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Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Marketers: how to reach the teenage audience (infographic)

Monday, July 15th, 2013

student with mobileIf you want your marketing to appeal to teens who might become brand customers for life, a new study by digital marketing agency iProspect suggests you have to find content that helps them say something about themselves and prompts them to share it. Where and how you deliver the content is much less important than the message.

The study found that while 90 percent of teens view television as the top source of entertainment information, they’re also watching programming on Netflix, YouTube, and other channels where they can watch on their own schedules.

A fragmented social ecosystem

But they share their thoughts and feelings via a somewhat fragmented “social ecosystem” that presents an opportunity for brands to reach them.

“Even with the exponential growth of new media channels, it’s not the particular app or platform that teens are loyal to, it’s the content,” said Danielle Smith, group account director, iProspect. “Marketers need to focus on developing the most relevant content that helps teens make a statement about themselves or pushes them to share with others.

“To do so, we recommend that brands create visual messages that can be consumed quickly on social networks, where nearly 80 percent of teens get entertainment information. Brands also should develop humorous messaging or cause marketing to spark interest, and crowdsource projects when possible to encourage a sense of belonging among teens.”

It recommends marketers:

Be flexible and fast. Tweak and test. Move quickly

Be current. How are teens messaging about current trends?

Always crowdsource: help teens feel connected to unique groups.

Spark their interest. Use humor, cause marketing.

Create visual messages they can consumer (and share) quickly.

Personally, we think those constitute good advice for digital marketing in general, not just to teens.

Here’s an infographic on the study findings: (click link for the full infographic)

“Homing from work” offers opportunities to markters

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Office PulseMore people are putting in longer hours at work, but manage to keep a work/life balance by “Homing from work,” according to a Captivate Network Office Pulse survey. That means they take care of some personal, home and family needs during the workday.

That trends opens up numerous opportunities for digital marketers.

Captivate first looked at the issue of work/life balance in 2011. The 2013 study revealed there has been an 11 percent increase in the number of people reporting a healthy work/life balance since 2011.

This improvement comes despite a 30 percent increase in respondents reporting working more than nine hours a day. This unique finding of longer working hours but healthier balance seems to be explained by the increase in “Homing from Work” behavior.

“People seem to be getting more comfortable with putting in longer hours,” said Scott Marden, research director at Captivate Network. “Part of that appears to come from the growing ability to take care of personal business during the workday. In fact, 93 percent of people reported “Homing from Work.” It’s a definite shift and it’s impacting not only the way people work but also the types of issues and activities that are on their minds during the workday.”

Receptive to home and personal offers

Most advertisers recognize that white-collar workers are in-market for business products and services during the workday. The research from Captivate’s Office Pulse shows that its audience would also be receptive to offers that help them manage their home and personal lives.

“What ‘Homing from Work’ says to me is that the channels that reach people during the workday should be used for more than B2B brands,” said Dan Levi, chief marketing officer at Captivate. “This research points to new opportunities for reaching consumers when they are researching and purchasing products and services for themselves and their families.”

The fastest growing “Homing from Work” activities are entertainment (an 80 percent increase between 2011 and 2013); surfing and shopping online (a 63 percent increase between 2011 and 2013), running errands (a 31 percent increase between 2011 and 2013) and shopping in retail stores (a 34 percent increase between 2011 and 2013).

Captivate’s Office Pulse study uncovered details on the specific types of products and services people report engaging with during the work day:

Online Activity Percent

Engaging

Financial / Insurance 83%
Travel 66%
Gifts / Clothing 50%
Career / Lifestyle 31%

*Base: Workday Online Surfers

Errands Percent

Engaging

Banking 71%
ATM 56%
Gifts / Greeting Cards / Flowers 52%
Personal Mailing / Shipping 46%
Doctors / Dentists Appts 45%

*Base: Conduct Workday Errands

Shopping Percent

Engaging

Clothes, Jewelry and Accessories 85%
Food, Beverages, Medicine 66%
Gifts 47%

*Base: Conduct Workday Shopping

“The workplace presents an under-utilized advertising opportunity,” said Levi. “People are researching and purchasing products, they are stepping out to take care of personal business and highly-targeted media channels like Captivate Network can effectively educate them on their options and alternatives. This study reinforces that there is an opportunity for marketers to make the phenomenon of ‘Homing from Work’, work for them.”

A detailed report on the findings, “Captivate Office Pulse: Work-Life Balance Research Insights 2013,” is available atcaptivate.com/homing-from-work/.

Marketers see digital as critical as Net ad revenues hit new high

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

MarketingMarketers are realizing that digital media is critical to any successful campaign today. At $9.6 billion, first quarter 2013 digital advertising revenues in the U.S. hit landmark numbers, according to a survey conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC U.S. as part of the ongoing IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report. The figure is a 15.6 percent increase over the $8.3 billion figure reported in the first quarter 2012.

“Consumers are turning to interactive media in droves to look for the latest information, to connect with their social networks, and simply to be entertained,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “This first quarter milestone clearly illustrates that marketers recognize that digital has become the go-to medium for all sorts of activities on all sorts of screens, at home, at the office and on-the-run.”

“Internet advertising revenue continues to exhibit double-digit growth, even as the business matures,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics & Measurement, IAB. “This is an accomplishment that can be attributed to growing recognition by marketers that digital advertising is a critical part of all marketing in today’s world.”

Shift to digital continues

“These record-setting Q1 numbers are consistent with the continuing shift to digital and reflect the type of growth that the internet advertising arena has been seeing year-over-year,” said David Silverman, Partner, PwC U.S.

The attached chart tracks first quarter ad revenue since 1996; dollar figures are rounded.

(Graphic: Business Wire)

The IAB sponsors the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is conducted independently by the New Media Group of PwC. The results are considered the most accurate measurement of interactive advertising revenues because the data is compiled directly from information supplied by companies selling advertising on the Internet.

The survey includes data concerning online advertising revenues from Web sites, commercial online services, free email providers, and all other companies selling digital advertising.

The full report is issued twice yearly for full and half-year data, and topline quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters. PwC does not audit the information and provides no opinion or other form of assurance with respect to the information. Past reports are available at www.iab.net/AdRevenueReport.

SBA Webinar targets how to engage with influencers

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

SBAThe U.S. Small Business Administration and the W20 Group, a cluster of digital communications companies, will present Identifying and Connecting with Your Influencers, the fourth topic in the five-topic social media webinar series.

