Now This is a Real Eye Opener. Men Control the Shopping Cart?

Posted by truecreek on January 17, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them., Research | Be the First to Comment

For years, it’s been a given that women were primary decision-makers in most households, especially in the grocery store. They were always the keeper of the checkbook.  But tough times can often change things and this recession has been no different.  We’re spending less and watching our dollars more closely than ever before.  But there is something more to the story.

I would never have thought that more than half of the Men surveyed now think they control the grocery cart.  That is a HUGE shift from most current perceptions and might just mean a sea change in the way grocery stores market.  A new survey from Yahoo is striking in it’s results.

BATAVIA, Ohio ( — Mom is losing ground to Dad in the grocery aisle, with more than half of men now supposedly believing they control the shopping cart. The implications for many marketers may be as disruptive as many of the changes they’re facing in media.

Through decades of media fragmentation, marketers of packaged goods and many other brands could take solace in one thing — at least they could count on their core consumers being moms and reach them through often narrowly targeted cable TV, print and digital media.

But a study by Yahoo based on interviews last year of 2,400 U.S. men ages 18 to 64 finds more than half now identify themselves as the primary grocery shoppers in their households. Dads in particular are taking up the shopping cart, with about six in 10 identifying themselves as their household’s decision maker on packaged goods, health, pet and clothing purchases. Not surprisingly, given that such ads long have been crafted for women, only 22% to 24% of men felt advertising in packaged goods, pet supplies or clothing speaks to them, according to the Yahoo survey.

The Great Recession has thrown millions of men in construction, manufacturing and other traditionally male occupations out of work and by extension into more domestic duties. At the same time, gender roles were already changing anyway, with Gen X and millennial men in particular more likely to take an active role in parenting and household duties.

More about the story here.

NBCU: Old Is the New Young.

Posted by truecreek on November 3, 2010 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By John Consoli

NBC Universal wants advertisers to know that when it comes to consumer spending based on what they see in television ads, the 55-64 demo is the new 18-34—or it’s just as important as that younger demo.

NBCU on Tuesday (Nov. 2) gave the media a sneak peek at a major presentation it will make on Thursday to its advertisers, their media agencies and Nielsen officials. The presentation will offer data showing that the adult 55-64 demo is as vibrant as younger demos in ad spending, and should be targeted (and not ignored) when television marketing plans are created.

Allen Wurtzel, president of research and media development at NBCU, presented evidence from assorted sources—including one-on-one interviews with adults in the demo—that dispel myths about how adults 55-64 respond to advertising and spend as consumers.

Wurtzel said the demo, which he’s labeled “AlphaBoomers,” “has been largely ignored by advertisers and marketers.”

“Every seven seconds someone turns 55 and once they do, they are eliminated from the highest-end Nielsen demo measurement: 25-54,” Wurtzel said. “It is the fastest-growing demo group in the country and now numbers 35 million people that account for close to $2 trillion in annual spending.”

Wurtzel said NBC research and a survey it commissioned of people in the 55-64 demo counters common perceptions that they make less of an income and spend less on advertised products; are technophobic and brand loyal, and therefore, cannot be motivated to switch brands.

“Our goal is to raise a discussion among CMOs at the various companies and to get Nielsen to begin offering ratings data for the 55-64 demo,” Wurtzel said. “They have the data. It’s just a matter of creating the software and adding staff to distribute it.”

Other findings include:

* AphaBoomers spend more on home improvement products, home furnishing, large appliances, beauty and cosmetics and casual dining than adults 18-49.

* A similar percentage of AlphaBoomers have high-definition TVs, use DVRs and broadband as adults 18-34

* 70 percent of AlphaBoomers buy at least one product a month online

* 59 percent of AlphaBoomers send text messages via their cell phones

“This is not something that is just going to affect NBCU,” Wurtzel said. “Down the road as more people leave the 25-54 demo, it will affect every network.”

More here.

Home Broadband 2010, a Pew Study.

Posted by truecreek on August 18, 2010 under Research | Be the First to Comment

By Aaron Smith.

After several consecutive years of modest but consistent growth, broadband adoption slowed dramatically in 2010. Two-thirds of American adults (66%) currently use a high-speed Internet connection at home, a figure that is not statistically different from what The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found at a similar point in 2009, when 63% of Americans were broadband adopters.

The lack of growth in broadband adoption at the national level was mirrored across a range of demographic groups, with African-Americans being a major exception. Broadband adoption by African-Americans now stands at 56%, up from 46% at a similar point in 2009. That works out to a 22% year-over-year growth rate, well above the national average and by far the highest growth rate of any major demographic group.

