Want to target your marketing efforts to the breadwinner in the family? According to The Luxury Institute’s recent survey, women are not only the CEOs of their families, but 41 percent of women included in the survey were also the family breadwinners, contributing more than 50 percent of the household income. However, despite the fact that these educated women are earning six-figure salaries, their top priority is still family. So how do you market to these highly educated, affluent women? Think about their busy schedules and high standards. Make sure your website is attractive, professional, easy to navigate and represented on social media. And finally, consider test marketing to this category to get some helpful feedback on what could be improved.Google+
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Sales Process Articles
Times are definitely changing. Remember the days of setting up a booth at a big trade show to market your business and find vendors? A new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Exhibit & Event Marketers Association (E2MA) says marketers find it more and more challenging to measure ROI from big events. While marketers still find value in events, 40 percent of respondents are cutting back on big trade shows in favor of more targeted events, while 44 percent are choosing to host their own events. If you’re not sure whether a trade show or event is worth it, ask the event organizers for any analytics available and talk to previous attendees and exhibitors for their feedback.
Tax time is over, and those Americans who are expecting a refund are already making plans to spend it. How? A study of Twitter feeds by IQ Agency found that as of early April, 65 percent of Americans already knew how they planned to spend their tax refunds. The result is good news for retailers, with
- 14% planning to spend it on electronics
- 11% planning to spend it on fashion
- 11% planning to spend it on automotive
- 10% planning to spend it on food and beverages
- 7% planning to spend it on travel
- 7% planning to spend it on events
- 5% planning to spend it on music.
You’ll notice most of these purchases fall into the discretionary category, which means consumers can easily be swayed to buy by emotional appeals. Consider a marketing approach that does one or more of the following:
- Focuses on the tax refund as “found money” that won’t impact the family budget if spent on discretionary items.
- Emphasizes the “reward yourself” or “treat yourself” aspect of making these purchases.
- Suggests making a long-desired, big-ticket purchase (such as a new TV or electronic device) that otherwise would be too costly.
- Highlights the experiential quality of spending on vacations, events, or food and beverages, such as sharing good times with friends or making memories with the family.
- Appeals to the sensible side by offering discounts or deals on these product and service categories to tempt consumers who may be on the fence.
- Uses humor to sympathize with consumers’ tax time headaches and celebrate that they’re finally over.
Even for the 35 percent of Americans that IQ Agency found plan to save their refund or use it to pay bills, there could be opportunity for financial planners, insurance salespeople and advisers. With tax time fresh in customers’ minds and finances on their brains, you can:
- Contact existing clients with suggestions for how to maximize their refund.
- Offer to review current clients’ portfolios or insurance coverage, suggesting that refund money provides an opportunity to upgrade with “found money.”
- Reach out to prospects by offering a free consultation as to how their refund can be the start of an investment plan or used to purchase needed insurance that they may have been putting off.
Image by Flickr user bradleygee (Creative Commons)Google+
If your business is involved in the travel industry, benefits from travelers or markets to them, you’ll want to know what luxury travelers are planning for this year. The news from Unity Marketing is positive: The company’s latest report, Affluent Consumers & Their Travel Plans for 2013, surveyed over 1,300 affluent consumers with an average income of $267,800 and found that nearly half (45 percent) plan to spend more on travel in 2013 compared with 2012.
Where are luxury consumers planning to go? Internationally, three destinations were especially popular compared to 2011: the Caribbean, Asia and Australia/New Zealand. In the U.S., Las Vegas and Nevada in general topped the list of planned vacation spots, followed by New York, Florida, Boston/New England and Los Angeles. 15 percent of consumers plan on visiting Western Europe, especially France, Germany Italy and Spain.
What else do you need to know about luxury travelers?
Luxury travelers typically take multiple long vacations. In 2013, the average luxury traveler will take 2.8 separate vacations lasting four days or longer.
Luxury travelers don’t want to spend a lot of money getting to their destination. They rarely fly first-class, for example, and they seek to use frequent flyer points and other means to economize on the trip. Receiving discounts was cited as more important this year than in the prior 2011 survey.
Once they get to their destination, however, luxury travelers splurge, typically staying in four- to five-star hotels. Experience is key for luxury travelers, and the types of experiences they want most this year are relaxation/stress reduction, sightseeing, and fine dining/food and wine experiences.
This year, luxury travelers are relying much less on travel agents and much more on online reviews and other online tools. Less than one-third will use a travel agent to plan their trips, and the importance of online reviews rose compared to the 2011 survey.