The webinar will help small business owners learn how to engage with people who can influence their online reputation and gain value through social media tools.

Word-of-mouth is becoming increasingly more important in driving purchases.  Consumers care about what other consumers think, so they spend more time researching products and services online. Influencers who have the widest reach have the potential to sway their community.

Research has shown that 65 percent of top U.S. brands reported participating in influencer marketing.

The Identifying and Connecting with your Influencers social media webinar for small businesses will be held June 5 at 1 p.m. EDT.  To register for the webinar, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/502343024182324736.

The webinar will cover:

  • Understanding the importance of influencers;
  • Finding the right tools and methodologies to identify your influencers;
  • Learning some basic techniques for engaging your key influencers; and
  • Focusing on growing your future influencers.

WHAT:  “Identifying and Connecting with your Influencers

WHEN: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT

HOW: Space is limited. Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/502343024182324736 .

The maximum threshold for this webinar is 1,000 participants.  If you’re unable to participate, a link to the webinar will be furnished at a later date. 

The topic for the final webinar in the social media webinar series is:

  • Getting Started with Mobile and Location-based Marketing (June 26 at 1p.m.).

How small businesses grow their email lists

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

email graphicAmid cries that email is on its deathbed comes new data reinforcing the notion that email is indeed alive and well. According to a recent study from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT) building email marketing subscriber lists shines through as a consistent priority for small business owners.

In the survey of more than 700 small businesses and nonprofit organizations, almost 60 percent of respondents said they are trying to grow their email subscriber list “at all times.” When ranking the reasons why, 44 percent cited bolstering repeat business or donations as the primary reason, while 39 percent said customer relationship building and 12 percent said engaging customers for referrals.

Here at the TechJournal, we’ve seen the idea that email is fading disproved by a multitude of studies. It’s still the number one digital marketing tool for many brands, products and services. Social is no where near it in effectiveness.

On the minds of small business owners

“List growth, and the business benefits that come with it, are clearly on the minds of small business owners today. They realize that engaging customers is a key aspect of both maintaining relationships and finding new ones – and one of the best ways to do that is through email marketing,” said Christopher M. Litster, senior vice president, sales and marketing at Constant Contact.

“More than two-thirds of the survey respondents said that they train employees to request customer contact information at points of interaction. As email maintains its central position in small business marketing, list growth is becoming a company-wide initiative that small business owners are passing down to all their other employees, from marketers to cashiers to servers.”

Additional survey results indicate that the manner in which customer information is collected remains varied. Sixty-four percent of respondents indicated that they actively ask customers for their contact information directly, but only 35 percent use a sign-up sheet at the point of sale.

Host of ways to grow lists

Additionally, of those using online list growth tools, 92 percent of respondents collect email addresses via sign-up forms on their website, and 46 percent offer similar capabilities on their Facebook business pages.

“There are a host of ways that small businesses can grow their contact lists, both online and offline,” said Litster. “From Join My Mailing List forms on websites and social media pages to simply asking for business cards at events, the more willing you are to ask customers to stay in touch, the better relationships you will build, and the chance for repeat business increases.”

Key findings include:

  1. 57 percent of small businesses actively try to grow their email lists at all times.
  2. 44 percent of small businesses say repeat business is the primary reason for email list building.
  3. 39 percent of small businesses say relationship building is the main reason for email list growth.
  4. More than two-thirds of small businesses train their employees to request customer contact info.
  5. 92 percent of small businesses gathering email addresses online use sign-up forms on their website.
  6. 46 percent of small businesses using online sign-up tools collect email addresses on Facebook.
  7. 64 percent of small businesses ask customers for contact information directly.
  8. Only 35 percent of small businesses use an email sign-up sheet at point of sale. (
  9. 42 percent of small businesses collect business cards for contact list-growth purposes.
  10. Almost six in ten small businesses collect contact information at events via sign-up sheets.

Four steps to increase your social marketing success

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

social media

Marketers need to adopt more sophisticate social advertising and marketing tactics if they want to improve their ability to hit objectives.

So says, Kenshoo Social, a global social marketing platform, which has  published a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, “The Key to Successful Social Advertising,” that evaluates how marketers are using social advertising. The goal: educating marketers on how to develop social media strategy and activate the most effective tactics. Findings will also be presented by Kenshoo Social and guest from Forrester in a May 29 webinar.

Based on a survey of large social advertisers (i.e., social media and advertising professionals whose companies spend more than$100,000 per year on social media ads), Forrester found that, while social advertisers use a wide range of organic and paid strategies across a variety of social sites, more than one in three are not satisfied with their efforts.

The findings emphasized the increasing needs for more sophisticated social advertising tactics and methods to better match tactics to objectives.

“Generally, social advertisers get what they pay for,” according to the study. “They are more satisfied with the results they achieve from paid advertising than the results they achieve with less costly organic tactics like branded pages, groups or accounts alone.”

Notable findings from the study include:

Organic posting is the most popular social media tactic, but paid advertising is the most successful. Social advertisers use a wide range of social sites and strategies. The most popular tactic is maintaining branded pages on general social networks, business networks and microblogs. Branded pages alone, however, do not make an effective social marketing strategy.

Social advertisers still are not using advanced optimization tactics. More than half of large social advertisers use ad rotation, but only one-third use granular targeting to reach the right audiences. Most of those who do target primarily use basic criteria like demographic targeting.

Social marketers should pay for promoted content to drive awareness and buy ads to drive sales. The survey measured the tactics of satisfied social advertisers and found that different paid social strategies drove different kinds of success. Social advertisers who paid to promote their branded content were most satisfied with the awareness they created; while those who bought standard social ad units were happiest with their ability to drive purchases. Brand-focused social advertisers and response-focused social advertisers must deploy the tactics proven best for meeting their specific objectives.

“With billions of people around the world actively connecting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, marketers have eagerly turned to social media to engage their target audiences,” said Aaron Goldman , chief marketing officer of Kenshoo. “Today, most marketers include some type of social advertising in their programs, but the options available to them have increased exponentially, as has the ability to measure the effectiveness of their outreach.

“This research study demonstrates the importance of using advanced technology platforms to create highly-targeted campaigns at scale, leveraging a portfolio approach across promoted content and standard ad units to achieve overall business goals,” Goldman continued.

