingly enough, 41 percent of people who were included in the study responded favorably to ads tailored to their interest. With that being said, only 25 percent of respondents like ads that had tracked their browsing history and promoted something from a website they had previously visited.

With this information, advertisers can start pushing their video ads onto online platforms. The most important measure of this transition will be the content and context in which the advertisements are displayed to make sure it is received with a positive connotation.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Generations of Consumers Keeping Their Trust in Tradition

Nielsen recently released its newest study on “Global Trust in Advertising”. This study breaks down who trusts which type of advertisements. Nielsen created the graph below that shows 19 different mediums along with the percentage of trust held by each generation. In this study, 30,000 consumers in 60 countries were surveyed.

It could be considered common knowledge that typically younger consumers are more “up to date” with today’s technology and trends. For that reason, it is no surprise that the younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials) trust advertisements from newer vehicles (online, mobile, movies) more than older generations (Boomers and Silent Gen).

What is interesting is the trend of trusting more traditional advertisements above digital ads. Personal recommendations, television ads, and print ads are all within the top ten most trusted advertising methods while more “trendy” advertisements like online video ads, TV program product placements, mobile ads, social media ads, and text ads to mobile phones are amongst the least trusted types of advertisement.

With more and more advertisers taking advantage of these new advertising opportunities, it will be interesting to review an updated survey in a few years to see if customers have placed their trust in new formats or if they continue to be creatures of habit. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How Businesses Fail to Keep Customers’ Trust

We all know that trust is something easily broken and difficult to repair. This covers most all areas of life including friendships, coach/player relationships, boss/employee relationships, and even the relationship between a company and their customers.

Neustar and the Ponemon Institute conducted a study of more than 750 US adults called, “What Erodes Trust in Digital Brands” to discover ways trust is being lost and how it could be regained.

The first area that causes customers to lose trust is content.

·        91% of adults surveyed say  they don’t trust websites with errors
·        55% don’t like when ads interfere with content

Second, the study shows performance can lose a customers’ trust.

·        88% of adults surveyed distrust websites that frequently go down
·        67% feel uneasy about websites that take too long to load
·        78% worry about the websites security if the performance is slow
·        40% are most concerned with slow performance during checkout

The final area where trust is commonly lost is in the security.

·        63% of adults surveyed don’t trust websites of companies that have experienced a data breach
o   33% say it takes 6 months to rebuild trust after data breach
o   24% never regain trust
·        55% don’t trust websites that don’t have security safeguards
·        22% don’t like the ability to stop being  tracked
·        19% don’t like websites that request too much personal information
·        10% don’t like the inability to delete/edit information already provided

Luckily, there are some ways companies can attempt to gain back trust after it has been lost. First, companies need to make sure the problem does not happen again. Customers will appreciate immediate action to ensure a better experience in the future. Make sure the company is focused on customer satisfaction and that they listen to the desires of customers.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced situations in life where trust has been lost and takes some real effort to regain it. The same applies to businesses. If trust is lost, it might be a long journey to gain back. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Customers' Actions Prior to Making a Purchase

Recent research shows what actions a consumer makes prior to purchasing a product/service that was first advertised on television or radio. eMarketer reports the findings from Market Track’s study “Media Usage Survey.”

The survey tells a story that consumers will go online to research a product/service significantly more than other options available.

The results can help advertisers in their cross-media promotion. For example, the selling points in a commercial should be absolutely a part of the content of the advertisers’ website. Further description will help consumers in his/her decision making process.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sports, Sports, Everywhere Sports

What would we do without sports? Without Thursday night football and the exhilarating World Series? Without Sunday afternoons filled with golf and the Olympics where the best of the best compete to win the gold?

Thankfully, I don’t believe that’s a world that we have to contemplate. In fact, it might just be the other way around. Advertisers are expanding their capabilities and connecting sports with the world in ways we’ve never seen before.

Google is prepared to take the run full force during this upcoming NFL season. They have built a tool that places ads alongside football-related search results. Picture this: you’re watching the heated rivals, the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, play in their first battle on the gridiron this season when you begin to think, “I wonder who won when the two teams played each other for the first time ever”. So, you automatically head to Google where you type your inquiry into the search engine and let the powerful mind of Google do the thinking. As your search results appear to answer your question, you see an Anheuser-Busch ad for Bud Light. But that’s not it, the fans drinking the Bud Light are wearing red and the cans have the Chiefs logo on them! Google has the power to place specific ads, in specific places, for specific people, at specific times.

