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Wishing You the Best in 2012

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Moms Prefer Digital Shopping Over In-Store [STUDY]

Digital usage and ecommerce increase when women become moms

Describe almost any mother of small children and one word comes to mind: busy.

Two recent studies verify this truism by showing that women spend less time with media outlets such as TV and magazines—but more time online—after becoming a mom. An Eric Mower and Associates survey, for example, found that more than half of new mothers spend less time watching TV (59%) and reading magazines (55%), and that 59% also spent less time shopping in stores. The percentages are similar for moms as they have more children or their kids get older.

When asked about time on the internet, however, the balance was more even: 25% of moms spent more time online while 29% spent less. For online shopping specifically, digital won out, with more than a third of mom internet users spending more time on ecommerce than before.

BabyCenter reflected these findings in an August 2011 survey, “Shopping Rituals of the American Mom,” which also demonstrated that online activities related to shopping are important to moms. New-mom status made women more aware of value and quality, both research studies indicated.

Channels Used Throughout the Shopping Process by US Mom Internet Users, Aug 2011 (% of respondents)

BabyCenter’s survey found that 71% of moms use websites such as shopping engines and review sites to compare prices, and 56% search for coupons or deals. Higher percentages of moms also turn to websites to compare product features and for product recommendations than to other information channels, such as retail stores or traditional media.

The bottom line for retailers? To reach moms, look online.

SOURCE eMarketer

Growing E-Commerce With Hispanics In The U.S

If your business provides products or services targeted to the U.S. Hispanic market, you will want to follow some basic tips that will help you to reach your business goals and increase your profits at the same time.

What you can do

To increase your sales to Hispanics in the U.S., begin by accurately quantify how many consumers in that demographic are already part of your current customer base. This is a figure you can use later on to determine how effective your new marketing techniques have been once they are put in place.

Here are some marketing steps you can take to reach Hispanics in the U.S.:

  • If possible and within budget constraints, consider the use of Hispanic celebrities to be your brand Ambassadors. This will create unique branded content that drives ratings for media partners.
  • Include social and mobile content. According to a recent presentation by Mark Lopez, Google’s head of U.S. Hispanic audiences, at Versailles Breakfast Club (VBC) in Miami, 86% of U.S. Hispanics use broadband, and the smart phone adoption among U.S. Hispanics is 45%, compared to a 34% of the general population.
  • Include digital and video content. During the same presentation at VBC, Mark Lopez said that 73% of U.S. Hispanics are on YouTube, and 93% of U.S. Hispanics are Google users.
  • If you have issued coupons or made similar offers, the number of items that have been redeemed will be a good indicator of how receptive this demographic has been. You can make coupons available online (in your website or other sites) and in print (direct mail or in inserts).
  • You can also provide your customers with some form of digital or hard-copy sales information that will interest them (both in English and Spanish). Then, based on their response (or lack thereof), you can calculate how many people are part of your U.S. Hispanic clientele at that time.
  • In regard to those customers who already buy your products or services, analyze statistics such as your email responses and credit card information. The percentage of new records, when compared to your past average records, will help you determine your Hispanic marketing strategy in the future.
  • One very good way to boost your e-commerce sales in the U.S. Hispanic market is having an adequate number of employees who speak Spanish, and if they are bi-lingual, that’s even better.

Remember also that, in a business setting, the ability to converse fluently in Spanish surpasses any skill those on your staff may have in reading and writing the language. If that ability is lacking, your access to the Spanish-preferred or Spanish-dominant U.S. market will be limited or virtually non-existent.

Maintaining the customer base you have

If you are unable to communicate effectively with your Hispanic customers in the U.S., you may find that you are losing some of the customers you already have, much less see an increase in sales with that targeted demographic. Being certain that you have employees who can work in a multicultural environment and provide customer, sales and technical support by speaking English and Spanish is essential in welcoming U.S. Hispanics as an important segment of the e-commerce marketplace. Cultural Relevance and Language Accessibility go hand-by-hand.

