November 2011 Archives
As we approach the 2011 holiday shopping season, a multitude of studies have been recently released which attempt to predict consumers’ holiday shopping plans, behaviors, attitudes and spending. In this post, we’ll attempt to summarize some of the recurring themes that span the various studies. IAB is also adding to this quantitative knowledge with qualitative points garnered from tests conducted as we develop our online community, called HearWatchSay, a joint venture with IPSOS/OTX.
Let’s look at some of the recurring themes this holiday shopping season:
Early Shopping and the Preference for Cyber Monday over Black Friday
The turkeys haven’t even been cooked, much less digested, and yet many consumers have already started their holiday shopping. comScore states “Four in ten have already begun holiday shopping.”
Our HearWatchSay community members who participated in our shopping survey told us they’d already started shopping and the overwhelming majority of that group (about three-quarters) reported that they will avoid Black Friday. At first glance, this seems to imply that consumers are open to shopping early in the season, but this is more likely due to consumers trying to avoid the crowds that the shopping season brings, based on what we are learning from HearWatchSay. Instead, it appears that our community members are looking forward to shopping on Cyber Monday.
Researching gifts is a top activity across mobile and digital, both online and in-store, with price comparison more frequent among smartphone users. NPD states that about half plan to do gift research online before shopping. The top online holiday shopping activities of our HearWatchSay panel members who responded to the shopping survey are researching gifts on shopping sites, reading online reviews to help decide, researching gifts using a search engine and using a price comparison site/app.
With increasing economic uncertainty and declining consumer confidence, it’s no surprise that many consumers plan to cut down on spending this holiday season. According to Nielsen, 41% of Americans are planning to spend less this year.
Consistent with shoppers’ plans to spend less, the top holiday shopping purchase influences for HearWatchSay members who responded to our survey are email coupons& discount codes, in-store coupons and Cyber Monday specials. NPD states that the #1 influence on where to shop is ‘special sale price’ followed by overall value for the price and convenient location. 40% (#5) also are influenced by free shipping offers.
More Online Shopping This Year
Consumers may be spending less this year, but more of that spending is being done online. One-third of HearWatchSay survey respondents state they plan to do more online shopping this year, largely driven by cost-saving (deals, coupons, price comparison) in addition to crowd-avoidance and convenience. Additionally, eMarketer predicts that U.S. retail ecommerce holiday sales will grow 16.8% this year to $46.7 billion, which is five times faster growth than the total retail industry.
Overall, top drivers for holiday shopping behavior this year — both online and offline — imply cost-saving measures; online deals, in-store coupons, in-store shopping to save on shipping fees.
Mobile Shopping… or In-Store Price-checking
Another category that is seeing increases driven by cost-saving behaviors is mobile holiday shopping. Many (about half of HearWatchSay respondents) are planning to shop in stores with their smartphones, using them for in-store comparison shopping, scanning QR/UPC codes in the store or doing gift research on their mobile devices. According to Deloitte’s Annual Holiday Survey, 27% of smartphone owners will use their devices for holiday shopping this year.
Smartphones are being used more for in-store comparison shopping than actual purchases (only 15% of HearWatchSay members said they’d buy via mobile phone). Tablets, however, are gaining ground as a device for making purchases with tablet holiday shopping behaviors resembling those done on a laptop computer — comparison shopping and buying. Paypal with Ipsos and IBM Coremetrics expect an increase in mobile purchases overall this season, whether via smartphone or tablet.
In summary, holiday shopping this year appears to be shifting more to digital and mobile, with mobile being used more to ‘optimize’ in-store shopping. That isn’t to say that people won’t be crowding the aisles in stores looking for that perfect sweater or to use their store coupons. But more of them will be tapping away at their phones while shopping, looking for a better deal at another store or online. Many will forgo the crowds at stores to shop online in the convenience of their own home, at a time that suits them.
Perhaps the defining factor driving both online and offline shopping this year is saving money. Cost-saving measures seem to be strongly influencing consumers’ behaviors and purchase decisions this year whether online, mobile or in-store. Consumers are looking forward to Cyber Monday and plan to take advantage of online coupons and deals. At the same time they cite in-store coupons and saving on shipping fees as major influences in offline shopping, which will of course be accompanied by their mobile shopping assistant.