Not only is Google on board with this real time advertising; social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, have also bit the hook. Facebook aims to target football fans during NFL and college football games. Twitter offers several live-event tools, even one that allows brands to sponsor NFL related clips. Snapchat is working on a partnership to be able to have weekly NFL stories similar to their current “MLB Wednesdays” stories.

This instant advertising has many benefits for advertisers who capitalize. The New York Times reports from Nielsen stating that, “88% tablet and 86% of smartphone users access their device while watching TV”. Because of this second-screen, advertisers can now reach viewers on television as well as on their handheld device. Live online advertising also reaches those “cord-cutters” who no longer have cable but still desire to keep up with live sporting events via internet and social media. Advertising online is less expensive than on television which is a draw for many advertisers.

Tim Katz, a sports partnership lead for YouTube, says, “We see a ton of query volume happening in Google Search, particularly while events are happening live”. If more people are searching during events, then it only makes sense to get your message out when then when the traffic is high.

Lowe’s, the home improvement store, aims to do some real-time online advertising during Thursday night football games to encourage viewers to visit their store during the upcoming weekend.

As technology increases and the internet reaches limits we never thought possible, advertisers are able to combine their ads with sports, one of the worlds’ most loved activities.

From my personal opinion, sports aren’t going anywhere, and with that security, advertisers have their audience, now they just have to reel them in.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Life of a College Grad Turned Media Coordinator

Exactly 4 months ago I was walking across the stage in my university’s gym receiving my diploma. Today, I’m sitting at a desk, wearing clothes that are not sweats, at my first “big girl job” as a Media Coordinator.

I’ve been a media coordinator for almost two months now, and I can assure you, I’ve learned more than I thought possible. Media planning and buying is a whole wide world that is unknown to a majority of today’s population. Heck, sometimes I still think I don’t know what it is!

I’ve learned about impressions and clicks, prelogs and postlogs, traffic and reports, and the list goes on. My job here at Ruth Burke is a fun one. I have the privilege of learning from terrific women who are great at their jobs. I also get to learn digital advertising and traditional advertising. Talk about having the best of both worlds!

My days are filled with updating and sending out reports, writing traffic instructions, double, triple, and quadruple checking said instructions, conversing with clients and vendors, meeting new people, going to events, keeping records, and writing blogs.

Life in the “real world” hasn’t necessarily been the easiest transition. I’m stuck in the phase of regretting not choosing the 5-year plan in college and loving the grown-up adult life.

I love my job but I hate waking up at 7am. I hate that sweatpants and hoodies aren’t considered “business casual.” I love being considered an adult and no longer a “college kid.” I hate that afternoon naps are a thing of the past. I love not having homework, tests, and all-nighters filled with studying.

See what I mean? I’m stuck in the awkward phase of graduating college and entering the workforce.

But, lucky for me, as a media coordinator, I get to learn so much about an industry that I’m passionate about and enjoy. So, I say goodbye to the carefree college lifestyle and hello to Outlook reminders and high heels.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Internet Radio and the Price Increase Required for Advertising

The current Pandora station streaming music to my ears encompasses a total of 9 different artists influencing the songs that I hear. The current FM radio station set in my car encompasses a total of 9 different songs that I hear, over and over and over. Rain News estimates an increase of 42.7% of internet radio listeners over a three year period from 30 billion in 2014 to 43 billion in 2017. It is no surprise that listeners are shifting towards a more personalized experience on internet radio as opposed to the traditional radio alternative.

With this shift from traditional to internet, advertisers must shift their advertising platforms as well. It’s no surprise that research (by Rain News and XAPPmedia) has shown that spending on internet radio advertisements is expected to increase. According to the research, 77% of US music industry professionals expect ad-loads on internet radio to increase over the next two years.

The increase of ad-time is expected to rise nearly 15% over the next two years from an average of 2 minutes 41 seconds to 3 minutes per hour. However, with 3 minutes standing at the maximum amount of time for advertisements for the best user experience, the amount of advertisements cannot grow exponentially. Because of this, the cost will rise.

This is your standard supply and demand situation. With the demand (amount of ad minutes) from internet radio providers being limited to 3 minutes of advertisements, all the pressure is on the supply (advertisers wanting to advertise) side. This gives all the power to the internet radio providers allowing them to adjust the price of spots more freely.

According to the Rain News and XAPPmedia research, eight out of ten (79%) music industry professionals believe that internet radio ad rates will increase over the next three years.

Internet radio does have its perks that might make the price jump worth it. Internet radio can target a more specific audience that you’re trying to reach, as well as give more specific details of ad performance.

