WNPV AM 1440 Shoppers Need Cross-Channel Integration, Too
by Steve Smith, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014
Cross-channel, omnichannel, multiscreen: Call it what you will. Marketers are scrambling to track consumer across this increasingly fragmented terrain of devices and touchpoints. Integration, seamlessness, connecting the dots: Call that what you will, too. Marketers are trying to knit it all together for themselves.
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that consumers most of all are the ones who need to “connect the dots,” find cross-platform seamlessness, etc. American consumers have been very good at jerry-rigging modern technology to serve purposes the gadget inventors never imagined. How many of use are still emailing articles to ourselves from handsets simply because publishers don’t make it easy for us to save content for perusing in-depth on the screen we like? The same is true for shopping, where people evolved a host of their own cell phone tricks to use in store, from showrooming to sending snaps to spouses from the cereal aisle to confirm this is the brand Junior wants. Marketers have not been able to keep up with and serve the habits people are developing ad hoc out of the technology that has been handed them.
People, perhaps more than marketers, need seamlessness and cross-channel integration. According to a new survey of 1,000 grocery shoppers with devices, for instance, 45% of moms said they craved most the ability to clip coupons and add deals and promotions directly to their store loyalty card. Forty percent of dads agreed. The survey was conducted by Gannett’s local digital marketing company G/O Digital.
The path to purchase is clearly elongated and multiscreened. For instance, the pre-shopping phase of looking for sale items on desktop or device before leaving the house is important to 40% of moms and 30% of dads, but more often the pre-shopping phase is occasional and driven by curiosity about a specific product or category. Interestingly, only 19% of moms and 26% of dads say they go right to the store without prep and intend to look up deals in the venue. But this pre-shopping is critical, as 59% of moms and 51% of dads agree that the sale items they find online strongly influence the supermarket they choose.
Whether, when and how social networks actually influence shopping decisions has been a controversial issue for years. But when it comes to users interacting with brands, the G/O survey makes clear that Facebook is far and away the place to be. More than half (55%) of moms and 47% of dads say Facebook is the channel they find most useful in interacting with brands, compared to 7% for Pinterest, 5% for Twitter and 1% for Instagram.
But keep in mind that a third or more of consumers say there is no channel they find useful for engaging with food or beverage brands. In terms of actual influence on purchase decisions, consumers seem mixed on the power of social nets. Most say it doesn’t influence decisions at all or that it may be important but is only part of a larger process of research. But again, integration could be an important element in the influence of social media. The Facebook feature that would be most likely to propel a purchase is an offer than can be redeemed at a local store. While 53% of moms agreed this was most important, 41% of dads thought so.
In-store device use is still an evolving habit, however. Only 19% of moms and 16% of dads feel it is very important for them to look up circulars and promotions in the aisles. A larger 36% to 37% of parents say instead that this access is somewhat important and that they are more likely to purchase a product if they find a deal on their handset.
Localization is key. When asked about the most frustrating part of mobile advertising and promotion for food and beverage items, 35% of moms and 29% of dads both cited most often that promotions are not locally relevant to the products or the prices that are in the store.
I would argue also that it is the local inaccuracy and lack of reliability in local mobile couponing that inhibits the platform’s use. There is nothing more aggravating or embarrassing than presenting a coupon at checkout and having it declined because of its small print provisions or inapplicability to that locale. For mobile couponing in particular, this is an issue. Many coupon-scraping operations are not geo-fencing offers, but pull in anything and everything they can find. This makes for in-store disappointment that consumers don’t forget. The G/O survey suggests that consumers will use mobile promotions if they are confident in the seamlessness of the experience.
Steve Smith is the Editorial Director, Events at MediaPost where he oversees all OMMA and Insider Summit event content. He is also the longtime Mobile Insider/MoBlog columnist for Mobile Marketing Daily. A recovering academic who taught media studies at Brown and University of Virginia, he spent the last decade as a digital media critic for numerous publications and as a digital strategy consultant. He also writes for Media Industry Newsletter and eContent magazine.
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WNPV AM 1440 Tomorrow is the 3rd Saturday of the month! Tune in at 11 AM for "Premium Coverage" with Mike Bruckner!
WNPV AM 1440 Football Advertisers Kvetch, But Won't Punt
by Karl Greenberg
I was watching TV Thursday morning, and, big surprise, more news from the NFL. Another player, another beating. Not in an elevator, not with a switch. This time it was more news on Greg Hardy. Not the best timing. Hardy is already on the Carolina Panthers' de-activation list for having threatened to kill his girlfriend while tossing her around his apartment like a pom-pom.
My friend and I watched the broadcast. My comment: "Another one." My friend's comment: "It's the theme of the day: News outlets are outdoing themselves trying to report something, anything about football players. People like to pile on. This is old news."
Because of this, the NFL, as reported by all and sundry, including me, is seeing its consumer perception drop faster than any brand since the Vandals sacked Rome. Or, more recently, since Target was sacked by a hacker. But will this last? No, probably not. Football's enduring popularity will put this in the past pretty fast, and nobody will be the wiser. For better or worse. Probably worse in the long run since the League is facing growing competition from other sports, including soccer, especially soccer. It's worth noting that right after the news about Panther linebacker Hardy, the broadcast I watched went right to … soccer. The same guys commenting on football, including the week's games, shifted right to the other sport and actually sounded like they knew what they were talking about. That's emblematic of the sport's mainstreaming.
Major brand sponsors are issuing releases of censure, meanwhile, with threats perhaps implied. Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo, McD's, Visa, Campbell Soup, the big guns who delivered NFL's revenue to the tune of over a billion dollars last year. But I'll wager nobody is going to pull ad dollars unless a team releases a pride of lions in the stands to beef up the half-time show. Or players start getting serious brain injuries. Oh, wait, that's happened already.
Sure, there's morally reprehensible behavior everywhere (look no further than pro baseball from Ty Cobb all the way to the '86 Mets and beyond); football villains — they tend to follow the troglodyte model more than the pharmaceutical one, it seems — are probably not greater in number, even if they are greater in savagery. But the game won't suffer. The players and maybe the individual teams will.
National consumer brands should pull advertising. Really? Where else will brands go to get TiVo-proof viewers? “Downton Abbey”? I've read expert opinion that teams and the League are taking notice, whatever that means, and will take action, whatever that means, because they risk losing ad dollars. No, they don't. And they won't unless football departs first, à la boxing. But a football game doesn't carry the possibility of lasting one round. And it is still the most popular televised sport.
Commentary from Marketing Daily, 9/19/2014