About the Author
Kristina Sruoginis is Director of Digital Research at IAB
There’s an enduring misperception that only a few select verticals are seeing success with mobile advertising. Correcting that is a key item on the industry to do list. During Advertising Week 2011, Paul Gelb, the Vice President, Mobile Practice Lead at Razorfish, observed that “Every industry vertical has found a way to integrate mobile.”
Indeed, particularly over the past 18 months, several verticals have become extremely active in the mobile arena, finding great success there. Six industry verticals increased their mobile ad spend by over 100 percent in the last year (with the finance vertical alone growing by more than 1000 percent), showing that mobile is not only beyond the experimental stage; it has become a key component of today’s media plan.
The IAB “Marketer Perceptions of Mobile Advertising” survey, released in July 2011, provided a great perspective on mobile for a number of key verticals. There is clear common ground between the IAB findings on vertical markets, and what Millennial Media is seeing in the marketplace.
As a mobile ad platform, Millennial generates data and insights that cover the breadth of the mobile advertising marketplace. We share those insights via a number of Mobile Intelligence offerings, including our monthly Scorecard for Mobile Advertising Reach and Targeting (SMART) and Mobile Mix: The Device Index reports.
In June, we added the Mobile Intel Series to the mix. This vertically-focused series is currently produced in conjunction with comScore to help brands navigate consumer behavior, targeting trends, etc. within key verticals. So far, this series has covered retail and automotive, and in a few weeks we’ll release a third report, on financial services.
The results of these reports, married with the campaign data pulled from our mobile ad platform, indicate key factors that all brands should consider when planning a campaign for their particular industry.
Know where to find your consumers
One of the misnomers in mobile is the idea that brands have to advertise in their own content vertical to reach consumers. For example, among mobile consumers who view auto content on their phone, sites like Edmunds.com or Car and Driver are certainly popular, but there are other places to reach these users too. Compared to the overall mobile audience, mobile auto consumers are heavy users in mobile content categories such as Tech News, Sports Info and Financial News & Stock Quotes.
In the Finance vertical, 80 percent of mobile financial users own a smartphone, which is more than double the overall mobile population; and the mobile finance audience is 76 percent more likely to own a tablet or e-reader, when compared to the mobile audience.
This shows that mobile finance consumers are looking to engage with content on next generation devices, and there is an opportunity for brands to reach consumers through apps or the mobile web. The stat about connected devices also shows that mobile plays a huge role in these consumer’s lives, as many mobile finance users have both a tablet and smartphone.
The best way to reach consumers outside of your brand’s vertical will differ depending on the industry, and the brands who can understand how their target audience is using mobile can gain a leg up on the competition.
Know where mobile consumers are in the purchase funnel
When planning a campaign, advertisers should think about where consumers are in the purchase funnel when they are potentially viewing the ad. In our retail study, for example, we found that 52 percent consumers turn to mobile to help determine if a product is needed, while 29 percent turn to mobile to comparison shop.
For auto advertisers—brands may want to alter their campaigns if they are reaching people who are not directly in the market for a car (i.e. instead of advertising a sale price on a new model, they can advertise their maintenance app). This is another area that can definitely vary depending on the industry.
Find the targeting and campaign goals that work for your vertical
Reaching local consumers is a top priority for many mobile advertising campaigns, and this is seen in the targeting and campaign goals listed out in our Mobile Intel Series reports. 43 percent of targeted audience campaigns in the automotive industry chose to target by local market, as auto advertisers narrowed in on specific locations to drive consumers into dealerships and promote regional deals.
In the retail industry, 29 percent of campaigns had the goal of increasing foot traffic, again showing the emphasis on reaching local consumers in a specific market.
In both cases, retail and auto advertisers understood how important these consumers were to their industry, and they were able to craft campaigns specifically designed to reach this group.
Millennial maintains that the mobile “triple play” is location plus relevancy plus immediacy. All three of these are underscored in the quick aforementioned vertical examples.
Real World examples
For examples at how various verticals are succeeding in mobile in the retail, auto, travel, entertainment verticals and more, feel free to look through Millennial’s campaign summary library. For example, you can check out how Patagonia and Buick both engaged consumers with mobile video, but in two completely different ways that were relevant to their respective campaign goals. The IAB Mobile Library also has some wonderful research on mobile internet consumers.
Every industry vertical has found a way to integrate mobile. Now is the time to understand how your target audience is using mobile, and reach your consumers where they already are. Before your competition does.
About the Author
It’s easy for me to say that the winners of the seventh annual IAB MIXX Awards, which recognize creativity and impact in interactive advertising, created large-scale, ambitious, experiential, interactive campaigns that went beyond telling stories to building them, many times from the ground up—and that would be truth. But to be frank, looking at the winners of the 25 categories from Business-to-Business Campaign to Digital Out-of-Home Advertising, I see something more revolutionary. I see campaigns that hardly fit into what we often envision when we say “interactive advertising.” The brilliant creative transcended traditional online advertising “boxes” to forge lasting bonds between brands and consumers by delighting, surprising, and interacting with them. But you don’t have to take it from me. The judges, and the work itself, tell a similar story.
“This year I noticed a theme of invention, where brands and agencies were creating inventions and then using those inventions to tell stories,” said MIXX Awards Judge Jeff Benjamin, partner, chief creative officer, Crispin Porter + Bogusky. His team contributed to the Best in Show winner, “Small Business Saturday” for American Express OPEN by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Digitas, and he explained that they created a Rocky, underdog type of story—not through a linear narrative, but by utilizing several different platforms and inventing a day. “The same way we relied on TV or print in the past to tell these narratives or stories, we’re using inventions now to do that. It’s taking us to a place that’s sort of modern storytelling.”
The “Small Business Saturday” campaign quite literally created a day dedicated to shopping at small businesses—similar to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The hub of the initiative was a Facebook page where consumers could show their support and small business owners were provided with tools to support the cause. Coordinated with the social media activation was a TV spot adapted for viewing online, in elevators, at sporting events and taxi cabs, as well as full-page newspaper ads and radio spots. American Express brand host Ellen DeGeneres in addition to other “Small Business Saturday” supporters tweeted about the endeavor. In the end, forty-one mayors and governors officially declared November 27 Small Business Saturday and small businesses saw many more people using their AmEx cards.
Another invention Benjamin pointed to is the winner of the gold for the Mobile Platforms and Apps category: the “Bud Ice Cold Index” created for Diageo Ireland by DDB UK. In this case, the marketer and agency worked together to invent an economic model, he said.
The “Bud Ice Cold Index” gave beer drinkers in Ireland discounts on pints of Budweiser based on the weather. “The hotter the day, the less you pay,” the summertime 2011 campaign said. At its center was a mobile app that informed consumers of their local temperature, how much they’d save on Budweiser, and nearby participating bars. The program was supported with television, digital video, Twitter, Facebook, and out of home. By the end of the summer, the app was downloaded 150,000 times and 50% of the target market took part in the promotion.
“Any good campaign or marketing execution is going to take advantage of what’s happening in someone’s life beyond your brand or products,” MIXX Awards Judge DyShaun Muhammad, senior marketing manager, Bisquick and Wal-Mart, General Mills, said. The “Bud Ice Cold Index” did this by creating an association between the weather and Budweiser. Many of the winners produced this powerful type of experience, one that broke down the divide between the online and the offline, and that reflected consumers’ deeply rooted individual values.
Emma Cookson, chairman of BBH New York, and first-time MIXX Awards Judge, pointed to the bigness and boldness of the winning executions. “It’s quite easy to be creative around little things, peripheral, quirky projects, but when you get creative ideas and executions on these big platforms and these big scales, it means hey, we already have grown up and are using these solutions.”
Suzie Reider, the head of video advertising for YouTube, and multiyear MIXX Awards Judge, gave credit for this growth to the buying community. “Creative agencies will bring all kinds of crazy stuff but it takes an innovative, confident buyer to say, ‘You know what? We haven’t done anything that big and bold yet, but let’s go for it.’”
These types of robust experiences also require a more collaborative and close working relationship between the marketer and the agency, said MIXX Awards Judge Nick Law, executive vice president, chief creative officer, R/GA. “Agencies that are helping their clients’ businesses grow are sitting with their clients and figuring out their business problems and using media and technology to solve them,” he said. It’s no longer as simple as a marketer makes a product followed by a copywriter and art director team fitting ideas into pre-determined constraints like banners and 30 seconds of television time. “If you’re doing advertising, you’re doing something that fits into a template,” he said. “You’re not inventing anything,” he said.
