The short answer is no. However, web-based email usage (Yahoo, Google, AOL, etc.) is seeing a shift. More youths are abandoning email and opting for different forms of mobile and social media communication. But older Americans are continuing to use the Internet and sign-up for web-based email accounts.
According to comScore’s 2010 US Digital Year in Review, total web-based email declined 8% in 2010. The most significant decline was among 12-17 year olds, which was down 59%. Usage also declined minimally among 18-24 year olds and declined 18% among 25-34 year olds. However, web-based email usage was up 22% among 55-64 year olds and was up 28% among those 65 and older.
The shift is occurring as more youths are using texting, instant messaging and social media sites to stay in touch with family and friends, while older Americans are continuing to adopt the Internet and email.
As a marketer, this doesn’t mean consumer email marketing is a thing of the past. While the comScore numbers might seem like email is heading south, in the same study comScore reported email was one of the top mobile devise activities with 30.5% of mobile subscribers (that’s 70.1 million Americans) using their phones for email.
Also, the social media giant Facebook announced in mid-November that it will be launching email for its users. This means that users can sign up for an @facebook.com email account. While Facebook email is different than web-based email accounts like Google, it is still telling that Facebook is offering this new service to users.
Certainly mobile devises and social media are shifting the way we are communicating, but according to comScore, 153 million people visited web-based email sites in November 2010. Additionally, email still remains one of the top activities on the web with email reaching more than 70% of the US population each month. So don’t let the numbers fool you; email is still a powerful marketing tool and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Typically the first thing product manufacturers do when launching a product is to start segmenting their markets by product categories, price, function or by the target audience’s demographics and psychographics. However, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, is suggesting product manufacturers take a different approach.
Christensen is suggesting the best approach to marketing a product is to identify what job consumers hire your product to do. He feels this approach really allows you to “crawl into the skin of your customer and go with her as she goes throughout her day, asking the question: why did she do it that way?”
While some marketing professionals may argue that Christensen’s idea isn’t really new, it is an interesting exercise to conduct. Ask yourself, what job will consumers hire my product to do? Or if it is an existing product, ask your customers what job they hired your product to do.
Christensen gives an excellent example of how his “jobs-to-be-done” approach applied to marketing milkshakes in the video below.
It is possible you might come to the same conclusions why consumers will purchase your products using traditionally laddering (identifying features, functional benefits, higher order benefits and emotions). But it is worth putting down the research data for once and asking what appears to be a very simply question: What do consumers hire my product to do?
Read the full article on Christensen’s “milkshake marketing” at: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6496.html?wknews=02142011
I love the idea of what Rubbermaid is doing. From a business perspective, the concept of generating a continuous revenue stream for a service (as a complement to all the products it sells) is noteworthy. Unfortunately, it is a flat note.
According to HomeWorld Business, for a paltry one month introductory fee of $4.95 and then an ongoing fee of $17.95/month, you “get direct consulting from the pros online, along with a weekly “menu” plan of organizing projects, multimedia tutorials, articles and other great tools.” They will help you set up a plan for washing your dishes!
The goal of the service is to help customers reduce stress, elude late fees on bills, avoid family friction, and save money on groceries and clothing by applying organization methods. Sheesh, why not alleviate high blood pressure, stop male pattern baldness and cure STDs in the process.
Listen, forget for just a moment that you can get most of this information online from equally qualified sources at no cost. If Rubbermaid can pull this thing off, I am happy for them.
But from my perspective, the day I get so disorganized that I need to pay Rubbermaid (not my accountant or tax preparer or spouse or family member) to tell me how to get my act together, it’s already too late. Think about it: if you are organized enough that you can manage to pay Rubbermaid on a monthly basis, then things must not be that bad.
On the other hand, if you are being considered for an upcoming episode of Hoarders, you might want to take the annual membership special from Rubbermaid and consider yourself lucky.
Sometimes we learn through passive observation. Sometimes we learn through active participation. Sometimes we don’t learn at all.
Today there are more channels for being exposed to information than ever before, which in and of itself is a pretty obvious and relatively useless point. But as marketers, bound to help organizations and individuals determine the most effective channels for communicating information – about products and services and investments and issues and sales and more – it is a rather critical point.
And it got me wondering: Where do you get your information? This morning I woke up and my wife told me that it was below zero outside (info nugget #1). While pouring my morning coffee, my Associated Press iPhone app announced that first time unemployment filings were at a new low (info nugget #2). While driving to work, the local sports talk show on the radio alerted me to the Cavs ongoing losing streak (info nugget #3). As I rounded the corner to my building’s underground parking garage, a mini-billboard alerted me of a new vacancy on the third floor (info nugget #4).
So if you are trying to make me aware of your product or motivate me to learn more about your service or convince me to vote against a particular issue, what’s the best channel to use? Friends & family, TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, books, newsletters, directories, letters, outdoor signage, websites, search engines, blogs, social media sites, e-mail, telephone call, text, direct mail, literature, exhibits, salesmen, movies, libraries, seminars, webinars, webcasts, podcasts, speaking engagements, store displays…? And does it take the form of news, entertainment, advertising, conversation, education…?
