Friday, June 15, 2012 | Edited by Daniel Moores
||Print Captures Local Eyes, But Digital Gaining Ground
Among the main findings in a survey by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, 72% of adults are quite attached to following local news and information, and local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need.
Local news enthusiasts are much more likely than others to say that if their local newspaper vanished, it would have a major impact on their ability to get the local information they want. This is especially true of local news followers age 40 and older, who differ from younger local news enthusiasts in some key ways.
Among all adults, the most closely followed local topics are weather, breaking news, politics and crime, all followed by a solid majority of two thirds or more. Slightly less popular topics but still with a fairly good following of about half or more are arts and culture, local businesses, schools and education, community and neighborhood events, restaurants, taxes and traffic. Fewer survey respondents follow local news about housing, local government activity, job openings, social services, or zoning. Roughly four in 10 adults or fewer follow these local topics.
32% say it would have a major impact on them if their local newspaper no longer existed, compared with just 19% of those less interested in local news
- Most likely to report a major impact if their newspaper disappeared are local news followers age 40 and older (35%), though, even among younger local news followers, 26% say losing the local paper would have a major impact on them
- 19% of adults who do not follow local news closely say they would feel a major impact and 51% say they would feel no impact at all from the loss of their local paper. Only 34% of local news enthusiasts feel this way.
Local news and information consumers stand out from other adults in several respects related to community attachment, general interest in all types of news, use of sources for local news and information, and the particular topics of interest to them on the local scene.
As a whole, local news enthusiasts do not stand out, though, from other adults in their use of technology or in the way they use technology to participate in local affairs, such as sending around links or posting comments on websites. However, among local news enthusiasts there are considerable differences in technology use across generations.
Local news consumers are more connected to their communities than others, both in length of time in the community and in their connection with neighbors, and more likely to think they can improve their communities. 32% have lived in their community 20 years or longer (vs. 20% of others), and thus not surprisingly are more likely to know all of their neighbors. This is driven largely by local news enthusiasts age 40 and older. As a whole, local news enthusiasts are also slightly more likely than other adults to believe they can have a big impact on making their community a better place to live.
Print remains the preferred format for catching up with the latest news, at least for frequent local newspaper readers, says the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) in an April 2012 report. Of the survey respondents, who were required to have used at least one of 4 possible platforms (print, online, tablet, and/or smartphone) in the past week for their local daily newspaper, 4 in 5 said they had read a print edition, while two-thirds had accessed the content digitally.
Among NAA survey respondents, those who read the print format prefer doing so because it is a relaxing way for them to read the newspaper (66%), it provides a satisfying reading experience (61%), it is an easy way to get a complete view of the news (45%), and it has useful advertising (44%).
A Marketing Charts summary says the NAA study finds that male respondents are 14% more likely than their female counterparts to use a computer (64% vs. 56%) to access their local newspaper, and 26% more likely to use a smartphone (29% vs. 23%). There was virtually no difference in the proportion using a tablet.
Among the various age groups, 18-34-year-olds were 46% more likely than 35-44-year-olds (41% vs. 28%), and more than three times as likely as 45-64-year-olds (41% vs. 13%) to access local newspaper content on a smartphone. The popularity of print increases with age, with those over 65 16% more likely than the general average to read the print format (93% vs. 80%).
When it comes to sources of local news and information, 35% of local news enthusiasts say that local news sources give them all of the information that matters to them, 10 percentage points higher than those less interested in local news. They also use more sources of local news and information per week than others (mean of 3.77 vs. 2.84). The youngest local news enthusiasts, those age 18-39, use the greatest number of local news sources weekly, with a mean of 4.38.
Demographically, local news enthusiasts are more likely than other adults to be female, age 65 or older, retired, and African-American. Politically, they tend to be conservative in their outlook (although they do not differ from others in party identification) and they also attend religious services more frequently than others. They do not differ from other adults in terms of household income, but are less likely to be college graduates.
Despite their older age relative to other adults, local news enthusiasts are still fairly diverse generationally:
(Source: The Center for Media Research, 04/26/12)
One quarter are Generation Y (ages 18-34)
- Two in 10 are Gen Xers (ages 35-46) or Younger Boomers (ages 47-56)
- One in 10 are older Baby Boomers (ages 57-65), in the Silent Generation (ages 66-74), or from the G.I. Generation (age 75+)
- Less enthusiastic followers of local news, in contrast, are more heavily concentrated in Generation Y (45%)
||10 Tools For Surviving and Thriving in the Digital Age
People today seamlessly integrate the use of all types of technologies in their lives, including the way they shop -- at any time, at any location. As a result, they are more informed and selective about the products and services they want and use, and are more empowered towards the industries that serve them.
