Recession Intensifies ‘Couch Potatoism’ as TV, Internet Converge
Some 26% more Americans chose TV as their favorite type of media than they did last year, according to a new study by Deloitte, which lends credence to the theory that the recession has intensified America’s love for television. The study revealed that more than 70% of respondents ranked TV among their top-three favorite media activities; 34% placed it at the top of the list. TV also snared more than double the numbers of the second most popular media choice, the internet, which came in at 14%, according to MediaBuyerPlanner.
- Value is the new black: Consumer spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. This may spell trouble for brands with no authentic meaning, whether high-end or low.
- Brands are increasingly a surrogate for value: What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what’s wrapped up in the brand and what it stands for.
- Brand differentiation is brand value: The unique meaning of a brand will increase in importance as generic
features continue to propagate in the brand landscape. Awareness as a meaningful market force has long been obsolete, and differentiation will be critical for sales and profitability.
- “Because I said so” is over: Brand values can be established as a brand identity, but they must believably exist in the mind of the consumer. A brand can’t just say it stands for something and make it so. The consumer will decide, making it more important than ever for a brand to have measures of authenticity that will aid in brand differentiation and consumer engagement.
- Consumer expectations are growing: Brands are barely keeping up with consumer expectations now. Every day consumers adopt and devour the latest technologies and innovations, and hunger for more. Smarter marketers will identify and capitalize on unmet expectations. Those brands that understand where the strongest expectations exist will be the brands that survive and prosper.
- Old tricks don’t – and won’t – work anymore: Consumers are on to brands trying to play their emotions for profit. In the wake of the financial debacle of this past year, people are more aware then ever of the hollowness of bank ads that claim “we’re all in this together” when those same banks have rescinded their credit and turned their retirement plan into case studies. The same is true for insincere celebrity pairings – such as Seinfeld & Microsoft or Tiger Woods & Buick. Celebrity values and brand values instead need to be in concert.
- Consumers won’t need to know a brand to love it: As the buying space becomes even more online-driven and international (and uncontrolled by brands and corporations), front-end awareness will become less important. A brand with the right street credibility can go viral in days, with awareness following – not leading – the conversation.
- It’s not just buzz: Conversation and community is increasingly important, and if consumers trust the community, they will extend trust to the brand. This means not just word of mouth, but the right word of mouth within the community. This has significant implications for future of customer service.
- Consumers talk with each other before talking with brands: Social networking and exchange of information outside of the brand space will increase. This – at least in theory – will mean more opportunities for brands to get involved in these spaces and meet customers where they are.
- Engagement is not a fad; It’s the way today’s consumers do business: Marketers will come to accept that there are four engagement methods: The platform (TV; online), the context (program; webpage), the message (ad or communication), and the experience (store/event). At the same time, they also will realize that brand engagement will become impossible using out-dated attitudinal models.
Recession Ups Backstabbing and Sucking Up
More than four in 10 US employees say they are encountering increased workplace backstabbing, “sucking up” and politicking as co-workers take desperate measures to stay employed amid widespread fears of layoffs during the recession, according to a study conducted by Professor Wayne Hochwarter out of Florida State University.
Will the end to the Recession be Local?
The Sacramento Bee has a Google Map that helps you see which parts of America should come out of recession first – and which last. The map was made with projections from IHS Global Insight that forecasted when each metro area will return to employment levels seen before the recession. You can drill down to quite a detailed level.
In-Store Ads More Effective than Out-of-Store
Despite the recession, more than 90% of shoppers make unplanned purchases, and 51% of those decisions take place in the shopping aisles, according to a new study from Miller Zell, writes MediaBuyerPlanner. The Miller Zell study, “Gone in 2.3 Seconds: Capturing Shoppers with Effective In-Store Triggers,” (pdf), tracked the buying triggers of nearly 1,000 US shoppers to identify which in-store and out-of-store marketing communications get their attention and influence their purchase decisions. It found that across all age, income, gender and channels, evaluated, in-store advertising was considered more effective than out-of-store advertising in raising product awareness and communicating product benefits.
Online Advertising Pushes Through
As strange as it may sound, the economic downturn may speed up the transition to digital advertising for many marketers. The Internet’s share of total media ad spending is rising by at least 1 percentage point every year. Simply put: Marketers are spending more on Internet ads, while spending less on advertising in other media, such as newspapers, radio and magazines.
So far, the first months of 2009 aren’t looking as dire as once predicted for the online advertising market, according to buyers and sellers. However, many report that business has slowed down, resulting in intensifying pressure on pricing, particularly in the ad networks space. But the abysmal first quarter that many anticipated—one in which shell-shocked clients either delayed all decision making or went into full budget-slashing mode—hasn’t happened, said many industry insiders.
eMarketer Sounds Death Knell for Newspapers
US newspaper ad revenues are expected to drop 42.5% in the next seven years, signaling a death spiral for the medium as readership moves online and to more real-time, interactive venues, according to a report from eMarketer. In its report, “Newspapers in Crisis: Migrating Online,” the research firm estimates that newspaper advertising revenues dropped 16.4% to $37.9 billion in 2008 and expects that by 2012, those revenues will tumble to $28.4 billion – slightly more than one-half the industry’s revenue peak of $49.4 billion in 2005.