To see the winning “inventions” please visit the Winners Gallery—and then try to outdo them.
About the Author
David Doty is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
I moderated a panel on top brands and social media last month at the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA)’s annual conference in Miami. Discussions at that workshop and at AHAA overall demonstrated to me personally that the Hispanic agency may be at the dawn of a new age, one with great opportunity on the horizon. While there are those who might still hold on to the fears of the past, I challenge those naysayers that there is actually a SURGE of business, confidence, and optimism about today’s Hispanic or Multicultural advertising & marketing agencies.
Today we are in a place where it is more than relevant to hire someone who speaks both languages of your intended consumers, who may actually be THE target for your products and services, and understands how to culturally connect with the brand, audience, or community. Indeed this is a distinct advantage that agencies with a dedicated multicultural approach have in the marketplace, especially with the proliferation of clients interested in strategies for multicultural and multiplatform media here and globally.
This is something the IAB Multicultural Council, a group focused on collaboration within the multicultural digital space and engaging new marketers to come aboard, shared at its first ever U.S. Hispanic Marketing Agency Day this year, “Clicko-de-Mayo”, where we discussed the growth of the Hispanic online market & how marketers can capitalize on this important demographic, as well as releasing valuable research about Hispanics online called “U.S. Latinos Online: A Driving Force.”
Seneca Mudd, IAB, kicking off Clicko-de-Mayo 2011
I encourage my colleagues to applaud the lead of agencies putting forth innovative and creative strategies and who are doing excellent work, be they large or small shops. Larger “general market” agencies such as Starcom’s Tapestry, MediaVest and MV42 or Group M’s Mindshare & MEC, and/or Digitas, OMD, among others, continue to see significant growth in the Hispanic digital space. However, let’s also look at the indicators of success, relative to digital and industry stature, of these smaller Hispanic shops:
Casanova Pendrill - New AOR for Denny’s, launched an online Spanish-language gaming experience for Nature Valley, developed launch campaign for Fun-Da-Middles, new baking mix from General Mills which included three English-language webisodes and a how-to online video.
Conill - The oldest USH agency won the 2010 Multicultural Agency of the Year by Advertising Age, a repeat from 2007, continues to pave the wave with innovative programs for T-Mobile and Toyota.
Dieste - The ADCOLOR Industry Coalition awarded Dieste’s president & CCO, Aldo Quevedo, the 2011 Legend Award. Dieste is the only Ad Age Multicultural Agency of the Year three time winner.
Grupo Gallegos - Recently awarded two North American Effie Awards for its work with the California Milk Processor Board and the Ad Council for Hispanic Scholarship Fund. After the launch of “Mucho Mas Que Leche,” 57 percent of Hispanics reported buying milk more than once a week, compared to 48 percent in 2009.
Lopez Negrete - Recently won a WebAward by the Web Marketing Association in the category of Best Internet Service Provider Website, for their work on EnciendeteFiOS.com, Verizon Telecom’s Hispanic Website.
I recently asked Alex Lopez Negrete, President, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Lopez Negrete about his Hispanic agency and digital in particular. And he replied “Ours is not a Hispanic agency trying to do digital work for its clients. Rather, we are a Hispanic agency that has worked diligently to develop a full-service digital unit. When you are sitting at the table with the major digital agencies in the general market, there is no way around it. Your clients have high expectations, and you need to deliver.”
During NY Advertising Week 2011, I was impressed to see The Vidal Partnership’s continued efforts on our industry’s behalf as they produced a series of panels on the digital and multiplatform transformation of multicultural/new general markets. This same week, I had the pleasure to see an old friend, Isabella Sanchez of Zubi, who told me they are breaking ground on a new office in Miami, another good indication that Hispanic agencies are indeed growing!
I also had the pleasure this year to meet Ola Mobolade, Managing Director, Firefly Millward Brown and author of “Marketing to the New Majority”. She too feels optimistic about this moment in multicultural advertising and “ethnic agencies” as she calls them, telling me that “the current cultural evolution is turning the tides in their favor. As the US transforms into a majority-minority nation who better to lead brands through this diverse mainstream than multicultural marketers? While general market agencies are quickly getting smart about this new mainstream, the ethnic shops have a far longer track record of marketing to non-white consumers. If they can find a way to approach this climate as an opportunity rather than a threat, they’ll be in a great position moving forward.”
