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Millennials Pose Unique Marketing Challenges – And Familiar Ones

Millennials, as children of the digital era, pose unique marketing challenges. However, you are more likely to engage them with online video ads and social media with videos. That said, it never hurts to know you target audience and recognize they are a moving target.

Millennials, as children of the digital era, pose unique marketing challenges. However, you are more likely to engage them with online video ads and social media with videos. That said, it never hurts to know you target audience and recognize they are a moving target.

Millennials are a moving target, so it helps to understand as much as you can about their demographics. Salesforce did the homework for you.  https://www.salesforce.com/products/marketing-cloud/best-practices/millenial-marketing-strategy/#

Millennials are a moving target, so it helps to understand as much as you can about their demographics. Salesforce did the homework for you. https://www.salesforce.com/products/marketing-cloud/best-practices/millenial-marketing-strategy/#

Marketing to Millennials is admittedly a challenge. They are as interested in car-sharing as car-buying. Owning a home is less important than being close to the action. They don’t read newspapers or watch commercial television. Their choice of channels seems to change regularly.

To get a better handle on Millennials, a real estate company commissioned a survey and discovered online video advertising is the best vehicle to engage this target audience. Not exactly a eureka moment, but it does confirm – at least for now – that online video still holds appeal.

Online video ads are not a silver bullet. According to the survey, 21 percent of the 1,100 Millennials interviewed said they engage with online video ads, contrasted to only 11 percent of people 39 years or older. Fourteen percent of Millennial respondents said they engage with social media ads with videos.

It’s worth noting, the survey indicated 31 percent of Millennial respondents say they don’t engage with online ads. More than four in 10 older adults say the same thing. That suggests Millennials are simply hard to engage with ads anywhere online.

What the survey underscores is the value of visual content. The second highest source of online engagement (17%) is social media ads with pictures. They attract the highest percentage (14%) of older adults, too.

Search engine ads work better to engage older adults (12%) than Millennials (9%). Display ads on websites and native ads don’t work that well with younger or older adults, based on survey results.

Tommy O’Shaughnessy of Clever Real Estate, which commissioned the survey, says, “In many ways, YouTube has assumed the functional role of television for Millennials. According to an eMarketer study, Millennials watch more digital video than traditional video content, making YouTube an incredibly important tool for marketers.”

He adds, “While Facebook is still the dominant social media platform and reaches the widest audience, the preferences of younger Millennials have begun shifting toward YouTube and Instagram, where video content is more readily available and more fundamental to the experience. However, despite the recent Millennial migration away from Facebook, ads run on the social networking megalith are still more likely to lead to a purchase than ads run on any other platform.” The migration of Millennials from Facebook appears to be tied to growing concerns about its privacy policies.

One nugget buried in the survey is that Millennials are 54 percent more likely than older adults to buy a product suggested by a social media celebrity. That may be the byproduct of older adult unfamiliarity with most social media celebrities.

It may not set apart Millennials from other adults, but the survey underscores they like to laugh and learn at the same time. “Marketing campaigns that provide value to their audience through funny and informative video content stand the best chance of engaging their viewers,” O’Shaughnessy says. “Humorous content is the most likely to strike a chord with millennials (44%), while informative content comes in second (30%).”

“Amusing and informative advertisements elicit good responses from Millennials and Baby Boomers, with the latter demonstrating a slight preference for informative ads,” he explains. “However, marketers need to exercise caution when trying to grab their audience’s attention with a shocking ad, as these performed abysmally across both generations – only 4% of Millennials and 3% of Baby Boomers stated that unsettling ads resonate with them.”

While Millennials, children of the digital age, pose unique marketing challenges, they are still part of the human race. “Although this generation has its idiosyncrasies, Millennial marketing is not such a hard nut to crack,” O’Shaughnessy argues. “Millennials crave content that feels valuable, honest, personal and sticks out from the rest of their feeds. The best way to accomplish this is to create video marketing campaigns that utilize influencers and provide funny, informative content to a brand’s audience.”

