Friday, March 17, 2017

So after you used Snapchat to wear a pair of 'Kendall II" glasses, did you actually buy something?

Unless you are living under a rock you know that Snapchat's stock closed up 44% on March 2, the day they went public.  Pretty good for a company that lost $515 million last year. (Balakrishnan, 2017)

But given Snapchat's popularity with Millennials and Gen Z, the belief is that the company will eventually make money.  Do you think that's true?  Do you use Snapchat?  Have you ever bought anything based on a Snapchat post?

Research says that Mills follow brands on social media almost as much for entertainment value (38%) as they do for information (42%).  So adding sunglasses to your pics, sending yourself to exotic places, and then sharing with friends seems like it would be right up their ally.  (Loechner, 2017)

But, while Snapchat considers this Michael Kors effort to be a success, I can't help but notice that purchase intent only increased by 6%, and there is no mention of a sales increase at all. (Snapchat, 2017).  Hmm.  I was taught that unless your effort generates a 10% increase in sales it is considered a failure.

I'm not the only one who is skeptical.  According to a study published by RBC Capital Markets and Ad Age - Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and even Yahoo all had a better ROI than Snapchat.  And now that Instagram and Facebook have added similar features is it any wonder that Snapchat's recent user growth has been relatively flat?  (Slefo, 2017)

Which brings me back to my original question.  Have you ever bought anything based on a Snapchat post?  What about other social media?  Which works best for you?  Why?

Balakrishnan, A. (2017, March 2)  Snap closes up 44% after rollicking IPO.  Retrieved March 17, 2017, from

Loechner, J. (2017, March 16)  Millennials Follow Brands; GenX, Contests; and Boomers, Promotions. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from

Pomerantz, L. Michael Kors Sponsored National Lens.  Snapchat website. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from

Slefo, G. (2017, March 14)  Snapchat Receives Poor Grades From Marketers.  Retrieved March 17, 2017, from

Friday, March 10, 2017

Will sponsoring "Invent-athons" help Frito-Lay sell more chips?

Frito-Lay is partnering with Shark Tank on an innovations contest for kids.  Targeted to kids seven and up, families can enter the "Dreamvention" contest by coming up with a fun invention and submitting a drawing and explanation.

The grand prize is $250,000.  And the plan is for the product development firm Mako + Invent to bring the winning idea to life. 

So where does Shark Tank fit in?  Robert Herjavec kicked off the contest during a Frito-Lay "invent-athon" at Google HQ. 

Another partner for the campaign  is Young Minds Inspired (YMI) which provides curriculum tools for more than 2 million educators around the country.  Selected schools will be given a dreamvention-inspired curriculum, and the 10 schools that submit the most ideas will be awarded $5,000 to support more in-class science programs. 

So what do you think?  Will this be an effective way for Frito-Lay to increase sales?  What about Shark Tank?  Will this promotion raise ratings?  And what about YMI and Mako + Invent?  Will this increase their profile and make them more successful?  How do you feel about contests in general?  Do they engage you?

Lukovitz, K. (2017, March 9)  Frito-Lay, 'Shark Tank' Star Team On Inventions Contest For Kids.  Retrieved march 10, 2017, from

Friday, March 3, 2017

Another day, another email to unsubscribe. How about you?

According to, 61% of marketers identify emails as their most important digital marketing tool, ahead of websites at 59%.  (2016)  One of the keys to getting recipients to open emails is the headline.

Last week I received two emails that used a technique we call "social proof" to entice me.  That means that they offered evidence that other people were interested in something as a means to convince me that I should be too.  It's a time tested method.  When people are having trouble making a decision they will often follow the crowd.  It lowers the risk of making a bad choice.

One read: "Just announced: the #1 beach in the world!"  the other "You voted, we tallied.  Announcing the #BestDVDEver mailers."  Frankly, neither one moved me, and I deleted both emails without opening them.

According to a new study from Marketing Sherpa, 21% of consumers unsubscribe from emails that are not relevant to them.  19% unsubscribe when they receive too many emails from one company.  (Nelson, 2017)

There's a company that sends me at least one email a day, sometimes as many as three.  I've never bought anything from them and never will.  I just throw their emails into a dormant account where they pile up, until I get around to unsubscribing.  Ironically, that same company published an infographic this week about improving email open rates which indicated that only 15% of Americans appreciate receiving daily emails!  It makes me wonder if they read their own research.