Advertisers can expect and prepare for this shift from traditional radio to internet radio as well as the pretty penny that it will cost. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Is Ad Blocking a Major Concern for Advertisers?

Ad blocking may be a foreign term for many internet users, but that may change in the near future. There are many different kinds of software that allow customers to keep advertisements from appearing during their internet experience. With this software, an internet user’s experience has no pop-up, video ads, banners, or display ads of any kind.

This might sound peachy keen from a user standpoint, however advertisers might not feel the same way. The University of Oxford did a study that shows 41% of PC users and 11% of mobile users in the United States use ad blocking software regularly.

PageFair/Adobe did another study that looked at a more international scale. In Europe the amount of users using ad blocking software varies from 8.9% in Slovakia all the way to 37.5% in Greece.

Surprisingly enough, advertisers aren’t too concerned with this new ad blocking software. The following graph from eMarketer shows data collected from a survey by Strata that found that only 9% of advertisers say they have a major concern.

While the usage of ad blocking may be on the rise, it is comforting to know that your everyday user is not the prime culprit in this activity. PageFair/Adobe concludes that gaming and technology are amongst the top activities for which ad blocking is used. This tells advertisers that it is the more tech savvy user taking advantage of ad blocking and not your everyday user. At the bottom of the list sits shopping and search engines where few users utilize ad block. This is good news for advertisers as those are normally the targeted audience for advertisements.

Although ad blocking is on the rise, advertisers see no threat to getting their message across… yet. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mobile Advertisements Rely on Timing, Biometrics, and Consumer Interests

It seems like every time I use my smartphone, I see at least one advertisement. There is no doubt in my mind that mobile ads are on the rise and will be for quite some time. According to the International Data Corporation, the amount of money spent on mobile advertisements has skyrocketed from $7.7 billion in 2013 to $14 billion in 2014.

However, Christopher Heine discusses an incredible new form of mobile advertising in his article, “Big Brands Like CoverGirl and Coke Are Finding the Perfect Moment to Deliver Mobile Ads”. What are these perfect moments you might ask? Sit tight and I’ll tell you.

MediaBrix is a relatively new startup that is testing the waters of a new and interactive form of media advertising. MediaBrix uses hundreds of factors like biometric data and consumer interest to determine the precise time when their advertisement should be delivered.

Instead of your typical display ad popping up during a song, while scrolling through Facebook, or while reading an article, MediaBrix presents their ads at a prime time. They have the technology to showcase their advertisement when a viewer would be most likely to interact with said ad.

MediaBrix’ focus is on mobile and desktop gamers and app users. CoverGirl, a client of MediaBrix, interacts with app users and sends them a “congratulations” video advertisement when they complete a fitness goal.

Heine says, “Theoretically, such brands can target a Chicago Cubs fan with a celebratory offer minutes after the team wins a game (“since the Cubbies won, here’s 50 cents off your next soda”), or scrap the ad if the team loses”.

Well, I’m not sure about you, but I would be quite impressed with advertisements displayed on my smartphone/tablet/desktop at the perfect time rather than randomly. And luckily for me, that’s where the advertising world is headed.

Not only will this innovative advertising experience impress viewers, it will increase interest, click through rates, and interactions with consumers and the advertiser which poses as a win-win situation for all to enjoy!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Second-Screen Transforms TV Experience

Think about the last time you watched television. According to a Nielsen study, there’s a good chance you weren’t just watching one screen. Nielsen has discovered that, “eighty-four percent of smartphone and tablet owners say they use their devices as second-screens while watching TV at the same time.”

This is a huge statistic for advertisers. This second-screen trend opens up a whole new world of advertising possibilities. It will come as no shock if commercials start to direct viewers directly to their tablet to purchase or research their product.

Below, is a graph that Nielsen created that shows what people are using their second-screen for. The only category in which the usage of smartphones is greater than the usage of tablets is when it comes to email/texting friends about what they’re seeing on television. This should be looked at very closely by advertisers to realize that tablet users are more likely to dig deeper into a product or service they see on television than smartphone users.

Nielsen’s report also found a rise in “social TV” where roughly one million Americans turn to Twitter to discuss television every day. This plays a huge role in how advertisers get their message out to today’s audiences.

With this knowledge, companies can create their commercials specifically for those utilizing a tablet as a second-screen. These commercials can direct viewers directly to their product or service and receive immediate action by consumers. Advertisers must keep up with the growing digital world and prepare for all of the second-screen viewers.