Friday, April 26, 2013

Who is Cooking?

Food advocate, author Michael Pollan is back in the news thanks to the release of his new book.  In a nutshell, he believes we need to get back into the kitchen and start cooking again.  Consequently we will select higher-quality ingredients, thus be in control and eat more intelligently/healthier.

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Will America start rebuilding a culture of cooking?  I hope so.  However, when I examine several lifestyle and demographic trends, I believe that only a select few will subscribe to Pollan’s latest manifesto.  Rationale: 
  • Working Households – According to a 2010 study released by the Center for American Progress “The New Breadwinners”, among families with children, 44.8 percent were headed by two working parents and 26.1 percent were headed by a single parent.  Who has time to shop and cook?
  • Commuting – The average commute one-way is 25.5 minutes (source: U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 Community Survey).  Multiple that by two, five times a week and we are looking at approximately 4.2 hours in commuting time.  Add in the estimated average hours an American works full time per weekday, 8.46 hours (source: U.S. Department of Labor), the equivalent of 42.3 hours per five day work week.  Who has time to cook or shop?
  • Single, One Person, Nonfamily Households – Primarly attributed to people getting married later in life, divorce and seniors outliving their spouses, single households are on the rise in America; 26.7 percent of the total population (source: 2010 U.S. Census).  How many single people do you know like to shop and cook?     
  • “Digital Natives” (a.k.a. Millennials) – America’s number one population group, approximately 80 million, Millennials (individuals between the ages of 16 and 34) are heavy snackers/grazers.  It is estimated that 35% of this group’s daily meals are snacks.  On average they own 2.4 gizmos; 83 percent use social networking sites compared to the overall adult population of 67 percent (source: Pew Internet & Life Project).  In addition to connectivity there is gaming.  Multitasking is their norm.  Dude, who has time to shop and cook?
Who is cooking in your kitchen tonight?


Thursday, April 18, 2013

MTP Revisited

IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) the new buzz phrase for what classical marketers called marketing mix, is the utilization of marketing communications across all mediums that reinforces a brand’s core message.  Bottomline: Marketers have to pinpoint their brand’s MTP (Multiple Touch Points)!
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I first addressed MTP back in October 2012.  The spine of my post was how today’s hybrid marketers embrace a blend of classic marketing combined with the collaborative, interactive tools of Web 2.0.  Consequently they make use of all the available marketing tools in their tool kit to reach their target audience.  I referenced Heineken USA as a prime example.  This morning I would like to share two more examples of marketing leaders who understand the value of MTP (Multiple Touch Points): 
  • Starbucks announced that they are partnering with their Wi-Fi provider Boingo Wireless to be their exclusive Wi-Fi advertising and sponsorship partner (7,000 plus locations in the U.S. and Canada).  Static banner ads will be shown to their guests as they sign in, plus Boingo will be offering additional ad units for other brands.  Starbucks Wi-Fi is an excellent MTP to reach your consumers given they experience approximately 5 million visitations per day.
  • Unilever announced that they are questioning the value of social media and will be shifting their marketing dollars for select brands (e.g., health and beauty care) back to in-store promotions.  They believe that social media is a more in-direct approach, while in-store promotions are closer to the actual point of purchase.  In addition, they have evaluated that boosting their in-store presence makes some brands more visible to the light and non-buyers. 
Do you know your customers’ MTP (Multiple Touch Points)?  More importantly, are you targeting them?


Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I advocate we now live in a Mobile First World.  Consequently I was taken aback when I learned the cell phone turned 40 last Wednesday.  Made me wonder, are things really changing that rapidly as everyone claims or is real change, slow and gradual?

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It is documented that Marty Cooper called Joel Engel April 3rd, 1973 on his cell phone from Manhattan.  A couple of additional points of trivia:
  • Marty was a Division Manager at Motorola when he invented the cell phone.  Joel Engel was his number one rival at Bell Labs.  “Joe, this is Marty.  I am calling you from a cell phone.”  Touché!
  • The handheld portable cell phone Marty used was the Motorola Dyna TAC 8000x.  It weighed 2.5 pounds.  The average weight of a cell phone today is 4 ounces.
According to the CTIA, the Wireless Association, there are approximately 322 million total U.S. subscriber connections.  Remember, our current population is 313.9 million, so there are people reading this post today that have more than one cell phone. 

Some more key statistics: Nielsen now estimates that 53% of the cell phones are smartphones; the Pew Research Center just reported 62%.  Now think about all the functions your smartphone is now capable of performing, especially since the last smartphone or flip phone you owned.  Did these changes happen over night or the changes have been gradual over time since the “Father of the Cell Phone” Marty Cooper stuck it to his rival Joel Engel forty years ago?

What do you think?  Is real change rapid or slow and gradual!  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pottery 101

Customer centricity, content marketing, engagement, connectivity, interactive, transmedia – blah, blah, blah.  Marketers are over processing due to the new world of Web 2.0.  It is real simple: There are buyers (clay) and sellers (potters).  As long as the clay consumes, the potters will market. 

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This much I know.  The buyers (clay) are more informed, because the sellers (potters) are posting excessive information to absorb on the go.  According to a recent post I read (The Three S Model for Content Success), people on average are bombarded with 3 thousand brand impressions per day, because the average attention span of an adult online is only 8 seconds! 

Why all the content?  Big Data!  The sellers (potters) in addition to preaching the features and benefits of their products or services now have the tools to engage and connect with their buyers (clay).   In the process, the sellers (potters) have accumulated countless bytes of data about their buyers (clay).  As I stated back in my January post Data Proliferation, marketers primary Big Data objective is to achieve customer centricity.  Consequently, they analyze the data to figure out how to enhance their buyers (clay) overall experience and number of purchases.  Then they develop content for their buyers (clay) to share – 51% of the best-in-class companies use social sharing tools (source: The Three S Model for Content Success). 

Visualize the sellers (potters) sitting in a room at their potter’s wheels, intensely pedaling away molding their buyers (clay) until they form a beautiful bowl that is ready for the kiln.

Are you ready for Pottery 101?