In this environment, the growth of mobile features and device convergence such as smartphones are driving mobile commerce. At the same time, store visits are being enhanced by dynamic digital displays and personalization through hand-held devices or the shopper's own smartphone. These changes provide retailers with the opportunity to drive greater value by making the switch from "talking to" towards "engaging with" shoppers and consumers.
A growing number of digital channels, from apps to kiosks to the web, are replacing elements of the shopping experience that would previously have occurred in a physical space, calling for the store environment to evolve. This shift requires retailers to think differently about the shopper experience and service model across all channels and touchpoints, including physical stores.
Stores need to offer experiences consumers can't have in the digital space by becoming destinations of choice. They need to blur the boundaries between digital and physical. And retailers need to re-examine their strategy to provide a seamless experience across the entire customer shopping journey.
Powerful digital tools can be applied in a wide range of ways in a retail environment to provide this more seamless experience. Following is a closer look at some of these digital tools.
1. Smartphones enable interaction with customers at every step of their shopping journey.
In today's connected world, retailers should encourage interaction across all channels; for example, encouraging the use of the Internet or smartphones to access a store locator, search product availability and access coupons. By using location-based mobile applications such as "geofencing" retailers can even identify customers in the vicinity of a store and entice them inside by sending out product messages, promotions and exclusive deals. Retailers can also improve their understanding of the shopper buying journey by tracking smartphone usage in store, which can be a key input for improved store design and layout.
2. Self-scan and delivery tracking provide consumer convenience.
Encouraging interaction with customers via smartphones offers a host of benefits, including barcode scanning for price comparison, product information, customer reviews and ratings, and for quick in-store and aisle navigation. Shoppers may also use their phones to track product delivery.
3. Surface computing and multi-touch devices add a new dimension to shopper engagement.
With in-store multi-touch devices shoppers can locate and select products on touchscreens at an interactive station, download product information on a mobile device or locate items in-store. Touch-based graphical interactive devices allow people to interact with content and information on their own or collaboratively with their friends and families.
4. Augmented reality (AR) applications can improve in-store communication.
While still in early adoption, AR has the potential to make a great impact on retail. AR apps using object recognition and GPS can help shoppers locate and find their way to or through stores. Management costs associated with AR may currently run high, but this space is ripe for development.
5. Maximize technology to simplify the point-of-sale.
New apps provide the opportunity to reduce shopper checkout times and abandon rates. For example, "line-busting" applications use wireless devices to emulate the cash register and give credit card shoppers the chance to skip checkout lines, helping to enhance in-store customer service.
6. Mobile payments and near-field communications (NFC) can help increase efficiency.
Mobile payments is a growing area of attention for retailers and is gaining popularity due to a rise in smartphone adoption. Proximity payment approaches like NFC technology, which lets consumers pay for items merely by waving or tapping their smartphones near a register at checkout, will further enhance the in-store experience.
7. QR codes provide expanded presence.
With QR codes, innovative retailers can expand their presence through the use of virtual stores on billboards and advertisements. Shoppers can then use smartphones to scan a QR code near the item advertised, which then gets delivered to a location of their choice.
8. Mobile coupons help leverage key digital trends.
Users of mobile coupons are expected to exceed 300 million globally by 2014, triggered by increased use of mobile applications. Recent innovations in coupons are leveraging digital trends like geotargeting and group buying to provide customers with exclusive coupons for in-store use.
9. Social Local Mobile Media (SoLoMo) capitalizes on the convergence of multiple trends.
Increased adoption of smartphones and related mobile apps has driven the convergence of social, local and mobile media. SoLoMo works on the principle of mobile discovery that uses a device's portability and location awareness to push content, providing retailers with a potential source of real competitive advantage.
10. Video analytics provide enhanced view of shopper activity.
Video analytics can enable retailers to study store traffic flow, dwell time, shopper intent and conversion. The technology has reached a point where it can detect how and when shoppers are actively engaged with promotional messaging, determine demographic data, and push relevant content to shoppers in real time, giving retailers crucial customer insights.
(Source: Brian Girouard, VP of global consumer products and retail at Capgemini; published in
Retailing Today, 06/08/12)
||Mobile Marketing Shifts From Content to Consumer
Mobile marketers are increasingly targeting ads by audience rather than content, leveraging consumers' "real world actions" to send them ads relevant to time and place, according to mobile ad network Millennial Media.
