When it comes to early holiday marketing, what are your sentiments?
Holiday marketing...while some advertisers started their campaigns halfway through October, most retailers officially kicked off the season November 1. Target, Anthropologie, the new Grinch movie and Amazon are some of the brands populating the marketplace early. Oh and Starbucks too! But are consumers ready?
According to Gartner Iconoculture, Millennials have been the driving audience for holiday shopping. In fact, in 2018, it is estimated that older Millennials will spend around $779 on gifts this season, compared to the average shopper spending around $658. With shopping expected to see an increase from this audience, advertisers want to get in front of the audience as soon as possible.
But how can you effectively engage? Here are three marketing tips.
What are your thoughts on holiday marketing? For more tips and trends, be sure to signup for the Brogan Weekly Recap.
Michigan's always been known for our freshwater lakes, our auto industry, our expansive shoreline. But in recent years, Michigan's brewed up a new reputation that's gained national recognition: one for our hoppin' beer scene.
In a recent study, Michigan ranked fifth in the nation for the most breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs across the state. From metro Detroit to Grand Rapids, down state to the UP, it's difficult to travel anywhere these days without stumbling upon a local craft brewery.
It's a happy problem to have, don't get us wrong. Not only are Michiganders kicking back to enjoy the craze with friends after work, but our state as a whole is raking in the benefits. A 2017 report revealed Michigan's beer industry was worth a whopping $10.5 billion and accounted for nearly 35,000 Michigan jobs last year.
But with over 300 craft breweries across the state, surely small, mid-size and even large breweries will run into difficulty competing for customers and shelf space... Right?
According to a Brewers Association report, a record number of breweries nationwide opened their doors in 2017. Cheers to that? Not so fast. Last year, our country also saw a 70 percent increase in the number of breweries that shut their doors (165 closings total).
To combat this problem, two Michigan breweries are taking a bold strategic step to ensure our state remains a leader in the beer scene. In a deal that could mark the first of its kind, they're teaming up to propel their growth rather than competing for market share.
Within the next few months, Royal Oak-based Roak Brewing Co. plans to acquire Traverse City's Right Brain Brewery. The two may be located in different corners of the state, but both breweries have experienced substantial growth in the past few years and were in the top 25 Michigan breweries for production in 2017.
Upon acquisition, Roak and Right Brain's separate brands will remain intact, but each will start offering the other's products in their taprooms. This move will not only let Roak and Right Brain pool resources and gain financial security, it will also help them build upon and share clientele.
When talking to the Detroit Free Press, Right Brain owner and founder Russell Springsteen called this an "opportunity for both of us to be stronger!"
Roak owner Leone also touched on the benefits of the deal, saying, "We all know what's going on: The big breweries are buying up local breweries. And my thoughts were, 'How could I create a program that allows Michigan breweries to get together and survive together on our own?' Still remain independent, still remain local. And this is what I'm trying to put together."
It's a unique, but well-thought-out, strategy. It could expand Roak's distribution by three or four states and ignite Right Brain's out-of-state distribution.
"As competitive pressure surges, I'm sure we'll see more of this," remarks Leone.
Since the beer scene is all about bringing people together, it only makes sense Michigan breweries are adopting that mindset–opting to work together to thrive and supporting Michigan all the while.
So, here's to Roak, Right Brain and the 300+ breweries that support our state's economy… one IPA at a time.
Catch more industry insights and trends in our Weekly Recap.
Not Just Looking
Instagram streamlines shopping, just in time for the holidays. Instagram is making it easier for consumers to acquire what inspires them. The platform's Explore page now has a Shopping channel and, after months of testing, the Shopping feature in Stories has launched globally.
+The Explore Shopping channel is made for browsers, as in "I'm just looking, thank you." Consumers can peruse posts and tap to discover other brands of interest. The Shopping feature in Instagram Stories allows consumers to learn more about products featured in Stories posted by brands. Even before the updates, more than 90 million consumers had been tapping on Instagram shopping posts for product tags (AdAge.com, 18 September 2018). The latest updates are expected to drive even more referrals from Instagram this holiday shopping season. Some analysts are predicting as much as a 51 percent increase over 2017 (AdWeek.com, 14 September 2018).
Do You Hover or Mow?
