Monthly Archives

May 2014

Teens Prefer Videos to News Feeds

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YouTube has overtaken Facebook as the favorite website among teens, according to recent polls reported in eMarketer.


Three-quarters of 14- to 18-year olds surveyed said they frequently use YouTube, compared to 60 percent who are frequent Facebook users, according to a study by The Intelligence Group.


In another poll by The Futures Company, 50 percent of teens said their favorite website is YouTube, while Facebook fell to second place at 48 percent.


YouTube even has an edge on the broader 14- to 34-year-old demographic, with 68 percent frequently using YouTube—two points higher than Facebook.


The story is slightly different when respondents were asked how they wanted brands to communicate with them. Among teens and Millennials, 55 percent prefer Facebook for brand interaction compared to just 20 percent preferring YouTube.


And Facebook is holding its ground with older Millennials. When you look at just 25- to 34-year olds, frequent Facebook users outnumber YouTube junkies 72 to 62 percent.

Who Really Works From Home?

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Nearly 3 out of 4 remote workers are men, according to Quartz, which reported on a survey from the Flex+Strategy Group.


Remote workers make up an impressive 31 percent of today’s full-time U.S. workforce—including 36 percent of men and 23 percent of women.


“I have always known that flexibility itself is gender neutral,” says Cali Williams Yost, CEO of Flex+Strategy. “But the primary work-remote person is very much more likely to be a man.”


The study dispelled the stereotype that remote workers are mostly women, parents or younger people. Gen Y, Gen X and Boomers are equally likely (30 percent) to work from home. And having kids also doesn’t make a difference—about 30 percent of parents and non-parents work remotely.


For those who do work in an office, women are much more likely than men to work in a cube or open office environment (43 to 27 percent), as opposed to a private office. Yost says that women may be hesitant to request to work from home for fear they’ll be stuck on the “mommy track” and miss opportunities for professional growth or promotion.

Millennials Turn Pins and Likes into Sales

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Tweet it, pin it, post it—and then they buy it. This appears to be the pattern among many Millennials, according to a new study from The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.


This is especially true for products that affect their personal style. About half of Millennials in the survey report buying hair, beauty or apparel items after sharing about them on Twitter (50 percent), Pinterest (47 percent) or Facebook (45 percent).


Notably, Millennials aren’t all buying online: Nearly eight in 10 who bought an item after seeing it on Facebook shop both online and in-store.


While Facebook is still the preferred network to interact with companies, Pinterest reigns with the highest sales conversion rate. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents with Pinterest accounts said they had bought something after pinning it, far and above Facebook (9 percent) or Twitter (14 percent).


Pinterest’s secret? The eye candy helps, but it’s the ease of purchase that converts the sales. “Pinterest makes the transaction process flow with optimal ease for consumers,” the report’s authors write. “Social media networking sites that involve too many intermediate steps before they can click to purchase, will lose ecommerce business.”

Five Millennial Trends to Watch

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Each year Millennials have more purchasing power than the last. Brands that wish to keep up with the 18-34 set must pay close attention to the changing needs of this creative, social and tech-immersed generation, Jeff Fromm writes for Millennial Marketing.


Fromm outlines these five Millennial trends that marketers will be watching in 2014:


1. Views about privacy are shifting. Millennials are increasingly willing to give up some of their information in exchange for something in return—usually an optimized user experience.  Marketers can tap into this information to learn more about potential customers.


2.  Millennials don’t click on banner ads anymore. Instead, social ads are grabbing attention, because they often appear directly on users’ news feeds, and they’re easier to view on a smartphone.


3. Millennials want companies to help them express themselves in unique ways. Case in point: Instagram. The wildly successful photo-sharing app demonstrates allows Gen Y to connect with others creatively, and they prefer sharing a picture to writing a status update.


4. Luxury is out. Even though Millennials will take the reigns of the luxury segment by 2018, it isn’t about status. “Instead they are driven by experiences and opportunities to create memories that they can share with friends,” Fromm writes. Rolexes and Jaguars are out—Nike and Honda are in.


5. Mobile, mobile, mobile. Millennials don’t go anywhere without their smartphones. They’re on the leading edge of mobile use and adoption, and they won’t read your email if it doesn’t look good on their smartphone screen.  “Now, it is imperative that every platform be optimized for mobile use.”

Millennials Changed the Face of Marketing

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Companies: you should already be ready. Success in marketing to U.S. Millennials—the generation of people now 18 to 34 years old—will be critical to companies across product and service categories. In the U.S., by 2030, Millennials will likely outnumber baby boomers 78 million to 56 million—and they are forming lifelong shopping preferences and habits now.


