Nielsen: Time To Recommit to Boomers

Posted on July 29th, 2010 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Marketing News

As focused as marketers are these days on Gen Y’s environmental commitment or Gen X’s coupon savvy, Nielsen reports that CPG companies have major blind spots in the way they target Baby Boomers.

With a continued emphasis on either the 18-to-34 or the 18-to-49 demographic, companies are increasingly losing their connection with the 78 million Baby Boomers, Doug Anderson, SVP/research & development for Nielsen, tells Marketing Daily.

“There is practically no segment or category out there where Boomers aren’t a significant audience — even across technology, including cell phones and computers. They may not be the first ones in the door when a new product comes out, but it’s close,” he says. “They are purchasing at rates just as high as other segments, and because they are often buying for their kids, many are double-dipping.”

While Boomers spend 38.5% of CPG dollars, Nielsen estimates that only 5% of advertising dollars are currently targeted toward adults 35-64 years old (a slice that includes the latter half of Generation X as well as Boomers).

Part of the issue, he says, is that marketers continue to believe that Boomers are either reluctant to experiment with new technology and brands, or that because they’ve been loyal to a certain brand for a number of years, they’ll stay that way.

Another issue, he says, is that even marketers who do focus on Boomers tend to make errors. Nuance, he says, really matters. “It is certainly true that Baby Boomers are big, important marketplaces for almost all products, and they need to be talked to and marketed to and advertised to directly,” he says. “But it has to be in ways they will accept. They are not 27, and they are not 67.”

Nielsen’s research says Boomers dominate 1,023 out of 1,083 consumer packaged goods categories, and watch 9.34 hours of video per day—more than any other segment. They also comprise a third of all TV viewers, online users, social media users and Twitter users, and are significantly more likely to have broadband Internet.

“Marketers have this tendency to think the Baby Boom—getting closer to retirement—will just be calm and peaceful as they move ahead, and that’s not true. Everything we see with our behavioral data says these people are going to be active consumers for much longer. They are going to be in better health, and despite the ugliness around the retirement stuff now, they are still going to be more affluent,” Anderson says. “They are going to be an important segment for a long time.”

Thanks to Sara Mahoney at Marketing Daily


To prepare and strategize is not to jinx—it’s to win

Posted on December 1st, 2009 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Marketing News, Soap Box

The wise marketer will take advantage of this critical moment in an economic cycle. If your company has been saving resources and restraining marketing spending, you can still position your company for favorable market share and future sales by increasing your presence now.

Despite stubborn unemployment and cautious consumers, the nation’s manufacturing grew for the fourth consecutive month in November, according to the Institute for Supply Management. While the overall U.S. economy has expanded for the seventh straight month, the recent stabilizing of the manufacturing sector suggests consumer demand should soon follow.

In the past several years, no moment has been more critical than this one for stepping up your media presence. Your email marketing will help bring in direct response leads, of course, but direct marketing response works best when your brand is highly visible in your target market’s media consumption pattern—particularly if your competitors are there.

Contrary to some of the chatter from the tech marketing blogosphere, branding still works. It always will as long as human beings have emotional responses. And at today’s point in the recession cycle, a well executed ad campaign is the smartest marketing move a company can make. So go ahead. Don’t worry, you won’t jinx the economic recovery.


Study: Sustained advertising in a soft economy leads to positive perceptions

Posted on May 25th, 2009 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Marketing News

A new study by Ad-ology shows that a vast majority of consumers view companies that sustained advertising through the recession as “being competitive or committed to doing business.” On the other hand, a given brand’s reduced advertising during a recession negatively impacts consumer perception.

This article makes it clear how, during a soft economy, buyers perceive an obvious pullback of advertising as a warning that a particular brand is probably in trouble, which, in turn, negatively affects the buying decision. A summary of the study’s findings can be found on the research firm’s blog, and the study itself can be purchased through the firm’s Web site.

As the economy shows some mixed signs of stabilization, make sure your company is not being viewed as having pulled your advertising. It is essential for a brand to remain visible throughout a soft economic period.

read more | digg story


When your message is compelling, you’re ahead of the marketing technology curve

Posted on April 30th, 2009 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Soap Box

As the tools of the advertising and marketing trade shift, some marketers may embrace it all with gusto, throwing away the ‘traditional’ models in favor of new media metrics. Some may resist or dread the new tools. Both positions are unwise.

The smart marketer knows:

  • We’re not replacing old channels with new–we’re redefining the roles of all new and traditional channels in the marketing mix.
  • Creative campaigns and branding concepts are essential across all kinds of media.
  • You can get ahead of your competition by bringing some tried-and-true principles to the new media.

Today we have blogs, social media, Webinars, email, and various avenues for making these media work together and talk to each other. However, as many did during the dot-com bubble back in the early 2000s, some get enamored with the technology and forget about the power of fundamental corporate image management and creative marketing campaigns.

When you step into marketing technology tools, don’t forget about the creative. It could jump you ahead of your competition.


Is your marketing plan ready for the upturn?