“Furthermore, marketers must connect the dots across paid, owned and earned media placements to understand the impact of each touchpoint along the path to conversion.”

The Forrester study concludes with four initial steps marketers can use to immediately improve results:

– Start with clear marketing objectives.

– Promote your brand and your content.

– Take advantage of robust targeting.

– Develop a holistic approach for greater success.

Visit KenshooSocial.com/ForresterStudy to download the full complimentary study or KenshooSocial.com/ForresterSocialResearchto sign up for the May 29 Webinar.

Digital video drives up to 35 percent sales lift for CPG brands

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

TV Videology—a digital advertising platform and solutions provider— recently released a report showcasing research on the link between digital video advertising and offline sales results for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand advertisers.

CPG is an extremely important category for digital video, comprising 22% of total video ad impressions—more than any other sector—according to a Videology Q1 2013 analysis.

“After 50 years of television-centric marketing, (CPG advertisers) know the right television equation to move product off the shelves. But data has the potential to bring this same level of ROI confidence to other media—including digital video, the natural complement to a brand’s television spend,” the report stated.

TV is still king

“Television is still king for CPG advertisers because they know what works and what doesn’t to move product off the shelves,” added Scott Ferber , CEO and Chairman, Videology. “We need to similarly define video’s value by showing how video ad exposure equates to sales success. And, as this study proves, we can.”

Videology analyzed over 186 million video impressions served across online and mobile video for CPG advertisers to determine digital video’s ability to drive key sales metrics including Penetration Lift, Unit Velocity Lift and Sales Velocity Lift using Kantar Shopcom data.

“The proliferation of media platforms offers brands more choice for when, where and how to capture consumers’ attention,” saysKatie Casavant , CEO, Kantar Shopcom . “Brand marketers from across the CPG landscape use Shopcom audience data and campaign impact measurement to optimize their media planning, buying and execution for maximum conversion return.”

Report highlights include:

  • All online video campaigns analyzed drove an increase in Sales Velocity Lift from 4% to an impressive 35%.*  However, since ad campaigns often correspond to promotional pricing efforts, Sales Lift on its own does not tell the whole story.
  • Lift in household penetration is perhaps a truer gauge of performance.  An increase in the number of households purchasing a product after exposure to a brand’s video ads ranged from 9% to 28%.*
  • When the number of households buying the brand increases (Penetration Lift), more units are sold (Unit Velocity).  In the study, lift in Unit Velocity ranged from 8.5% to as high as 30%.*
  • Audience targeting based on purchase data performed 20% better than demo targeting.
  • Demo targeted ads, however, still drove stronger lift than the control group. Overall, both targeting sets play a role in successful online video campaigns, with demo targeting providing scale and purchase-data targeting driving specific lift metrics.
  • Completed views and total reach were the two most important metrics for increasing product penetration and driving units sold.  Click through rate was not associated with a higher lift in sales.

          *Compared to the control group not exposed to the ad.

This research was conducted using Sales Impact, Videology’s ROI attribution and tracking tool for brand advertisers.

Best practices for healthcare social marketing revealed (infographic)

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) may not be defining guidelines in the use of social media in healthcare communications, but the professionals within the space are rapidly shaping best practices for marketing communications.

The current issue of the Journal of Communication in Healthcare is showcasing a research study that measured the attitude of healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences executives on the use of social media. Survey respondents hold positions from CEO to CIO, from Marketing Director to Brand Manager, are active in their positions and serve primarily the United States. The results are surprising, especially given the historically conservative nature of the healthcare marketing community.

The survey focused on those who are tasked with the development, creation and delivery of brand and product information to target audiences.  When asked about whether or not marketers should be permitted to use social media to promote their products and services to the public, most were positive. The mix of media (i.e. YouTube, Flickr, Twitter etc.) appears to be as important as the message.

The data indicates healthcare communications professionals are most reticent to adopt Twitter, a mainstream corporate communications tool. YouTube’s acceptability was pervasive, in fact twice that of Flickr or Twitter. The study also flushed out a number of perceived risks of embracing social media marketing in healthcare communications.

Intuitively, Twitter would have seemed to be the most likely adopted marketing tool based on its 140-character limit: no photos, few words, simple messages and clean delivery. But this is not the case for surveyed healthcare communications professionals.

Social media has long been a resource for industries such as financial services lifestyle products and retailers, but healthcare has been slow to adopt.

Kevin Popovic, Founder & CEO of Ideahaus, conducted much of the research from the company studios in Pittsburgh and San Diego. Popovic, the co-author of the paper, explains, “We’ve worked with every type of business for more than twenty years. As new types of communications have evolved, most industries have kept pace – except healthcare – and the hesitancy stems from a lack of guidelines from the FDA.”

“There is no question that the FDA’s lack of leadership in providing guidelines has limited the broad adoption of social media,”Chauncey SmithMarketSMITH Services, LLC headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA and paper co-author, added. “Can these media be abused as a promotional communication channel by not being fair and balanced? Absolutely. But could social media become a force for positive change in healthcare? We think so, which is why we will continue exploring this topic.”

This research project is a follow-up to the Popovic and Smith 2010 publication in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare(Vol. 3, No. 2) ‘Tweeting @DoctorWelby: Practical Examples of Social Media in Healthcare.’

Popovic and Smith continue to believe that social media should be embraced as an integral part of any healthcare communication plan, and see signs that this is occurring with greater scale and frequency.

Read the full version of ‘Attitudes on the Use of Social Media in Healthcare Communications’ in the Ideahaus Professional Community, or download the article at the Journal of Communications in Healthcare website.

How TV viewers really use social media

Monday, May 13th, 2013

social mediaDifferent media channels drive different social media behaviors.

The findings were revealed today from the TVB (www.tvb.org), the not-for-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast television industry, in the organization’s 2013 Cultural Currency study.

In conjunction with Colligent, a social affinity mapping company, TVB married Nielsen Media Research and Kantar Media data with social media behaviors (not conversation) across Twitter and Facebook to identify the quantity and intensity of behavior for broadcast and cable TV, radio and newspapers at the national and local level.

The study has important implications for how TV programmers and marketers can effectively synchronize social media with their traditional media investments.

Twitter bird

The Cultural Currency research analyzed social media behaviors among 167 million Facebook and Twitter users across 4400 primetime television programs, 540 consumer brands, 570 TV stations, 1823 radio stations and 358 local and national newspapers.

