A school fundraiser parents are psyched to support? It's real.

A school fundraiser parents are psyched to support? It's real.

Where there's a kid in school or sports... there's a fundraiser. It's a fact of life — especially mine. With countless children I know and love, I'm constantly seeing brochures filled with cookie dough, caramel corn, pizza kits and Christmas wrap. They're doing a read-a-thon to raise money for this. They're selling T-shirts for that. And that bake sale to save the [insert animal species here]? Yeah, that's tomorrow.

While I'm not yet a parent, I see the pressure this puts on them. Of course, they want to do it all. They want their kid to have it all. But, they probably can't help but groan when they pull the PTA letter from their backpack.

Enter this elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky.

Instead of hosting fundraisers upon fundraisers throughout the year, their savvy strategy was a one-time request for donations — hilariously straightforward and refreshingly relatable.

With five donation tiers:

  • $10 meant: "I do not want to bake, so here is the money I would have spent on cupcakes."
  • $25 meant: "I do not want to hit up friends, family and co-workers, so here is the money I would have spent on wrapping paper."
  • $50 meant: "I do not want to walk, swim or run in any activity that has the word 'thon' in it. Here is the money I would have spent on my child's 'FREE' t-shirt."
  • $100 meant: "I really wouldn't have helped anyway, so here is $100 to forget my name."
  • There was also a fill-in-the-blank option that meant: "I am making this donation to express my appreciation for having nothing to buy, sell, or do except fill out this form."

These options were music to parents' ears, and one dad couldn't help but post a photo to Reddit. "Shoutout to the PTA at my kids' elementary school for the most hilariously honest fundraiser I've ever seen," he captioned it.

There, users left more than 2,500 comments. Most were wishing their schools would follow suit, as it's easy for everyone. Members of the PTA aren't spending hours orchestrating every detail of an event. Kids aren't going door-to-door collecting money and delivering goods. Parents aren't pestering people to participate. Win, win, win.

Interestingly enough? This isn't the first school to try this sort of fundraiser. In 2015, a Texas middle school sent an almost identical letter. However, they included an extra tier. Donating $75 meant: "I don't want to attend any fancy balls, so here is the money I would have spent on a new outfit."

While final fundraising amounts couldn't be found, it's worth noting that these effortless fundraisers earned some serious chatter... and I have to assume some serious cash. With no fundraising company to work with, 100% of all proceeds went to the school. For that, I give it an A+.

Eager to experiment with your fundraising efforts? At Brogan & Partners, we specialize in the non-profit space. Let's see what we can do together. Contact us today.

Weekly Recap - October 5, 2018

Weekly Recap

Exploring Other Options

Younger consumers are more likely than older gens to break up with Facebook. The Cambridge Analytica scandal prompted many Facebook users to take action to protect their data. 54% of all Facebook users age 18 and older adjusted their privacy settings in the past year, according to a Pew survey (PewResearch.org, 4 September 2018). 42% take frequent breaks from the platform, and 26% have deleted the app on their smartphones. All told, 74% of Facebook users have taken at least one of those three precautionary steps.

+Gen Z and Younger Millennial are especially leery. 44% of 18- to 29-year-olds deleted their Facebook phone app in the past year, compared with just 12% of users age 65 and older. And just a third of 65+ consumers have adjusted their Facebook privacy settings, compared with 64% of younger users. This is the same cohort that is voluntarily cutting back on screen time in the name of mental health.

Lockered Up

Back-to-school season has been good to brick-and-mortar stores this year, and mobile retailers too. The average household will spend $510 per household on school supplies this year, up from $501 in 2017, according to a Deloitte survey (CMO.com, 5 September 2018). Traditional retail stores are expected to lead the class as 71% of back-to-school shoppers plan to shop in-store (Morning Consult).

+It could be that parents and kids enjoy shopping together for backpacks, calculators and crayons. 77% start shopping at least three weeks before school opens, up from just 64% a decade ago, according to a National Retail Federation survey. Kids definitely want their sway. They are projected to influence $21 million worth of back-to-school shopping in 2018, according to the Deloitte survey. What does this mean? Experience can trump convenience (Amazon) and kids know how to work it.

