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The Unreachable Generation

You might think segmenting and defining your target audience is the most difficult step necessary to implement a successful marketing campaign, but this has changed tremendously when it comes to marketing to a younger audience. Nowadays, figuring out how to effectively reach younger generations is the new main challenge most of us face. The reason behind this is that we rely on user data to tell us who is using which platform when, where and how.

Millennials and especially Gen Xers, however, grew up in a quickly changing digital environment that made switching from one platform to the next as easy as never before. They grew up using chat rooms and social platforms like Myspace. Facebook then quickly became the new Myspace, followed by new platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Depending on their character and mood, teenagers and millennials switch between Pinterest, Tumblr and countless others. They might be using a mix of eight platforms one day and suddenly focus on their three favorites. Never has it been easier to abandon one for another thanks to smartphones and apps.

Tracking this generation is tricky, and where there is a lack of tracking, there is a lack of data. Without data, our decision-making process is impacted. Reaching this “Unreachable Generation” has become a major challenge, so we wanted to share a couple of sources we found useful:

“Forces of Change: The Unreachables,” Hearts & Science
“Reaching The ‘Unreachable’ Audience With Podcast Advertising,” Forbes
“Outside Voices: How Marketers Are Missing a Generation of ‘Unreachables’,” The Wall Street Journal

Disney-Fox Merger

In a move that has sent shockwaves through Hollywood, 21st Century Fox and the Walt Disney Co. have announced a powerhouse merger worth over $52 billion in just stock value with a total value of $66 billion. Disney’s acquisition of Fox lands it access to Fox’s large network of TV and streaming assets, as well as $13.7 billion of Fox’s debt. Despite the massive price tag, Disney is confident in the direction they are moving as they expand their footprint in the digital streaming landscape. With consumers moving to streaming over traditional TV, Disney has started growing into a strong competitor for companies like Netflix. Fox Chairman, Rupert Murdoch, echoes the excitement Disney CEO Bob Iger and the companies’ respective shareholders in a NBC News interview saying, “We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox…Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry.”

So, what does this mean for the media landscape now that these two titans have joined forces? Josef Adalian and Chris Lee from Vulture.com put it very succinctly: “Hulu will probably get a lot bigger.” Prior to the merger, Hulu was controlled primarily by three stakeholders, NBC Universal, Fox and Disney. This gives Disney a controlling stake in one of Netflix’s biggest competitors and will be reinforced by Disney’s decision to pull its content from Netflix and bolster its media library while simultaneously offering subscription prices that are reported to be significantly less than their competitors. Being well known in the media landscape as forming one of the strongest brands and dynamic content, Disney does not seem to have many doubts about how this merger will position them for the future. The loss of both Disney and Fox content may prove to be a huge hit for Netflix.

We can expect Fox and ABC’s TV and cable offerings to expand in the near future too, offering marketers more direct access to local markets. Disney plans to expand ESPN Plus by adding to Fox’s cable sports networks and may even be offering a Hulu-esque sports streaming service. FX and National Geographic will also see a boost in their networks. Disney certainly is hedging their bets in the digital streaming market, however, these expansions for cable and TV broaden its international reach and maintains a hold on traditional television.

Read more about the merger and its implications here:

NBC
CNBC
Vulture
New York Times

Benefits of Multi-media Campaigns

Diversified marketing and advertising campaigns are vital to an organization’s success. The coined phrase “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” holds very true when marketing an organization’s business.   A business should diversify marketing efforts to multiple “baskets” so that the message is seen and heard by the most desired audience.

 

When making critical buying decisions, it is important to choose wisely and have a “media mix” as much as your budget will allow.  When you’re considering some of your possibilities, here are a few notes to keep in mind on some of the media available:

 

              Newspapers

  • Many readers are paid subscribers, so there is a sense of trust between publisher and consumer regarding the information they are obtaining.
  • Localized journalists and columnists engage readers. Newspaper websites are updated frequently throughout the day to capture breaking stories and attract viewers.

 

Radio

  • Local and regional station personalities have loyal listeners. When they hear a commercial announced by their favorite radio personalities, it is almost as effective as an implied endorsement.
  • Radio is a universal medium enjoyed by people at one time or another during the day, at home, at work, and even in the car.

 

Social Media

  • Social media sites are great for building a relationship with potential customers and enhancing existing customer relationships by offering the opportunity to connect in an entirely new way
  • You can reach your followers by posting updates at close to no cost.

