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Six Ways to Improve Your Millennial Marketing

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According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are the nation’s largest living generation. They are a age bracket that lack a long attention span; they crave experiences, activism, and constant connection. They are an age group that doesn’t settle, which means your marketing initiatives have to be a bit more creative in order to attract the right attention.

If you’re a business that wants to attract millennials, but haven’t figured out how, these are some of the best tactics you can use to create a relevant relationship between your brand and Generation Y.

Know what you’re after. If you’re confused about your business goals, your customers are just as confused. The millennial generation wants to associate with brands that are just as confident and deep-rooted in its values as they are. Developing an understanding of your industry and knowing what your product can do for the millennial consumer is half the battle.

Market where the millennials are. Generation Y are consistently connected. If a portion of your marketing dollars aren’t invested in a responsive website and mobile ads, your chances of reaching your target audience are minimal. Responsive websites make sure your web page displays optimally on all platforms, ensuring they’re always user-friendly.

Speak their language. During the 50′s and 60′s, marketers spoke to the consumer’s desire to go against authorities – the need to “stick it to the man.” Today’s millennials aren’t so much about resisting authority, but instead solving the problems the authority presents. Pay attention to the causes your audience cares about, but be careful about getting too political or too opinionated. You want to entice your audience with ways that they can help, not scare them away by presenting harsh criticisms or challenging positions.

Create a friendship. Millennials don’t want to be treated like a consumer; they want to be addressed as an equal. This generation of shoppers tend to be loyal to a product or service if they can adopt everything the brand represents. Create a relatable culture for your consumer and they will come.

Be transparent. Information is all too easy to access, making it vital for companies to be as open and honest as possible. If something goes awry (with the production of a product for example), you can bet it’s going to be covered on a number of media outlets that millennials pay close attention to. This generation may dislike what’s happened, but a brand that is real with their consumer is a brand that stands a better chance of keeping that individual as a customer.

Offer an experience. Millennials love being a part of something. Brands that create experiences for their audiences succeed with the millennial market. Look at Budweiser’s campaign to find the golden beer can. They’re playing on the nostalgia of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (a movie nearly every millennial has seen) and the advent of winning a prize. Regardless, everyone’s a winner because they’re getting what they want (a case of beer) with the added bonus of possibly winning a prize.

This guest post was written by Chloe Rapp from [ 2 one 5 ] Creative, a Philadelphia web design and branding company.

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Six Ways to Improve Your Millennial Marketing

OMG! The Internet STILL Hasn’t Killed TV!

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As digital advertising methods proliferate and morph, companies funnel more money into television advertising to reach viewers who spend 22-36 hours watching TV every week

Despite what the advertising industry rumblings might lead us to believe over the past few years citing the decline of television as we know it, television advertising is instead alive, well, and producing solid results. In a recent MarketShare study that analyzed advertising performance across industry and media outlets like television, online display, paid search, print and radio advertising, MarketShare found that TV has the highest efficiency at achieving key performance indicators, or KPIs, like sales and new accounts. When comparing performance at similar spending levels, TV averaged four times the sales lift of digital.

In fact, 2016 could wind up being one of the most profitable years ever for TV advertising, thanks in part to Super Bowl 50–which set the stage with its $4.8 million, 30-second commercials. According to Advertising Age, total ad spending on commercials in the Super Bowl from 1967 through 2016 (and adjusted for inflation) was $5.9 billion.

Super Bowl 50′s estimated share of 2016 U.S. broadcast network TV ad spending was a record 2.4%, double the level in 2010 (1.2%), four times the level in 1995 (0.6%), and six times the level in 1990 (0.4%). The big game followed in the footsteps of a very strong fourth quarter for TV ad spending, which, according to Standard Media Index, saw overall TV spending increase by 9 percent at the end of 2015. October 2015 was broadcast’s best advertising month since January 2014–yet one more indicator of TV advertising’s continued and growing prowess.

There is however, no denying that instead of the decline of TV, the conversation should be reframed that we are instead experiencing the continuous evolution of TV and viewership – as is the nature of life. Even with the many different screens and delivery options at their avail, viewers still enjoy television viewing–and the ads that accompany with it. According to The Wall Street Journal’s If You Think TV Is Dead, Maybe You’re Measuring Wrong, adults of all ages spend more time with TV than with any other platform. Citing Nielsen measurements, the article points out that adults spend about 36 hours per week watching TV, while they spend about seven hours on their smartphones. For 18-34 year-olds, almost 22 hours is spent viewing TV while about 10 hours is spent on smartphones.

When combined, these numbers and realities paint the picture of a TV advertising environment that’s vibrant, effective, and clearly profitable. And while the medium has long been bashed for being “expensive”–a claim that grew as cheaper digital options entered the picture–we’ve seen a strong resurgence of interest in TV across many different types of advertisers. So while banner and display ads may be less expensive to initially create and publish, the average click-through rate of such ads across all formats and placements is still a very low 0.06 percent. Also, 54 percent of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them, and 18- to 34-year-olds are far more likely to ignore online ads, such as banners and those on social media and search engines, compared to traditional TV, radio, and newspaper ads.

As Rich Lehrfeld, senior VP-global brand marketing and communications at American Express stated, “TV as a traditional medium is still important. When we run a heavy TV schedule, we see a lift in sales and product awareness. We need to run two weeks of digital to get the reach of one day of broadcast.”

Now, even though TV advertising is doing a great job of holding its own, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t play well with other, more “hip” and modern advertising methods and you truly need an omni-channel campaign to be fully effective across all platforms. So while it’s still the go-to player for companies across many different business segments, TV integrates well and lifts the advertising efforts for all other channels such as online video, programmatic ads, social, mobile, and so forth.

As a device-agnostic platform, for example, TV gives advertisers the opportunity to leverage over the top content (i.e., OTT refers to delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content) and other opportunities to reach their audiences across dozens of different platforms (e.g., cable, network, and independents like Netflix and Hulu).

The current presidential campaign is a testament to the power of television as a message and content delivery mechanism. According to Nielsen, voting adults spend an average of 447 minutes per day watching TV, 162 minutes listening to the radio, and just 14 minutes and 25 minutes viewing video on their phones and tablets (respectively).

According to the New York Times’ Derek Willis, nothing will displace television as the centerpiece of presidential campaign media strategy in 2016. “Television-watching adults spent an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of the set during the first three months of [2015]…far more time than people spend on their personal computers, smartphones, and tablets. And older Americans — among the most dependable voters — watch more television than their younger counterparts,” writes Willis in Why Television Is Still King for Campaign Spending.

There’s no denying that TV is still the best advertising investment out there but you still need to integrate a campaign across other platforms (web, social, mobile, etc.)– namely because response isn’t always generated directly from TV anymore–but by using solid analytics you can easily detect the “halo effect” that television has on the entire campaign. So while devices proliferate and the media environment becomes increasingly cluttered, those 36 hours that adults spend watching TV per week (and 22 hours for millennials), don’t lie- and neither does the return on investment that advertisers continue to reap from their investments in media and creative.

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is the CEO of Hawthorne Direct. She can be reached at (310) 248-3972 or via email at jessica.hawthorne@hawthornedirect.com.

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OMG! The Internet STILL Hasn’t Killed TV!

This Super Bizarre PSA Will Make You Want to Do Drugs…And the Pink Undie-Wearing Bunny Ladies In the Ad

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First uploaded in July of 2011, this super strange faux PSA of sorts has amassed almost 26 million views to date. Supposedly it’s some sort of anti-drug effort. But, all it seems to do is encourage strung out guys to have their way with a collection of super-hot pink underwear-glad bunny girls who, well, turn out to be something entirely different.

Because drugs.

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This Super Bizarre PSA Will Make You Want to Do Drugs…And the Pink Undie-Wearing Bunny Ladies In the Ad

3 Ways to Incorporate Mobile And Social Analytics In Your Ad Campaigns

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In today’s competitive business environment, most advertising agencies are using data analytics to hone their clients’ campaign strategies and to improve their job of targeting, tracking, and engaging customers.