Devout but Different

Most Americans are religious, but their beliefs are shifting over time. Pew Research Center has been studying how Americans view religion for several years. Personal beliefs about religion can have an impact on how consumers behave, whether in the voting booth or supermarket. Pew organized believers into seven religious types—from highly devoted Sunday Stalwarts to Solidly Secular (PewResearch.org, 29 August 2018).

+Both ends of the spectrum cut across the swath of organized religions. Stalwarts are mostly Protestants, but include Catholics, Mormons and Jews, while the Solidly Secular cohort includes people who identify as Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. These findings reflect the fact that younger generations may profess the same faith as their parents, but don't always share the ways they practice or view social issues. The bottom line? Americans cluster in three primary groups that include all seven types: "highly religious" (39%); "somewhat religious" (32%); and "non-religious" (29%).

What people ask smart speakers most.

What people ask smart speakers most.

I was enjoying dinner with friends a couple years back when the hostess asked Alexa to play 80s music. There were only eight of us seated around the table and nobody was called Alexa. So I wasn't surprised when the room didn't suddenly fill with dance music or new wave.

But the hostess invoked the mystery guest again, this time a little louder and with a slight edge. "Alexa, play 80s music!" Tears for Fears obliged, "Shout. Shout. Let it all out…"

Roland Orzabal had only started the first verse when the hostess rebuked: "Alexa, not so loud."

"Nice party trick," I thought, as other guests answered my questions before I'd uttered a word. "We use ours mostly to connect with Nest," someone commented. "I got one for Christmas," chimed another. "Haven't even taken it out of the box yet. Where am I going to put that thing?"

Nearly four years later, the voice-activated tech is still playing the hits more than most anything else.

Music is the most popular request smart speaker owners make, according to a recent Voicebot.ai survey of 1,200 U.S. adults. News is the second most common command, with distant topics including "how to" instructions, retail store information, history, movies, sports, among others.

Information Topics Most Requested on Smart Speakers 2018

Consumers also use their smart speakers to control other smart-home devices, like thermostats, lights and locks; and ask for information, like weather forecasts or news updates. The ways in which consumers can use Alexa continue to proliferate as third-party developers create additional Alexa skills—apps that give Alexa even more abilities, connecting her to more devices and even websites. Currently, 45,000 Alexa skills are available.

But for the most part, consumers with smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home don't use the devices for shopping. Per the Voicebot.ai research, 26.1 percent of consumers who own such devices have used them to make a purchase, and 16 percent of owners do monthly "voice shopping" using their smart speakers.

Sources who have seen Amazon's market intelligence say that the percentage of voice shoppers is significantly lower, with only about 2 percent of consumers with Alexa-powered devices (mainly Amazon Echo speakers) using them for shopping in the first seven months of 2018, according to Gartner Iconoculture research.

Their intelligence also suggests that most consumers who have tried Alexa for shopping didn't do it a second time (TheInformation.com, 6 August 2018). Still, 20 percent of Amazon Echo owners have used Alexa for shopping-related information, like finding deals or tracking purchases (that were probably made on another device)—just not purchases.

While voice-activated search may be off to a relatively sluggish start, brands are nonetheless optimistic. More than 1,200 brands have built apps and products that rely on Amazon Echo and Google Home (Gartners.com, 23 June 2017).

Regardless of whether consumers use smart speakers for little more than play lists, it's impossible to deny their popularity. Amazon is expected to have sold 128 million Echo speakers by 2020 (RBC Capital Markets, 9 March 2017); by 2022, 55 percent of U.S. households will own always-listening voice speakers (Jupiter Research, 11 August 2017).

Before taking your brand boldly into the smart speaker space, consider the nuances between typed search and audible search. Claiming organic territory is always worth the effort and will inform Alexa Skills or other advertising applications.

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Weekly Recap - April 20, 2018

Shoppers love the convenience and efficiency of the online experience, but they still like to get physical. Brick and mortar remains a fundamental part of the consumer journey. If they want one channel, it's omnichannel. Will the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal make consumers hold their data more dearly? Because brands are demanding more and more intelligence.

