Archive for January, 2011
…But their lead is shrinking. The Pew Center has released their latest survey results on who uses what media channel to communicate or otherwise interact with the rest of the world, and there are no surprises.
It still makes interesting reading for those with any interest in delivering product/services messages to each generation.
I found it interesting, for example, that social networks are fulfilling the need to share that personal blogs have fulfilled, so the “personal blog” is declining among younger generations even as it still grows in older generations.
Will social networks successfully woo businesses in the same direction? The product/corporate blog is still a growing mainstay of consumer outreach, but Facebook and others are making a big push to position themselves as the place to be for community interaction.
For now, most corporate Facebook pages are echoes of their blogs (as is corporate Twitter use to a large extent.) As capabilities for sharing content improve on social networks, however, the website-base blog may begin to cede conversational “position” to the network channels (SEO needs aside).
Here is a link to the full survey summary.
Logos are in the news, because Starbucks changed theirs. The coverage has been extensive within the business press, and throughout the Starbucks online community (they are an exemplary user of social media to build and maintain loyalty through customer engagement.)
Their customers are not favoring the change, which is normal. Will they drive Starbucks to backtrack? Unlikely. Unlike GAP, I believe they thought this out in detail, and are fully behind the new logo.
I am not a big fan of logo change. Changing a logo, especially one that has become “iconic” through time and media weight (a critical element), is a risky move for any consumer company. I was with the crowd that panned the new GAP logo last Fall (see my post), and am not impressed with the rationale behinds Starbucks’ change today. Not because they did a bad job (unlike GAP). It is a nice looking new logo. But it strikes me as completely unnecessary.
They forget what the job of a logo is:
- Be memorable
- Be relevant to the brand and its promise (A logo becomes consumer shorthand for the brand and how the company is delivering on the brand promise) Read the rest of this entry »
The Great Recession is accelerating the natural shift of Baby Boomers from rampant consumers to more responsible buyers, and the Green movement is also enhancing the tendency to become more responsible and less acquisitive. Boomers remain aspirational, but those aspirations are changing from material to spiritual (in a very broad sense, which means getting off the fast track, not giving a hoot what the “Joneses” are doing, smelling the roses along the way, etc.)
Matt Thornhill wrote about “responsible consumerism” in a MediaPost column, which gives a good label to the shift in society as a whole, and Boomers in particular. “…people focus not on buying more, but on getting more out of what they buy. It’s a consumer mindset our grandparents had, thanks to the Great Depression.” Read the rest of this entry »
As a marketer, I very much appreciate the incredible potential for extreme customer segmentation and message targeting offered by the burgeoning quantity of data being collected by social networks.
It is getting a bit creepy though. Today I was checking the site of a local newspaper, and as I was reading one article, I glanced at the “most shared” sidebar. Right there at the top was an article shared by “Lex Passaris and 149 other people.” Lex is a friend of mine. How did this random news site (for which I am not registered) know this?
Simple answer: Facebook. Mousing over Lex’s name revealed www.facebook.com/OpenChannelD whatever that means.
Cookies on my machine and Facebook’s engine made the connection automatically. A quick check of Lex’s Facebook page: Yep, he had posted the article link.
Why does this bother me? It doesn’t as a professional (see massive potential for targeting noted above), but this is the first time I paused as a consumer and thought “this is too close to home.” I did not give permission for such sharing of connections explicitly, and Facebook is “asking for forgiveness rather than permission.”
Taking off my marketing hat, I can see why consumer activists are pushing regulators to look into this powerful trend in our online communities.
Putting my marketing hat back on, I can see why Facebook recently received an unofficial market valuation of $50 billion. Once they figure out how they want to monetize their immense data pool (not yet guaranteed), they could reap millions selling access.
Taking the marketing hat back off, a shiver of “Big Brother” runs through me. On the other hand, I did “like” Lex’s sharing of the link, and have been remined to give him a call…
Time to put the marketing hat back on and get back to work!
This nice write-up on how to think about Early Baby Boomer buying behavior came across my screen over the weekend. The writer, Jim Gilmartin, has written often about Baby Boomers, so he is a man after my own heart. This piece sums up nicely the broadest consumer attributes this population cohort exhibits (sub-groups will differ, but only by degrees much less than 90).
Boomers still control the consumer purse strings in this country, and are still the largest segment of our buying public, so mindlessly chasing the younger cohorts is always a marketing mistake. Not that you emphasize Boomers over Millennials, and you must segment Boomers into smaller groups, but treating them like their grandparents is definitely a mistake!
Consider Amazon: Boomers probably buy more books than younger generations, who really do believe content should be free.
Consider Zappos: Boomers aspire to be Gen-Xers, if not Gen-Yers. It would be easy to profitably target Boomers with special shoes just for them. They still WANT to be cool, after all, unlike their parents.
Good grist for the mill, at any rate. Enjoy.