With mobile commerce growing at an annual rate of 42 percent, and with one-third of online shoppers making at least one purchase via smartphone over the last 12 months (and 20 percent via tablet), marketers that ignore mobile analytics are doing themselves a major disservice. The same goes for social, where tracking, measuring, and engaging consumers via sites like Facebook and Twitter is absolutely crucial.

As an agency that was in on the ground floor of both the mobile and social advertising movements, and that has been employing analytics to create accountable advertising for decades, we can clearly see that everything digital is moving in a mobile direction. In fact, with some campaigns, we’re seeing as much as 70 percent of orders coming through digital platforms – and the majority of those are being made via mobile devices, even for large, international brands.

To get a better idea of how mobile and social campaigns are performing, consider using one or all three of these ways to leverage analytics:

1) To track consumer activity via their mobile devices. While mobile devices may appear to be “untethered” and therefore more difficult to track and measure, the reality is that it’s quite easy to get a grasp on “m-commerce” activity. Not only can you track the direct sales that are coming in – and what devices are being used (phones, tablets, etc.) – but you can also tie that information back to specific consumers.

This will help you create more accountable and profitable advertising in the future, and it will allow you to harness those 70+ percent of orders that will soon be coming in via mobile devices (if they aren’t already). One of the simplest tools available to you is Google Mobile App Analytics, which allows you to track and measure activity taking place on your app, establish and measure goals, determine conversion rates, keep track of campaign consistency, and apply the resultant data for actionable insights.

Having this information in hand, and then analyzing it for key points and patterns, will help you develop even more effective mobile campaigns in the future.

2) To parlay social activity into key campaign goals. What started out as a fun way for friends to keep in touch and share photos with one another has transformed into a powerful advertising and sales tools for organizations of all sizes.

Today, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are being folded into the campaigns of even the largest, most well known brands. And while tracking the performance of such efforts was elusive until recently, today’s companies are keeping closer tabs on their social activity and using the information garnered to hone their campaigns.

“In 2015, there are now companies whose sole job is to sift through social data and find emerging clues and patterns. Facebook has a billion users, Twitter has hundreds of millions, and LinkedIn is the de facto professional networking site,” writes Jonathan Hassell in CIO.

Remember that social allows you to track more than just “who is Tweeting about you” or “who is posting information about your firm on Facebook.” It also helps you measure brand awareness, hone campaign goals, and determine the best possible approach for a specific marketer (brand awareness vs. direct sales vs. consumer engagement, and so forth).

3) To “listen” to your customers in new and innovative ways. There was a time when companies had to rely on “live” focus groups, written surveys, and customer feedback forms to find out exactly what their target customer groups were thinking. Today, most of that information is available online and a lot of it is at the marketer’s fingertips (as in, the company doesn’t have to ask for it).

“If your customers are talking about you, you want to hear what they’re saying. If you’re spending good money to talk at them, why not devote some percentage to listening to what they have to say?” writes Mikal E. Belicove in Entrepreneur. “Research shows that the conversations your customers have among themselves drive about 13 percent of business decisions and can amplify your advertising by 15 percent.”

Becoming that “fly on the wall” is fairly simple. If you’re running an engagement campaign, for example, look at whether customers are tweeting and/or re-tweeting information about their experiences with the product. If it’s a direct sales campaign, then pay close attention to how those social interactions parlay into mobile and/or online sales.

In the end, the only way to determine the effectiveness of a campaign’s mobile or social efforts is by taking a hard look at the data and then using that information to take action. While this step was easy to ignore just 5-10 years ago, agencies that don’t take the time to effectively measure their mobile and social efforts are doing their clients a disservice and overlooking a large chunk of potential business.

This guest article was written by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO of Hawthorne Direct.

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3 Ways to Incorporate Mobile And Social Analytics In Your Ad Campaigns

So You Think Your Website Is Perfect. Here’s 7 Reasons You May Be Wrong

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OK so the entire world of marketing has been wetting its pants over social media and content marketing the last few years but what about that old fashion – yet, incredibly important — thing called a website? Have you dusted it for cobwebs lately?

And after all that time and money you spend on social media and content marketing, it’s still the website — or the most part — where all the action you care about — sign ups, sales, etc. — occurs. So if your website is still a piece of annoying Flashturbation or, worse, not supporting your omnichannel efforts, you might as well go unearth that Geocities version of your website from back in the day.