Roadmap to social media experiences

As more content producers and advertisers turn to social media to build and engage program and brand fans, this study provides a roadmap on how to build social media experiences that will maximize consumer engagement and help programmers and advertisers set the right action standards for success.

The findings showed that fan behaviors that drive Cultural Currency activate a different set of personal interactions and necessitate different strategies for brand engagement. Local broadcast TV viewers are 85% more likely to post photos and videos than users of all media (radio, newspapers, broadcast and cable television), primarily because of their strong connection to community.

Samsung Smart TV

A Samsung Smart TV.

Local newspapers outperform all other media in generating retweets (54% more likely), while radio and cable TV users are avid content likers (each 46% more likely).

Across all media channels, broadcast television offered the most balanced set of social media behaviors to activate across content offerings.

Brian Wieser, a leading media industry analyst at equity research firm Pivotal Research Group, highlighted the study’s importance. “This important research from the TVB highlights the growing inter-relationships between television, social media and second-screen content more generally.”

The study unearthed critical insights for programmers and advertisers who build complementary social media experiences to enhance their media investments, including:

  • Broadcast TV Builds Brand Fans With its Combination of Big Audiences and Deep Engagement.
    Broadcast TV at the national and local level is still the dominant brand-builder in the media landscape, generating as much as192X more brand fans within social media than advertisers in the same category who only purchased cable. The use of social media to prove the correlation of actual media investment with brand affinity is a game-changing insight that provides marketers with the ability to target their most engaged brand fans using the efficiencies of mass reach media.
  • Social Media Platforms Are Not Equal Across the Television Landscape.
    There is a polarization of platform preference depending on the programming genre. Viewers of mainstream primetime genres, driven by big hit programs, exhibited more active behaviors on Twitter than on Facebook, suggesting that Twitter has established itself as the “in-the-moment,” simultaneous platform for cultural currency traders and that “appointment viewing” is now an interactive “appointment experience” that offers advertisers more opportunities to engage in real-time.

“Mass culture that is accessible to many and used in social exchanges both online and off, provides the Cultural Currency needed to attract, maintain, and grow our relationships with others as well as with brands,” explained Stacey Lynn Schulman (formerly Koerner), Chief Research Officer at TVB.

“In our eagerness to embrace technologies that enhance personalization and customization, our society has become more isolated, and mainstream media products, particularly broadcast TV, provides the glue that connects our virtual and physical lives. Just like monetary currencies, different cultural products provide different value in this new eco-system, and it’s not surprising that Broadcast Television – from local stations to national networks – excels in this regard.”

Top consumer rated loyalty programs named

Friday, May 10th, 2013

loyalty prgorams Maritz Loyalty Marketing unveiled the results of a comprehensive study into U.S. consumer loyalty programs, including what American consumers consider to be the highest rated programs, the first annual Maritz Loyalty ReportTM: U.S. Edition,

“Maritz has been designing and running consumer loyalty programs across North America for more than 25 years,” said Bob Macdonald, president and CEO of Maritz Loyalty Marketing. “Our expertise and unique approach to brand loyalty, combined with the insights we glean from this study, help clients drive significant business results by continuing to improve the effectiveness of their brand’s engagement with customers.”

The following programs rated highest in terms of overall satisfaction within each respective category in the Maritz Loyalty Report:

  • Financial Services – Chase Ultimate Rewards (84 percent)
  • Entertainment – Carmike Cinemas Rewards (79 percent)
  • Retail programs – Kohl’s Rewards (73 percent)
  • Hospitality / Hotel – IHG Priority Club Rewards (67 percent)
  • Grocery – Kroger Rewards (83 percent)
  • Airlines – Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards (58 percent)

Room for More Cards – A Cause for Concern

The Maritz Loyalty Report results suggest that 71 percent of members would join more loyalty programs, even though the average member is already enrolled in 7.4 programs. The report also found that members are only actively participating in 63 percent of the programs in which they are enrolled.

“Our study revealed that 47 percent of members have stopped participating in one or more programs in the past year. This number is disconcerting for program operators, yet of even greater concern is that only seven percent of these defecting customers actively defect – meaning, they actually formally request to leave a loyalty program,” said Scott Robinson, senior director of loyalty consulting for Maritz Loyalty Marketing. “Given the high percentage of passive defection, it is paramount that loyalty marketers proactively identify the early warning signs of disengaged members.”

“Our approach to lifecycle management and member communications enables our clients to understand and react to these early warning signs and develop highly engaged members, who are less likely to shop for a competitor brand,” Robinson added.

Getting it Right

Overall, 65 percent of members are satisfied with the loyalty programs in which they participate. The Maritz Loyalty Report also includes customer ratings on more than 35 program attributes. Some of those attributes, also considered key drivers of satisfaction, include:

  • Program values: pride of membership, program uniqueness, meeting customer needs, etc.
  • Program mechanics: ability to earn and redeem points, quality of rewards, etc.
  • Ability to interact with programs: website, mobile, customer support, etc.
  • Program innovation: program freshness, access to exclusive events, personalized experiences, etc.
  • Communications from programs: means, relevance and frequency of communications, etc.

Top programs rate similarly on many of these attributes, and the top program tends to discern itself from next-best programs by ahigher rating on only one key attribute. In some program categories, such as retail loyalty and airline loyalty, top-rated programs and next-highest rated programs score similarly on all attributes. In these competitive categories, the attribute on which the highest-rated program discerns itself from next-highest rated programs is a secondary and differentiating driver.

“The implication for program operators,” said Robinson, “is that in order to be competitive, especially in categories with many largely undifferentiated programs, it is essential for programs to deliver effectively on both the key drivers of satisfaction and also the secondary drivers of satisfaction.”

Instagram more effective than Pinterest for top brands

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

InstagramSimply Measured says that a year after being acquired by Facebook, 67 percent of top brands are now using Instagram, reaching more than 100 million active monthly users on the network, a 500 percent increase in users since the acquisition.