DETAILS, Please

Physical retail isn't dead. It's working with tech to be more human-focused. A balance between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar is needed. See why physical remains fundamental.

What does real omnichannel service look like? Omnichannel doesn't just mean being present on more than one channel. It means being able to move between each channel seamlessly, during the same conversation and journey.

How brands are justifying an increased need for consumer data. The debate between freedom and security is heavily affecting both marketers and consumers today. At the center of this debate is one key measure: value.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Productivity: The psychology and strategy behind getting more done. We all know the feeling: you get to the end of the day and realize you've accomplished about half of what you were planning to do. Or less.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

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Weekly Recap - April 13, 2018

Plans for Earth Day? Adidas does and it's sure to be a win for the oceans. Another win – Uber is no longer just a ride-hailing company, they're expanding their business. Looking to expand yours? Perhaps, it's time to answer this: Is youth or experience the key to a successful decision-making team? Turns out, it's a trick question. However, one thing's for certain, women use their phones for far more than just communicating.

DETAILS, Please

Adidas is gearing up for Earth Day. The brand partnered with Major League Soccer and Parley for the Oceans to create Earth Day soccer jerseys from upcycled plastic ocean waste. See why this partnership represents everything that is beneficial in cause-based collaborations.

The future of work. The biggest barriers blocking multi-generational teams aren't differences but biases. Research shows Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers make better decisions together.

It's getting harder to label Uber just a ride-hailing company. Uber launches its own car-sharing service, Uber Rent. But that's not all. Check out the rest of the new partnerships the company announced this week.

Smartphones are a millennial woman's constant companion. Alarm clock, news, budgeting, you name it; women use their phone for it. Take a look at the stats that show why you should lean into the disruption these devices can wield.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Should Weight Watchers market to teens? It's no secret that America has a weight problem. Is it ethical to market diets to kids? Why public health efforts fall short.

THE Topic of conversation

Authenticity. Discover which brands are getting real and how to market authenticity across genders, generations and ethnic groups. Download our free whitepaper "3 Rules to Creating an Authentic Brand."

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Weekly Recap - April 6, 2018

What do the Girl Scouts of the USA and North Face have in common? Both have teamed up for equal representation of women. Speaking of teams, are you team Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks? One of these brands has better social engagement. Another defining characteristic of a successful brand – mobile. And according to Gen Z, a filter isn't just for Instagram.

DETAILS, Please

The North Face aims to "Move Mountains." More adventurous, brave, boundary-breaking women need to be featured in advertising and social media campaigns. Check out the ways the brand is taking its new campaign to heart.

What Dunkin' Donuts can learn from Starbucks' social strategy. Some coffee lovers adore Dunkin' Donuts, others prefer Starbucks. On the social engagement side, however, a clear winner emerges.

2018 State of Digital Advertising. Adobe's analysis of 183 billion website visits, 12 billion video views, 150 billion emails, and 1,000 consumers says that most marketers think their ads are relevant. Most consumers disagree.

Marketing to Gen Z: What everyone over the age of 30 ought to know. If you want to reach Gen Z, you're going to have to rethink some of your marketing strategies.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

First ad agency to test "AdBot" automated marketing tool, will scale back to a 2-day work week. Brogan has been chosen as the first U.S. test agency for AdBot, an automated marketing service that utilizes artificial intelligence to essentially clone a creative team.

Cryptocurrency: what marketers should know. Bitcoin. Ethereum. Ripple. No, these aren't random words, they're cryptocurrencies. And here are six brands that are already engaging with them.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

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Weekly Recap - March 30, 2018

Brand loyalty would be a simple feat were it not for fickle consumers and evolving tastes. Just ask a restaurant chain. AR will be the death of brick and mortar retail. Or its resurrection? Handy search hacks to help you get all the answers. Patients missing appointments? Cue Uber Health.

DETAILS, Please

Four critical factors that drive brand loyalty for casual dining restaurants. Brand loyalty is coveted by all marketers, and even more challenging to attain in the restaurant space that's often subject to wavering consumer tastes. The time is now for brands to re-evaluate retention strategies for today's consumers.

