The Lipstick Economy

When Facebook announced its new design for the Facebook newsfeed, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was their goal to to give everyone in the world “the best personalized newspaper.” Who is everyone?  The 67% of online adults that use Facebook —  71% of women and  62% of men.  Read on to see what it means for consumers and marketers.

What does this mean for consumers?

Larger Images.  Well, it means there are larger images in your feed.  According to Facebook, photos make up 50% of all news feed stories.  So the new news feed takes up more of your Facebook page.  They call it putting a spotlight on what friends are sharing.  The shared articles also feature larger images and more information like longer snippets. Check-ins are also more visual with large map images, as is content from third-party sites like Pinterest.

Multiple Feeds.  Content specific feeds will allow you to…

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Our Connected Society

Today’s U.S. households are more connected than ever.

Here is my Top 10 list of media factoids from a recent Nielsen 2010 Media Industry Fact Sheet.

  • 114.9 M homes have at least one television – almost 30% have 4 or more
  • 103.6 M homes have either cable of satellite television
  • 36.7 M homes are equipped with a DVR (Digital Video Recorder)
  • The average American watches 31.5 hours of television per week – up 20% in 10 years
  • 223 M Americans ages 13+ are mobile phone users
  • 21% of American households are cell phone only homes
  • 195 M active Internet users in the U.S. – over 93% have broadband access
  • 56% of Internet users are active on Facebook – average use of Facebook is 6 hours per month
  • Americans average viewing 11.2 B video streams per month – average time spent watching videos is over 200 minutes per month
  • 73% of U.S. households own a device specifically used for gaming – 45% of active gamers are female

So if you want to connect with today’s connected consumers you must execute a multi-platform communications program.


Where the bargain hunters hunt

In an age where many media pundits are railing, “Print is Dead,” if your customers are looking for savings, you might want to take a second look.

According to a recent Adweek Media/ Harris Poll, 23 percent of all adults believe that newspaper and magazine are the place to find the best bargains. The percentage grows to 33 percent of respondents 55 and older.

Overall the media where advertising is most likely to help consumers find bargains ranked as follows:

  • Newspaper and magazine – 23%
  • Online – 18%
  • Direct mail and catalogs – 12%
  • Television – 11%
  • Radio – 2%


The New American Household

The size and complexion of the American household is changing at a pace unheard of in history.

The Aging Head of Household

Through 2009 fertility rates in the United States have fallen by 44 percent since the peak of the post World War II Baby Boom. Demographers are predicting the rate to continue to fall another 12 percent over the next several decades.

The result, by 2037 over one-third of U.S. households will be headed by someone over the age 65.

Mom As the Lone Breadwinner

According to a Census Bureau report released in January 2010, the number of working Moms that were the sole breadwinner in the household reached an all-time high. For the third year in a row, the numbers of Moms as the only working spouse grew.

Of couples with children under 18 at home, almost 1 million Moms were the only parent in the work force. The percentage of Dads being the sole breadwinner dropped to 28.2 percent, the lowest since 2001.

The prolonged recession is not only having economic but also cultural changes.

“The economic crisis is heavily affecting families, and what the latest data show is that gender roles are flexible and are going in the direction of egalitarian roles,” said Pamela J. Smock, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan.

The Minority Becomes the Majority

By 2025, the majority of families with children in the U.S. will be multi-cultural, Hispanic, Black, Asian, etc.

The impact of these three trends will ensure that marketers change the way they approach the American family. Consumer marketing will be more multi-cultural, consumption patterns especially for consumer packed goods will change dramatically and growth will be hard to come by in the coming decade.


Social Media Junkies’ Predictions for 2010

The readers of SmartBrief on Social Media have some predictions for 2010. See if you agree.

Of these social media problems, which do you think is most likely to be solved in 2010?

Measurement/analytics                      42.41%
Twitter’s business model                    22.76%
Determining ROI                                    16.9%
Time management                                11.03%
Online privacy                                            6.9%

Of these social media technologies, which would you most like to see evolve the quickest next year?

Mobile web                                             25.53%
Content aggregation and curation      24.11%
Real-time search                                    18.44%
Portability of social networks              17.73%
Geo-location                                                7.8%
Ratings and reviews                                 3.55%
Virtual worlds                                           2.84%

Do you anticipate a change in how much your company will spend on social media next year?

Spending won’t change                         34.86%
Spending will increase slightly            33.94%
Spending will increase significantly   25.69%
Spending will decrease slightly              2.75%
Spending will decrease significantly     2.75%


Advertising in 2010

“There is a sense of cautious optimism that ad spending will begin to pick up in 2010,” said Tom Finneran, Executive Vice President of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s).

In a recent 4A’s survey, 68.32 percent of respondents predicted a recovery for the advertising industry in 2010 with 53.57 percent of those companies surveyed planning to create new jobs to meet increased demand.

In their 2010 Marketing Trends Survey, Redwood City, California-based digital solutions company StrongMail found that advertisers committed to spend more in 2010. Overall, over half of companies planned to increase their advertising and marketing expenditures in 2010.

The number of companies planning increases in spending by category according to StrongMail is:

  • Direct Mail                 21%
  • E-mail Marketing     69%
  • Mobile                         22%
  • Public Relations        19%
  • Search Marketing     42%
  • Social Media              59%

“The survey reveals a strong focus on high return on investment channels like e-mail and emerging ones like social media, “ said Bill Wagner, Executive Vice President of StrongMail.

It sounds like a good New Year’s resolution for your business might be to get aggressive in your marketing planning for 2010. More people will be competing for your customers, so you better get the word out.


What is on the media horizon for 2010?

With the media landscape continuing to fragment, advertisers need to look carefully before they commit for 2010.

The good news is that media consumption by consumers is at an all time high.  Nielsen  recently reported that U.S. viewers watched on average 4 hours and 49 minutes of television per day. Viewership is up 1.4 percent from the previous season and up 20 percent from just ten years ago.

Digital video recorders allowing for time shifted viewing, the continuing expansion of cable network offerings coupled with more television sets per household contributed to the increase.

Print media is also showing positive growth. The Magazine Publishers Association reported magazine subscriptions are on the rise. Subscriptions were up from 322 million in 2007 to 325 million in 2008. Plus, for the first six months of 2009, subscription numbers increased.

The Fitch Ratings Report recently published their outlook for 2010 for the Media and Entertainment sector. They predict that the worst of the advertising downturn has passed. With upcoming political races and the Olympics, ad inventory will tighten and ad pricing will stabilize in 2010.

Fitch’s predictions include:

  • Radio is more than likely to be flat
  • Outdoor should see a recovery by mid-year
  • Newspaper and Yellow Pages will continue to struggle for share with new online competitors
  • Consumer magazines are likely to be down due to excessive titles and shifts in advertisers’ sentiment to print
  • Broadcast television, think Channels 2, 4, 5 and 17, will recover faster due to increase demand
  • Cable networks should see a modest rebound

eMarketer, a digital publisher tracing Internet marketing trends, looks for increased spending by U.S. advertisers on digital assets for 2010.

  • Online video ad spending is projected to grow to $1.4 billion in 2010, a growth of over $400 million from 2009
  • Search advertising spending including paid search, contextual text links and paid inclusion is projected to eclipse $11.4 billion, growing $600 million in one year
  • Mobile ad spending is expected to reach $593 million with a single year increase of 43 percent