Helicopter parents have landed. And they're more overprotective than ever. Helicopter parents hover over their kids, sometimes sweeping in to rescue them. Lawnmower parents cut to the chase: They mow down anything perceived as a potential obstacle to their kids, like demanding a teacher raise a child's grade if the parent thinks it's unfair.
+Identified as a "troubling trend" in an essay posted on the WeAreTeachers blog, lawnmower parents "mow obstacles down so kids won't experience them in the first place," writes the essayist. "In raising children who have experienced minimal struggle ... we are creating a generation that has no what idea what to do when they actually encounter struggle" (WeAreTeachers.com, 30 August 2018).
It's Time To Take A Shot
Flu season ahead: Why it's socially responsible to get your flu shot. The flu is expected to be a doozy again this year. It's all over social media. Even if you're willing to risk your own health, is it socially responsible to risk the health of others?
SHSMD In Seattle
9 key takeaways from SHSMD Connections Conference 2018. This year's Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development was equal parts informational and inspiring. We heard from idea farmer Johnny Cupcakes, healthcare brand evangelists and graffiti artists. They challenged marketers to be in constant pursuit of the ideal patient experience, offering both practical and creative solutions.
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.
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%).
Sorry, Not Sorry
Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad sparks consumer protests — and sales. Long known for its edgy ads, Nike upped the political ante by making Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th Anniversary "Just Do It" campaign. "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything," says the quarterback, who was blackballed from NFL football after protesting police shootings of black men by kneeling during the national anthem.
+Opponents proudly torched Nikes and vowed boycott. While initially Nike stock slipped 3%, the brand earned about $43 million worth of media exposure, according to Apex Marketing Group (Bloomberg.com, 4 September 2018). The message played well with the 35 and under demo, Millennials and Gen We types who love a bold stance. Sales were up 31% over the Labor Day weekend, according to Edison Trends (Time.com, 8 September 2018).
Teens Wean From Screens
Teen phone addicts take steps to limit their screen time. Gen We digital natives are uber socially savvy and they have the screen time to prove it. 72% reach for their phone as soon as they wake up, while 56% feel lonely without it. And 40% are downright anxious when deprived of their faithful companion. But they're self-aware—54% of US teens say they spend too much time glued to their phones, according to a Pew study (TechCrunch.com, 24 August 2018).
+Teens are voluntarily cutting screen time to better control stress. 57% are cutting back on social media, 56% are putting the brakes on mobile games, and 52% are proactively trying to limit their overall screen time. Parents aren't exactly modeling better behavior; 51% of teens say the 'rents are distracted by their own phones when they try to talk to them.
Because it's deeper than donuts. Dunkin' Donuts is dropping its deep-fried cakey surname come January 2019. The name change punctuates the brand's focus on beverages, which today's customer may or may not choose to dunk in. At Dunkin' donuts are optional, but coffee is highly encouraged.
+"By simplifying and modernizing our name, while still paying homage to our heritage, we have an opportunity to create an incredible new energy for Dunkin', both in and outside our stores," said Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, Dunkin' U.S. "We are bringing the iconic name Dunkin' to the forefront in a bold way that brings to life how we refill optimism with each cup and bring fun, joy and delight to our customers each and every day." With or without a baker's dozen.
Look Who's Saving Now
Consumers bolster the U.S. economy by saving more. It may have taken a Great Recession, but Americans are saving like never before. Their prudent ways have lingered well into the recovery. In fact, U.S. households have saved more after-tax income than ever before.
+ In Q1 2018, Americans saved an average of 7.2 percent more than the previous all-time high of 6.4 percent in 1990, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (WSJ.com, 18 August 2018). That's almost triple the 2005 savings low point of 2.5 percent.
Teasing or Testing?
Netflix may be building an ad platform. Netflix has been promoting its original content between episodes of Netflix series of late, prompting marketers to speculate that the popular streaming service may finally start selling space. To be clear, or coy, Netflix says the self-promos are only to improve customer experience.
+ "A couple of years ago, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members" (BusinessInsider.com, 19 August 2018).
Selling More Detergent IRL
LOL! P&G tries to court young consumers by trademarking ancient net lingo. Procter and Gamble thinks it can sex up its detergents and air fresheners for younger consumers by trademarking the linguistic coin of the internet realm: popular abbreviations like WTF, OMG and LOL.