How to ride the mobile AR wave in 2018. The time is ripe for app developers to jump into AR with both feet. Take a look at the ways you could get the most out of AR, and how it could transform everyday experiences.

How to search on Google: 31 Google advanced search tips. Looking for answers fast? Look no further. Here's an overview of some of the most useful Google search tricks.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Healthcare Checkup – March 2018. Touchpoint Analysis, virtual hospitals, and at-home testing keep healthcare accessibility at the forefront. March Madness and influencer marketing insight. Topped off by endearing children hospital videos – led by their biggest stars.

Docs help patients keep appointments with Uber Health. Physicians lose billions annually because of missed appointments. Patients miss out on much more. Check out how Uber Health is bridging the gap to improve healthcare access.

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

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Weekly Recap - March 23, 2018

A supermodel with coding ability? Check. Making coding lessons more accessible to young girls? Double check. Diversity is a competitive weapon in the tech industry. Move over "smart homes," smart cities are coming to town. How to survive a brand crisis? Plan before it hits.

DETAILS, Please

Karlie Kloss and Teach for America team up to help 1,000 girls learn to code. Check out how the supermodel is inspiring young girls to pursue careers in the tech industry.

The tech talent gap is real. Increased diversity is the solution. When we're surrounded by people with different experiences, our brains do something incredible.

The 'fourth industrial revolution' is upon us. Get ready for a next-generation wireless network. Take a look at some of the ways 5G might transform cities over the next few years.

4 steps for effectively managing a PR crisis. Each crisis may come as a surprise, but your response should not be. Get prepared by following these steps.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

At-home healthcare testing: fad or future? Patients no longer have to expose themselves and others to germs as they wait to receive test results and prescription refills. See how far at-home testing might go.

AR in the OR. Innovation's on the rise. So is Augmented Reality. Check out how companies are stitching AR into the healthcare industry.

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it's important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper "8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials."

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Weekly Recap - March 16, 2018

Let's talk tech. Google takes assistance to the next level with a fun home. Fast-food brands vs. fast-casual restaurants. Ever dream about being the star of your own Super Mario game? Well, now you can with a new stunt from Nike. Starting your spring cleaning? Don't forget to spruce up your digital space.

DETAILS, Please

Google gets creative for the 2018 SXSW Conference. Check out how they turned an Austin house into a giant, connected fun home to promote Google Assistant.

5 simple steps for smart sharing and enhancing cybersecurity. See how some digital spring cleaning could protect you from cyber-attacks.

Fast-food chains are ramping up their digital game. But not all apps are created equal. One big burger chain has even bigger plans for its mobile app.

Break a sweat, or beat your high score? No need to choose, thanks to Nike. Shoppers can now test-run sneakers on a treadmill hooked up to a video game.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Marketing Madness by the Numbers. Sorry, we can't help you out with your NCAA basketball bracket. But we do have some data on who's spending the big bucks on marketing for the tournament.

THE Topic of conversation

Authenticity. Discover which brands are getting real and how to market authenticity across genders, generations and ethnic groups. Download our free whitepaper "3 Rules to Creating an Authentic Brand."

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Weekly Recap - February 9, 2018

Did your favorites make the list? Adweek's top Super Bowl ads. As always, engagement is key. But many Super Bowl marketers forget about mobile. Again, let's talk about engagement. This time on Instagram.

DETAILS, Please

The 5 best ads of Super Bowl LII. All four Tide spots topped the list. Check out other hilarious spots from Amazon, the NFL and more.

Super Bowl marketers still struggle to think beyond the hashtag. Mobile means engagement. Kraft was on the right track, but most advertisers missed the mark.

How Leo Burnett uses Instagram to showcase its employees. A Day in the Life. For this agency, Instagram has served as a great recruiting tool and engagement opportunity among employees, alumni and others in the creative community.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

5 Super Bowl LLI ads everyone is talking about. From Justin Timberlake's "Bai, Bai, Bai" commercial from last year, to owning the halftime show last night, viewers were certainly in for an entertaining evening. What ads scored? Let's run a play-by-play.