 

Paid Digital Advertisement

  • You can pay using either CPM or CPC models and therefore have a very specific advertising focus (awareness versus driving conversions).
  • You can change budgets, creative, and target audiences whenever you like and target highly specific characteristics.

 

Television

  •  Has the ability to target psychographically
  • The combination of pictures and words can make a commercial more real and illicit an emotion that’s harder to achieve in other forms of advertising.

 

Have your media mix work the best for you by having the different media complement each other, so it maximizes your return on investment!

The Political Window

I know it feels like the general election is just around the corner, but did you know the Political Window in our area doesn’t officially start until September?  With all of these political and issue orientated ads already hitting the airwaves, businesses in our area will continue to see higher than normal pricing in many of their advertising venues through the end of this year.

Just to put this in perspective… in 2012, more than 6 billion dollars was spent on American political campaigns. In 2016, we’re looking at 4.4 billion dollars just going to television advertising and this certainly hasn’t been a normal primary season, so this campaign season promises to break a lot of advertising records.

So, what does this mean for your advertising?  No doubt it will be tougher to get into television, although there are many areas in television where the pricing is what it’s always been.  Although, keep in mind the programs you pick need to fit who you’re trying to attract to your business.  There are also a number of other advertising options.  Traditionally, we have found that political windows are a time when we see our clients experiment with other media they haven’t been used to using for their campaigns.

This time around, we’re seeing many advertisers place greater emphasis on digital and not just Facebook or Google.  They’re looking at other digital advertising platforms and social media platforms they haven’t delved into in the past.  This article speaks to what’s happening nationally; http://www.wsj.com/articles/campaign-ads-even-more-than-before-bolster-tv-stations-1452475987

Whatever your strategy to get through these next six months, please be open to change.  I’ve learned that when you embrace change, you grow.  This is especially true with this field.  All of our media continues to go through a metamorphosis and knowing how these changes can help you will only help your bottom line.

International Marketing

With globalization, companies need to adjust their marketing strategies as new challenges emerge. One major challenge is adapting to local cultures. This is of special importance when firms operate in countries culturally distant from their home country. This post will discuss global marketing with the example of China.

In China, a country with double the active internet users of the United States, social media marketing is a crucial success factor when doing business. But what do you do when the government bans Western social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter? You rely on Chinese networks. There is a great variety of networks to choose from such as WeChat or Sina Weibo. At the fast pace China is transforming, there is no doubt social media marketing in China will change incredibly quickly too.

A further crucial factor of doing business in China is being familiar with the local calendar. While in the West the Christmas season is one of the largest advertising periods of the year, this holiday is rarely celebrated in China. However, there are numerous Chinese celebrations; one of which is single’s day, on which singles buy themselves gifts. Not to leave out the most important Chinese holiday: the Chinese New Year.

The last key success factor discussed in this post is the country of origin effect. Chinese consumers are greatly influenced by the place in which the product was made. Products made in Western countries are often perceived more favorably. Moreover, products made in countries such as the United States, Germany or Switzerland are perceived as luxury products. These are only three aspects to consider when marketing in China. Make sure you consider these points and familiarize yourself with the local culture when entering into a foreign market.

For more information visit http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/oct/06/marketing-china-social-media-consumers

Circulation and Readership

As a (soon to be) college graduate, interning at an advertising agency has been an enlightening experience. One of the bigger takeaways I’ve had is the different vernacular used by media buyers and those selling media. The two that really stood out to me were “readership” and “circulation”. They originally seemed like they could be used interchangeably, but through my internship, I learned about the differences.

Readership and Circulation help publications, such as newspaper and magazines, decide the cost of advertising. Advertisers also look at these numbers when they are looking to improve the visibility of their product or service. However, circulation and readership are not interchangeable terms and there are differences between the two.

Circulation is the number of newspaper/magazine copies distributed on average in a day. Advertisers need to be aware when deciding which publications to place ads in, because circulation includes both paid circulation, as well as newspapers that are distributed free of cost.

Readership is a calculation based upon the average number of people who read an individual copy of the publication. The number is an estimate of how many hands a copy of a newspaper goes into. The theory is that though a household subscribes to a publication, it is read by multiple people in that household. For this reason, readership is always higher than circulation.

As a media buying software, Media Link Softwareâ„¢ uses circulation in all of their calculations for Reach and Frequency. We use this number on the basis of guarantees.  For example, I can’t prove that for every publication printed, 2.3 people will read a copy. But I do know a certain number of copies will be printed and distributed on any given day.

