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Six Ideas for Growth from the ANA

The recession has ended. For all you marketers who planned to begin reinvesting three to six months before the recession ended -- and, according to the ANA, that's 73% of you -- you'd better get a move on. That, at least, was the message from Liz Ann Sonders, senior VP-chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co. Ms. Sonders told attendees at an ANA conference themed "Brand Building in Tough Times & Beyond" that the recession probably ended in January or February.

[Estimated timeframe:2009-2011]

"I'm not a lunatic optimist ... but I think there's a reasonable chance the recession is already over," she said. "Readings on the economy aren't good, but they're less bad than they have been." Ms. Sonders went on to caution that a "W-shaped recovery" is possible, where things get worse before improving for good. "I think we're probably somewhere between despair and hope; unfortunately, it could be the car on the hill," she said. "We could roll back down. There could be some fits and starts."

That was likely the biggest takeaway for many marketers at yesterday's conference. But the ANA promised at least a dozen ideas or your money back, and speakers were keen to deliver. Here, a half dozen of Ad Age's favorite ideas for short-term and long-term growth:

1. Don't abandon recession-friendly messages.
Plenty of marketers have gone into high gear, tweaking taglines and focusing on value. But just because the recession is going to end -- and it will end -- marketers shouldn't be too quick to scrap those messages. Many think that this recession will signal a fundamental shift in consumers' buying behaviors. Frugal will remain chic. Saving will remain en vogue. For that reason, Cynthia Ashworth, VP-consumer engagement at Dunkin' Donuts, said the marketer won't be tossing its "You Kin' Do It" tagline anytime soon. "It would have to be executed a bit differently," she said. "But I don't think that once the economy improves 'You Kin' Do It' is gone, and we're on to the next campaign."

2. Focus on innovating existing products, not creating new ones.
Most new products only generate 5% of sales. For beer in 2008, it was 2%. Given that, Patrick Edson, VP-marketing innovation at MillerCoors, said the company is focused on adding value to "the stuff that's already on the shelf." The best example to date is the brewer's focus on delivering consumers the coldest Coors Light possible. It introduced color-changing mountains on its cans, created a draft that could be served below freezing and produced a 12-pack that could double as a cooler. Those innovations led to millions in additional revenues for the Coors Light brand.

3. Put yourself on the other side of the table.
Even in tough times, you don't have to do it alone, said Steve Bratspies, senior VP-dry grocery at Walmart. The retailer has rolled out successful co-branded marketing with Better Homes & Gardens and Coca-Cola, among others. But for those who don't have the heft of Walmart, Mr. Bratspies said it's important to think about what the person sitting across from you wants. If you can meet that need, you can strike a deal. He's taken the same approach when it comes to marketing budgets. The executive controlling the purse strings is looking for efficiencies, so focus on that. Then, go after the extra cash.

4. Redeploy your assets.
Fender Musical Instruments pulled out of the summer tradeshow put on by the National Association of Music Merchants. It was a decision that ruffled a few feathers, but it freed up $2 million that Richard McDonald, senior VP-global marketing, could then put toward helping retail partners make sales. The tradeshow, which highlights new products, wasn't of any use to retailers who couldn't move the products they already had in store, he explained. "The Soul of Tone" promotion that resulted has brought thousands of customers into stores across the country. "I stopped in my tracks and changed my plan," he said. "Do not be afraid to do that right now."

5. Hire your customers.
Fender is the world's leading guitar manufacturer, yet it has a relatively modest team of about 30 to handle all aspects of marketing. Agencies are rarely brought in to handle the occasional project. So, how does the company do it? "We hire our customers," said Mr. McDonald. "They are passionate. They'll work all night. They'll help keep you on track."

6. Understand the difference between a consumer and a shopper.
The two are very different, according to Jason McDonell, VP-general manager, customer strategy at Frito-Lay. Consumers are making purchase decisions well before they enter the store. They're flipping through circulars, making a list and deciding where they'll find the best deal. Shoppers, on the other hand, are bombarded with messages in store and are often distracted. "We're trying to truly understand that whole cycle," Mr. McDonell said. "I'd argue that [consumer product goods companies] and big agencies haven't really clicked when it comes to understanding shoppers."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4057

Readers reluctant to pay for online news

RUPERT MURDOCH'S aim to have readers pay for access to newspapers online has been called into question by a global survey that found readers are unlikely to pay for general news they can get elsewhere free. Publishers wanting to charge for content on the internet should instead focus on niche markets, with readers of specialised sport and finance content seen as more willing to open their wallets, it said.

