Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Back and Forth of Marketing Strategies

When I was a kid, my favorite piece of equipment on the playground was the teeter-totter. My goal was always to find someone who could balance the scale so that we would both be elevated a foot or two above the ground. In an interesting way, the world of marketing mirrors that playground activity.

Andy Sippel writes an article for AdWeek titled, “Reach is the New Black: Advertising’s Mass Reawakening”. Sippel looks at two sides of marketing: mass reach and precise niche targeting of specific people.

While specifically targeting the single soccer mom with two kids aged 7-10 who brings in $80k per year in the Kansas City DMA might sound perfect for your advertising plan, it shouldn’t be the only strategy for your campaign. In fact, Procter & Gamble CMO, Marc Pritchard, announced that his brands “were stagnant due to targeting too narrowly on Facebook”.

Big picture being: throwing all your eggs in one basket won’t work. Advertising doesn’t flourish as we would like when it’s limited to one medium. Sippel reports that, “in 2011, there was nearly a 100-point difference in net ‘plan to spend’ optimism between the highest and lowest media” however, advertisers are seeing the flaw in that thinking and, “last year, the difference compressed to only 42 points.”

Along those lines, the digital world is unable to form a regular audience build comparable to that of television or even radio. When people routinely tune-in to their favorite programs, a loyal audience forms amongst viewers that is unique to the delivery method of your ad.

Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) recommends three “smart-spending action steps” for advertisers who might find themselves stuck on the uneven teeter-totter.

1.      Invest in multiple platforms rather than shifting money from one to the next
2.      Add traditional media to your digital investments to maximum ROI
3.      Spend to reach millennials on traditional and new media – and not just mobile

ARF even recommends spending roughly 71-78% of budget on traditional media and 22-29% on digital (based on a $15 million budget).

So, don’t get caught on the high or low end of the advertising teeter-totter; instead, return to the media mix and reach your audience in more ways than one. The more roads your deliver your message on, the more your brand will succeed. 

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.