Brain Science in Advertising

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When I first entered the world of advertising, I was told “Whoever controls the creative controls the client”. What that means is whoever writes the best commercial is going to be the one who wins the client’s business. That’s how billion-dollar advertising accounts decide who will handle their business, the person with the best creative ideas, not the lowest cost provider.

It’s not about which medium you choose to advertise your business because all media can reach a consumer. It’s all about connecting with a consumer on an emotionally and engaging level if you want to earn their trust as your new customer. 

As a business owner, it is important to focus on creating an emotionally engaging commercial message if you want to reach new customers.

Consumers today come equipped with a smartphone that has 10 times more computing power than the space shuttle. With that much technology at their fingertips, they won’t fall for the same old worn out advertising
clichés. According to Rishad Tobaccowala, CGO at Publicis, one of the world’s largest advertising companies, “You are marketing to gods”. That means you must talk to them in a respectful manner, especially, the Millennial consumer. 

Here are some highlights from the latest Roth Capital Partners 2018-2019 Millennial Survey. This is their seventh annual proprietary survey examining current trends, spending patterns and favorite brands across five consumer categories including dining and restaurants; healthy food, beverage and snacking; fitness and wellness; infant, juvenile and pet; and, fashion, personal care and décor. 

The survey, conducted in partnership with MFour Mobile Research, features 181 questions and was completed by 2,500 Millennial-aged women and men.

  • Millennials are benefitting from low unemployment and 77% think the economy will be the same or better next year.
  • More than half have decreased their social media usage over the last year, mainly due to a perception that it is unhealthy
  • Only 26% of Millennials are not okay sharing personal information for a more tailored experience and the vast majority are happy with recommendations from Amazon, Netflix and Spotify
  • Two-thirds of Millennials prefer to research significant purchases online, but 57% still prefer to transact in-store
  • 27% of Millennials are comfortable purchasing groceries online (up from 22% in our prior survey)
  • Millennials significantly favor Amazon over other online apparel sites and 62% of Millennials are Amazon Prime members
  • More than one-third of Millennials have an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or similar product and 24% of those use them to regularly make purchases
  • 15% of Millennials have used virtual reality (“VR”) to evaluate furniture purchases, while 16% have used “virtual mirrors” to try on makeup or clothing
  • Clif, Kind and Nature Valley are the favorite protein bars for Millennials
  • More than half of Millennials belong to traditional fitness clubs like Planet Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym, while 28% attend classes at boutiques like CrossFit, YogaWorks, SoulCycle and Orangetheory
  • Climbing, hiking, yoga and cycling are among the most popular fitness activities for Millennials, while Black Diamond, Mammut and Arc’Teryx are the leading climbing apparel brands
  • Nike, Adidas and Vans are the leading fashion footwear brands among Millennials while Gucci is the favorite luxury brand
  • 34% of Millennials are more likely to purchase Nike products after the company’s Colin Kaepernick ad campaign, while 15% are less likely

The compelling thread throughout all these statistics is the emotional engagement the brands make with consumers. It has nothing to do with price. It has everything to do with how the brands make the consumers feel about the brand that drives the brand loyalty.

One of the most striking revelations is that 34% of young people are more likely to buy Nike products because of the Colin Kaepernick ad campaign and only 15% say they are less likely. After the ad came out, Nike’s online sales actually grew 31% from the Sunday of Labor Day weekend through Tuesday, as compared with a 17% gain recorded for the same period of 2017.

It’s not about offering a lower price to attract a new customer. It’s about stirring emotions in consumers that compel them to interact with your company. That’s why you want to on your message.

There is an abundance of new brain science and consumer psychology that can help you get started in the right direction. If you would like some professional assistance to craft an emotionally engaging commercial message, drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help. 

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Spike SanteeBrain Science in Advertising
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Not In "Like" with Facebook Any More

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A lot of users are no longer so in “Like” with Facebook. Some 42% of Americans 18+ say they have “taken a break” from checking the social media platform for several weeks or more, while 26% have deleted the Facebook app from their cellphone. And 54% have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. In all, 74% of Facebook users say they have taken at least one of these three actions in the past year.

The findings come from a survey of U.S. adults conducted May 29-June 11, following the news that the former consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had collected data on tens of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge.

This Pew data parallels the 2018 Infinite Dial survey, which found that Facebook usage has dropped for the first time in a decade. Usage reached 62% of persons 12+ in 2018, down from 67% in 2017, 64% in 2016, and 62% in 2015. Mind you, Facebook still remains dominant among social media platforms, used “most often” by 57% of those 12+, followed by Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.

Facebook has also faced scrutiny from conservative lawmakers and pundits over allegations that it suppresses conservative voices. The Center found that the vast majority of Republicans think that social platforms in general censor political speech they find objectionable. Despite these concerns, the poll found nearly identical shares of Democrats and Republicans use Facebook. Republicans are no more likely than Democrats to have taken a break from Facebook or deleted the app from their phone in the past year.

Pew did find age differences in the share of Facebook users who have recently taken some of these actions. Most notably, 44% of younger users (18 to 29) say they have deleted the Facebook app from their phone in the past year, nearly four times the share of users ages 65 and older (12%) who have done so. Similarly, older users are much less likely to say they have adjusted their Facebook privacy settings in the past 12 months: Only a third of Facebook users 65 and older have done this, compared with 64% of younger users.

In the wake of the revelations about Cambridge Analytica, Facebook updated its privacy settings to make it easier for users to download the data the site had collected about them, Pew explains. The new survey finds that around one-in-ten Facebook users (9%) have downloaded the personal data about them available on Facebook. But despite their relatively small size as a share of the Facebook population, these users are highly privacy-conscious. Roughly half who have downloaded their personal data from Facebook (47%) have deleted the app from their cellphone, while 79% have elected to adjust their privacy settings.

Facebook fatigue is a real problem for a local business trying to advertise their business on social media. There is so much misinformation on the Internet that people no longer trust much of what they see. Consequently, your advertising in social media is met with similar skepticism. People don’t know if they can trust what you are telling them. 

If you want to see real advertising results, you need to call your advertising salesperson at your local Radio station. There is no fake users listening to the Radio. All listener metrics are provided by a third party, the Nielsen Company. 

Radio listenership is an emotional connection with a person’s “favorite” Radio station. They trust that Radio station because the station plays the music the “love”. They trust the local DJ so they trust what hat DJ says. 

Advertising on local Radio wraps your message in a shield of trust, getting through to more people the way you want them to hear it. 

Radio is word of mouth advertising. But instead of one person to the next, your local Radio station can talk to tens of thousands of “ears” everytime your commercial comes over the Radio. 

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Spike SanteeNot In "Like" with Facebook Any More
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Facebook, Fake Accounts, Fake Numbers, Fake Results

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Here is another story that questions the veracity of social media advertising claims. Danielle Singer is a psychotherapist at Therapy Threads, a natural aromatherapy fashion and self-care products company in Kansas City. Singer has filed a lawsuit against Facebook accusing the company of bilking advertisers by inflating the number of people Facebook ads could reach.

Spike SanteeFacebook, Fake Accounts, Fake Numbers, Fake Results
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Radio Advertising Really Works

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Questions about the viability of terrestrial radio abound. People ask me all the time what impact satellite or Internet radio has on our business. I have to respond by saying, not much. First of all, AM and FM radio listenership is at record levels. There are more people listening to AM and FM radio than at any other time in history. There are nine times more people listening to terrestrial radio than listen to satellite radio. Internet radio listening is a mere fraction of terrestrial radio. There are over 15,000 full-power commercial radio stations on the air in the United States and more being built all the time.

Spike SanteeRadio Advertising Really Works
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The Advertising and Business Management Partnership

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“I tried advertising once and it didn’t work”, is a common objection advertising sales people often hear when trying to establish a new relationship with a prospect. I write extensively about what an advertising sales person can do to ensure that the advertising they sell lives up to their expectations. But, no amount of good advertising will fix a bad business. The business must be prepared to back up the advertising campaign with the basic customer service necessary to convert the advertising into new customers.

Spike SanteeThe Advertising and Business Management Partnership
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The Triggering Event

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Small business owners are often surprised when they learn that advertising alone, doesn’t make people buy things. It doesn’t cause people to come into their store or call them on the phone. The only thing that advertising does is create awareness. Advertising informs. It tells a story.

Spike SanteeThe Triggering Event
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