27 November 2012

Black Friday, Cyber Monday Surpass One Billion Press Releases

imageA fleck of flack confetti just flew into my inbox:

Subject: Expert Available for Cyber Monday Recap Stories
For any Cyber Monday wrap up stories you’re working on, **** CEO & Co-Founder ***** is available to comment.

Who needs experts when we have famed Soothsayer and advertising gadfly NostraChuckus, who’s been startling the world for years with his mundane prognostications?

More from the flack fleck:

Move Over Black Friday: Last year it was Cyber Monday, rather than Black Friday, that saw numbers surpassing $1 billion in revenue.

Hmmm.  Could that be because Black Friday revenue was $11.4 Billion last year? Why would you use $1 Billion as any sort of comparable barometer?  You might as well use one dollar.

Flack fleck:

Top Shopper-Targeting Tactics: The number of potential touch-points to reach consumers is rapidly increasing, especially with more shoppers turning toward tablet devices and smartphones.

Add these:

Mobile Boosts Cyber Monday; Facebook and Twitter Not So Much
By Christopher Heine
image… The proliferation of smartphones and tablets are impacting the way holidays shoppers go about their business.

…On the other hand, IBM found that social media-driven sales were down 35 percent year over year for Black Friday.

Social Media Has A Black Friday #Fail
Traffic from Twitter to retail websites was especially grim: down from 0.02% of total traffic on Black Friday in 2011 to 0.00% this year…

The numbers will need some serious spinning by social media gurus invested in the idea of social commerce being the future for online retail.

This all sounds vaguely familiar…

01 May 2010
… Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky – while marketing/search (coupons on steroids, and more) will flourish and dominate.

22 August 2011
5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5
Time To Duct-Tape WOMM?
A recent ad posted by “Katmoney” … offered to write convincing negative reviews posted to a Yelp page of your choosing.

25 September 2012
Twitter & Advertising
imageThe mobile/social media soothsayers will have you believe that there is this unknown, magical mode of persuasion that has never been thought of before – and will reveal itself any day now.

The Lesson:  Use (silly retronym ahead) Traditional Advertising – television, newspaper inserts, magazines, outdoor, direct mail – to advertise, use smartphones for marketing while consumers are shopping. (Although the percentage of people using  smartphones to shop isn’t that impressive.)

And what did NostraChuckus predict almost six years ago?

15 December 2006
The Brouhaha Over WOMM
…When it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends.

What is and is not ‘digital’ advertising?  That’ll be the next post.

19 November 2012

There’s a lot of bad advice out there. And old advice. And old bad advice.

boomersscreamingEvery few years a menagerie of marketing mavens, with no knowledge of history, have epiphanies:

“Hey, we should target Baby Boomers!”

All sorts of revelatory recommendations are bandied about.  The problem: bad advice is often mixed with the parroting.

From a major media outlet:

This market is outpacing younger cohorts when it comes to adopting new technologies and online media, so don’t discount digital advertising, social media and mobile content.

The first part is true.  I’ve been screaming about it for years.  But that doesn’t mean the second part follows:

The Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising Posts

From a major business magazine (online article):

The marketing business is obsessed with youth, and figures the Baby Boomers (who do like to consider themselves still 25 years old) will respond, too.

Again, the first part is true.  You can read the Intro and 1st chapter of my book ©2005/2007 for that info.  But the second part…

Culled from the book:

CVRCompContrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.) Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are. Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes - but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up. We're not 'looking forward to retirement,' we're looking forward to new lives, new challenges.

Posts from 2008:

imageMost Inane Commercial of The Year Award
Category: Targeting Baby Boomers
… I bet it'll also make a lot of people from other generations cringe. (Or thrilled that we're being portrayed as such nincompoops.)

Me vs. We
mevsyou Last week I read a piece of marketing advice: "Baby boomers have always been considered the 'me-generation,' and that doesn't change with age."  It's this type of reckless gibberish that is useless to marketers, and ultimately harmful to their clients.

In this age of digital ephemera, where things zoom by, just as quickly zoom into oblivion, are forgotten, or even worse, never seen, when these same things zoom by again and again and again, they’re all, all of a sudden, brand new.


image21 November 2010
There’s a lot of bad advice out there.
Even a jaded, grizzled fellow like yours truly is often amazed at the poop on the web, along with what passes as cutting-edge thought.