The ability to use location and other data to serve people ads based on where they are and what they doing in the physical world has long been the promise of mobile advertising. Marcus Startzel, Millennnial Media general manager, North America, emphasized the growing shift to audience buying from contextual advertising in mobile during a presentation Tuesday at the Mobile Marketing Association conference in New York.
As one example, he cited the ability to target a car ad to a mobile user after that person left an auto dealer's lot. "Observed real-world behavior. If you're on a car lot, you're probably going to buy a car," he noted. By contrast, it's harder to tell if someone defined as an auto intender -- browsing auto-related sites a few times in the last month -- is truly in the market for a car.
Instead of serving the right ad in the right place at the right time, Startzel talked about finding "the right customer in the right place at the right time."
Mobile ad exchanges like Nexage have the same goal of using location as the key attribute to audience targeting in mobile. However, whether people want to be tracked through their mobile devices -- even anonymously -- to receive more relevant ads, is still playing out.
Among other top trends in the first quarter, Millennial Media pointed to increased ad spending from the year-earlier period and developers bolstering ad buys to promote their apps. The company did npt provide any actual dollar figures in connection with those findings.
When it came to ad categories, sports was the fastest-growing vertical in terms of spending -- up 287% from a year ago -- followed by news, travel, CPG and health. Each saw triple-digit growth. But those gaudy increases were likely a result of starting from a small base. Despite its growth, for instance, sports still failed to crack the top 10 ad categories on the Millennial network, which includes telecom, finance, travel, retail and restaurants and entertainment.
Android remained the dominant mobile platform in the first quarter, accounting for 49% of impressions on the network, compared to a third from iOS, and 14% from BlackBerry devices. Smartphones generated nearly three-quarters (73%) of impressions, followed by connected devices (20%) and feature phones (7%).
Separate data from mobile marketing firm Velti on Tuesday showed a reverse pattern, with iOS representing the bulk (59%) of impressions compared to 41% for Android for the three months ending in May. Helping iOS to widen its lead from 55% in April was the overshadowed iPod Touch, which drove 14.9% of impressions -- more than the iPad and all Android devices.
The Velti report also pointed out the new iPad, released in March, is growing more slowly than its predecessor as an ad vehicle. The iPad 2 at the same point in its life cycle accounted for 21% of impressions, while the new iPad has 13.4%.
Among carriers, AT&T led the way with 53% of smartphone and tablet impressions, with Sprint and Verizon tied in the No. 2 spot with 23% each. T-Mobile had just 1%.
Apart from advertising, Velti said average transaction volume on its ZayPay platform increased 9% in the last three months to $3.22. That's not quite a threat to Amazon yet. The most common purchases were for virtual currency, donations, software downloads and physical goods.
The Velti findings are based on data from its Mobclix Exchange, serving ads across more than 33,500 apps.
(Source: Online Media Daily, 06/13/12)
Daily Sales Tip: Think Radio Ratings Are Inaccurate?
If an advertiser or agency is uncomfortable with the accuracy of radio ratings, they'll hate Facebook. Ads are cheap on Facebook...unless you want to target a specific type of consumer. We've all heard that with the Internet you can target specific consumers in a city, a neighborhood, right down to an individual. But what if the metrics include inaccurate data?
Brands can buy Facebook "Likes" to look more popular than they are. Causes can buy "Likes" to appear to be a movement. Publishers who sell advertisers' mentions on their Facebook pages can buy "Likes" to increase the amount they charge.
A Google search for "buy likes on Facebook" resulted in page after page of links with headlines like these:
-- Buy Facebook Fans/Likes -- Get 200 Likes for $12.99 or Your Money...
-- Buy Facebook Fans, Facebook Likes and we build your Fan Page...
-- Buy Facebook Fans & Likes | Lowest Prices, Best Service
-- Buy Facebook Fans | 250 Guaranteed Facebook Likes for only $17
-- 10 Sites to Buy Facebook Fans, Friends, Likes
-- Buy Facebook Fans, Buy Facebook Likes, Buy Twitter Followers
-- Get Like on Facebook, Buy Fans, #1 Facebook Fans Service
If Facebook "Likes" were purchased, advertisers targeting these consumers are wasting their money.
And really, even if a consumer legitimately "Likes" a Facebook page, do you think they initially entered an accurate description of themselves? Ever ask a woman her age?
Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB