How well do you know Gen Y?
- 59% update their social status in class.
- 29% find love through Facebook while 33% are dumped via TXT or Wall posts.
- Millennials watch TV with two or more electronic devices.
- Only 11% define having a lot of money as a definition of success
- Gen-Y will form 75% of the workforce by 2025 and are actively shaping corporate culture and expectations.
- Only 7% of Gen-Y works for a Fortune 500 company, while startups dominate the workforce for this demographic. Gen-Y expects larger organizations to hear their voice and recognize their contributions, increasing the need for an intrapreneurial culture.
- Millennials trust strangers over friends and family. They lean on UGC for purchases.
- They are 3x as likely to follow a brand over a family member in social networks.
- 66% will look up a store if they see a friend check-in.
- 73% have earned and used virtual currency.
- Gen-Y believes that other consumers care more about their opinions than companies do, which is why they share their opinions online.
- Gen-Y’ers are more connected on Facebook than average users, managing a social graph of 696 Facebook friends versus 140.
The Last Ten years
- 274 million American have Internet Access, which is more than double that of 2000.
- 81 billion minutes spent on social networks and blogs.
- 64% of all mobile phone time is spent on apps.
- 42% of tablet owners use them daily while watching TV.
- For the first time, the numbers of laptops have surpassed desktops within TV homes.
Women Rule Gen-C
In 2009, I discovered that in social media, women rule. As you can see in Nielsen’s report, women too rule Gen-C. Specifically, they rule social media, online video, and TV viewership. With smart phones, men and women are tied in adoption. With tablets however, men rule.
Mobile shopping activities include:
- 38% compare prices online while in shopping in a store.
- 38% browse products through websites or apps.
- 32% read online reviews of products.
- 24% search for or use online coupons.
- 22% have purchased a product.
- 22% scan barcodes for product or price information.
- 18% use location-based services to find retail locations.
- 27% of male and 22% of female consumers would use their mobile phone to make payments in restaurants and shops if they could.
Significant findings of the How America Shops MegaTrends report, “Moving On 2012″ report, by WSL/Strategic Retail, an authority on shopper behavior and retail trends, include:
· Youth market no longer retail’s golden ticket. The youth market, 18-34 year olds, has the highest percent of those who do not have enough money to cover their basic needs, with close to a quarter (24%) in financial turmoil. Compared with people over 35, who were able to launch their careers 10 years ago, when times were good, this group is a long way from recovery, compelling retailers targeting this group to seriously rethink their strategies.
· Branded products under threat. Shoppers in general are placing a greater focus on price, with two thirds (67%) of women agreeing that trusted brand names are not worth paying more for. More than a quarter (26%) of women admit that while they used to buy brand names they could not afford, they are no longer giving in to this indulgence. This figure is up 7 percentage points from 2010.
· Six-figure incomes struggle. It takes a significantly higher income to feel financially secure in this economy, with nearly 30 percent of Americans in the $100-150K income bracket claiming they can only afford the basics. Once considered affluent, six-figure income shoppers are now identifying themselves as middle-income.
“There is a huge fundamental issue when more than half of Americans can only afford basic necessities and people who earn up to $150,000 think they are poor,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail.
Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, continued, “The youth market, which has traditionally been known for its enthusiastic spending of discretionary income, has virtually dried up. As today’s young adults struggle to find employment and pay down student loan debt, this demographic now represents the largest percentage of Americans who are challenged to afford even basic necessities.”
Key Additional Findings
A stunning 75 percent of women now say it’s important get the lowest price on everything they buy, up 12 percentage points from 2008 and up 22 percentage points from 2004. Some old and new methods of ensuring they get the lowest price include:
• 68 percent regularly use coupons to reduce costs — up 7 percentage points. vs. 2010.
• 45 percent claim they only buy items that are on sale — also up 7 percentage points
• 43 percent make a point to search online for store discounts before they shop — up 10 percentage points
• 14 percent of women say they use their mobile phones while in store to see if they can find a lower price, before they buy.
• The “cautious pause” before buying to ask, “Is this a smart use of my money?” (Total: 66%, HHI $150K: 47%)
• Managing their aspirations by sticking to brands and stores they can afford (Total: 58%, HHI $150K: 36%)
• Staying out of stores where they might be tempted to overspend (Total: 48%, HHI $150K: 28%), and,
• Buying less when they go shopping (Total: 43%, HHI $150K: 26%)
The session featured baby sleep expert Wendy Dean, who shared her advice with those watching.
P&G UK marketing innovation manager Ben Tatlow said that this is the first livestream the company has run within a social media platform in the UK.
It is exciting to be able to test and learn this new approach of providing streamed content not only to our core brand fan bases, but also to our wider target audiences through live streaming through Facebook ads. We look forward to piloting similarly innovative projects in the future.”
Streaming live into an event tab adds a new level of engagement to Facebook-based activity, since it allows a brand to invite its community to join the event – while providing a permanent reminder that it’s happening.
He added that an additional benefit of hosting a webchat via Facebook is that you get an instant idea of how popular ait will be, bearing in mind that the vast majority of views always come afterwards, on-demand.
Already we can see in Pampers’ case that 876 people have said that they’ll be attending, which is great.”
P&G will be running a video ad campaign within Facebook to drive more views over the two-hour period that the show airs.
Clicking one of the ‘watch now’ style messages in the right-hand column on Facebook will open a lightbox, with the player embedded, which will also feature its own mini wall. This means that P&G will be able to compare engagement according to viewers watching and commenting from within its page, to those clicking on an ad.
This is a proof of concept project for P&G, but Goldsmith says that he already believes it will be successful based on engagement levels from other client projects.
He also quotes stats from Facebook that suggest a brand only reaches 17% of its community with a simple wall post, since posts that friends’ have commented on or liked are more likely to be given top billing. It’s harder than ever to ‘be seen’ without paying for it.
Therefore the solution is to create content that your community wants to engage with, be that click on, share, like, comment or whatever’s appropriate. Although I’m naturally biased, video is far more engaging, and it’s what people love to share and talk about within social environments.”
P&G’s optimization approach for digital is not unlike the continuous improvement processes long used on factory floors, and some of its brands, including Pantene, are using continuous data on consumers’ response to digital ads to tweak media buys and inform creative elements.
For about a year, Pantene has been using such a system, Smart Media, developed withResource Interactive, Cincinnati. Smart Media analyzes click-through rates and flash surveys on purchase intent across numerous permutations of ads and placements.
The billion-dollar hair-product brand has improved performance on those target metrics by 28% to 90% vs. the previous system of creative pretesting alone, according to Marketing Director Kevin Crociata.
The program evaluates three creative elements (the headline, hair visual and background color), and Pantene makes changes based on how different combinations of each element perform in various media placements.
The brand makes discoveries that inform future creative. Those have included that white backgrounds don’t work well on Yahoo, orange is effective on Facebook and blondes get a better response than brunettes on some sites.
“Background color is big,” Mr. Crociata said. “It sounds pretty simple, but it can have a dramatic impact on purchase intent.”
A recent study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that consumer goods companies are increasingly experimenting with new ways to establish and enhance direct, two-way relationships with consumers.
The report, “New Directions: Consumer Goods Companies Hone a Cross-Channel Approach to Consumer Marketing,” surveyed 221 consumer goods executives worldwide from a wide range of industries to determine how companies are integrating new channels such as social media and mobile into their marketing mix.
The report found that the use of social and mobile channels are increasingly helping consumer goods companies become more comfortable with the direct-to-consumer selling model, with the number of companies selling products directly to consumers expected to increase from 24 percent to 41 percent over the next 12 months.
The results also showed that over the next 12 months consumer goods companies plan to leverage social media for a broad range of marketing activities, including product promotion (74 percent), capturing consumer feedback (63 percent) and customer service (62 percent).
Despite the growing social and mobile marketing trend, survey respondents and other consumer goods executives see their nascent e-commerce efforts as complementary to, not competing with, existing retail channels, but are committed to expanding their direct-to-consumer strategies.
CardSpring, an Accel Partners and Greylock Partners-backed start-up, went live last month with its application platform, which allows developers to create applications that can work with credit cards. Now, the nascent system is getting a huge boost with the help of payment processor First Data. First Data is using CardSpring’s API as the basis for its OfferWise solution, a program that allows publishers to attach offers, coupons and loyalty accounts to a consumers payment cards or mobile wallet. First Data, which serves more than 6 million merchant locations including 4 million in the U.S., is piloting OfferWise with dozens of merchants and will roll out the service to its retail customers starting in May.