Your next Hispanic marketing step

Once you are certain that the lines of communication are open and that you offer an outstanding level of service to your customers, you will also want them to know that they have access to content that is culturally relevant to them. Also, when they visit your website, make it clear that customer support in Spanish is readily available as well as English, and that they can gain access to it quickly and easily at any time. This can be done through the use of a browser pop-up window, or by inserting a special graphic or hyperlink where it can be found on your home page with little difficulty.

Adding a “Click to chat” or “Live Chat” with an option to Spanish live support is a plus. Many “Live Chat” options allow you to configure it this way by choosing two departments (one for Spanish Customer Support and another English Customer Support.

If your U.S. Hispanic customers can tell that you value their business and offer your support and services in both languages, you should also assure them that the details they provide online are secure. This can be done by posting relevant information about your company’s concern for preserving their privacy and security. Otherwise, some potential customers may be very reluctant to conduct business transactions via the internet, and your sales numbers will remain flat.

What you may not know

Unfortunately, there are only a few techniques for promoting low-cost or no-cost e-commerce market expansion to Hispanics in the U.S.. By using very little capital, your company can grow any targeted demographic market base if you plan carefully. Also, by following the few basic steps mentioned above and making some simple changes to your advertising and marketing material, along with your customer correspondence, you will find that your sales numbers in the U.S. Hispanic market have increased steadily and significantly.

Hope this article provides you with some insights for growing your e-commerce sites with U.S. Hispanics. I’d be interested to read any questions and comments regarding this post, as well as other tips that were not presented here.

SOURCE MediaPost, written by Sebastian Aroca

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Challenges & Solutions in the PR Agency Planning Process

In the waning days of 2011, many public relations professionals engaged in some aspect of planning, from contemplating whether the plan that was finalized one or more months ago remains aligned with the every-changing environment, to putting the final touches on the thinking and processes that will be implemented with a flip of a calendar page.

Leaders of small- to mid-size agencies and consultancies often have some of the greatest challenges in assessing, anticipating and planning the future. Oftentimes, these organizations are relatively young in years, with limited data points.

With a number of years as the leader of a boutique public relations agency and a stint as a planning consultant within one of the nation’s preeminent voluntary health-service organizations, I’ve seen — and experienced — what seems to be a lifetime of planning successes … and failures.

Here are three less-than-intuitive areas worthy of consideration by both the newcomer and the experienced agency leader in charting a course to the future.

Read the entire article at PRSAY.

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3 Must-Read Posts to Begin the New Year

In the flood of predictions, resolutions and annual reviews that fill up our inboxes and takeover the Web this time of year, three have really stood out for me. These are the ones that have inspired me, motivated me, and made me chuckle. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did…

~ Melanie, Associate Publisher


#1 – Three Words by Chris Brogan

This is such a great exercise for directing goals, especially if you have a hard time sticking to your resolutions, that I just had to share with you. It came as an email, and you’ll have to wait until January 1st for the official post… but in the meantime, here’s an excerpt. You can also check out last year’s post for inspiration. (Then sign up for his newsletter, if you haven’t already.)

“Every year since 2006 or so, I’ve skipped the tradition of throwing up a New Year’s Resolution that I’ll soon forget, and instead, I’ve focused on creating THREE WORDS that sum up all that I would like to focus on for the coming year. This method works well for several people, and over the years, we’ve had many people write out blog posts that describe their Three Words and how they use the model to improve themselves and/or their business in the coming year. It’s that time again.

I don’t unveil my own personal Three Words until January 1, but I’ll tell you about how it works by going through my 2011 words. My words were:

* Reinvest * Package * Flow”


#2 – How to do the best work of your life by Julien Smith

I had an opportunity to meet Julien at a conference a few years ago, not long after Trust Agents was released. I’m sure he doesn’t remember me, but he made an impression on me. His authenticity, and fearless approach toward rocking the boat, shaking things up and challenging the status quo (usually successfully), always leaves me inspired, and a little in awe.  I’m not sure if I need it, but I sure wish I had a little more of his chutzpah.