It is perhaps more important that this generation is transforming consumer marketing itself. Millennials engage with brands far more extensively, personally and emotionally—and in entirely different ways—than have other generations.


Millennials expect a two-way, mutual relationship with companies and their brands. We call this the reciprocity principle. Through the feedback they express both offline and online, Millennials influence the purchases of other customers and potential customers. They also help define the brand itself. The Internet, social media and mobile devices greatly amplify Millennials’ opinions and accelerate their impact. Companies can expect that a positive brand experience will prompt Millennials to take favorable public action on behalf of their brand. A bad—or even just disappointing—experience can turn a Millennial into a vocal critic who will spread the negative word through social media, reviews and blogs. And that criticism can go viral.


In marketing, as in pop culture, Millennials are leading indicators of large-scale changes in future consumer behavior. They are influencing and accelerating shifts in consumer attitudes, spending habits and brand perceptions and preferences among Gen-Xers and even baby boomers. As a result, this generational transition is ushering in the end of consumer marketing as we have long known it.


Executives and marketers must embrace the new reality: marketing is an ecosystem of multidirectional engagement rather than a process that is controlled and pushed by the company.


One way a company can connect is by convincing Millennials that they are “doing good” when they purchase its brands. Companies need to demonstrate through their values, heritage and meaningful actions that they help those in need, are socially responsible, are good environmental stewards, protect personal data, or are transparent and sincere.


If they have not already begun to do so, companies must make marketing to Millennials a top strategic priority and begin to master the art of two-way reciprocal marketing. Brands should reinforce their authentic reputations with the right brand values, personalities and communications. They should relate to Millennials by moving from push communications to two-way, open dialogue.


Excerpted from How Millennials Are Changing the Face of Marketing Forever, by Christine Barton, Lara Koslow and Christine Beauchamp, The Boston Consulting Group, January 15, 2014.

Why Gen C May Be Your Best Customer

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The “C” in Gen C comes with many labels—Generation Connected, Content, Community, Curation…the list goes on.


Unlike Millennials who are defined by their age group, Gen C is defined by their mindset and behaviors. They crave instant gratification and hate missing out on anything. Hungry for information in all its forms, they are voracious consumers and creators of online content—and YouTube is their main course.


Two-thirds watch at least one YouTube video weekly, and more than a third watch YouTube daily, Google reports. YouTube feeds Gen C’s pursuit of a variety of passions, such as cooking, home improvement, music and film. The how-to/DIY category is one of the top YouTube genres across 35 countries.


“When brands find the right way to engage [Gen C] they can become the biggest spenders, the most vocal supporters and the most influential opinion formers. In short, they can become your best customers,” according to the Think with Google Blog.


Here’s why Gen C may be your company’s best customer.


As consumers, Gen C are passionate and influential. They are 3.6 times more likely than the average person to buy gadgets, and 1.8 times more likely to be asked for advice from others about making a purchase.


Members of Gen C are natural brand evangelists. Two-thirds of those surveyed by Google say “if there is a brand I love, I tend to tell everyone about it.”


And because they prefer to control their video ad experience, Gen C actually likes the commercials they watch. More than half (56 percent) say they’ve taken action after watching an ad on YouTube. It seems counter intuitive, but when commercials give these viewers the option to skip, they are twice as likely to take action on the ads that appear on their screens.

Women Put the Social in Social Network

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Men and women have different agendas on Facebook, one of six new facts uncovered by Pew Research about current use of the still-dominant social networking site.


More than men, women like to use Facebook to share, laugh and connect. Women cite the main reasons for using the site as to see photos and videos (54 percent versus 39 percent of men), see funny posts (43 versus 35 percent), share something en masse (50 versus 42 percent) or receive support from their network (29 versus 16 percent).


Men, on the other hand, are more information seekers on Facebook. They like to receive updates and comments from others (39 percent), keep up with news and current events (31 percent) and get feedback on stuff they’ve previously posted (16 percent). Notably, women do these things at the same rate. Overall, women are simply more active on Facebook, outranking men 76 to 66 percent among online adults.


Another interesting fact from the study: Half of adults on Facebook now have more than 200 friends, while 15 percent have more than 500 friends. This trend mirrors the rising age of the average Facebook user; however, Facebook is far from obsolete from the life of younger adults. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, the median number of Facebook is 300, while 27 percent have more than 500 friends.