These are excellent questions. Because in order to learn – passively or actively – communication must travel through those channels that are most relevant and therefore most likely to reach the target audiences. And here is the really interesting part, it’s a constantly changing environment; so the channels I am interested in and rely on today may be completely different six months from now.
So what’s a marketer to do?
1. Explain what type of information are you collecting. For example, are you collecting email addresses from sign-up forms, physical addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank information, IP addresses or browser information?
2. Share how this information is used. Do you sell their names and email addresses or do you only use this information for internal marketing purposes? If you use a third-party merchant account or a third-party ad service, find out from these companies what information they are collecting and how they are using it. Be sure to include that in the privacy statement.
4. If you are collecting sensitive information about customers, like credit card or bank account information, ensure you share how your site is secured. Also, include how you prevent hackers from getting sensitive customer data.
Privacy policies are important and help establish credibility with customers and prospects. Make your policy statement easy for web visitors to understand and avoid technical legal jargon when possible.
Disney sales representatives are currently visiting 580 hospitals across the country to market to newborns’ parents. The pitch is simple. If you give Disney your email address to sign up for BabyDisney.com you get a free Disney onsie. According to NPR, sales reps can be visiting new moms within hours of delivery.
Since I’m not a mom, it is hard to say what my reaction would be if one of these Disney reps came traipsing into my hospital room. It really would come down to their approach.
From a marketing standpoint, it is a brilliant idea for Disney to be part of such a huge family milestone. It would be hard for a mom to push the Disney representative away if he or she were simply offering their well wishes for the new little bundle of joy. Plus the family will likely remember that Disney was part of the first few days of their baby boy or girl’s life.
Collecting email addresses is certainly not the goal. There are plenty of less expensive ways, like purchasing databases, holding contests, etc. to gather email addresses. Disney’s goal is to take advantage of the $36.3 billion annual baby market. This shouldn’t be too hard for Disney to accomplish, considering its “princess” market is a $4 billion industry.
What do you think? I would love for others (parent or not) to weigh in. Would you be annoyed? Has Disney gone too far? Or would you gladly give your email address for a cute little onsie?
I see that Good Housekeeping does a VIP award every year. How do I get my consumer product considered for this?
Thousands of new products are launched each year so getting recognized as one of the 11 VIPs by Good Housekeeping is going to be a challenge. There are actually more opportunities to get editorial coverage throughout the year in the magazine.
The first step in getting your product considered for the VIP award or editorial coverage is to contact the correct editor and pitch your product. We DO NOT recommend sending unsolicited product. This is a waste of time and money.
Based on the type of consumer product, you will be contacting a specific editor. For example, Carolyn Forte is the Home Care Director and Kathleen Huddy is the Textiles Director. However, don’t stop with these contacts. Also search the publication’s masthead and magazine for other relevant reporters that might cover your product. If you are still uncertain, call the magazine and ask.
Also, be patient. Getting to the correct contact and getting the media to respond takes time.
Food is a symbol of survival and success alike. The Lord promised to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and into a land flowing with milk and honey. According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Marie Antoinette upon hearing that the peasants had no bread, suggested they eat cake. And Herbert Hoover is credited for promising all Americans prosperity in the form of a chicken in every pot.
Food is in fact one of the four necessities of life, though in America we are not nearly as obsessed over air, shelter and water. No, for us, food is the elixir of life. When we are happy, we eat in celebration. When we are sad, we eat to forget our depression. When we are busy, we eat to fuel up. When we are bored we eat to fill the void. Food has become the answer to our every question. Food is our lexicon.
I love you so much I could eat you up. I eat punks like you for breakfast. They are going to eat you alive. Hey, what’s eating you? Bite me. Chew on this my friend. Do you smell what the Rock is cooking? Eat your heart out baby. If you’re right, I’ll eat my hat. Yeah, well eat my shorts. I’m so hungry I could eat a horse. I’m not surprised, cause you eat like a pig. You’re gonna eat those words. Well, I hate to eat and run…
Anyway, in light of the new USDA Dietary Guidelines released on Monday, I am thinking that maybe we (are you listening Michelle Obama?) have been going about this obesity thing the wrong way. In short, we’ve simply been sending the wrong message all this time.
Plato said that the enjoyment of food is not a true pleasure because the purpose of eating is to relieve pain – hunger. Perhaps we would do well to remember – or learn anew – that the true nature of food is simply to fill our gas tanks with fuel… too little limits your ability, while too much is simply wasted.
And since I have taken the liberty of quoting Plato, allow me the indulgence of quoting my father, who like most Americans was obsessed with food: “Jimmy my boy, do all things, but do them all in moderation.”
Until the Browns make it to the Super Bowl, the only reason I watch the big game is for the commercials. But in today’s YouTube world, you do not even have to wait for the Super Bowl to get a sneak peek at some of the ads.
Below are a few we found on YouTube. The Bridgestone Reply All teaser seems to have the most potential (we can all relate).