And there are many others doing great work; Alma DDB, D’Esposito, Media 8, Sensis and Siboney, as well as kbs+p’s Ramona!
Hispanic agencies are indeed poised to maintain and grow their digital assets and revenue in the years ahead across platform and we wish them continued success, buena suerte!
About the Author
Liz Sarachek Blacker
Liz Sarachek Blacker is a co-founder of the original IAB Hispanic Committee in 2002 (now called the IAB Multicultural Council) and is Chief Revenue Officer at Terra USA. She can be reached @lizsarachek.
What a difference four years and a lot of elbow grease makes. Back in 2007 when we launched IAB Ad Ops Summit 2.0 we had about 70 people attend with only one person, Margaret Bell of OMD, representing the buy-side. Fast forward four years and the 2012 buy-side audience rivaled the entire audience. The audience has effectively quintupled with a healthy blend of industry service providers in attendance. And the discussions have shifted from existing challenges (e.g., Late Creative, Impression Exchange, eBusiness, etc.) to a platter of forward looking opportunities (i.e., Making Measurement Make Sense’s (MMMS) Viewability and GRP Principles and Real-Time Bidding).
Dan Murphy and Adrian D’Souza receiving their IAB Lifetime Achievement Award
from Steve Sullivan of IAB, at IAB Ad Ops Summit 2011
MMMS held the stage for a healthy chunk of the morning session at IAB Ad Ops Summit 2011. Viewable impressions have been one of the most discussed MMMS findings. To the casual observer this might seem like low hanging fruit while bringing a new level of accountability and transparency to today’s impressions. But make no mistake, this is no trivial task and some form of Impression Exchange (IES) will be required to avoid the very delivery issues our buy-side colleagues have railed against for years. For that reason, one of the last sessions was a visual example of the challenges with impression discrepancies. Kudos to the Vindico team for bringing the challenges to life.
Online Gross Rating Points was the second MMMS principle discussed. On the surface, a move toward GRPs is attractive. But we know it is not the be-all, end-all with many marketers seeking out more aggressive targeting methods. Jackson Bazley of Ernst & Young made note of a current effort he’s conducting over at the Council for Research Excellence Digital Committee to study data collected by publishers. The IAB Data Lexicon released last week provides a constructive framework to talk about the data being used. I look forward to seeing more buy-side requirement rigor being brought to bear on these requirements.
My co-Chair Adrian D’Souza hosted the discussion on verification; one of the more contentious topics over the last few years, as mentioned in his recent IABlog post. While my initial take was to dismiss or side-step the verification services, the fact is branded publishers get a black eye from the games played in the marketplace. Since most of the issues were found in long tail, talking about the issues was all the more frustrating. As has been the case since we started engaging our buy-side colleagues, once we sat at the table and laid the issues out, we had a constructive dialogue. I am not saying we agree 100% of the time. But more often than naught, we find common ground to make our lives easier.
At the end of the day we held our traditional town hall - to talk about those issues not discussed over the course of the day (e.g. the elephant in the room - Privacy and need for proactive self-regulation.) During this time Adrian and I announced we would be stepping down as co-chairs of the IAB Ad Ops Council. We want to make room for new blood. With evolution of Mobile, Digital Video, Social and Data we need specialists to step forward and take lead. Ideally, this will be done with our buy-side friends. We’ve got our work cut-out for ourselves and standing in place is not an option.
As we step down, Adrian and I would like to acknowledge many people who have been in the trenches with us fighting the good fight. They include, but are not limited to…
Bev Beeson, Jonathan Bellack, Ben Reid, Dan Foehner, Jeremy Fain, Chuck Gafvert, Heather Keltz, Trish Lemley, Todd Kosenski, Tim Messier, Bill Nielsen, Zachary Putnam, Zack Rogers, Jill Sly , Todd Teresi, Joey Trotz, Robert Wagstaff, Sarah Weisinger, Shane Wiley as well as our buy-side friends - Joe Barone, Margaret Bell, Michelle Burnham, David Cohen, Grace Liau, John Montgomery, Mitch Weinstein, Brandon Wolf, and Julian Zilderbrand.