Read more about Home Broadband 2010, a Pew Study, here.

Movie Metrics: Cinema Ads Click With Viewers.

Posted by truecreek on April 14, 2010 under Opinions. Everyone has them., Research | Be the First to Comment

By Erik Sass

A new report from the Cinema Advertising Council and NewMediaMetrics details consumers’ emotional attachment to different media, as well as brands appearing in various media contexts. The findings suggest that cinema advertising can compete effectively with television for video advertising dollars.

Movies fared better than most other media in terms of emotional attachment, reflecting their immersive quality, and the fact that consumers will pay a fair amount for such an experience.  CAC found that 44.5% of consumers that buy health and beauty products reported emotional attachment to movies, versus 29.6% for magazines, 21.2% for radio and 20.6% for magazines.  Similarly, 43.9% of survey respondents who buy consumer packaged-goods and foods said they were emotionally attached to movies, compared to 28.9% for TV, 20.5% for magazines and 19.2% for magazines.

The data, summarized in CAC and NewMediaMetrics’ “360 Cross Platform Study,” were gathered in a survey of more than 3,000 people ages 13-54, categorized by the type of products they consume. It asked them to rate emotional attachment to media and brands in media on an 11-point scale, with 9-10 considered “emotionally attached.” The survey compared consumer ratings for TV, magazines, newspapers, Internet, cinema and a variety of other out-of-home channels.

Across all consumer categories, the overall attachment rating of 41.5% for movies ranked ahead of televised sports and major entertainment events, such as the Super Bowl (39.7%), Summer Olympics (26.3%), World Series (22.8%) and Oscars (16.1%).

Last year, the CAC released a study from Integrated Media Measurement showing that cinema advertising plus TV more than doubled consumer conversion rates when compared with TV alone.
The digital out-of-home industry in general has been working to bolster its measurement capabilities with new, more precise metrics in the hope of winning spending usually allocated to cable and broadcast.

FCC: Broadband Adoption and Use in America.

Posted by truecreek on April 8, 2010 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

So, if these stats are correct, one could assume that  as much as 17% of the population that has not adopted broadband would do so if they understood the nuts and bolts of how it works?

By Susannah Fox

A new report released today by John B. Horrigan, formerly of Pew Internet and now at the Federal Communications Commission, finds that 78% of adults in the U.S. are Internet users and 65% of adults have home broadband access.

Adults who do not have broadband at home fall into four categories:

Digitally Distant: 10% of the general population. Median age is 63. Half say that the Internet is not relevant to their lives or they lack the digital literacy to adopt broadband.

Digital Hopefuls: 8% of the general population. Low-income, heavily Hispanic and African American. Likely to say they want to go online, but lack the resources.

Digitally Uncomfortable: 7% of the general population. Likely to own a computer, but lack skills and interest in taking advantage of all the Internet has to offer.

Near Converts: 10% of the general population. Median age is 45. Cost is the biggest barrier to having broadband at home.

A 12-Step Program for Marketing Failure.

Posted by truecreek on March 12, 2010 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

Tongue-in-cheek, but valuable none the less.

By Steve Cuno

We rarely hear about the fourth law of thermodynamics. In brief, it states that whenever a server says, “Careful, this plate is extremely hot,” an invisible force compels the customer to touch the plate. The compulsion grows as the cube of the number of decibels with which the server pronounces the word extremely.

It seems that, given a choice between heeding a voice of experience and sabotaging ourselves, many people do not just opt for, but positively execute, a mad dash for the latter. This can be as true of marketers as it is of other human-like creatures. So, for those who prefer wasting time and money, I offer the following personally witnessed, surefire shortcuts to screwing up your marketing. (I should add that narrowing it down to 12 wasn’t easy.)

Sabotage Tip 1: Don’t set firm objectives. You’re much safer stating that your goal is to “get your name out there” or to advertise because the competition does. That way, even if sales tank, you can sit back and say, “I did my job.”

Sabotage Tip 2: Put the goal where the ball lands. With a little practice, anyone can learn to retrofit objectives to results. Soon after a VP of marketing proudly showed me a new sales video, it became apparent that the video appealed to employees, but offended customers. No problem. The VP promptly claimed that the video was never intended for sales, but for training. George Orwell would have been proud.

Sabotage Tip 3: Write and design for internal approval. Authorize as many people as possible to revise or, better yet, outright veto creative work. This will ensure that creative people avoid trying to connect with the market. Instead, they will focus on creating what is sure to fly internally.