 

High Tech Giants Take Reputational Hit on Harris Poll

Big names in high tech suffered reputational blows in this year’s Harris Poll Reputation Quotient because of festering concerns over privacy issues. Amazon and Microsoft bucked the trend by moving up the ladder of reputational admiration.

Big names in high tech suffered reputational blows in this year’s Harris Poll Reputation Quotient because of festering concerns over privacy issues. Amazon and Microsoft bucked the trend by moving up the ladder of reputational admiration.

Privacy concerns, high-profile scandals and proposals to break up high tech monopolies has taken a toll on the reputations of Facebook, Google and Apple.

Once the darlings on the Harris Poll that measures the reputations of the 100 most visible companies in the United States, familiar technology giants have seen their reputational numbers slide this year. Apple went from number one in 2012 to 32nd this year. Google went from eighth to 28th in the same period. Facebook fell the furthest from 51st in last year’s list to 94th.

Amazon bucked the trend, but still fell from first last year to second. Microsoft rose two spots to ninth. The most impressive upswing was by Samsung that climbed 28 rungs to 35th. Sony scrambled up 21 spots to 31st.

Wegmans Food Markets claimed the top spot this year. Patagonia and L.L. Bean moved up to fourth and fifth, respectively. Other rising reputations were 21st Century Fox (up 21), Home Depot (up 14), Procter & Gamble (up 12) and LG Corporation (up 10). Mildly surprising gainers included JP Morgan Chase (up 11) and Royal Dutch Shell (up to 10).

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In addition to Facebook and Google, the companies with the biggest reputational dents in their hoods included Tesla Motors (down 39), McDonald’s (down 29), Target (down 23), Nike (down 23), Chick-fil-A (down 18), Comcast (down 13) and Sears (down 9).

Facebook’s slide from grace undoubtedly is linked to last October’s bombshell that hackers may have absconded with data from 30 million uses of the popular social media site. News since then hasn’t been much better. More concerns about unreported efforts by Facebook to monetize user data and a disclosure about a pending multi-million dollar fine connected with privacy.

"What was driving a lot of that decline was how Facebook became misaligned with American society,” Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema told USA Today. "Big Tech sort of became front and center as a societal fear.” Harris has found 69 percent of Americans regard privacy of data as extremely important. Only 15 percent of respondents think Facebook does enough to protect user personal information.

Apple had its privacy day in the court of public opinion when it was discovered the FaceTime App could be used for eavesdropping. Google suffered problems with its Chrome browser and disinterest in Google+. 

Gerzema credited Wegmans topping the list because of “its ability to build an experience and a community in its stores.” He said companies such as Patagonia and L.L. Bean saw rising reputations because of their “commitment to social values.” “It is important for companies to understand how important values are today,” he said.

 

Pinterest Idea Boards Offer Distinctive Platform for Thought Leadership

Yes, Pinterest boards are filled with recipes, travel destinations and cool photographs, but they also can be used for thought leadership such as curating the insights and bright ideas from a major conference or extended event.

Yes, Pinterest boards are filled with recipes, travel destinations and cool photographs, but they also can be used for thought leadership such as curating the insights and bright ideas from a major conference or extended event.

Have you ever attended a conference, speech or major event and wished you could share the nuggets of wisdom you gained? Pinterest has an idea for you.

Actually, Pinterest has an idea board for you.

Sporting events or unfolding election results lend themselves to a series of tweets. A single aha moment from a speech can form a solid foundation for a blog post. A funny episode or clever display makes for a popular Facebook or Instagram post. But Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogs aren’t as accommodating to a group of insights.

Jessica Lawlor, writing for ragan.com, points out that most Pinterest users aren’t there to interact with friends and families. They are looking for ideas and tips. Recipes, travel destinations and cool photographs are common, but any kind of content with a long shelf life works well.