[Estimated timeframe:Q2 2009-onward]

The PricewaterhouseCoopers survey on the outlook for newspapers in the digital age, Moving into multiple business models, found papers and online are likely to co-exist in the longer term. Yet despite the "huge potential" for online, print revenues would dominate "for some time".

Its release today comes after Mr Murdoch said last week that News Corp would start charging for some newspaper titles online over the next year.

Newspaper publishers are looking to online subscriptions and mobile content for new income streams as the global recession and a move of readers to the internet has dried up advertising revenues. PwC forecasts the global newspaper market will decline by 10.2 per cent this year, followed by an average 2 per cent annual contraction to 2013.

Readers interested in financial news and sport "expressed a relatively high willingness to pay for this content online", the study found. Finance readers were ready to pay up to 97 per cent of the price of a general paper.

But overall, consumers were not prepared to pay as much for online content as for a traditional paper, and "would choose free content when the quality was comparable or sufficient for their purpose".

The survey, conducted in seven countries, was also at odds with some of the industry´s hopes for new funding sources, seeing limited potential for electronic readers "due to unfamiliarity with this medium" and finding consumers were "currently unwilling to pay for online content on mobile devices".

However, the consultancy expected the consumer mindset would change in the next few years as people became more accustomed to spending money online.

PwC said Australian publishers were better off than their international peers, being in a less competitive market and having turned to inserted magazines, cross-advertising platforms and niche websites over recent years.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: SMH.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4116

Twitter Growth Surges 131% In March
Twitter looks set to become frontrunner in the rise and rise of social media. The site's attractiveness to avid news consumers is driving its growth in conjunction with the news media's use of and focus on Twitter, analysts suggest.


[Estimated timeframe:2009-2012]

Twitter's popularity is surging, thanks in part to constant news stories about Twitter's surging popularity, stories not unlike this one.

According to ComScore Media Metrix data for March, the number of visitors to Twitter.com reached 9.3 million, an increase of more than 5 million visitors, or 131%, from February.

At Web 2.0 Expo, InformationWeek editor-at-large David Berlind "ReviewCams" Zealog.com with its founder Aaron Hurley. Zealog.com makes childs play out of tracking any measurement and then layering a social network on top of that "tracking."
In a blog post on Wednesday, ComScore's Andrew Lipsman agrees that there appears to be some truth to the belief that media attention is fueling Twitter's growth. "[T]here may certainly be some merit to that," he said. "It seems you can't get through a typical newscast anymore without some mention of Twitter."

He points to Newt Gingrich's use of Twitter to criticize President Obama's handling of the Somali pirate crisis, to the use of Twitter by CNN's Rick Sanchez, and to the role Twitter played in recent national and international news stories as signs that the service has become an important mode of mass communication.

Lipsman observes that Twitter users are news junkies, visiting top online news sites two to three times more often than the average person. And he suggests that Twitter's attractiveness to avid news consumers is driving its growth in conjunction with the news media's use of and focus on Twitter.

"Like it or not, Twitter is quickly revolutionizing the way our entire news ecosystem operates, from journalist to consumer, and blurring the lines in between," he said.

However, such popularity isn't without its downside. Aside from the challenge faced by Twitter to make sure its infrastructure can handle stardom, the site also must endure increasing attention from cybercriminals, who see profit in Twitter's timeliness, reach, and viral nature.

Over the weekend, a computer worm spread on Twitter, generating almost 10,000 spam tweets and compromising at least 190 accounts. And other such incidents have disrupted Twitter in recent months as well.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the business uses of social networks. Download the report here (registration required).


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Informationweek.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=3926

Sorrell predicts rosy prospects for branded entertainment and product placement

WPP chief Martin Sorrell came to the MIPTV Festival in Cannes and displayed an interest in product placement and branded entertainment. Sorrel mentioned that the recession may have a great effect on production, and content producers will have to trim expenses and come up with creative ways to finance their programs.

[Estimated timeframe:2009-onward]

“Production models are too expensive and will have to change,” said Sorrel. He believes that partnerships between ad agencies, talent, and content producers will be an emerging trend.

“This is actually a big opportunity for content producers, who those who control talent and for the agencies,” he said. “These groups have to work together to try and develop content that is attractive for the new platforms, particularly the growth platforms of mobile and the Internet.”

The recession has highlighted the fact that branded entertainment is a good alternative to traditional advertising. Not only is the approach just as effective, it is also much cheaper. If you consider the ratio of revenue generated to resources spent, branded content is more profitable than traditional ads.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: www.productplacement.biz
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=3909

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