The partnership addresses the growing shift toward what First Data calls “universal commerce” as consumers look for a shopping experience that bridges online and offline channels and incorporates personalized deals and product information at all times. Increasingly, consumers are looking for deals online and through mobile channels as they look to save money. But many retailers who conduct outreach and marketing online often run into problems trying to close the redemption loop on offers. With OfferWise, retailers will be to send out a deal through an an offer provider and they can now see which deals are actually redeemed at the store through a debit, credit or pre-paid card. It doesn’t have to be a card transaction either. OfferWise can also connect to NFC-contactless payments and digital wallets like PayPal.
American Express and Visa have also tried similar efforts to connect offers and actions to their cards. AmericanExpress allows deals offered through Facebook, Foursquare and LevelUp to be connected to a card transaction, so a coupon can be processed at check-out. Visa did a test with the Gap , allowing Gap shoppers who sign up, they can get offers pushed out to them when they make a purchase on their Visa card. With OfferWise and CardSpring, all cards are accepted, making it more flexible for consumers. And merchants can also tap into First Data’s analytics engine to improve consumer targeting and get performance analysis of their campaigns.
Could these initiatives help your loyalty program?
Many social-media “experts” insist that a “two-way conversation” between marketers and consumers is the whole point of social, and anything less than that is a reflection of outdated, broadcast-style thinking. But the reality is that many people follow and “friend” brands simply because they want to hear from those brands, not necessarily talk back.
If you look at the behavior of the Twitter audience of one particular specialized business publication (@adage, with more than 350,000 followers) and one well-known art-rock band (@okgo, with more than 650,000 followers), you’ll see that most folks are only listening. Though Mark Naples could have reached out to OK Go or Ad Age on Twitter, he chose good old-fashioned email — wisely, I’d say.
Agreed! Do you have all your eggs in the social media basket? How do you approach social media “conversations”?
Coca-Cola, Reckitt Benckiser, Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble are among the major brands that expect to be spending more this year on marketing. Encouraged by reception of the Magnum ice cream bars, Unilever is investing in social media and mobile marketing and is expected to top its overall $6.6 billion media spend from last year. PepsiCo says it will spend $500 million to $600 million more on brands such as Pepsi, Tropicana and Gatorade.
One new product that Unilever has begun to introduce in the United States is a brand named Simple, a skin-care line that is already sold in countries like Australia and Britain. A campaign now under way promotes Simple products as “sensitive skin experts.”
Procter & Gamble, a principal competitor of Unilever’s, started last week what it described as the “intrigue phase,” or teasers, for its introduction of Tide Pods, a one-step laundry tablet that will be promoted with a marketing budget estimated at $150 million for the first year. The “reveal phase” is to begin on Sunday, with a commercial for Tide Pods during the ABC broadcast of the 84th Academy Awards.
The growth in ad spending is “a trend we started seeing about a year ago, when the economy started coming out of its deep recession,” Mr. Steinlauf said, and “I don’t think there’s any turning back.”
Following the adage: ‘Go where the users are’, companies have flocked to Facebook, and they’ve increasingly been trying to do more with their Facebook presences in an effort to get the maximum ROI out of the social networking experience.
For some companies, doing more has meant investing in Facebook commerce, or f-commerce as it is widely referred to. The concept is simple – instead of forcing consumers to go to your website to buy your wares, you can hawk them through storefronts on Facebook, eliminating the need for consumers to leave their favorite hangout.
But many of those storefronts are now being shuttered according to a report by Bloomberg. Major brands like Gap, Old Navy, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Banana Republic are among those that have decided that f-commerce wasn’t worth it.
The reason? For video game Gamestop, which has some 3.5m fans on its Facebook Page, the ROI simply wasn’t there. “We just didn’t get the return on investment we needed from the Facebook market, so we shut it down pretty quickly,” Gamestop VP of marketing Ashley Sheetz told Bloomberg.
In retrospect, the fact that some of the f-commerce hype is subsiding isn’t entirely surprising. As Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru observes, selling to consumers on Facebook is “like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.” In other words, it’s not always a good combination.
Have you seen f-commerce success?