Monday, December 28, 2015

TV is Still King, but Internet is Closing Fast!

New U.S. ad spending forecast data shows that while TV advertising expenditures continue to rise, Internet advertising may take over the leadership spot in the next few years.

Marketers in the U.S. now spend $421 billion annually, or $1,298 per person. Of that total, a little less than half is spent in major advertising, media with the rest spread among sales promotion, mail, telemarketing, etc.  I came across this interesting new media data from Advertising Age last week while doing industry research for my Advertising class.  According to Ad Age’s 2016 Marketing Fact Pack, total major media in 2016 is expected to be $189.8 billion.  Television is still king with spending expected to be $67.1 billion, followed by Internet media at $59.7 billion.

Since 2010, total major media spending will be up by about 25%, with the largest gains coming from Internet media.  The biggest losers are print media with Newspaper being hardest hit, followed by magazines.  Radio, was supposed to die after the 1940’s when television first came out, right? Radio is still alive and kicking seventy years later.

Source:  ZenithOptimedia

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015: Mail Still Isn’t Dead!

Well into the digital age, mail is still a major media choice for marketers. Total mail volume is down about 25% from its pre-recession peak in in 2006, according to the USPS Postal Facts report.  Most of that decline is due to less use of first class mail by both individuals and companies.  That being said, in 2014, 155 billion pieces of mail were sent, generating  $67 billion in revenue for the USPS.

Volumes for standard mail, formerly known as bulk mail or marketing mail remains virtually unchanged since 2010.  In 2014, businesses mailed over 80 billion pieces to over 153 million addresses.  Clearly, for many companies mail still remains a viable marketing tool well into the digital age.  According to a recent Direct Marketing Association (DMA) report, 77% of companies use some form of direct mail to their customers and 73% send direct mail to prospects.

Postal Facts 2015, United States Postal Service

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Categories:   Advertising | Direct Mail
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Online Delivery Business Heating Up - The Post Office Comes To Life

I usually look for an interesting and timely news item to use at the beginning of the semester for my marketing classes.  This fall it was easy.  The September 5th Wall Street Journal had two articles on page 2 of the Marketplace section that spoke about internet order shipping.  Usually this is the type of information that would generate a a yawn and would get passed over but the implications were startling.The USPS is offering discounts and price cuts to compete with UPS and FEDEX for delivery of online orders.  According to the WSJ, it now only costs $7.40 to send a ten-pound item within 500 miles.  That's less than the $9.86 base rate charged by UPS and FEDEX.The second article said that the Post Office and Amazon are partnering on home food delivery with Amazon during the graveyard shift.  If this works, what a great opportunty!    
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dun and Bradstreet Reports Recession is Over for US Manufacturers

 The worst may be over, according to Dun and Bradstreet’s Business Insights report for May 2012. The manufacturing industry, which suffered in 2008 and continued to decline in 2009, may be on the path to a stable recovery. Data from 2010 and 2011 shows a slow but steady two-year increase in production and exports and a simultaneous decrease in bankruptcies, business failures, and delinquencies that should continue into 2012.  

While it is undoubtedly true that manufacturing production is up and failures are down, this growth cycle is much less pronounced than usual. This means two things for B2B companies. The first is that, while there is definitely an upward trend, there isn’t a sharp post-recession demand spike, which means that businesses won’t be looking to expand as rapidly as they would in a more normal growth cycle.  Secondly, as this manufacturing growth is being built on a slow but steady increase in demand, companies are investing more conservatively in capital and labor force expansion.  For B2B organizations this means that manufacturers will be looking to vendors who provide services and products that are leaner and more efficient than those contracted pre-recession.  

So, while the growth cycle isn’t as strong as was anticipated, the resurging strength of the manufacturing sector means that companies that are positioned to provide efficient goods and services to manufacturers should see gains, while those that are more bloated and less flexible may be passed by.  

Written By: Wilson Schwenke, Beacon Marketing Group, Inc. 

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Categories:   Marketing Services
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quantifying the Value of a Facebook Fan

I recently came across an interesting article in Advertising Age which quoted a joint study by ComScore and Facebook.  The study stated that brand posts actually reach more friends-of-fans, than fans itself which shows how much leverage social media can really have.  To use the example highlighted in the article, a Starbucks post to its fan page in May reached about 6.5 million of its 24 million fans.  An additional 11 million people were reached by fans "liking" or commenting on the post - these were the friends-of-fans.  Ad Age noted that the 17.5 million "reached" by the Starbuck's post didn't go to the Starbucks brand page, but saw the activity in the form of a news feed or friend's profile view.  Still, a tremendous result and that combined reach of fans and friends-of-fans equates to 8% of total U.S. internet users -- at zero-cost!   The link to the article is below:

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Categories:   Advertising | Social Media
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Social Media Use By Generation

I've often heard that, "adults don't really use Facebook or other social media" when we have recommended using social media to clients.  While doing research for the Direct Marketing, Social Media and E-Commerce class that I co-taught in September at St. Joe's Executive Master's in Food Marketing Program with George Latella, I came across an international study from Deloitte that suggests otherwise (chart below).  As of December 2009, almost half of the Baby Boomers and more than one-third of the Matures (65+) use at least one of the major social networking sites.  While that information is now one year old, I would expect it to show dramatic increases in penetration for the older generations throughout 2010.  Imagine my surprise when I got a Facebook friend request from my 83-year-old mother-in-law last summer!  At that time, she had three friends - my wife and her two sisters. 