Here’s a few tenets of a well oiled website. Maybe you know all this stuff. Maybe you’ve forgotten. And, hey, we all get busy and can use a good, swift reminder from time to time.

Content Refresh

If you have people who return to your website more than once and they notice nothing has changed – in what feels like a decade (or, let’s be honest, even a week), then you are going to lose them very quickly. Whether you like it or not, refreshing content with new and interesting ideas creates a reason for customers to come back to the site.

Maybe you have been too busy to update but potential customers don’t see it that way. Instead, they may begin to think your business is on its way out. However, if they see new content, then they tend to equate the frequent blogs posts, articles, and pages to a vibrant and successful business.

The best way to continually update content is to have a blog as part of your website, but you can also add an articles library and, as you grow, add new pages about your expanding product line or service portfolio. If you are too busy to do the content yourself, consider using a freelance content writer from ELance, iFreelancer or Guru.

Multiple Points of Entry

Having relevant content that’s of interest to various segments of your audience is, of course, very important. But you also need appropriately segmented places for them to visit within your site.

Multiple points of enrtry — ie. landing pages — provide a way for you to provide segment-specific information about a new product or service. Oh and you can more easliy track metrics related to each marketing campaign that you may run to understand whether or not certain audience segments are actually visiting these pages and how they are responding to your content and offers. In addition, landing pages keep a website from becoming cluttered.

Design Makeover

Like your content, the actual design of your website can become dated. You don’t want your audience to be able to carbon date the look of your page to the 2000s or the aforementioned Geocities era. Instead, as your brand evolves or, as you change your overall corporate identity, make sure your website design reflects that the shifting style and positioning of the brand.

If you don’t have the budget to hire a designer or ad agency, you can head over to places likeWix where you can find hundredsof website design templates that will give you a starting point. Good ‘ol WordPress also has a lot of templates to completely change the look and functionality of your website allowing you to easily add new pages or enhance its user-friendliness.

When your customers and potential customers experience a design makeover, they are more likely to envision you as a company that’s moving forward rather than getting tired and falling asleep.

Higher Reliability and Speed

People, it’s 2015! We have big pipes! There’s no excuse for your slow ass site that takes fully 30 seconds for a page to load. Design can greatly affect page load times but so can hosting. And, seriously, when was the last time you actually spent a minute or two checking into you web host’s tech specs? Yea, that shit is boring but it’s the back bone of your website and that boring shit matters.

So yes, it could be the hosting company that is slowing you down, so you might want to consider researching what web hosting companies which can offer faster connections and less downtime. For example, Pair.com is one. Another isHostwinds. They offer numerous hosting plans that scale up as you grow your business so you don’t have to worry about outgrowing them.

Responsiveness

While more people are starting their searches from their smartphones and tablets, not as many companies are adding responsive website design to sense when a visitor is using something other than their laptop or desktop. Not employing technology that senses your new mobile customers can lead to a disastrous experience that accomplishes nothing except for losing a potential customer.

Insuring your site employs responsive design means your website will fit the screen on which it’s being viewed. It can also mean that you offer a choice between a mobile website version and a regular one so the user can select their preference.

Coding Compliance

While this is on the technical side of things, coding compliance is pretty important. Since the standards regularly change, you’ll need to make sure your technical talent is aware of what’s required. Not only will this help your website achieve higher rankings to turn that digital sales funnel toward your business, but it will also keep you in the good graces of those that track website compliance.

Graphics Optimization

Search engine optimization goes beyond just selecting the right keywords and phrases that get the attention of search engines everywhere. You also need to optimize graphics – including photos and videos on your website. Use relevant and descriptive words in the title tag and alt gag in your image code as an additional way to throw that net out wider over the Internet and draw more of your target audience to your website. Since you will be regularly updating your website’s content, don’t forget to optimize every new graphic you add.

And so there it is. Maybe you’re on top of all of this. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you have a boss who thinks Flash is still all that. Hopefully, this information will help you better manage your website and, ideally, build more business.

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So You Think Your Website Is Perfect. Here’s 7 Reasons You May Be Wrong