Gen We is earning allowance - and saving it too. Allowance is still a thing but it's rarely a handout these days. Seventy percent of U.S. parents gave their kids an average weekly allowance in exchange for routine chores, like emptying the dishwasher and doing laundry.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

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Gen We is earning allowance - and saving it too.

Gen We is earning allowance - and saving it too.
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

Allowance is still a thing but it's rarely a handout these days, according to a recent RoosterMoney survey.

Seventy percent of U.S. parents gave their kids an average weekly allowance of $8.74 last year—$3.76/week for the average 4-year-old and $12.26 for 14-year-olds. This in exchange for routine chores, like emptying the dishwasher and doing laundry.

Not bad, but still quite a dip from the average $15/week reported in 2012. Maybe that's why kids are saving more, and planning ahead.

According to the research, Gen We saves about 43 percent of their allowance, earning and gifts. Meanwhile, their parents manage to sock away a scant. 5.4 percent.

Born between 1996 and 2016, Gen We talks and thinks about money differently and more openly than previous generations did at this age, according to Gartner Iconoculture research. They're also bringing tech-savviness and research expertise to all aspects of life, including entertaining, learning, shopping and transacting.

The way Gen We approaches spending and saving will upend just about every industry, but especially financial services. For more, consider three key insights from Gartner Iconoculture.

  1. Kids are thinking about and being included in family finances.

    When asked about household spending and budgeting, parents and their Gen We children generally agree that it's a family affair. Kids are curious about costs, want to be involved in spending decisions—large and small—and have a basic understanding of the household budget.

    Kids are thinking about and being included in family finances

  2. Every generation researches. Gen We research more.

    Every generation turns to multiple sources when researching purchases, but Gen We checks the greatest number of sources. Where do they go for advice, counsel, information and insights? They lean most heavily on friends and family, followed by consumer reviews, ads and articles. More than any other generation, they consult their social networks.

    Every generation researches. Gen We research more.

  3. Gen We prefer to research online, but will probably shop in-store.

    Gen We prefers shopping in-store more than Millennials, and prefers to research purchases in-store (vs. online) more than Millennials, Xers and even Boomers. So brands have to work every angle to connect, in-store and online. Personal service still matters, especially when the product or service is complicated, alien or expensive. When it comes to money and finance, tech is table stakes for these tech natives. Provide a personal guide to build confidence and trust.

    Gen We prefer to research online, but will probably shop in-store

Gen We is ripe with opportunity. Give them a savings account and they may save their allowance. Teach them to save and they may just build their future with you. For tips to work with Gen We, check out our blog: How banks and credit unions can connect with Gen We.

Weekly Recap - January 12, 2018

Up +10% from last year. Easier checkouts mean more mobile shopping. The year of you. Expect more personalization in 2018. Alexa continues to gain traction. And brands are wondering how to bring voice to their products. Tech is still a boys' club. These women are shaking up the status quo.

DETAILS, Please

Mobile shopping grew during the 2017 holiday season. The data has spoken. 50% of orders were done on phones on December 25th.

5 ecommerce trends to pay attention to this year. Personalized checkouts, voice shopping, diversity in the workplace. We want it all in 2018.

Marketers are racing to reach growing audiences on Amazon's Alexa and Google Home. Alexa and Google Home have sold 27 million devices in the U.S. What does the popularity of voice assistants mean for marketers?

What these 5 women are doing to solve tech's diversity problem. Inclusive AI and coding communities. These women are leading the charge toward a more diverse workforce.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Brogan sharpens the saw, strengthens team at Camp Tamarack. Trust, communication, respect, collaboration and responsibility are fundamental attributes of high performing teams. In the four hours the Brogan Team spent at Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center, we worked these skills silly – both figuratively and literally.

Millennials would sacrifice voting rights for loan forgiveness. Struggling with student loan debt? What if you could exchange something to be rid of it? Millennials would.

2018 healthcare marketing trends, buzzwords and bingo. It's that time of year again. Everyone's talking 2018 healthcare marketing trends, buzzwords and big ideas. So we thought it might be fun to give our lingo a new twist with this Healthcare Marketing Bingo card.

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it's important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper "8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials."

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