Pinterest can provide a visual scrapbook for ideas gathered at a conference or extended event. The idea board can serve as a handy reference tool both for the person pinning as well as for their followers and event sponsors. The idea board, with a wide range of interesting notes in the form of pins, can become a useful tactic in demonstrating thought leadership.

Since note-taking is a modern-day lost art, curating the high points and breath-through moments from events or conferences can be a real value. Pinterest’s board concept is a perfect platform for this kind of content.

In fact, Pinterest has improved its suitability for this kind of content with what it calls group boards, which allow others to add their pins, enriching the overall value of the content and enticing more followers. You also can pin media coverage of the event. Group boards work best with engagement, so it is smart to promote the group board, starting with other conference or event attendees and extending to your associates with an interest in the subject matter.

Another value of Pinterest is its visual orientation. With photos, videos and graphs, Pinterest is great for showing what you mean, which can transform dry conference presentations into lively, visually appealing content.

Pinterest is measurably different than other leading social media platforms, but some of the same rules apply. Original, relevant content counts. Keywords matter. Engagement, through repining and following, is king. Your Pinterest boards need to fit into a thoughtful strategy and connect with your website.

With that in mind, idea boards can be a distinctive way for you to exercise your thought leadership, even for the menial task of taking notes to capture someone else’s bright ideas.

 

The Content King's Valuable Jester

Content is king — but if you want the king to get noticed for more than sitting on a throne, you better have an entourage.

One of the best court jesters is the infographic — a playful, colorful way to package your content.

Crowdtap, a social influence marketing platform, drew attention by 1) newsjacking the World Cup and 2) sharing an infographic with interesting content about World Cup viewers based on a survey. 

Titled "The Social Side of the World Cup," the infographic led with a statistic — 72.4 percent of viewers will be active on social media during the games. More than 40 percent expect to post on Facebook, nearly 35 percent will tweet and 13 percent will write a blog.

Perhaps of more interest to brands and their marketers is the next tier of information contained in the Infographic — 47 percent will post something about their favorite team or player, 42 percent will say something about their favorite ad and 30 percent will comment about their least favorite ads. Crowdtap's survey also indicated 52 percent of viewers are more likely to like or follow a brand after the World Cup.

On the Go Marketing

A smartphone is like a personal GPS and marketers are starting to explore ways to tap your potential whether you are sitting on your family room couch or driving into their store parking lot. 

A retailer has a home field advantage by recognizing where you are located. If a customer is browsing online, the retailer may offer an incentive to convince the customer to stop by. If the customer is about ready to enter the store, the offer may differ and seek to persuade the customer to look at a wider array of products.

Smartphone users have employed apps such as Foursquare to let friends know where they are hanging out or if a party is brewing. Marketers can take the same localized information and turn it into customized pitches contained in a Facebook link or QR code.

Business Embraces Tools to Inform, Educate and Influence

Oregon businesses have gone from skeptics to embracing digital communication during the past five years. They routinely use e-newsletters and social media to communicate with and engage customers and peers.

A recent CFM/Oregon Business Input survey (April 2013) among 455 Oregon Business subscribers found at least half are using Business Social Networks/LinkedIn (54 percent), digital newsletters (52 percent) and consumer social networks/Facebook-Twitter (50 percent). Blogs (28 percent) and online panels (12 percent) are also used, but less frequently.

All forms of digital communications for business have seen significant growth since 2008, including a 40-point increase in the use of consumer social media platforms and a 30-point jump in the use of business social media platforms.

These results indicate that businesses are trying to adapt to the changing communications landscape. According to a Pew Research study (In Changing News Landscape, Even Television is Vulnerable) where, how and why people are getting information has changed during the past decade. Traditional media is still strong among those age 55 years and older, while younger audiences prefer online and digital media. Print readership is declining and many traditional newspapers, such as The Oregonian, are beefing up online capabilities while cutting print. Increased consumer use of smartphones and mobile technology also are driving change.