But there is still opportunity for travel sellers, tour companies and other travel-related businesses. To make the most of luxury travelers’ growing budgets:
- Provide or link to online reviews of your business on your website.
- Offer discounts, special offers or packages to appeal to luxury travelers’ desire to save.
- Provide a curated experience. Luxury travelers care greatly about creating meaningful memories and having unique experiences, so if your business can help them discover or enjoy unusual experiences, you’ll appeal to their interests.
- Focus on high quality. Luxury consumers demand the best, so make sure your service is up to their standard.
Image by Flickr user breezy421 (Creative Commons)Google+
If you’re trying to boost the success of your content marketing efforts, one way to do so is by adding video. Online video is becoming more a part of consumers’ everyday lives, especially when it comes to online shopping, according to a report from Invodo and the eTailing Group.
The survey of over 1,000 Internet users found that the majority (52 percent) regularly watch video during the online shopping process. About one-third say they always watch video if it’s available; almost all (90 percent) watch it at least occasionally. Shoppers are also turning to video earlier in the shopping process—during the research stage—especially when it comes to big-ticket purchases or complex purchases.
What’s important for content marketers to know—whether or not they are e-tailers—is that:
- Internet users are showing more interest in video compared to prior years.
- Consumer engagement is greater on sites that offer video.
- Consumers are spending more time watching videos than in prior years.
- They are also watching more videos in more product categories than in prior years.
While Invodo’s study focused on ecommerce-related videos, there is a wide range of options for small business video—from an e-tailer’s video demonstrating what clothing or apparel looks like on a model, to an accountant’s video explaining the latest tax deductions.
Clearly, adding video is a great way to engage your prospects. So what can you do to make sure your videos get watched?
- Make them educational. Create videos that demonstrate your products or services, show past customers talking about their satisfaction with your products or services, or educated consumers about what you do or sell. Invodo found videos with an educational or demonstration aspect were more likely to get watched.
- Make them easy to share. Consumers eagerly share videos on social media—in fact, they’re more likely to share videos than they are images or photos. Add share buttons or embed codes that enable users to pass your content along, as well as text encouraging them to share the video with others.
- Consider mobile. Invodo found viewing of videos on mobile devices is on the upswing, so create your videos with mobile in mind. This means simple setups that are easy to see on small devices.
- Shorter is better. Under two or three minutes is a good length for most types of videos. If you’re trying to cover a complex topic, break it down into a series of shorter videos. You’ll have more content and are more likely to attract views that way.
- Post in multiple places. In addition to your website, post videos on social media and consider creating a YouTube channel for your business. The more places your videos are available, the more traction they’ll gain.
Image by Flickr user M4D Group (Creative Commons)Google+
Are you hoping that the “Made in America” label will help your product sell better? Chances are you’re right. A recent Harris Interactive survey found support for buying American products across a wide swath of age groups, both genders and both political parties. However, it’s important to define what “American” means when it comes to a product.
Being made in America is the biggest deciding factor in whether an item is considered American. Three-fourths of respondents say a product has to be made in the U.S. for them to think of it as “American.” Being produced by a U.S. company or being made from parts manufactured in the U.S. was important to about half of consumers; being designed by an American was important to about one-fourth.
What type of people care about buying American? Just about everyone. However:
- The older people are, the more importance they typically place on buying American. Respondents age 48 and up were most likely to say buying American is important; 18- to 35-year-olds were least likely.
- Women were more likely than men to believe it’s important to buy American.
- Republicans and Democrats, however, were equally likely to believe it’s important to buy American, and felt more strongly about it than did Independents.
What types of products are people most likely to want to buy American? Major appliances (75 percent), furniture (74 percent), clothing (72 percent), small appliances (71 percent) and automobiles (70 percent) were the categories for which respondents were most likely to say it was “very important” or “important” to buy American.
What are people trying to accomplish when they buy American? The most important reason for buying American was to “keep jobs in America,” which 66 percent of respondents rated “very important.” Next on the list was “supporting American companies” (cited as “very important” by 56 percent). Safety concerns about products made outside the U.S. were a very important reason for buying American for 49 percent of respondents.
Less important reasons for buying American were:
- Quality concerns with products assembled/ produced outside of the U.S.
- Human rights issues with products assembled/produced outside of the U.S.
- Decreasing environmental impact since products don’t need to travel as far. However, even this factor—the lowest on the list–was rated “very important” by 32 percent.
Clearly, buying American is still a priority for many people. If you decide to use this as a selling point, be sure that you:
- Are honest and accurate about exactly what “Made in America” means in terms of your product.