Sabotage Tip 4: It’s all about what YOU want. A major coffeehouse chain lost customers for years by refusing to fill the demand for lattes made with nonfat milk. Why did they resist? Because the CEO liked coffee the way it was made in Italy, and Italian baristas don’t use nonfat milk. Darned customers. What makes them think they should have a say in what they want in their coffee?

Sabotage Tip 5: Misuse research. Herd a bunch of people into a focus group and ask them to evaluate your campaign. Treat their comments, especially the ones you like, as if they’re statistically valid. You can also phone 5,000 people and ask them what they do, don’t, would and wouldn’t buy, and why. Assume they know.

Sabotage Tip 6: Don’t listen to your salespeople. The only thing that salespeople do is interact face-to-face, every day, with real customers who use your products. What would they know about marketing?

Sabotage Tip 7: If it’s wild and creative, go with it. If you have a killer concept that’s destined to take top honors at the next awards show, it would be a sin not to back it with your budget. Who cares whether it’s effective? It deserves to be shared!

Sabotage Tip 8: Avoid valid evidence. Proper testing and analysis let you reliably predict a direct mail strategy’s outcome before risking big bucks. But if nature had intended for us to conduct valid, predictive tests, we wouldn’t have hips to shoot from. Showing the concept to coworkers, friends, family and people in a mall, though not predictive, is faster and easier. And, only in the short run, cheaper.

Sabotage Tip 9: Don’t trust your agency. Your agency may have experts on staff, but you can still hobble them by overruling their expertise with your intuition. You can also focus on minutiae. For instance, make the art director change a border on that mail piece from black to dark blue.

Sabotage Tip 10: Trust your agency. Not trusting experts is self-sabotage, but so is trusting non-experts. Many agencies, figuring they can affix stamps as well as anyone, list “direct response marketing” as a core capability. If you are firmly committed to failure, this is no time for due diligence. Just hand them the checkbook.

Sabotage Tip 11: Mistake a slogan for a brand. Imagine a person who is fast losing friends. This person might do well to take an honest look, figure out what alienates people and make changes. But substance is such a bother. Surely this person could more easily regain friends by learning to say something like, “Hi, I’m Alex—where coolness is Number One.”

Sabotage Tip 12: Disdain proven techniques. For nearly two centuries, direct response marketers have amassed information on what works in the marketplace. Moreover, experience shows that what worked yesterday works today. But learning all that stuff is tedious, and using it might hamper your creativity. Mustn’t let that happen.

There are many ways to sabotage marketing, but this should give you a good start. If you fail to implement these recommendations, don’t come whining to me if your marketing succeeds.

Understanding the Participatory News Consumer.

Posted by truecreek on March 1, 2010 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

Interesting Pew Study.

by Kristen Purcell, Lee Rainie, Amy Mitchell, Tom Rosenstiel, Kenny Olmstead.

The overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) use multiple platforms to get their daily news, according to a new survey conducted jointly by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The Internet is now the third most-popular news platform, behind local and national television news and ahead of national print newspapers, local print newspapers and radio. Getting news online fits into a broad pattern of news consumption by Americans; six in ten (59%) get news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day.

The internet and mobile technologies are at the center of the story of how people’s relationship to news is changing. In today’s new multi-platform media environment, news is becoming portable, personalized, and participatory:

* Portable: 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.

* Personalized: 28% of Internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.

* Participatory: 37% of Internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

In addition, people use their social networks and social networking technology to filter, assess, and react to news. And they use traditional email and other tools to swap stories and comment on them. Among those who get news online, 75% get news forwarded through email or posts on social networking sites and 52% share links to news with others via those means.

Despite all of this online activity, the typical online news consumer routinely uses just a handful of news sites and does not have a particular favorite. And overall, Americans have mixed feelings about this “new” news environment. Over half (55%) say it is easier to keep up with news and information today than it was five years ago, but 70% feel the amount of news and information available from different sources is overwhelming.

Take a look at the study and download it here.

Internet, Broadband and Cell Phone Statistics. A Pew Study.

Posted by truecreek on January 26, 2010 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

These statistics are holding steady.

By Lee Rainie:

In a national survey between November 30 and December 27, 2009, we find:

74% of American adults (ages 18 and older) use the Internet, a slight drop from our survey in April 2009, which did not include Spanish interviews. At that time we found that 79% of English speaking adults use the Internet.

60% of American adults use broadband connections at home, a drop that is within the margin of error from 63% in April 2009.