Posted on March 26th, 2009 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Marketing News

The industrial blogosphere was teeming with very cautious optimism about an economic turnaround somewhere on the distant horizon. An unexpected uptick in durable goods orders in February prompted some such blog entries, like this one posted by Jorina Fontelera, managing editor of ThomasNet, on TN’s Industrial Market Trends blog. The writer rightly cites far more negative indications, noting it’s way too early to get excited.

Whether or not we’ve hit bottom yet, good marketers are asking themselves two questions:

1. Has the recession changed your market and/or your competitors?

2. Will your company or brand be in a good marketing position prior to the rebound? (Is your marketing plan poised?)

If you can’t answer the first question in a half-second, chances are the answer to the second one is “no.”

Great brands strengthen their overall brand position by marketing specifically to the special needs created by the recession.  If your company keeps that mantra, your brand–even your corporate identity–stays present among its audience and fosters good will.

When it comes time for your audience to make buying decisions in the next economy, they will remember the brand who stuck with them when the times were tough.


Email will be an essential tactic in your marketing mix for 2009

Posted on February 2nd, 2009 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Soap Box

If you haven’t gotten serious about email marketing yet, 2009 is the year you will. It has become the cog in the engine of corporate marketing from first response to ongoing customer relationship management.

Whether consumer or business-to-business, email is one of the most critical touch points between a brand and its public. Good email marketing is not a “blast.” Rather, it is relevant and valuable to the recipient. In today’s economy, it’s not enough to push various sales messages out to your public. When done right, email is an effective, rapid way to build brand image and create loyal customers.

Email marketing is most effective when used in tandem with direct mail, Web landing pages, and a CRM system. And in 2009, a challenging economic year, smart marketers will be doing it. Why?

So with everyone trying their hand at email marketing, how can you avoid being lost in the noise? Careful attention to branding and message is the short answer. The following article has appeared on several blogs lately and offers timely tips:

How Can You Make Your Emails Stand Out?

Posted using ShareThis


Newsletters help maintain positive perceptions, stability

Posted on January 23rd, 2009 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Soap Box

Whether in a time of prosperity, a recession, or a tight labor market, never underestimate the power of a newsletter.

Ervin | Bell's redesign of Toyota Material Handling's newsletter. The Fall '08 issue saluted distributors and employees' heroics in the Midwest floods of ealier that year.

Toyota Material Handling's newsletter

These days many successful companies are using a blog, sometimes thought of as modern version of the newsletter. However, a printed newsletter still achieves something the blog cannot: the perception of stability. It’s tangible, powerful, and influences purchasing decisions. That’s why Toyota Material Handling recently hired Ervin | Bell to redesign their newsletter.

In the example shown, Toyota Material Handling saluted the heroics of their employees and distributors during the 2008 Midwest floods. The affect of the printed piece is profound in ways a blog or online presentation cannot achieve.

Blogs, with the added dimensions of search optimization and immediacy, demand a different set of writing styles and conventions. While newsletter content is often usable as blog posts, your blog is generally best used for time-sensitive and more industry-wide relevant material with shorter story length.

Make sure your company is not simply migrating your newsletter content into your blog. They are different media and demand their own specialized style and practices.


An old brand can be the ticket to new market share

Posted on January 23rd, 2009 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Marketing News, Soap Box

Looking for a shortcut to increased market share? If you have opportunity, buy an old brand. Building a dominant brand in any market segment can take decades. In today’s market, some savvy companies are looking for fire-sale prices on old school brands.

The following article shared from Forbes.com tells the story of an entreprenurial company who purchased, of all things, the Gold Bond brand of medicated foot powder. Instead of updating the brand, the company smartly milked the old-school look of the brand and extended it to a myriad of personal care products.

read more | digg story


Essential, affordable branding and marketing tactics during a recession

Posted on December 4th, 2008 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Soap Box

Email marketing can be a highly effective alternative when budgets are tight. When done properly, email is among the most cost-effective methods of enhancing and strengthening your existing client base. When done poorly, however, it can damage your brand.

A well executed email marketing program is the most economical way to market to, and build loyalty with, an existing customer base. But don’t expect to acquire new customers with direct emails from your company lest you be branded a spammer. A good in-house email list cannot be bought, only earned. When you earn it, it becomes a highly valuable asset.

Email lists can be built through advertising (that’s right, the “A” word) on targeted publishers’ online newsletters. This way your message is received via a trusted third party. Compared to print, these advertising products can be quite reasonable and far less costly than paid search. If your ad is well placed and has a compelling message, you can convert new subscribers to your in-house email list.


When budgets are tight, don’t cut the “What,” change the “How”

Posted on December 4th, 2008 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Soap Box

We often hear we should keep up our marketing activity during a recession to maintain–even improve–our market position. The reality, however, is that leaving your marketing budget intact while making cuts elsewhere is easier said than done, and in most cases it’s just unrealistic.

While all cuts are painful, a cut in the marketing budget is often seen as temporary and therefore livable. But to completely stop marketing activity is to surrender market position to your competitors. Can’t afford to maintain previous budget levels? The savvy thing to do during a recession is to switch to highly economical tactics while maintaining your brand integrity.

Bottom line: If you have to cut back your marketing budget, don’t cut the “What,” change the “How.” We’re in a recession and budgets are thin. Lean, economical marketing tactics executed with your existing brand integrity will protect your market share.