07 February 2012
There’s still a lot of bad advice out there.
Recently I’ve stumbled on more weird opinions and advice.  I’ll share some, but no linking because I’m too nice a guy.

13 November 2012

The Latest Miscellany

Golly gee, there’s no one big news story I can find to write about.  Or I’m too frazzled to concentrate, or senescently scatterbrained, or to put a positive spin on it all, expertly multitasking since that’s what people do nowadays because it’s impossible to focus on one thing what with all the tech chattering going on all around you.

Baby Boomers are wonderful:

Baby boomers have lots more to contribute
imageBaby boomers have earned the right not to be forgotten for their contributions by the new generations…The national conversation will only be a success if it does not forget to engage the baby boomers.

Focus on the right things, and baby boomers are a model.
I would suggest that the perseverance we used to end a war, and to move the country forward using myriad of social, humanitarian and political actions -- could likely be the kind of leadership that is in such short supply today, both here in Minnesota and elsewhere.

Baby Boomers are horrible:

Elderly go from being perceived as capable consumer to ‘old person’
“Abbie,” an 89-year-old woman from Texas, told Barnhart when she went to her doctor with her daughters, the physician would only talk to her children.

“If younger people bring you in, they think it’s because you’re not, I guess, lucid enough to understand what they’re saying,” Abbie said.

That seems to be the Doctor’s fault. But what do I know.

As Entrepreneurs:

The Baby Boomer Entrepreneur
imageTech startup founders in their 20s and 30s make all the headlines, but when it comes to entrepreneurship, increasingly it’s baby boomers who are more likely to be in business for themselves — and creating jobs in the process.

Why baby boomers take the entrepreneurship plunge
imageThe end of World War II begot a generation of Americans that’s starting to make waves in the entrepreneurship scene.

This all sounds vaguely familiar:

Targets Clients and Entrepreneurs

advbbcoverParamount Market Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.
… Chuck Nyren's egalitarian approach to advertising and the creation of campaigns is all-inclusive. A large section of the book is dedicated to helping Baby Boomer entrepreneurs get their marketing and advertising up and running. The author as well gives advice and guidance to the small businessperson on how to fashion a handmade campaign.

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers: Part I
All of a sudden every other news article about Baby Boomers is focused on business and entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers II
I’ve found that there are two mistakes made by almost every entrepreneur targeting this unwieldy, diverse market.

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers III
Lessons for entrepreneurs? Due Diligence, of course. But not everybody is out to steal your your money with promises of fortunes with their marketing/advertising prowess.

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers IV
It's counter-intuitive, but the forever work life of older Americans may turn out to be a good thing for young workers.

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers V
The theme contemplated in this session is the enormous opportunity and challenge created by the aging demographics of the United States and Europe.

Friend Kevin Lavery tweeted this today:


No kidding.  I can’t keep up with them all.  I tried to years ago:

Sleepy Baby Boomer Internet Villages

Invasion of the Baby Boomer Pod People

A Bit Of Social Networking Site Research
BoomertowneSix sites featured were Social Networking sites.  Of those six, four (BoomJ.com, BoomerTowne.com, TeeBeeDee.com, Boomer411.com) failed miserably and no longer exist.  Millions of dollars wasted.
Update: Make that five out of six.

Advertising to Baby Boomers Can Be Tricky Business
“Here are six slogans, corporate tags, mission statements, whatever you want to call them, for six web sites targeting Boomers.”

You’d better start searching for all these new ones Kevin is talking about because they’ll vanish into the unity before long.

07 November 2012

The Costco Connection

imageThat behemoth barn Costco does a pretty good job serving Baby Boomers. 

The catalog/magazine Costco Connection likewise does a pretty good job.  Take a look at recent covers and you’ll figure out fast what age demo is not being ignored.  Advertisers everywhere, pay attention.

A bulkier-than-normal issue arrived the other day.  The holiday issue.  As always, I drifted through it.  Celeb profiles included Neil Young and Rod Stewart.  Sure, these fellows are pushing stuff (an autobiography, a Christmas album), but two Boomer music icons in one issue?  Smart for Costco.

imageI’ll make a wild guess and assume Costco is not directly responsible for ads from other sources.  It is responsible for store brands (Kirkland) and any promotional fodder. Most of these are okay for older eyes, but not great.  The designers seem to like white typeface, sometimes on light backgrounds.  I noticed a few with white on blue – the worst combo for people over fifty. 