55% of American adults connect to the Internet wirelessly, either through a WiFi or WiMax connection via their laptops or through their handheld device like a smart phone. This figure did not change in a statistically significant way during 2009.

These data come from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. The most recent survey was conducted from November 30 to December 27, 2009, using landline and cell phones and including interviews in Spanish. Some 2,258 adults were interviewed and the overall sample has a margin of error of ± 2 percentage points.

Download the entire Internet, broadband and cell phone statistics survey here.

Boys vs. Girls on Cellphones.

Posted by truecreek on under Opinions. Everyone has them., Research | Be the First to Comment

Very interesting research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.   It’s a hot topic of discussion here at True Creek, for sure. The premise was also the theme for a recent episode of ‘Modern Family’ on ABC.

By Margaret Shapiro

We’ve heard about the gender divide in knowledge and use of technology. It seems the gap may start with the simplest of technologies — cellphones — and at a fairly young age — middle school.

For a study published in December in the journal New Media and Society, University of Alabama at Birmingham sociologist Shelia Cotten asked nearly 1,000 middle school students to rate the different ways they used their cellphones.

The results showed boys much more than girls used their phones to play games, share photos and videos, listen to music and send e-mails. Girls tended to use their phones primarily for talking and or text messaging.

To the researchers’ surprise, the boys used the phones for talking and texting just as much as the girls — in other words, they didn’t use the “complicated features” instead of socializing, but in addition to it. “We would’ve expected that girls would use cellphones for talking and texting because females are socialized to communicate more with others than males,” said Cotten in an online video presentation of her research, “but there were no differences.”

“By these study results, we aren’t saying that parents should buy phones with fewer features for girls,” she said. “But it does point out how much more needs to be done to teach girls” about technology. “Females traditionally have perceived themselves as less skilled in terms of technology, especially with regard to computers.”

Cotten said that 60 to 70 percent of middle school kids report owning a cellphone.

More about Boys vs. Girls on Cellphones here.

Survey: TV More Popular Than Internet for Entertainment.

Posted by truecreek on December 16, 2009 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By David Lieberman, Associated Press

The Internet and tech toys get the headlines. But the vast majority of Americans still turn to their familiar televisions, radios, and CDs when they want to be informed and entertained, according a consumer tracking survey released Tuesday by the NPD Group.


“There’s a perception that families spending time in front of a glowing TV hearth has been replaced by glowing laptop or iPod displays,” NPD analyst Russ Cupnick says in a release. While true for some, “TV remains the top entertainment choice by far in the United States.”

More than 80% of the country watches an average of 10 hours a week of non-movie TV programming, according to the online survey of 10,281 people in August, weighted to reflect the general population.

After that:

78% said that they listened to music on a traditional AM/FM radio sometime during the prior week.
* 70% sent an instant message or e-mail.
* 60% listened to music on a CD.
* And 58% watched a movie on TV, not including pay-per-view or video-on-demand.

But the survey found that online is becoming an increasingly important part of the mix. Some 47% of the respondants visited a social networking site the prior week.

Read the entire survey, entitled “TV More Popular Than Internet for Entertainment” here.

The Rise of the Real Mom. An AA Whitepaper.

Posted by truecreek on December 7, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

Real moms still have unmet needs—as women and mothers. Boston Consulting Group estimates that women control $4.3 trillion of the $5.9 trillion in U.S. consumer spending, or 73% of household spending.

Mother with baby.

To reach this demographic, marketers need not just to communicate that the goods and services they offer are practical and convenient; they also need to make real moms feel confident and in charge.

Marketers should empower these female consumers to delegate to others (spouses, children,brands) so they can have more time to be who they want to be—at home, at work and on their own.

And marketers have to use new ways to reach a population that rarely has time to sit down to read or watch or enjoy something without simultaneously doing something else.

Read the entire report about marketing to moms here.

Americans Are Not as Isolated As Had Been Previously Reported. A Pew Study.

Posted by truecreek on November 13, 2009 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By Keith Hampton, Lauren Sessions, Eun Ja Her, Lee Rainie

This report adds new insights to an ongoing debate about the extent of social isolation in America. A widely-reported 2006 study argued that since 1985 Americans have become more socially isolated, the size of their discussion networks has declined, and the diversity of those people with whom they discuss important matters has decreased.

iStock_000003906452SmallblueIn particular, the study found that Americans have fewer close ties to those from their neighborhoods and from voluntary associations. Sociologists Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin and Matthew Brashears suggest that new technologies, such as the Internet and mobile phone, may play a role in advancing this trend.

Specifically, they argue that the type of social ties supported by these technologies are relatively weak and geographically dispersed, not the strong, often locally-based ties that tend to be a part of peoples’ core discussion network.

They depicted the rise of Internet and mobile phones as one of the major trends that pulls people away from traditional social settings, neighborhoods, voluntary associations, and public spaces that have been associated with large and diverse core networks.

The survey results reported here were undertaken to explore issues that have not been probed directly in that study and other related research on social isolation: the role of the Internet and mobile phone in people’s core social networks.

This Pew Internet Personal Networks and Community survey finds that Americans are not as isolated as has been previously reported. People’s use of the mobile phone and the Internet is associated with larger and more diverse discussion networks. And, when we examine people’s full personal network – their strong and weak ties – Internet use in general and use of social networking services such as Facebook in particular are associated with more diverse social networks.

More here.

Use of Cloud Computing Applications and Services. A Pew Study.

Posted by truecreek on November 5, 2009 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By John Horrigan.

Some 69% of online Americans use webmail services, store data online, or use software programs such as word processing applications whose functionality is located on the web. Online users who take advantage of cloud applications say they like the convenience of having access to data and applications from any Web-connected device.

However, their message to providers of such services is: Let’s keep the data between us.

Download the report here.

Home Broadband Adoption 2009. A Pew Study.

Posted by truecreek on under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

Only 37% left to go.  Give or take a few percentage points.

An April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows 63% of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home, a 15% increases from a year earlier.

April’s level of high-speed adoption represents a significant jump from figures gathered by the Project since the end of 2007 (54%). The growth in home broadband adoption occurred even though survey respondents reported paying more for broadband compared to May 2008. Last year, the average monthly bill for broadband internet service at home was $34.50, a figure that stands at $39.00 in April 2009.

Download the report here.

Nielsen: Broadcast Radio Still Has Reach.

Posted by truecreek on November 4, 2009 under More Dam News, Research | Read the First Comment

Broadcast radio still has reach.  Now, that’s great to hear.

By Katy Bachman.

Contrary to popular belief, consumers are not trading broadcast radio for new media. Far from it. Of all audio segments, broadcast radio reaches more than 77 percent of users daily compared to 11.6 percent for MP3 players and iPods.

mikeIn total, more than 90 percent of adults were exposed to some form of audio media.

The findings, published Tuesday (Nov. 3) are based on a Nielsen analysis of data from the Council for Research Excellence Video Consumer Mapping Study. The $3.5 million landmark study conducted in 2008 used direct real-time observation methods to record the media behavior of participants in five major markets. Earlier this year, the CRE released results for video media.

Portable audio has its highest daily reach among the 18-34 demographic, but it takes up only 7.5 percent of all daily audio usage, compared to more than a 47 percent share for broadcast audio. In fact, broadcast radio has the highest daily reach among 18-34 year olds at 82.2 percent, compared to 81.6 percent for the 35-54 demo and 71.9 percent for 55 and older.

“There is a much more complex picture going on with audio than we ever really imagined,” said Dr. Michael Link, chief methodologist for Nielsen (parent company of Mediaweek).   “What this report shows is that 18-34s aren’t abandoning radio. Rather, they’re adding new audio technologies in addition to broadcast radio consumption.”

Broadcast radio was also widely used among users of other forms of audio media. More than 81 percent of those who used portable audio devices, also listened to broadcast radio.

The medium also stacked up well against other media in terms of average hourly reach. Live TV reached the most people, followed by radio, the Web/Internet and newspapers and magazines.

U.S. Consumers Show Permanent Changes Linked to the Economic Downturn.

Posted by truecreek on September 25, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them., Research | Be the First to Comment

In a follow up to one of my earlier posts, research conducted by Hart Research Associates for Citi has shown that consumers in the U.S. have made what they are calling “permanent spending and savings changes” as a result of the current recession.

According to a tidbit in today’s edition of the USA Today, 63% percent of the people contacted by Hart stated emphatically that the way they handle their personal finances has been changed forever and only 29% plan on going back to the old way of doing things.

If this research proves out to be prophetic, and I believe it will, all marketers will have to hope they can get a piece of what will be a much smaller pie.

Are Social Networks Making Students More Narcissistic?

Posted by truecreek on September 1, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

By Sharon Jayson

College students say social networking makes them more narcissistic, a national survey reports today — and they also believe their generation is the most narcissistic of all.

That’s what a majority of 1,068 college students said when asked about narcissism in a poll on social networking sites in June by Ypulse.