It’s time for new friends to scale the mountaintop. Join us on this journey.
About the Author
Since the advent of the radio in the 1930’s, millions of us have gathered around this social experience through our favorite music or spoken word content. The thrill of participating in a new music format launch, agreeing or not with your favorite talk show host or being glued to the end of that World Series game are all experiences which have stood the test of time. Radio has been with us through good times and bad, helped us with national & local emergencies and still plays a critical role in the lives of most Americans.
Similar to television, the broadcast radio model continues to serve a wonderful purpose of distributing content in cars, offices & homes across the country. Contrary to some reports, offline radio remains a healthy media channel with more than 230 million people/week listening to some form of audio content. However, like many other mediums with IP based delivery now, the definition of “radio” is quickly changing and providing audiences & advertisers with many unique benefits/options - broadcast station streams or customized channels, listening to your favorite radio station far outside your home market, listening to your favorite webcaster, interactivity within the experience to thumbs up or down a song and the list goes on. We are living in transformational times as technology & the web has driven a ton of innovation for audio centric audiences.
The ad supported online audio space has been a gradual build however we have witnessed a lot of activity over the last 6 months. To summarize a few: Pandora became a public company & redesigns its media player in HTML5 format, Slacker purchased AOL Music from CBS Radio, Spotify launched its service in the U.S., Clear Channel re-launched its IHeart Radio product with a 2-day event in Las Vegas, CBS Radio added rich content & personalization to its Radio.com player, and even Facebook jumped into the game with its announcements on becoming a media hub. A lot of energy from the Publisher side to win audiences in the early stages of this channel and we will look back on 2011 as being a critical year of development for online audio. Much of these moves are being triggered by the explosion of mobile smartphone & tablet deployments in the hands of consumers. These devices have been a large platform for online audio publishers to build new “apps” and distribute their content in multiple ways. As the mobile space continues to grow, it will provide a platform for online audio growth as well.
Given the rapid growth trend of audio consumption online and on mobile platforms, the IAB established an Audio Committee in 2009 to help educate an inquisitive marketplace about industry standards and best practices for using digital audio as an effective ad platform. Just a few weeks back on a Monday afternoon, the IAB hosted “Streaming Audio for Agencies Day” for a standing-room-only collection of media executives, researchers and content publishers in New York. The centerpiece for the day was the release of the IAB’s “Digital Audio Advertising Overview” (click here to download your own copy), which served as a backdrop for several panel discussions, research presentations, case studies and Q&A sessions with leaders in the space. The afternoon was a fast-paced, no-holds-barred glimpse into an eager marketplace seeking the straight skinny about size, composition and engagement levels of this emerging audience, and how to most effectively target.
Tidbits that moved the Noisemeter:
- 9 out of the top 10 Retailers in the U.S. are including digital audio ads today in their media mix
- Most listeners to digital audio can be demo and geo targeted, even down to zip codes
- Agency planners and buyers want to see radio and streaming audio listenership measured in a uniform way…with identical metrics
- Streaming radio listenership is moving to mobile devices and in-car dashboards at a very rapid pace (Pandora > 60% of listenership on mobile devices)
- According to Arbitron and Edison Research, approximately 57 Million people “listened to Online Radio in the past week” (January, 2011)
- “Click-and-buy” on mobile devices is becoming a behavioral reality
Listen to audio highlights from “IAB Streaming Audio for Agencies Day” here:
It was apparent to most of us in the room that the power of the audio ad to move and activate listeners is as strong as ever…especially when a listener reaction can be measured with a tap or click on a simultaneously-served display ad. What we’re beginning to learn is that when that ad execution plays in a self-selected, personalized listening environment, brands AND listeners benefit. And now, the IAB Digital Audio Committee is asking you to join us. Whether you are on the brand side, the planning or creative side of an agency, traditional or digital, network or content creator - we need you to help us build this growing medium online. To find out more about the IAB and its critical industry-building Committees and Councils, ping Luke or Michael to find out more about membership opportunities.
Wishing you a fruitful Q4 and start to the Holiday season.
About the Authors