The layout is busy, but what else could it be with such a jam-packed issue?  Black on white for articles is ideal, although I’d bump up the font a whit or more.  I don’t like to squint.

imageRecently, Costco has implemented two marketing strategies, one good (with reservations) and one not so good (yet):

  • It’s pumping millions into its website.
  • Promos are trying to convince folks to give up their print mag and access it virtually.

Some moldy posts, still relevant:

15 April 2007
Positioning Magazines for Baby Boomers
… This (digital) nest is here to stay – but for a big part of their day Baby Boomers are happy to fly far from all the chaos and into another nest – one that is warm and nourishing. That’s where they will find, among other delectable items, your magazine.

01 May 2010
That silly retronym “traditional advertising” will remain the premiere force for introducing people to a product or service, along with sustaining its shelf life. Television, print, radio, and billboard ads will continue to have the visceral power they’ve always had – if only for their sheer size, simplicity, and cutting-edge audio/visual qualities.  Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky – while marketing/search (coupons on steroids, and more) will flourish and dominate.

06 March 2012
Digital Distractions
Digital interruptions are headache-inducing.  Not so with magazines. Advertisements are welcomed and appreciated.  They are integral, seamless extensions of the magazine  experience.

27 April 2009
Is roiling ether the best place for advertising?
For the umpteenth time … The Most Effective Marketing/Advertising Model For Reaching Baby Boomers: What is now called traditional advertising pushing you to an age-friendly, informative product/services web site.

Costco’s investment in their online site is a good thing – but it’ll take their print mag promos and ads to get customers there.  And it always will.

imageBig mistake: Convincing people to forgo the print mag for the electronic version.  As it is, the e-version is a klutzy, unreadable mess, forcing you to zoom in and out to read anything.  Even when you do you can’t really read much.  Give it a gander.  It’s a simple PDF, clumsily widgetized.  The best way to solve this is by downloading the actual PDF so the graphics and text are truly accessible. But that’s too many steps, and still awkward, time-consuming.  People won’t bother.

And they won’t even know it’s available unless force-fed an email or text or some sort of announcement, again requiring too many steps. 

An attractive magazine arriving in the mail gets your attention.  It hangs out on the table, inviting you to do some easy, restful leafing – at least until recycle day rolls around.

Are tablets taking over?  Maybe.  Someday.

From a few weeks ago:

23 October 2012
The Future Of Consumer Doodad Technology
… You should stop thinking about the next big thingamabob and whose will be best.  In five or ten years there will be all sorts of thingamabobs for just about everything.  You’ll have two or three or ten thingamabobs.  Tablets/Smartphones will be big, small, thin, simple, complex, active, passive, out the door in your purse or pocket, lost in your couch cushions…

I’ll wait for the model that won’t shatter when you drop it and can be rolled up to swat flies.

We have a way to go before tablets are big, thin, light, unbreakable, maybe flexible to some degree, super-easy to read – and super-easy to access your magazine.  For now, for at least five or ten years, don’t count on tablets or smartphones to do everything.  They’ll eventually do more, but may never do it all.

31 October 2012

NostraChuckus Predicts The Future Again: Crest 50+ Toothpaste

Famed Soothsayer and advertising gadfly NostraChuckus has been startling the world for years with his mundane prognostications.

Culled from a 2005 book review in The Journal of Consumer Marketing:image

One more quote from the book ©2005:

Here’s an alternative universe you might consider:

CVRComp“Hmmm. What’s this toothpaste? I think I’ve heard about it. Saw a commercial, read an ad about it. The person in the ad was around my age. She talked a bit about dental care, a bit about gums, about teeth, how to keep them healthy and strong. She had a nice smile, but not one that blinded me, sending me stumbling, feeling my way to the bathroom for the Visine. And the box doesn’t look like it’s an ornament for a science fiction Christmas tree. Maybe I’ll buy it.”

Seven years later (isn’t ‘seven’ some sort of magikal number?), a toothpaste company finally pays attention to NostraChuckus’ pesky presaging:

Crest 50+

Not the greatest spot, a bit hokey, perhaps a bit patronizing, perhaps the product is awkwardly positioned - however, all the  key selling points are there. 

Enough of NostraChuckus and his Crystal Ball of Common Sense

imageBut … if this ad campaign had been produced  years ago, Crest would now be way ahead of the game.