More than half (57%) said their peers used social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter for self-promotion, narcissism and attention-seeking. And 92% said they used MySpace or Facebook regularly. Two-thirds said their generation was more self-promoting, narcissistic, overconfident and attention-seeking than others.

The survey was done with Jean Twenge, associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic.

Other researchers, however, say self-promotion doesn’t have to be a negative.

“We all kind of put on our best face when presenting ourselves in social situations, online or offline,” says Nicole Ellison, an assistant professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing who studies social networking. “When good things happen to me, I put that on Facebook, and when bad things happen, I also put it on Facebook. It’s a structure to receive emotional support.”

Houston Dougharty, vice president for student affairs at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, says today’s students are altruistic and care about helping others, which doesn’t say “narcissism” to him.

“I think there’s a negative connotation to narcissism that I would not want to promote as a description of this generation.” Social networking is “a celebration of individuality and sort of promotion of one’s own personality,” he says.

But Twenge says her research suggests growing narcissism in Generation Y, based on 40 questions used for decades. Scoring 21 or more indicates more narcissistic traits, she says. In the 1980s, one of seven scored in that range; now it’s one in four. “We see this change over time in narcissistic traits, but I was very interested to hear whether young people saw that in their generation,” she says.

An Improved Outlook and its Effect on the Mood of Your Customer.

Posted by truecreek on June 23, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them., Research | Be the First to Comment

Well, studies are starting to show that people are beginning to feel better about things and that’s a good thing for all kinds of businesses.

Just go to the mall and look at all the shopping bags people are lugging around.  Traffic at car dealerships is up.  My local Panera is busier than ever.

Are your customers starting to see the good side of life again?

When Will Marketers Boost Spending?

Posted by truecreek on May 29, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

We’ve been discussing this exact same thing with clients for several months now and it seems like we’re almost there.    Brand advertising on TV will once again be back in vogue, with some nice budgets behind it.

By Mark Dolliver

Will ad agencies need to wait until the recession has certifiably ended before they see a rebound in their clients’ spending? A survey released today by the Association of National Advertisers gives a glimmer of hope that marketers’ expenditures will turn upward sooner than that.

In online polling last month among members of the ANA’s Brand Marketer Leadership Community panel, 68 percent of respondents said they plan boost their media budgets as the economy recovers; 41 percent said they’ll increase their spending on social networking/word of mouth. As for the timing, 73 percent said “they would ideally implement these increased marketing activities three to six months before the recession ends, and an additional 16 percent as soon as it ends.”

A renewed focus on long-term brand-building will represent a shift from what many marketers have been doing as the recession deepened. The ANA’s report of the findings says two-thirds of marketers “have shifted their emphasis to more short-term strategies in the last six months.” Such a shift is reflected in the answers respondents gave when asked to cite the areas in which they’ve cut back. Fifty-six percent said they’ve cut media budgets, and 41 percent said the same about sponsorship/events activities. The activity most likely to have been increased amid the recession: “pricing deals,” cited by 47 percent of respondents.

For all the flux in marketers’ use of media, TV remained atop the standings when respondents were asked to say which media are effective for building brand equity. Sixty-four percent cited TV. Though down from 80 percent in a similar February 2007 poll, that still put TV ahead of online (61 percent) and “guerrilla/word of mouth/buzz marketing” (57 percent). Lagging farther behind were magazines (51 percent, down from 67 percent in 2007), radio (30 percent, down from 36 percent), outdoor (26 percent, down from 35 percent) and newspapers (19 percent, down from 36 percent). Social media garnered the most mentions as “the media channel that marketers would like to use but have not yet been able to implement.”

Elsewhere in the survey (conducted in conjunction with marketing-services firm ‘mktg’), respondents were asked about the factors they watch most closely as indicators of “brand health” — i.e., the degree to which brand equity is increasing or declining. “Customer experience/satisfaction” was cited by 48 percent of respondents — up from 37 percent in the 2007 poll. “There is less focus on traditional metrics such as brand image and awareness, which tend to be lagging indicators of brand health,” says the ANA report of the findings.

New Problem for Workers: Cubicle Graveyards.

Posted by truecreek on May 25, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

By Eve Tahmincioglu

The blogosphere has begun to chronicle a disturbing phenomenon in offices around the country — endless stretches of uninhabited desks and cubicles where friends and colleagues used to sit.

“I was wandering around the office, as I tend to do when I need to look busy but need a break, and I noticed that we have a lot of empty cubicles around,” writes Office Scribe in her Asleep Under My Desk blog recently. “… I think we need to start renting these empty cubicles out. I made a crack on my way back from lunch how we need a doctor who can see patients in one of the cubicles.”

