Five important college enrollment messages to send to high school students’ parents—right now!

By David Brond, Elizabeth Cohen and Linda McAleer

Multiple articles have been written about the important role parents play in their child’s college decision. Most higher education marketers and enrollment professionals agree that a parent’s powerful influence in guiding high school students throughout the college application and admission process is often unmatched by any other person.
Read full post...

Using Research to Guide Branding Efforts

research2Congratulations. Your organization’s leaders have decided to establish a new positioning statement, brand platform, externally facing mission statement and even a new slogan. And they want you to come up with concepts and copy to get the message out. Now what?

Before you jump in head first, put together a work plan to collect marketplace research in order to create a brand platform and strategy that will support your organization’s suite of current and future products and services.Read full post...


Millennials make perfect marketers

Inbound 2014 inbound marketing conference

10,000 marketers from all over the world attended Inbound 2014 in Boston.

I spent all of last week in Boston at Inbound 2014. The conference was full of ridiculously smart speakers — Martha Stewart, Malcolm Gladwell and Simon Sinek were all wonderful keynotes. It was impossible to leave a session without being fired up. But I don’t want to go on about how awesome every session was (I’m sure a few other fellow attendees will do that), or how strongly I believe inbound/content marketing is the way to go (that’ll be a separate post), or even how great the beers and bars in Beantown are. I really want to comment on some interesting things I noticed about the people.  Read full post...

New emerging demographic: Post-Millennials

For years we’ve been studying Millennials. We know their mindset, values and technographics. We know where to find them online and offline. We know the best ways marketing can gain their brand loyalty and how to entice them to become advocates for our brands.

Except, most Millennials are now 18 to 34 years old. Millennials are aging, and so is the way we market to them. A new marketing demographic is emerging: Post-Millennials.

Take a look at these facts from The Beloit Mindset List of the Class of 2017:

  • Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.
  • As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the television screen.
  • Their parents have always bemoaned the passing of precocious little Calvin and sarcastic stuffy Hobbes.
  • As they slept safely in their cribs, the Oklahoma City bomber and the Unabomber were doing their deadly work.
  • Their parents’ car CD player is soooooo ancient and embarrassing.
  • Bill Maher has always been politically incorrect.

As Post-Millennials emerge as the next big demographic, so do the online platforms we can find them on. Here are a few to keep on your radar.Read full post...

What can 140 characters do for you?

No one can say whether it will be able to monetize its social media platform, but the data suggests that TV broadcasters and cable networks have good reason to use Twitter.

No one can say whether it will be able to monetize its social media platform, but the data suggests that TV broadcasters and cable networks have good reason to use Twitter.

It’s no wonder that broadcasters and some advertisers see Twitter as the ideal promotional partner. The Media Audit reports that nearly 15% of consumers who watch TV during prime time on a typical day have also used Twitter in the past 30 days. That’s an increase of more than 60% compared to 9.2% just two years ago. The latest figure represents more than 13.1 million consumers across The Media Audit’s 80 measured markets.

The way people watch TV is changing. More people are streaming video content and TV shows on mobile devices. Nielsen just announced that they’d be measuring phone and tablet TV viewing by mid-November. And there is a growing number of consumers who post and read tweets about popular TV shows and sporting events in real time, many of whom belong to the much-desired younger demographic. That helps to explain why advertisers and media are interested in Twitter. It lends itself to helping brands or media extend their reach to a desirable younger audience.Read full post...


I need a television buy now

Gone are the dartboards and the expensive lunches with reps. We don’t have time for that. We’re too busy analyzing data.

Gone are the dartboards and the expensive lunches with reps. We don’t have time for that. We’re too busy analyzing data.

Analyze analyze analyze, buy buy buy — that’s the credo of today’s media department. But it wasn’t always so. When I first started, my first boss told me that the way to “buy” was to look at the rate cards (yes, we had them then), determine which programs had the highest rates and put the plan together using those programs. With deep enough pockets, you could still make that work today. But now a lot of other factors — mainly research — enter into buying, making the job both easier and more challenging.

In the old days, television had two sources of local research, Arbitron and Nielsen; most other information was national. The demographics available were limited. We bought the top stations/programs if the budget allowed. Simple. Now we have only one research source — Nielsen — with a plethora of demographics. And Nielsen is owned by Arbitron. Hmmm.Read full post...


Skip the path of least research

Fishbein argued that few campaign planners use theoretically based research to create their messages — and poorly researched concepts are one of the main causes of failed campaigns.

Poorly researched concepts are one of the main causes of failed campaigns.

You’re in a concept meeting. Your client, a skin cancer organization, has asked you to come up with an advertisement that will convince young women to stop using tanning beds. Your coworker, the mother of a teenage daughter, speaks up. “My daughter Kelly had no idea that tanning beds can cause cancer until I told her recently,” she says, “so the ad should probably focus on melanoma.” Her idea is received with nods of approval, the creative team is informed, and out goes the fear-appeal ad. How easy was that?

Easy, perhaps, but at what cost is such a strategy used by adverting agencies? According to the experts, great cost. Read full post...


Newsflash: online market research is here to stay

Traditional focus groups are great, but this just wasn't one of those places.

I know you don’t need me to tell you, but I’m going to anyway. The Internet is amazing.

Let me take a step back. One of our clients came to us a few months ago asking us to do a focus group on new webpage layouts for their online payment flow. Very quickly we realized we didn’t have a whole lot of time to design, build, test and report on these payment flows, so we were forced to branch out from the traditional group-behind-the-one-way-mirror routine and see what other options were available. Now, don’t get me wrong — traditional focus groups are great and have their place, but this just wasn’t one of those places.

Read full post...


Talkin’ ’bout my generation


Marketing to the Baby Boomers

According to a recent report from NielsenWire, advertisers focus on reaching consumers 18–34 or 18–49. While these consumers spend billions of dollars every year, the report states that advertisers and consumer goods manufacturers are overlooking a group that has tremendous buying power — the 78 million Baby Boomers. Read full post...

How parenting is just like market research

Determining the all-important why.

Determining the all-important why.

My six-year-old son asks a lot of questions. More questions than I ever knew one human could possibly ask. If I am lucky, I can answer maybe a third of them. Sometimes the questions are about Star Wars or subjects he learned in school, but there is always one common thread with his questions that requires both my husband and I to think quickly — he wants to know the motive.

“Why did Obi Wan die so they could get on their plane?”
“Why did Anakin go to the dark side?”
“Why did Jack’s mom get so mad that he sold his cow for the magic beans?”
“Why is Dopey so dopey?”Read full post...