- Emphasize the factors that matter to customers, such as keeping jobs in America or supporting U.S. companies, in your marketing.
To fine-tune your marketing message, drill down into more details about specific consumer groups’ opinions at Harris Interactive.
Image by Flickr user donkeyhotey (Creative Commons)Google+
Spurred by the rapid adoption of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, as well as by major retailers’ investment in their websites, ecommerce sales in the U.S. are projected to rise from $231 billion last year to $262 billion this year—an increase of 13 percent–according to the latest forecasts from market research firm Forrester. Three product categories account for one-third of that total: apparel and accessories, consumer electronics and computer hardware.
Ecommerce currently accounts for some 8 percent of overall U.S. retail sales (or 11 percent, if grocery sales are excluded). Growth in online retail sales is projected to outpace the growth of traditional retail sales in the next five years. By 2017, total ecommerce sales in the U.S. should hit $370 billion.
Forrester says the increased use of smartphones and tablets is a major factor powering ecommerce growth. With over 50 percent of U.S. online users owning smartphones, many smartphone owners use any spare moment to go online. As a result, people are spending more time overall online than they would if they had to go to their PC or laptop to shop—and that means more browsing, shopping and purchasing.
Another driver behind ecommerce growth is that major retailers are rapidly making investments in their ecommerce divisions in order to better integrate their in-store and online shopping experiences. Even customers who head to a brick-and-mortar store now often end up buying merchandise online within the store, or using smartphones to find the same products elsewhere and order them online.
Surprisingly, new shoppers coming online for the first time are not a major factor in the growth of ecommerce. Just 4 million people are projected to buy online for the first time this year. Instead, growth is coming because people who are already comfortable with online shopping are now spending more money online, ordering more often, and buying a wider range of products from a variety of sites. Forrester says online shoppers typically become comfortable with ecommerce by purchasing low-risk items such as downloadable music or movies. Only then do they move up to more expensive purchases such as appliances or home furnishings.
Forrester’s report has some more good news, not just for ecommerce vendors but also for the economy as a whole: Ecommerce companies are powering employment growth. Currently, Forrester says, U.S. ecommerce businesses employ over 400,000 people, and that figure is expected to hit 500,000 by 2017.
Image by Flickr user Mosman Council (Creative Commons)Google+
By Rieva Lesonsky
The Great Recession was dubbed a “mancession” by some due to the large numbers of men who lost their jobs. As a result, more women found themselves the main breadwinners of the family. But an end to the recession hasn’t meant an end to the trend, reports Marketing Daily. In fact, research by Kristin Smith, a research assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, shows that the rise of the female breadwinner could be a permanent change.
Smith analyzed earnings data from the U.S. Census Bureau and found that in 2007 (pre-recession), wives with jobs outside the home accounted for 44 percent of total family earnings. Between 2008 to 2009, that percentage climbed to 46–the biggest single-year gain in 23 years. In 2010 and 2011, it was at 47. Overall, from 1988 to 2011, wives’ share of earnings rose by 9 percent while husbands’ share dropped by 9 percent.
Women were more likely to contribute a higher percentage of the paycheck if they were married to men with a lower level of education. For instance, women whose husbands had a high school degree or below contributed 51 percent of total family earnings in 2011. Women whose husbands had a college degree contributed 42 percent.
During the recession (December 2007 – January 2010 in this study), America lost 8.7 million jobs, with most of them in construction, manufacturing and other male-dominated industries. At its peak in October 2009, men’s unemployment reached 11.2 percent while women’s was 8.7 percent.
Smith believes that the trend toward female breadwinners will not only continue, but strengthen even as the economy improves. Why? She believes families will still need to make up for lost time and restore diminished retirement accounts and savings. As a result, more women will stay in the work force. Smith’s report did not take into account emotional factors like fears and worry sparked by the recession; if you consider those factors, the staying power of the female breadwinner seems even more ensured.
What does this trend mean to you?
- If your product or service has traditionally been marketed to the “head of the household” or breadwinner, keep in mind that role may have changed. You may need to tailor your message to suit women or both men and women.
- Since women typically earn less than men even in the same jobs, female-breadwinner households will have tighter budgets. Reach out to them with marketing messages about value, savings and smart shopping.
- If both spouses are working, time will be at a premium, so one way you can justify higher prices is by focusing on how your product or service saves precious time that can be better spent on more important things, like relaxation or family.
Image by Flickr user DonkeyHotey (Creative Commons)Google+