Even though she’s trying to joke about it, Office Scribe admits she’s bummed out by the emptiness.

Office Scribe, who didn’t want her name used for fear of losing her job as a sales assistant for a major travel company in Chicago, has seen about 60 of her co-workers get the axe since December.

“When the economy tanked, we had two sets of layoffs, and the people we were sitting next to are gone,” she says. With so few people left, there are now large swathes of empty cubes between departments. “You have to go searching for people. It’s kind of like we have little tribes now.”

Alas, Office Scribe may feel lonely, but she’s far from alone.

Mass layoffs throughout corporate America have created cubicle and desk graveyards in office buildings from coast to coast. After years of shrinking office space for employees, the recession has brought about a new trend — more room for workers to stretch out.

The average square foot per office occupant has risen to 435 square feet so far this year, from 415 square feet in 2008, according to International Facility Management Association, or IFMA, in a soon-to-be released report.

“There is simply more space per person in the workplace, meaning there are fewer people occupying a greater amount of space, and this is just over the course of a year,” says George Deutsch, a spokesperson for the association. “We attribute this to the economic downturn and layoffs our nation is currently dealing with.”

It’s creating morale problems for employees, not to mention logistical nightmares for companies and the facilities maintenance staff.

Mother’s Day is Right Around the Corner. Have You Called Your Power Mom?

Posted by truecreek on May 6, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

Moms Say Marketers Ignore Their Needs

-By Jessica Hogue, Nielsen Online

Marketers have made great strides in recent years to better understand and connect with moms. But in trying to perfect the message, many have forgotten to listen to the very consumer they are trying to woo.

According to M2Moms, 60 percent of moms feel that marketers are ignoring their needs, and 73 percent feel that advertisers don’t really understand what it’s like to be a mom.

Last year’s Motrin Moms kerfuffle, in which women on Twitter and YouTube reacted to an ad offending baby-toting moms, raised the antennae of marketing managers everywhere and underscored the importance of not just reaching moms but understanding their value systems.

Initiatives like Wal-Mart’s “elevenmoms” (a partnership through which the retail giant and a collection of mom bloggers are building a well-timed money saving community) demonstrate how marketers are taking steps forward to engage moms — particularly mom bloggers — and to develop mechanisms to absorb their input. Not all marketers have to go to such lengths to understand today’s Power Moms, but much can be gained from expanding perceived notions about this important and highly-influential demographic.

While marketers today have a so many opportunities to connect with mom at various inflection points during her life (having a first or second baby, child entering school, return to work), the challenge is sensing her distinct needs and responding in a way that truly resonates. This forces marketers to redraw the vision of mom in our head.

As CEOs of their households, Power Moms wield more influence than ever before: moms control 85 percent of household spending, and are worth more than $2 trillion to U.S. brands, as reported by the Marketing to Moms Coalition. Most moms work. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 1965, about 45 percent of women with children (under 18) were employed; by 2000, over 78 percent were. Whether they work out of the home, telecommute, or run a business from the home, media technology and the Internet have become a true enabler.

Nielsen reports that moms between the ages of 25-54 who have at least one child under the age of 18 within the home represent roughly 19 percent of the total online population. And they are not passive observers online. Rather, Power Moms leverage their megaphones to influence online purchase decisions. Considering the expansion in ecommerce for foods, beauty and household products — which is projected to grow to $12 billion in 2011 — effectively reaching moms has real bottom-line implication.

Power Moms leverage digital applications to stay organized, connect with their families, friends and mom networks (think Facebook and micro-blog platforms like Twitter, as well as mushrooming networks like and, and to get things done, like paying the bills, ordering groceries, downloading coupons and hunting for ideas for the next family vacation. And lest you envision moms tapping away at their computers, know that Power Moms are also mobile enthusiasts who are 35 percent more likely to use text messaging/SMS on the go.

But even online, not all moms are created equal. According to M2Moms, African American mothers are more likely to read articles online (68 percent) and listen to music (45 percent), whereas Caucasian mothers are likely to frequent social networks (45 percent) and message boards (43 percent). Web 2.0 is also relevant for Latinas: blogs were the top choice among Hispanic Moms (55 percent) followed by social networks (42 percent).

Understanding the Power Mom’s online behavior affords a more holistic awareness about her passions and interests and also enables precision in online targeting for optimizing media plans. For example, established moms aged 40-50 who have three or more children in the home are heavy online shoppers, over-indexing on sites like Shopzilla, Target and Walmart compared with the average online consumer. On these sites, Power Moms are likely to be receptive to advertising deals and promotions. They also stay connected on email and are beginning to dabble in social networks, primarily Facebook.

