August Newsletter Articles Archive

Much Ado About Social

Posted August 2, 2010 By s.applegate

In April of 2010, eROI conducted a study of more than 500 marketers that revealed nearly 60 percent of organizations assign less than five hours each week to social media management related tasks. From a company standpoint then, social media is one of the least involved marketing programs.

When they asked marketers which metrics they measures with respect to social media, 65.5 percent indicated growth/declines in friends and followers; 59.5 percent said traffic from social networks to their site; 39 percent said mentions. Measuring new leads (35.7 percent) and sales (28.5 percent) were lower on the list. What isn’t shown here is that 20 percent of respondents said they don’t track anything at all.Marketers in the study also shared what their goals were for social media. The vast majority use social media for brand awareness followed by increasing leads and driving an increase in sales.

So you might be saying, “Yeah, but these are the big brands that can afford the resources to develop an impactful social media program.” But I would tell you that even if a company feels they’re too small or too busy to undertake a comprehensive social media program, start small. Treat it as a test or an experiment, where you develop goals and objectives and measure your success. There are many, that’s for sure, so start with one of the “big three” – Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. As you master each one that is important to your business, determine how to integrate your efforts with the next one in line before you actually tackle it. What is most important is that you provide a quality user experience.

For more information or help to jump-start your social media program, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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Cause For Pause

Posted August 2, 2010 By s.applegate

It has been a long-standing and fairly widespread notion among marketers that the difficult economy impacting sales would reverse itself with a vengeance once pent-up demand was liberated. The new survey released in July by Deloitte and the Harrison Group contains data that indicates the demand pool may not exist or, at least not with the intensity that marketers hope.

While recessions drive obvious responses such as 61 percent of respondents reporting more price consciousness and 42 percent being more frugal and smarter, 65 percent agreed with the statement, “Even though I am spending less on products now, it doesn’t feel like I’m sacrificing that much.” If that’s not enough, 79 percent identified with the statement, “I feel a lot smarter now about the way I shop vs. two years ago.” Some appear to thrive on the challenge of saving as evidenced by 81 percent of the respondents agreeing that “It’s fun to see how much money I can save by using coupons or my shopper loyalty card.”

When consumers feel this way, it dashes positive anticipation that shoppers will return to unrestrained spending habits once the economic recovery deems it is safe to do so. 44 percent of consumers in this survey agreed that “I can’t believe how wasteful I used to be when I shopped.”

Consumer attitudes toward private-label brands show that they don’t feel they’re settling for less by spending less since one third identified with the statement, “I often feel that I am sacrificing when I purchase a store brand instead of a national brand.” The economy hasn’t made people indifferent to brands but it has made them more discriminating as evidenced by the fact that seventy-five percent of those surveyed agreed that “Going through these economic times has caused me to realize which brands I care about and which ones are less important to me.”

Rather than waiting for pent-up demand to break free, it’s a great time for marketers to objectively assess their overall position in terms of the competitive landscape, brand positioning, loyalty programs and promotional offers to optimally place themselves for the more economically prosperous days that we all hope lie ahead.

For more information or help realigning your strategy and tactics, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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Business Travel ROI

Posted August 1, 2010 By s.applegate

As companies feel greater pressure to grow the bottom line, an obvious cost-cutting measure is to reduce or eliminate business travel. Recent data released by Oxford Economics, US Travel Association and BEA show this could be a short-sighted tactic.

According to the February 2009 survey of 400 corporate executives, 51 percent report that their organization has decreased the amount of business travel in recent months and of those who made cuts, have reduced their budgets by an average of 35 percent. Sounds like smart business moves until you look deeper at some of the respondent level data and econometric modeling to see that the key research findings reveal quite the contrary:

- Curbing business travel can reduce a company’s profits for years. The average business in the US would forfeit 17 percent of its profits in the first year of eliminating business travel. It would take more than three years for profits to recover.

- Econometric analysis and surveyed executives confirmed a similar magnitude of business travel ROI: for every dollar invested in business travel companies realize $12.50 in incremental revenue.

- Corporate executives confirmed what business travelers asserted: 28 percent of their business would be lost without in-person meetings.

- Both executives and business travelers estimate that roughly 40 percent of their prospective customers are converted to new customers with an in-person meeting compared to 16 percent without such a meeting.

From a competitive standpoint, this has significant implications. Three-quarters of all businesses believe that increasing travel, while competitors are reducing it, can build market share and customer relationships. Roughly half or, 53 percent say reducing business travel will give their competition an advantage.

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Who is Blogging?

Posted August 1, 2010 By s.applegate

According to the Sysomos report that examined more than 120 million blog posts, 53.3 percent if all bloggers is between the ages of 21-35. While the data is self-reported, we believe it is directionally accurate given the extraordinarily high number of data points.

Sysomos also found that the number of men and women is relatively equal with men at 49.1 percent and women making up 50.9 percent of total bloggers.

The country with the greatest share of bloggers is the US with a 29.22 percent share followed by the UK at 6.75 percent and Japan at 4.88 percent. California has the most bloggers (14.1%), and New York is number two with 7.2%. So what do you think? Do we have too much free time on our hands in the US or are we just incredibly resourceful?

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