The Simply Measured Instagram study evaluates brands and verticals in the Interbrand 100, identifying key trends and strategies shaping the way companies engage with consumers through social media. Key findings include:

  • PinterestInstagram is more powerful than Pinterest. While Facebook and Twitter continue their reign as the dominant social networks, Simply Measured’s quarterly study found that the appeal of visual marketing is on the rise.
  • To date, Pinterest has attracted a higher percentage of brands, however Instagram is growing faster and proving more valuable. As of May 1, the collective audience of the 76 Interbrand companies on Pinterest was less than 500,000, while Instagram’s 67 companies reach more than 7 million followers.
  • Facebook’s impact cannot be overlooked. Since the acquisition, Twitter engagement has steadily dropped, while Facebook engagement is up 23 percent quarter over quarter, spurred by several strategic moves including integrating “like” sharing and introducing web profiles. In total, more than 2 million likes, comments and shares of Instagram photos have occurred on Facebook since the network bought to photo sharing app.
  • Top brands are using Instagram more frequently and with greater impact. Today, 23 percent of active Interbrand 100 companies post more than 50 times a month, up from 20 percent last quarter. In addition, those brands are seeing more than 5,600 engagements per photo, up 16 percent over the previous quarter.
  • StarbucksNike, MTV and Starbucks top the list. This quarter, Nike became the third brand to reach 1 million followers, joining MTV and Starbucks. MTV saw a 200 percent growth in engagement, due in part to its robust usage of Instagram surrounding the MTV Movie Awards. The network’s unprecedented level of activity was rewarded as it posted 78 photos the day of the show, each averaging more than 16,000 likes and comments.

“A year ago, many people were skeptical about Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and whether it would hinder the network’s growth. However today it’s very clear that the synergies are not only bringing new users on board, but also creating incredible opportunities for brands to connect with consumers,” said Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured.

Simply Measured’s analytics and reporting capabilities allow brands to track Instagram engagement in-context with other social media campaigns, including most engaging photos, most engaging filters, most engaging locations, cross-posting, keyword analysis and more.

To analyze any Instagram profile for free, visit: http://simplymeasured.com/freebies/instagram-analytics.

Small businesses embracing mobile technologies

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

mobilephonesFor those wondering if small business owners are actually using mobile technology for their business, the answer is a definitive “yes,” according to new survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT).

Of those surveyed in March 2013, 66 percent report currently using a mobile device, including smart phones and tablets, or a solution, like mobile-optimized websites and text message marketing.

While this majority adoption is promising, it’s important to note that, of the 34 percent not using any mobile device or solution for their business, a resounding 65 percent have no plans to do so in the future, mainly citing a lack of customer demand.

Email and Social Media Marketing Paving the Way

How are small businesses using mobile technology? The top two ways are email and social media marketing, and they have a considerable lead over other uses:

  • 73 percent conduct social media marketing.
  • 71 percent conduct email marketing.
  • 44 percent advertise through social platforms.
  • 34 percent have a mobile-optimized website.
  • 18 percent run a mobile tablet-based payment point-of-sale.
  • 18 percent use mobile apps to manage operations, like accounting.

“It’s encouraging that a majority of small businesses recognize that their customers are relying more than ever on their mobile devices to find information, look for deals, and even to make purchases,” said Joel Hughes, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development.

“That said, small business owners are still getting their sea legs, so it’s not surprising that they’re leading with two areas where they have a solid track record of success with customer engagement: social media and email.”

social media logosWhen asked what types of mobile/social advertising they currently employ, 97 percent of respondents said social media like YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Location-based promotions (Foursquare® check-in, etc.) came in a distant second at 17 percent, and text message came in third at 15 percent.

A deeper look into mobile-optimized websites of small businesses reveals that 70 percent are social-media optimized. Other findings:

  • 44 percent contain a menu.
  • 40 percent contain individual product listings.
  • 39 percent contain videos.

Apple & Android– The New POS?

In the battle of iOS vs. Android, iOS is the clear winner.

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5

Among small business owners, iPhone users trump Android users 66 percent to 39 percent, while iPad users trump Android tablet users 49 percent to 15 percent. iOS popularity among small business owners is not reflected among the general public where, according to a recent comScore MobiLens study that measures the smartphone platforms used by everyone in the U.S., Android subscribers account for 52.3 percent of all subscribers, while iOS subscribers account for 37.8 percent.

Small businesses are using these devices for point-of-sale functions. Seventy-one percent of small businesses using mobile technology accept mobile payments and 52 percent utilize a mobile-/tablet-based point-of-sale system.

Mobile Apps for Managing Operations

Mobile apps are playing a growing role in how small businesses manage operations.

  • 82 percent use a calendar/time management app.
  • 74 percent use a customer communications app.
  • 52 percent use a GPS and mapping app.
  • 44 percent use an accounting/invoicing app.
  • 44 percent use an app for industry news/information consumption.
  • 29 percent use a travel planning app.

Why Aren’t All Small Businesses Mobilizing Behind Mobile?

mobilewalletWhen Constant Contact asked small business owners not using mobile the all-important question of why, here’s how they responded:

  • 56 percent said their customers haven’t expressed demand for mobile communications.
  • 47 percent said their customers haven’t expressed demand for mobile payment solutions.
  • 36 percent said they are interested in mobile solutions but don’t know enough about how to best use them.
  • 33 percent said they’re interested in mobile solutions but haven’t had time to implement any yet.
  • 31 percent said they don’t have a work-/business-related smartphone.
  • 28 percent said mobile is not relevant to their industry/business.

“Generally speaking, small business owners have very little spare time on their hands, so learning how to use mobile technology for their business is not necessarily tops on their ‘to do’ list,” said Hughes.

“We received some anecdotal survey responses that said ‘It costs too much’ and ‘I have no idea how this stuff works,’ representing the subset of small businesses that will forgo mobile opportunities until their customers start demanding mobile communications or payment solutions.”

Lack of funding, inefficiencies hamper four in ten marketing execs

Monday, April 29th, 2013

contentmarketingFour in 10 top marketing executives say they are not well prepared to meet their objectives, citing a lack of funding and inefficient business practices as the main impediments to improved performance, according to global research by Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

The research also reveals a growing commitment to digital marketing and analytics capabilities to tackle an increasingly complex customer environment.

“There is a clear performance gap between the demands of the marketplace and the ability of marketing organizations to apply the digital technology talent required to be more effective.”

According to the Accenture Interactive report, Turbulence for the CMO, 70 percent of the executives believe that corporate marketing will undergo a dramatic overhaul within the next five years and that their organizations must create a digital direction that will help them achieve higher revenue and increase market share.

Performance gap seen

“Marketing executives are growing increasingly concerned that tight budgets and the lack of a clear strategy for implementing digital technologies – are hurting their company’s ability to compete in the digital age,” said Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive.