Tweety Bird Would Never Believe This.

Posted by truecreek on May 1, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

From eMarketer:

If media attention is any indication, Twitter has exploded into an all-out phenomenon. Celebrities, politicians, entrepreneurs, business leaders and everyday users are flocking to the service en masse, generating a frenzy of activity and attention.

Everybody is talking about Twitter, but what do the numbers say?

There were roughly 6 million Twitter users in the US in 2008, or 3.8% of Internet users.

It’s projected that the number of Twitter users will jump to 18.1 million in 2010, representing 10.8% of Internet users.

By all measures, Twitter is growing, and quickly.

What’s driving this phenomenal growth?

“Twitter lets people know what’s going on about things they care about instantly, as it happens,” Evan Williams, Twitter’s CEO, told The New York Times. “In the best cases, Twitter makes people smarter and faster and more efficient.”

A survey of Twitter users from MarketingProfs backs Mr. Williams’ views. On a scale from 1 to 5 (with 1 for strongly disagree and 5 and for strongly agree), the phrase “I find it exciting to learn new things from people” averaged a score of 4.65 and “I value getting information in a timely manner” averaged 4.58.

“Above all, people on Twitter are truly motivated by learning new things and getting information real-time, as it’s developing,” said Ann Handley of MarketingProfs.

Study: Teens Love Live TV.

Posted by truecreek on April 22, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

By Wayne Friedman

Not all TV teen viewers are into new TV technology — at least not the ones that delay gratification.

According to a new study by Pangea Media, an online quiz technology company, and Ypulse, a digital youth media company, 65% of tween and teen users prefer to watch TV shows live. This contrasts with 25% who say they will view it using a DVR, and 10% who watch online.

Traditional TV genre programs also play better than new-style TV formats. Tweens/teens prefer scripted series 64% of the time versus reality TV, at 36%. They like programming on cable TV, at 77% of the time to network TV’s 23%.

But some prevailing trends seem to follow tweens/teens. Asked to forgo either TV or the Internet for a week, 77% of respondents overwhelmingly said it would be television. While 60% say they have seen an original Internet video series, 85% say they have never visited a TV show’s social-networking area. Most of tweens/teens online video viewing goes to YouTube, with a 50% score. Some 40% of the time, they go to a channel’s Web site, and 20% of the time, they head to iTunes.

Multitasking is still big among this group. They watch TV and are online 78% of the time, while TV and texting is at a 66% rate.

Television still influences their buying decisions. Sixty-six percent say they downloaded music because they heard it on a show; with 30% saying they purchased clothes because they were seen on a TV character.

And Now, Another Opinion. Americans Spend Eight Hours a Day on Screens.

Posted by truecreek on March 28, 2009 under More Dam News | Read the First Comment

Adult Americans spend an average of more than eight hours a day in front of screens — televisions, computer monitors, cellphones or other devices, according to a new study.

The study also found that live television in the home continues to attract the greatest amount of viewing time with the average American spending slightly more than five hours a day in front of the tube.

The figure drops to 210 minutes a day of average TV viewing time among 18-24 year olds but rises to 420 minutes a day among those aged 65 and older.

The “Video Consumer Mapping” study was conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design (CMD) and Sequent Partners for the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence (CRE).

For the year-long study, observers recorded the exposure of 350 subjects to four categories of screens: traditional television, computers, mobile devices and other screens such as store displays, movie screens and even GPS navigation units.

The study found the average amount of screen time for all age groups was “strikingly similar” at more than eight-and-a-half hours although the type of devices and duration used by the respective groups throughout the day varied.

It found that people aged 45 to 54 averaged the most daily screen time at just over nine-and-a-half hours.

The study did not include anyone under the age of 18.

Among other finds:

— computer video consumption tends to be quite small with an average time of just over two minutes a day.

— Adults spend an average of 6.5 minutes a day with videogame consoles with the number rising to 26 minutes a day among those aged 18-24

— Adults spend an average 142 minutes a day in front of computer screens

— Adults spend an average 20 minutes a day engaged with mobile devices with the highest usage — 43 minutes a day — among the 18-24 age group

“What differentiates this study from all other attempts to measure video exposure at the consumer level is its scale, the range of media covered and the fact that it is focused on consumers first and the media second,” said Mike Bloxham, director of insight and research for Ball State’s CMD.

“It’s not a study about TV or the Web or any other medium — it’s about how, where, how often and for how long consumers are exposed to all media.”