They also noted that personalization is effective in increasing open rates (37%) and sales (20% increase). (Forer, 2017)

So, now it's your turn.  Has 'social proof" in a headline ever motivated you to buy something?  Or is personalization more likely to engage you?  How many emails from one company are too many?  Are more ok if you are an actual customer?

(2016, March)  Most effective digital marketing tactics worldwide in March 2016. .  Retrieved February 28, 2017, from

Nelson, J. (2017) Customer Brand Satisfaction Drives Email Engagement, Study Shows  Retrieved February 28, 2017, from

Forer, L. (2017, February 28)  How to Improve Email Open Rates.  Retrieved February 28, 2017, from

Friday, February 24, 2017

Do you shop for groceries online? Are you a Millennial?

My neighborhood used to have a 24/7 Korean deli on every corner.  Most of them are gone now.

My local supermarket, formally a Food Emporium, is now a Morton-Williams store.  They have remade the store entirely and in the process have narrowed the aisles so much that one cart barely makes it through, never mind two.  And even with just a basket, I find it uncomfortable and claustrophobic to shop there.  So I surmised that people probably aren't actually shopping there.

Therefore I was less surprised then I might have been when I saw that a new study from Clavis Insight found that 90% of Millennials shop for groceries online.  The figure drops to 84% for Gen Xers; still high enough to take note.  (Berk, 2017)

In fact, it brings a whole new meaning to the familiar phrase - "Who Moved My Cheese?"  Time for grocery stores to beef up their online/mobile game. 

Berk, B. (2017, February 17)  Study: A majority of millennials shop online for groceries.  Retrieved February 23, 2017, from

Friday, February 17, 2017

All boycotts and bumps are not created equal.

According to @grabyourwallet, @resistance controls 2/3 of the wealth in this country.  I'm not sure where that figure came from, but given the success of both the @grabyourwallet and @slpng_giants boycotts it certainly appears that this group has the financial strength to back up their promises.

Thanks to an ill thought out bullying attempt, Nordstrom's released data that indicated sales of Ivanka Trump products dropped 70% in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th weeks of October.  Wow.  Overall the brand was down 32% for the year.  (Gottfried, 2017)

LL Bean had flat sales in 2016 and is currently seeking a 10% headcount reduction.  (Anderson, 2017)  Uber and Under Armour are tripping over themselves to try to back track on their earlier support of  Trump.

On the other hand, Hamilton is still sold out, and Starbucks doesn't seem to have lost any momentum.  I guess you can't boycott something you never bought in the first place.

Fox News, up 35% in January 2017, (Katz, 2017)  is benefiting from Trump support, but CNN's audience is up 38%.  (Katz, 2017) and the "failing" New York Times, added more subscribers in the last three months of 2016 than all of 2015  (Rodriguez, 2017)  Saturday Night Live is having its best year since 1995, and Colbert is now beating Fallon in the late night wars.

In terms of the "Trump Bump," i.e. the effect of his tweets and comments on brands, it's a mixed bag.  Early comments negatively affected various industries, but Nordstrom's stock rose 4% on the news that they would no longer carry Ivanka Trump products. (Calfas, 2017)

I am reminded of the expression - "May you live in interesting times."  It's actually a curse you know.

Gootfired, M. & Kapner, S. (2017, February 11)  Internal Nordstrom Data Show Sales Decline for Ivanka Trump Brand.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Anderson, C. (2017, February 9)  L.L. Bean offers retirement buyouts to trim workforce by 10%.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Katz, A.J. (2017, January 31)  January 2017 Ratings: Fox News is No. 1. For 15 Consecutive Years.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Katz, A.J. (2017, January 31)  January 2017 Ratings: CNN Ranks No. 2 Across Cable News.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Rodriguez, A. & Mejia, Z. (2017, February 3)  Thanks to Trump, the New York Times added more subscribers in three months than all of 2015.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Calfas, J. (2017, February 8)  Nordstrom stock gains over 4 percent after Trump tweet.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from