+ We're not exactly sure whether anyone can actually trademark net shorthand, but P&G's wish list also includes NBD and FML. It's part of a larger effort to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z by acquiring all-natural products like Native deodorant and creating eco-friendly lines, like Pampers Pure Protection diapers.
Pity Me Not
When you pity people who are sick, you take away their power. This from a wise-beyond-her-years cystic fibrosis patient, Claire Wineland, with her proclamation that we need to change the way we treat sick people. Read on.
A tale of two industries - When fashion and technology converge. Imagine watching the Emmy's red carpet and seeing a computer determine the best and worst dressed instead of your favorite fashion critic. Imagine waking up and using AI (instead of your best friend) to help you pick your outfit for the day. Although it's been happening for decades, the lines between fashion and technology today are becoming more and more blurred. Read about it.
Imagine watching the Emmy's red carpet and seeing a computer determine the best and worst dressed instead of your favorite fashion critic. Imagine waking up and using AI (instead of your best friend) to help you pick your outfit for the day. Although it's been happening for decades, the lines between fashion and technology today are becoming more and more blurred.
AI is creeping not only into runway fashion, but into everyday fashion. And we're left with questions, like: can we trust computers with our personal style? And: can we trust AI with the future of the fashion industry?
During 2018 Fashion Week, New Balance installed a one-day activation that expertly married fashion and technology. The company used AI to turn the bustling New York streets into a runway and passersbys into its models. The results? A unique campaign that gave consumers a glimpse into a new era of fashion.
Here's how it worked:
New Balance installed large screens with cameras on a busy New York corner and trained them to recognize fashion trends on the streets. As individuals strolled past, the cameras used computer vision and Real Time Activation to scan outfits and identify trends. After finding the trends, AI scanned again to find the ‘exceptions.' Individuals who stood out as exceptions were not only celebrated on screen for their bold outfit choices, they were also given a free pair of New Balance shoes.
In their quest to urge everyone to #betheexception, New Balance executed a truly exceptional campaign that demonstrates the power of technology when combined with fashion.
Amazon Echo Look
Last year, Amazon unveiled the Echo Look: a voice-controlled selfie camera that uses its AI assistant, Alexa, to give you fashion tips and help you determine what to wear.
How it works:
Consumers place the Echo Look device (which boasts four LED lights, a depth-sensing camera and microphone) on a shelf in their bedroom or closet. The camera takes selfies and video upon voice command, and also features a machine-learning system that can compare two outfit choices and determine which is more "in."
Amazon's website explains, "Style Check keeps your look on point using advanced machine-learning algorithms and advice from fashion specialists. Submit two photos for a second opinion on which outfit looks best on you based on fit, color, styling and current trends."
Too cool or too far? Consumers are left to decide.
We've seen it on the runway with 3D-printed textiles and smart fabrics, we've seen it from large brands like New Balance, and now we're seeing it in consumer households with Echo Look. AI is not just trickling into the fashion world, it's paving its place for the future. And doing so in a big way.
What can we expect from the next intersection of fashion and technology? We'll have to wait for the Winter line to see.
Interested in more from the fashion world? See how Nordstrom Local is reinventing retail.
Don't Just Make Money, Brand. Make Me Proud.
Shoppers are more loyal to purpose-driven brands. Recent research shows that many Americans have an affinity for purpose-driven brands. It goes deeper than mere attraction. Think loyalty, advocacy, even pride. Most consumers (79 percent) say they're more loyal to brands' built on principle versus traditional ones), and 73 percent are more willing to defend purpose-driven brands. They feel a strong emotional connection to purpose-driven brands (77 percent), are proud to be associated with them (70 percent) and are more willing to forgive the brands' mistakes (67 percent). Most consumers (78 percent) expect companies to make a positive impact on society and believe it's not acceptable for them to simply make money.
+ If you give your brand purpose, consumers will want to give you more business. Americans' preference for purpose-driven brands plays out in various practical ways. Eighty-eight percent of consumers say they'd buy products from such companies, 85 percent would support those companies within their community and 68 percent. So much winning.