“There is a clear performance gap between the demands of the marketplace and the ability of marketing organizations to apply the digital technology talent required to be more effective.”

The report shows that the need for change is being driven by increasingly demanding customers who expect more relevant interactions with brands. According to survey respondents, consumers’ expectations for relevant, targeted experiences are having the greatest long-term impact on marketing strategy (65 percent).

Rising Investment in Digital Capabilities

As a response to these issues, significant steps are being taken to close the digital performance gap. The survey results show that two-thirds (66 percent) of marketing executives will be allocating at least one quarter of their budget to digital marketing next year, and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) say that more than half of their spend will be on digital marketing.

The survey shows that marketing executives also plan to invest more in their analytics capabilities, which are especially useful as the demand for multichannel marketing continues to increase.

To help retain and grow their customer base, nearly half (48 percent) of the executives say they will spend more on managing customer data, 40 percent will increase budget spend on web analytics and 39 percent will spend more on marketing analytics. They are also taking a closer look at their use of marketing channels, ranking in-person contact with front-line employees, corporate website, media coverage and social media as the most important channels.

In order to obtain the greatest results, marketing executives say they are looking for more innovators – both by adding to their full-time staffs. Half of the executives said they would begin an internal reorganization to become more digitally focused, and more than half said they would be hiring more people with the necessary digital skills (52 percent) or providing their existing staff with digital training (55 percent).

“The growing investment in digital capabilities will help marketing executives improve their understanding of changing consumer needs and manage multiple channels,” said Whipple. “However, improved performance will require more than new digital and analytics talent. The challenge of digital transformation is how to implement beyond marketing and across the entire enterprise.”

Improved internal and agency collaboration

While a majority (55 percent) of marketing executives said they were satisfied with the level of collaboration with their outside agencies, there is a disconnect between their expectations and results.

Only one-third (36 percent) of marketing executives said that their agencies execute flawlessly, and 36 percent said that the agencies are not able to deliver what they promised.

Additionally, only 44 percent said that agency partners help marketing executives transform their marketing organization, which is a clear goal for marketing executives in 2013.

Improving collaboration to hit targets

The study indicates that for many marketers, improving collaboration between business units can help them achieve their targets. Nearly one in five executives (19 percent) said that inefficient business practices currently hinder their ability to improve marketing performance and return on investment, while 17 percent said a lack of funding hurts these efforts.

Learn more at: www.accenture.com/cmo_insights.

Five tips on getting a coveted ad or marketing internship

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

CareerBuilderFor recent or soon-to-be graduates, internships can be a valuable bridge to a first job. But securing one of these opportunities may be easier said than done, a new survey by The Creative Group suggests.

Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) advertising and marketing executives interviewed said their agency or firm does not offer an internship program. Students who do manage to land coveted internships may receive more than just experience: Among companies that offer internships, 63 percent provide compensation.

The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “Which of the following best describes your company’s internship program?” Fifty-eight percent of respondents said their company does “not have an internship program.”

Following is a breakdown of the results among the 42 percent of executives who said their company offers an internship program:

                  Offer paid internships, and interns must prove they are
                          active students receiving course credit……………………….   52%
                  Offer unpaid internships, and interns must prove they are
active students receiving course credit………………………….   28%
                  Offer paid internships with no requirement of
                         student status……………………………………………………………   11%
                  Offer unpaid internships with no requirement of
student status…………………………………………………………….     7%
Don’t know/no answer…………………………………………………….     2%
                                                                                                                     100%

In a separate survey of advertising and marketing executives, nearly one-third (32 percent) of respondents said the opportunity to identify new talent is the chief benefit to their business of offering internships. Receiving extra help on projects was the second most common response, cited by 28 percent of those interviewed.

“One of the greatest challenges for new graduates seeking employment is a lack of professional experience,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group.

“Internships provide an opportunity for individuals launching their careers to apply their skills in a business setting, learn more about the type of work environment they prefer and make valuable professional connections that can serve them well in the future.”

Farrugia added, “Competing for internships can be challenging because many of the candidates are students and haven’t yet acquired the skills, work samples and experience that will make them stand out. Often, the decision comes down to how the applicant presents him or herself. A positive disposition can go a long way.”

The Creative Group offers five tips for landing a coveted internship:

  1. Go ahead, jump the gun. Get a leg up on the competition by starting your internship search early. Research organizations of interest, work with your university career center, scour job boards, and reach out to members of your personal and professional networks well before the school year ends.
  2. Be prepared. Most employers require a resume, cover letter and portfolio from internship applicants — so make sure yours are in tip-top shape. In addition, have a business-appropriate outfit ready should you be called in for an interview.
  3. Consider your options wisely. While internships that pay well are attractive, it’s also important to consider whether the position will provide exposure to a range of projects, people and experiences. The most valuable internships offer plenty of opportunities to learn and acquire skills that support your professional goals.
  4. Put yourself in their shoes. Managers are stretched thin and appreciate those who listen actively, exercise sound judgment and don’t require constant feedback. In your application materials and in interviews, emphasize your ability to take direction and work independently.
  5. Demonstrate strong social skills. Work teams communicate in many different ways today: via email, instant messaging, social media, conference calls and in-person meetings. Show you know how to collaborate effectively and professionally both online and off.

Combined digital and traditional marketing work best

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Joellyn "Joey" Sargent

Joellyn “Joey” Sargent.

One mistake brands sometimes make today is that with digital and social media so prevalent, they sometimes think “We don’t need print, TV or traditional marketing anymore.”

That’s usually not the case, says Joellyn “Joey” Sargent, a principal at strategic marketing and management consulting firm BrandSprout. “People don’t live in their computers,” she says. “They drive, watch TV. Looking at your customers’ lifestyles and figuring out how to reach them in all kinds of places is critical.”

An avid fan of technology and innovation, Sargent’s approach merges new media with traditional marketing. Before founding BrandSprout, she spent 20 years leading marketing strategy for businesses ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500, including UPS and BellSouth (now AT&T).

As a senior marketing executive, she had global responsibility for branding, marketing strategy, communications and product management functions. Sargent has been quoted in Fox Business, Huffington Post and Social Media Today. She holds an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Read her blog at www.Fresh-Sprouts.com.

Participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit

Sargent is among the digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs participating in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta May 14-15. She also appeared at the event last year and you can read our interview preceding her presentation, “In the Age of Social Media, Companies don’t fully control the brand” here.

“It doesn’t make sense to try to reach customers from only one angle,” Sargent says. “You should start with a strong understanding of your target market and what they enjoy doing, what’s appropriate for them, where they are hanging out, what they’re reading and where they’re interacting.”

Sargent notes that while you could spend a lot of money on hard core research, you could also find out much of this information by “Talking to your customers in the field. Observe their behavior. Drill down on how they found out about you, who else they looked at, options they considered, and why they chose you. You’ll find good ways to get in front of them.”

Look for the most effective approaches

You will really want to look at the most effective approaches, she adds. “You might get in front of them 10 ways, but some are going to be better than others.”

Just as a quick example she says, “Someone waiting in a bus shelter will see a sign there, but if you’re in traffic, you might not notice a sign on a bus going by.”

You have to think about not only where you’ll get their attention, but also, where can they potentially take action?

Don’t do too much

One mistake marketers make, she says, “Is trying to do too much and cover the waterfront, be on every social network. That’s not productive because you spread yourself too thinly. Find the right places to connect with your customers.”

Even then, you have to think about what is appropriate for each social network. Photos of a company bowling team might work well on Facebook, but not on LinkedIn.

On a website your customers frequent, you might choose to have a pop up offer a newsletter if it offers a gateway to content they are interested in, she suggests.

“At the same time,” she warns, “You don’t want to jump in front of them if it’s not relevant to them. Find those opportunities where it is appropriate to get in front of them and they can make mental connections as to why you are there.”

Merge online and offline efforts

One thing that is particularly important – which she will discuss in more detail and with examples at the Digital Summit, is the need to merge offline and online marketing efforts.

“You have to be careful not to seem creepy,” she says, “such as when you download a brochure and the next thing you know your phone is ringing.”

Instead, she says, “If someone is engaged on a website, take it further. Can we give you something in hard copy? An invitation to an event we’re hosting? A workshop? Those are great for the more complex sale.”

For retail, offer a coupon, get them in the store. “For someone without a history with the brand, getting them to come in is a big deal.”

It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s not the kind of thing you can do and say you’re done, she notes.

A continuum, not set it and forget it

“It’s a continuum. The market changes. There are new opportunities for connecting with your customers. You need to be more nimble than ever.”

Once upon a time companies could do an annual marketing plan and that was it. “Now you have to do it every month,” she says. “People who go through the set it and forget it process end up spending more money than they need to by not optimizing their program.”

Finally, Sargent says, “Make sure you know how your digital marketing affects your overall corporate goals. It’s not about having 10,000 leads, it’s about having leads that bring you customers to help you grow over time.”

 

Sales and marketing team collaboration needs improvement

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Knowledge TreeSales and marketing departments can improve the way they interact according to a new survey from KnowledgeTree. The survey digs deep into the disconnect between the departments. The same series of questions were asked to both teams, with surprising results.

  • Does marketing provide the right set of tools to salespeople? 87 percent of marketers say yes, but only 66 percent of salespeople believe this to be true.
  • Does marketing make it easy to find tools? The vast majority of marketing respondents – 84 percent – believe they’ve done a good job in this area. However, just barely half (51 percent) of salespeople feel that the right tools are readily accessible.
  • Do sales teams know what tools are available to them? More than 75 percent of sales people think they know about everything available. Marketers disagree – only 65 percent feel that salespeople are aware of the resources that have been created for them.
  • Are the tools being used appropriately? 72 percent of salespeople are confident they’re using the right sales tools at the right time during the sales process. Marketing teams aren’t so sure – a surprising 61 percent disagree.
  • Do sales use the same tools repeatedly? 42 percent of marketing teams strongly believe that salespeople are able reuse their tools. In reality, sales only uses the same tools 22 percent of the time, realizing very little ROI from the investment marketing makes in these materials.
  • How fresh are the sales tools? Marketing teams feel that they’re staying on top of this, with 68 percent reporting that they update sales tools often. However, sales teams feel that marketing could improve here, with only 44 percent in agreement. Using outdated collateral means that ineffective messages are going to the market.
  • At the end of the day, is sales satisfied with the tools marketing provides? While no sales people were “strongly satisfied,” a full 50 percent were “satisfied” – suggesting there is room for improved teamwork.

divide“Compelling sales tools get deals closed, but this data illustrates that this is a major area of friction between sales and marketing,” said Daniel Chalef , chief executive officer of KnowledgeTree.

“When salespeople find the tools they need, it multiplies win-rates and dramatically reduces frustration. We’ve seen first-hand customers boosting revenue by unlocking the value of their sales and marketing collateral.”

Make the most of your Facebook marketing (infographic)

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

FacebookSmall businesses spend between $1,000 and $2,500 on their social media marketing. Marketing Weekly has created an infographic suggesting how small businesses can make the most of their advertising on Facebook.

According to a study by Vertical Response, 90 percent of small businesses use Facebook and 32 percent of companies post at least once per day. Enterprises don’t often have a lot of money to spend on marketing and have to make the most of cost-efficient initiatives and best practices.

You can find a larger version here. Click on infographic on the right.

infographic

Here’s a marketing technique that can backfire

Monday, March 25th, 2013
Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

Encouraging consumers to feel ownership of products they haven’t yet purchased can backfire because consumers tend to see themselves in the products they own, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

“Companies assume that consumers who are made to feel ownership of a product prior to purchase will prefer it over competing products, but this can actually have the opposite effect and lead consumers to judge the product less favorably,” write authors Liad Weiss and Gita V. Johar (both Columbia University).

Companies encourage us to feel a sense of ownership of their products even before we buy them.

For example, Nike allows consumers to customize sneakers online before buying them, while Apple promotes a feeling of iPad ownership through ads that give consumers a “driver’s seat” perspective of an iPad owner.

Consumers project themselves onto products

Consumers, however, tend to project their personal traits onto the products they own. For instance, when a consumer who is not very creative owns (or feels she owns) an Apple computer, she may associate her own lack of creativity with the computer.

The authors identified a flip side to this. In a series of studies, consumers perceived products they did not own as different from themselves because they projected their “anti-self” onto them.

May become less appealing after purchase

This was especially true when consumers were made aware of not owning a product (while shopping for it). When consumers who felt they were uncreative were made aware of not owning an Apple computer, they perceived the computer as more creative.