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brand Appeal: Degrees of Warmth and Competence

For as long as I can remember, marketers have been applying animal or human characteristics to their brands to communicate a "brand personality".  But, I don't remember hearing that there was any real "science" behind that.  However, a recent study seems to suggest that there is something to it, afterall.  

In an article in Forbes Magazine, Chris Malone of Relationship Capital Group says, "According to a recent study of more than a thousand representative U.S. consumers, people respond to brands in much the same way they instinctively perceive and judge one another--on the basis of warmth and competence. Companies that understand what really lies behind that dynamic have a chance to win the kind of deep customer loyalty that has been elusive even for highly successful national brands." 

Recently, I had the good fortune of hearing Chris speak about how people view brands to a graduate level class in the Food Marketing Program that George Latella and I co-taught at SJU.  Chris's insights came from the research study his company conducted in July, 2010 using researchers from Princeton University.  One of the conclusions from the study was that there was a statistical correlation between how the brands in the study ranked on "warmth" and "competence" and purchase intent.  The brands in the study were McDonalds, Burger King, Shell, BP, Tylenol, Advil, Minute Maid and Tropicana.

I found this fascinating, and very promising for use in advertising and other forms of consumer marketing communications.  Does this also suggest that brands reaching out to form relationships with consumers through social media is on the right track?  I think so.  The link to the Forbes Magazine article is

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Direct Marketing, Social Media and E-Commerce Class at SJU

This Friday and Saturday I had the pleasure to co-teach a class for St. Joe's Exec MBA in Food Marketing program with George Latella.  Over the next few weeks I'll publish a series of posts highlighting content from the class and our speakers.  I found this a very stimulating two days, and it was a pleasure working with the 30 food industry executives who signed-up. 

Our speakers were Jeff Greenhouse, who spoke about successful Social Media tactics used by food marketers. Chris Malone, from Relationship Capital Group, who enlightened us on the exciting "Warmth and Competence Model" which shows tremendous promise for brand marketers.  Eileen Acello and John Adams spoke about how important it is to be able craft messages for Social Media campaigns and shared some great examples of how their company, Acello Media, uses writing skills developed in broadcast journalism to create the relevant content needed for successful social media campaigns.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Doctor Referrals Sell

Few marketing efforts are as effective as having professionals recommend your brand to their patients.  A Medical Economics study reported that 88% of the time, consumers purchase the OTC brand recommended to them by their doctor or nurse.  Pretty convincing numbers.  So how do you get a healthcare professional to recommend your brand to their patients?  We have found that a marketer can build programs to get those important doctor recommendations. 

We have documented results from custom sampling programs developed for OTC products in the healthcare, oral care and personal care segments.  Each yielded a significant increase in brand recommendations.  One such example was for an oral care product where a targeted sampling program produced a 252% lift in incidence of recommendations!  Another health product program achieved a 75% increase in recommendation levels.  For both of these programs, the lift was measured by an independent third-party research company using pre and post studies.                

Here are a few sample tactics that proved effective:

  • To build and/or reinforce brand awareness, be sure to include sales literature to the medical professional as part of your sample kit which highlights the key patient benefits of your product.
  • Consider including a coupon or rebate on individual patient samples to encourage trial and repeat usage.
  • Have an easy way for your target professionals to request additional samples if they like them.  Having them enroll, or register, for more samples allows you to grow a proprietary database.   
  • Why not ask some additional qualifying questions when they enroll?    Using this information, you can then vary sampling and communication efforts to match key behavioral patterns. 

Coordinating a targeted professional sampling program with your overall marketing plan can be a strategically powerful and cost-effective tool to positively influence brand recommendations. 

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Capturing Qualified Clicks with Paid Search

Last week’s post discussed the importance of keywords and their effect on the visibility of your website in search results. This week we want to focus on paid search advertisements in particular, and ways to improve clicks and conversions. Paid search advertisements are those that appear along the top and on the right side on the search engine results page (SERP). Online ads allow you to reach prospects at the exact moment when they are searching for your type of service or product. When you create an ad using a product like Google AdWords, you control how much you spend for each click, and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This is sometimes referred to as pay-per- click. The elements that make up an ad are the headline, descriptive text, the display URL, and the destination URL.  

When using paid search advertisements, there are several elements that you need to include in the ad to be more effective. First and foremost, you want to make sure that the keyword that you are paying for is actually in the advertisement itself. The keyword should usually be in the headline of the ad and in the description. The ad needs to be compelling enough so that prospects will click on it, and also descriptive enough so that you are not getting unqualified leads on your site. Unwanted traffic on your site will not lead to conversion and you will have to pay every time they click on your ad. The advertisement should also include a call to action with some type of incentive to motivate prospects to click. To many marketers, this may seem like a no brainer. However in a recent study conducted, out of the advertisements that were examined, 66% did not provide a call to action that conveys urgency and a reason to click the given link. [1] An example of an effective advertisement would be as follows: 

If a consumer is looking to purchase a Phillies jersey, your ad should read something like, “Phillies Jerseys for Men, Women and Kids. Save 15% off your Jersey Now”.  This has a clear incentive in the call to action, and it also specifies the product that the website will sell by including the keywords in the ad copy.  

Are you using online ads as part of your marketing strategy?


[1] Internet & Marketing Report. “A 5-pt. test that will improve conversions and clicks”. April 23, 2010

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