To learn more about readership and circulation, visit http://www.ads-on-line.com/newbasiccourse/Products/  To learn more about Media Link Softwareâ„¢, call   207-212-5465 or email Courtney@medialinksoftware.com.

**This blog was written by Kelsey Erichsen a recent graduate of St. Ambrose University and a former Intern at Media Link, Inc.

Native Advertising

According to Copy Blogger, approximately 50% of consumers do not know what native advertising is although 41% of brands are already using it. It’s about time to shed light on this topic.

Native advertising is sponsored or branded content embedded into print or online publications. In most cases, it is either a print advertorial or paid editorial spot. Branded infographics or sponsored videos are alternatives. Its main characteristic is that it looks and reads almost exactly like editorial content; yet, it is an advertisement.

Native advertising is somewhat controversial. For example, readers of a scientific publication might not be able to distinguish editorial content from native advertising content. A subtle branded article about the surprising efficiency of a specific diet pill might be mistaken for an unbiased editorial article about the same pills.

Nevertheless, native advertising provides great opportunities to reach the target audience in a manner in which they are already consuming related information; as long as it’s done the right way:

  • Successful native advertising must be transparent. Clearly brand your article, video, etc. Trying to deceive your audience can damage your reputation for good.
  • Content must fit the publication and catch the readers’ attention. Matching the tone of the publication can add additional credibility.
  • Don’t be shy to ask for native advertising, even if a media kit does not mention it. Many publishers are open to it and already have plans to implement it.

For more information about native advertising and examples, see:

http://acsmediakit.org/blog/native-advertising-what-you-need-to-know-for-success/

www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/07/07/native-advertising-examples

http://www.copyblogger.com/native-advertising-2014/

Super Bowl

The average cost of a thirty second Super Bowl commercial is around $4.5 million, calculating out to an average of $150,000 per second. According to How Stuff Works, in 2011 that same commercial cost $3 million dollars. That actually breaks down to $37.00 per viewer. This doesn’t take into account the internet and news shows where you can also find the commercials.  As these costs continue to rise what are these advertisers doing to rise above their “invested” air time competition?

http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/super-bowl-commercial1.htm

With all this money spent, you would think it would be easy to determine which commercial was truly the best.  But like everything else, everyone has their own opinion. E News believes the “Make It Happy,” Coca-Cola commercial was number one, Billboard thinks “Clash of the Titans” was the best of the best and USA Today said “Lost Dog,” Budweiser won.

http://www.superbowlcommercial2015.com/

http://youtu.be/GC2qk2X3fKA

So we are asking, what did you think was the best Super Bowl commercial of 2015?

5 Deadliest Sins of Marketing

We all want to make our mark in business, and to make sure our business gets noticed. But what makes a successful message, and what is really “too much”? One very notable publication addresses these issues; and here is our highlight of that article. INC. Magazine tells us there are 5 important “sins” that businesses can commit when attempting to get their message out there:

  • Vanity; don’t make the message all about you all the time. Engage your potential customers with issues that they may feel will directly affect them.
  • Authority; avoid just presenting your business as the authority on a subject or service. Make sure that your reach out to your potential customers on a more personal level. They need to feel a connection with your business, rather than just the facts.
  • Insincerity; Stray from making promises your business cannot keep at this time. Never “cry wolf”, or your respect and trust from your customers are quickly lost, and harder to regain.
  • Puffery; Is your message based on reality? Or is it just a bunch of fluff and hype to make your business look cool? Again, if you do not honestly present your business you will lose the trust and respect necessary to grow your business.
  • Finally Gimmickery; everyone enjoys a good laugh. Just remember that trying too hard to be funny could backfire. Try to avoid making every message contain a “gag” of some kind.

These are just a few highlights of a great message at: http://www.inc.com/minds-zetlin/5-deadliest-marketing-sins.html  we invite you to read more.

Eliminating the confusion of advertising options

These days there are so many ways to advertise. There are the more traditional routes, TV, radio, newspaper and billboards. Then there are the newer additions such as car/bus vinyl wraps and signs, digital/online and text messages. Account reps for each advertising medium come calling, touting their method as the best based on their statistics.

With so many choices, it’s difficult to determine what is best for your business. While it may be tempting to want to DIY in advertising rather than paying an agency, it is important to consider the extra costs you may be spending on an advertising buy that gets little or no results. Trial and error to determine what works may also be adding more expense than you were anticipating.

Using a well-qualified and experienced agency can save money long-term. As an added bonus, an agency can take all of those sales calls for you, leaving you free to do the important work of tending to your business.