“Products we are attracted to prior to ownership may become less appealing once we feel that they are ours.”

Companies seeking to induce consumers to feel ownership of products prior to purchase should verify that prospective customers have positive self-regard on relevant personality traits before they induce them to feel product ownership. By doing so, they can reduce the likelihood that this will backfire,” the authors conclude.

 

 

Social media increases business revenue, study says

Monday, March 25th, 2013

social mediaNow there is proof that customers who engage with a business through social media contribute more to the bottom line than customers who do not, said Ashish Kumar, assistant professor of marketing at Aalto University.

“Our study showed that social media activities help strengthen the bond between the customer and the firm. Participating customers on a firm’s social media site contribute 5.6% more revenue and visit the business about 5% more than non-participating customers,” he explains.

In the past there was no individual-level data that connected a customer’s participation in a firm-hosted social media site and their actual purchase behaviors.

Overall sales promoted

Companies questioned whether there was any return on their investment of resources to operate their social media site.

This study proves that building online communities, personalizing messages and encouraging contributions from online members enhances the customer experience as well as increases the frequency of social media visits and promotes sales overall. Such data is important to confirm the pay-offs of social media efforts by firms.

The research showed that the keys to success include maintaining a user-friendly site, sending regular updates about events, personalizing key messages to customers and encouraging interaction from them.

Not all customers respond equally

By fostering an online relationship, customers can be segmented depending upon their purchase history and prior interactions to determine which customers would be best to target with this marketing effort. It is important to note that not all customers respond to social media efforts equally. This makes market segmentation essential.

As a result of this study, business managers now have a better understanding of the return on their investment in social media.

They also now know there is a direct correlation between social media participation and the number of items a customer puts in their shopping basket and subsequently purchases.

By capitalizing on this knowledge, marketing can be focused on creating and nurturing the social media communities that generate the most profits.

This study has been published in a special issue of the journal Information Systems Research on ‘Social Media and Business Transformation’. This study was conducted by Ashish Kumar from Aalto University in collaboration with Rishika Rishika and Ramkumar Janakiraman from Texas A&M University, and Ram Bezawada from the University at Buffalo, New York.

Eight rules for business video marketing

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Online videoInvodo, a business video firm, has suggested a new set of eight rules for video marketing for retailers and brands, based on a just-released study, “How Consumers Shop With Video,” done in partnership with the e-tailing group.

The rules are as follows:

  • Rule #1: Give consumers what they want: More product videos.
    • 67% of consumers engage with videos regularly, which is a 34% increase over last year (50%).
    • 45% of consumers have watched at least five product videos over the past three months, significantly above last year’s 36%.
  • Rule #2: Don’t prematurely bury the PC.
    • Mobile video usage is growing fast, but the PC remains the most common device for watching videos.
      • In the Invodo-e-tailing group survey, consumers were asked on which devices they have watched a product video over the past three months. Surprisingly, 81% said the PC, while smartphones (43%) and tablets (35%) have made gains.
  • Rule #3: It’s an omnichannel world. Think about the consumer first, the platform second.
    • Retailers and brands need to treat PC, smartphone, tablet and in-store users as the same shopper, at different points of the purchase cycle, and deliver video across every platform.
      • 62% of consumers surveyed said they can gather enough information after watching a product video on a tablet to make a purchase, compared to 49% of smartphone owners.
      • 57% of consumers said they watch a video on their smartphone while in a store for research before making a purchase.
      • This shows that PC users often watch product videos when they are in a “ready to buy” mode, while smartphone users are more likely to watch product videos when they need more information on-the-go, such as when they’re in a store.
  • Rule #4: Focus on video for the product page first, before the homepage or brand page.
    • Consumers watch videos on the product page more often than any other location, and they watch these videos in search of information that helps them decide whether to purchase.
      • 55% of respondents in Invodo’s survey watched at least one product video on a product page over the past three months, beating the home page (42%), brand page (34%), category page (20%), video gallery (14%) or banner advertising with video (13%).
      • Brand videos and “explainer” and how-to videos on the homepage or in a buying guide are where your marketing team may want to go first, but those are nice-to-haves for a retailer. Product page video is the must-have, according to consumers.
  • Rule #5: Give consumers video across all product categories.
    • It doesn’t matter how complex the product, or how much explanation is needed, consumers are still looking for videos.
      • Asked which categories they’ve watched at least one product video over the past three months, respondents cited consumer electronics (40%), computer hardware and software (26%), automotive (25%), music/DVDs/videos (25%), clothing and accessories (24%), food and wine (20%), toys and video games (19%) and health and beauty items (19%). They also cited less complex items, like pet supplies (12%) and jewelry and watches (12%).
      • Your marketing team may prefer to add highly detailed videos to only a few product categories. They would deliver higher ROI by broadening the video catalog coverage.
  • Rule #6: Focus on delivering key product information, and don’t worry about arbitrary time limits.
    • Debunking the “30 second sweet spot” myth, Invodo’s 2012 study found that 37% of consumers will watch a video longer than three minutes if it’s educational.
    • Consumers spend an average of 2.77 minutes watching product videos that include demonstrations, compared to 2.40 minutes for videos supporting a brand’s value proposition.
  • Rule #7: Create videos that will help consumers feel more confident in a purchase.
    • In the new Invodo-e-tailing group study, 57% of consumers said they were more confident in a potential purchase and less likely to return an item after watching a product video. This was an increase from 52% a year earlier.
  • Rule #8: Make professional-quality videos.
    • More than half of consumers (54%) said they preferred more “polished,” professional-looking videos, according to the 2012 Invodo-e-tailing group study.
    • Just 30% of consumers said they were inclined to buy a product after watching user-generated videos from peers.

“It’s clear that despite increasing adoption of online video by retailers and brands, many myths about video continue,” said Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo.

“Based on two consumer research studies and our own expertise, these rules will empower retailers and brands to maximize their video investment. They will also put to rest a lot of the misconceptions out there that can stand in the way of success.”

These rules build upon the 2012 study “Captivating Consumers through Cross-Channel Video”, also conducted with the e-tailing group. Invodo has found that some of the myths dispelled in the first study persist in the marketplace and is addressing those myths with the “Eight Rules.”

How Consumers Shop With Video is based on a survey of 1,073 U.S. consumers, who completed an online questionnaire in December 2012.