I Stream, You Stream, We All Stream for TV
Consumers are increasingly likely to stream TV from the internet rather than watch programming on a conventional (non-internet-connected) TV. Streamed TV viewing hours grew 115 percent between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018 (TechCrunch.com, 2 August 2018). The Conviva report also found an "impressive increase … in peak concurrent plays, as 7.9 million people tuned in during the World Cup, which amounted to 118 percent growth in peak concurrency" for Q2, year over year. Even without the World Cup viewership, "peak concurrency in Q2 2018 was up by 45 percent year over year, spiking to 5.3 million concurrent plays during the winner-take-all 7th game of the NBA Western Conference Finals."
+ Consumers use a variety of devices for streaming—mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, internet connected TVs. Mobile is the device of choice for short-form content, while long-form content(think movies and episodic shows) is more typically consumed on connected TVs. TV streaming has been moving toward mobile and away from computers. Mobile had the largest share of plays in Q2 2018 (49 percent), followed by TVs (27 percent) and computers (24 percent). The digital media spend follows.
What Consumers Use Smart Speakers for May Not Impress Brands Much
Smart-speaker owners tend not to use them for shopping. 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.
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.
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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The year is 2021. Autonomous vehicles now dominate the roads. Gone are the days of keeping your eyes on the pavement, the cars in front of you, the billboards on your route to work. We live in the future. And self-driving cars make it possible for you to disconnect from reality while you're on the move.
While most of us are still stuck in daydreams about this exciting and imminent future, marketers' thoughts are stuck elsewhere. They're wondering how the rise of self-driving cars will impact their content. And more importantly, when, where and how consumers absorb it.
Although we're still years away from autonomous dominance, it's important for marketers to think, dream and plan ahead.
Poise yourself for the future and take note of the changes autonomous vehicles could rev up:
As the conversation about self-driving cars shifts from "if" to "when," it's important to set your brand up for success in this new era.
If the next great media channel is the self-driving car, will your brand be ready to kick it into gear?
Explore our blog for the latest advertising insights and trends.
More than five million people visit the Grand Canyon National Park each year... but that doesn't mean they all enjoy it. A simple Google search will show you almost 20,000 online reviews. And while the park may have earned an average of 4.8/5 stars, a fair share of people say they've had a negative experience.
The worst ones consist of comments like:
Clearly, no place is perfect. Not even a natural wonder of the world. But, according to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey, a consumer is 21 percent more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one – which shouldn't come as a surprise. Most people don't think to write a review unless they've had a terrible experience. And luckily, most consumers know this.
People understand a 5-star rating is a little unattainable, and a recent BrightLocal study showed support. Insights include:
However, while they're naturally inclined to take negative reviews with a grain of salt, they're still interested in what others have to say. BrightLocal says 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, which could be why more and more businesses are making them a priority. Today, 74 percent of consumers say they've been asked to leave a review, and as a result, 68 percent have done so.
To help your brand increase your quantity (and quality) of kudos, take in our five quick tips. Here's how to get great online reviews:
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Technology is changing and it's changing fast. Podcasts are the latest trend. Learn how to create podcasts that will climb the charts and grab your listeners' attention. Media is everywhere. It's easy to sit inside all day, but mental health is on the decline, so hit the park. Online shopping is in, but does that mean that in-store shopping is out?
Three breakthroughs that will disrupt the tech world in 2019. We may have never before been in an era of such rapid technological change. Of course, much more is coming. Last fall, Gartner research predicted some of the big tech trends of 2018 and beyond, and it was quite a bounty: The continued rise of artificial intelligence and cloud-based computing, new developments in the internet of things, conversational platforms and other areas made the list.
How to get your podcasts on the iTunes top 20 in less than 6 months. If you've ever thought about starting a podcast, you're not alone. There are currently at least 550,000 podcasts in existence, and the number is climbing. But while hundreds of thousands of people may start down this path, far fewer keep at it. According to research cited by Dorie Clark in her book Entrepreneurial You, only 40 percent of all podcasts have published an episode within the last six months.
Writing prescriptions to play outdoors. The idea of prescribing parks is “probably more common sense than rocket science,” Dr. Zarr said, but it is also based in the expanding scientific literature that shows that spending time outdoors is good for physical and mental health.
Meanwhile, back at the RANCH
How consumers really shop for clothing and shoes. Most brick-and-mortar clothing and footwear retailers appreciate the importance of having a solid online game—one that complements the in-store experience. They strive to create an omnichannel path for consumers to marry store visits with online interactions. Lose the friction. Nurture the process. Make it convenient.
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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