Monday, December 27, 2010

NJ Moms Rule When It Comes To Social Media

If one were to draw an avatar-like cartoon of a typical social-media user and consumer electronics consumer, chances are he/she would look like a college student or young professional. That, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, would be inaccurate. Moms rule.

The firm says in a new study that U.S. moms spend an average of $822 on gadgetry each year and account for more than half of their household's total consumer-electronics spending. The study found that moms who post information online about electronics tend to be affluent and interested in technology. Half are early adopters, and one in three has a household income of $75,000 or more.

Among the 64% of moms who told CEA that they read information posted about consumer electronics products and retailers on social networks, nearly two in three said they also purchased an electronic device as a result, and half recommended that friends or family make a purchase. By comparison, 43% of all online adults have done so.

The brief, "Moms and Social Media: Influencing CE Purchases," also said about half of moms surveyed said they decided not to buy a device because of something they read online, and nearly as many said they have exhorted others to do likewise.

Ben Arnold, senior research analyst at CEA, said moms favor social media sites including blogs, message boards and product fan pages to research products and get firsthand product reviews and recommendations.

About a third of moms queried said they have posted reviews, opinions or experiences about electronics products and retailers in the past year, compared to just a quarter of all women online. "Online moms are a particularly important consumer segment, as they are both active on social media sites and possess substantial buying power and influence," said Arnold. "As social media continues to evolve, it is essential for companies to embrace brand evangelists to further extend the reach of their marketing initiatives."

The numbers please: the report finds that 84% of moms visit social media sites like Facebook, versus 74% of all adults; 65% visit social video sites like YouTube versus 56% of adults; and a little under half visit product review sites versus 38% of adults. The biggest gap was 44% of moms who visit blogs versus 33% of adults.

Among the moms using social networking sites, 94% said they go to Facebook most often. About half of moms with social networking accounts say they have over 100 "friends." Of the 111 hours per month moms surveyed said they spend online, 32 hours are on social sites.

Moms also exhibit a wide range of consumer activity on social networks, per CEA. The study found that nearly half got discounts or coupons; about a quarter clicked an ad for an electronics retailer; about the same number became CE retailer fans; 22% clicked on an ad for an electronics device; and 15% became a fan of a product.

And the brief -- whose data comes from an online survey in August this year with a respondent pool of about 990 adults -- found that as "Deal of the Day" sites proliferate, microblogs like Twitter with see mom traffic increase because of time-sensitive offer notifications and sales for electronics.

by Karl Greenberg

Politics goes mobile

In a post-election nationwide survey of adults, the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 82% of adults have cell phones. Of those cell owners, 71% use their phone for texting and 39% use the phone for accessing the internet. With that as context, the Pew Internet survey found that:
  • 14% of all American adults used their cell phones to tell others that they had voted.
  • 12% of adults used their cell phones to keep up with news about the election or politics.
  • 10% of adults sent text messages relating to the election to friends, family members and others.
  • 6% of adults used their cells to let others know about conditions at their local voting stations on election day, including insights about delays, long lines, low turnout, or other issues.
  • 4% of adults used their phones to monitor results of the election as they occurred.
  • 3% of adults used their cells to shoot and share photos or videos related to the election.
  • 1% of adults used a cell-phone app that provided updates from a candidate or group about election news.
  • 1% of adults contributed money by text message to a candidate or group connected to the election like a party or interest group.
If a respondent said she or he had done any of those activities in the last campaign season, we counted that person in this 26% cohort. Throughout this report we call this group "mobile political users" or the "mobile political population."    

Friday, December 10, 2010

Marketing Email Open, Click-Through Rates Remain Steady

Amid a rapidly changing digital landscape, marketing email open-rates have now remained steady for two years.

That's according to new third quarter analysis from direct marketing agency Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association's Email Experience Council, and based on billions of emails sent by about 150 brands.

"The economic recovery in the third quarter was pretty anemic, which was reflected in steady open rates and click-through rates," said Yoram Wurmser, director of marketing and media insights at the Direct Marketing Association. "As the holiday shopping season picks up in the fourth quarter, it will be interesting to see whether open rates and click-through rates rise accordingly."

In the third quarter of the year, six of the thirteen reported industries saw an increase in open rates year-over-year.

Year-over-year, open-rate winners included general business products and services; financial services and apparel, general, and specialty retail; and travel and hospitality services.

The losers, meanwhile, included general business publishing and media; consumer packaged goods; consumer pharmaceutical products; general consumer publishing and media; general consumer services; consumer telecom; and general financial services.

The average click rate was 5.4% -- up from 5.2% during the previous quarter -- while the average volume per client increased 10.2% year-over-year.

"The third-quarter summer months are seasonably slow as email marketers ramp up for the holiday season, where we traditionally see a significant peak in volume as well as response rates," said Kevin Mabley, SVP of Strategic & Analytic Consulting at Epsilon.

Epsilon categorized 63.1% of the emails it delivered during the quarter as "marketing messages," which had relatively low open (17.3%) and click (3.6%) rates -- although both increased over the previous quarter.

Due to the nature of the campaigns, service-type messages had the highest open rates (37.3%) while editorial messages had the highest click rates (7.4%). Service messages and editorial messages typically contain highly relevant and targeted information -- i.e., account updates and news, which may be why they perform well.

"Our research shows that transactional messages continue to outperform standard marketing messages given their highly relevant and timely nature," Mabley said. "Transactions and other trigger opportunities are a great way for email marketers to move campaigns to more of an ongoing conversation with subscribers and to reach consumers when they are in the market for a particular product or service."

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