This post is an announcement of his new book, FLINCH, which is available for free and a must-read for anyone ready to break out and MAKE A DIFFERENCE in 2012.


#3 – Things I’d Like to See Happen in 2012 by Peter Shankman

A list filled with the things we often wish (but don’t say), this post is a humorous approach to your typical New Year’s Resolutions. From the “May 2012 be the year that passive aggressive status updates cease,” to “May 2012 be the year I learn to be a better listener ,” Peter’s list includes a touch of social media sarcasm and personal reflection that made me laugh, and you’re sure to appreciate.

So tell us, What…

  •  Are your 3 Words for 2012?
  • Would you like to stop flinching at in 2012?
  • Is on your 2012 Wish List?
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National Hispanic Landscape Alliance and Magnetic Productions are Seeking Hispanic Host of New Landscaping Series on the DIY Network

The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA) has found an opportunity to help Magnetic Productions in finding a Hispanic host of a new landscaping series for DIY Network. The series will focus on dramatic yard makeovers using innovative tools, products, and ideas.

The network is looking for a male or female, mid-20s to mid-40s, who has professional experience in landscape design or construction. The ideal candidate will be a fun, energetic person with tons of personality and a diverse ethnic background. Prior TV experience is not necessary, but applicants must be outgoing. As stated above, real expertise in the landscape design and/or contracting field is preferred, but not absolutely necessary.

Submissions must include photos, resume, bio & 2-3 minute video of candidate at work (hosting a mock or legit show; landscaping makeover preferred).

Send submissions to tvhostcastingmagnetic@gmail.com ASAP!

Raúl Alarcón

Raúl Alarcón Makes Influential List

The SBS President and CEO is being recognized by Poder magazine as a business leader in the publication’s annual “Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics” list. The list includes the most notable figures from the political, business, science, education and entertainment sectors. Alarcón said, “To be recognized by Poder magazine is an honor which I would like to share with the millions of Hispanic entrepreneurs in America who are transforming our economy. I am grateful and proud to represent the interests of the growing Hispanic business community around the nation.”

Read the entire article at Radio Ink Magazine.

The Future of Business Blogging & Social Media Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Soon, nearly HALF of all small businesses will be blogging. And a third as many will be using social media to marketing their products and services. Courtesy of Remarkablogger and Credit Loan, here’s a new infographic that visualizes the future of blogging and social media over the next year.

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Marketers Look Beyond Social Media Experimentation

As budgets increase, marketers hope to understand more about social media

Marketers are becoming more mature when it comes to their social media marketing, and many in the US say they hope to move beyond the experimentation phase in the coming years.

In October 2011, at the second annual Pivot Conference, a survey found that 37.1% of marketers said their company will move beyond experimentation in social media marketing in 2012. An additional 14.6% expect to do so in 2014 and 5.6% by 2015. Nearly 8% said it would be later than 2015 and more than a third (34.8%) said they did not know when they would move past the experimentation phase.

There were many factors that marketers cited as influential in their drive for more mature social media marketing. Among the respondents who said their company would move beyond social media experimentation in 2012, 68.5% said an increased understanding on the benefits of social media was a factor that encouraged this maturation. Additionally, 60.9% cited a development of clear social strategy, 54.3% pointed to clearly defined outcomes and 51.1% mentioned metrics as having an influence.

While only 26.1% of respondents said budget increases would influence the move beyond experimentation, marketers also told the Pivot Conference that social media marketing would make up a higher percentage of their marketing budget in 2012 and beyond. While 37% of respondents said social media would be less than 5% of the marketing budget in 2011, only 27.1% expected that same low percentage in 2012 and just 18.8% predicted it would remain that low in 2013.

Percent of Marketing Budget Spent on Social Media Marketing According to US Marketers, 2011-2013 (% of total)

The combination of bigger budgets and increased sophistication will likely spur companies to go further toward reaching maturity in their social media marketing efforts and foster new examples of successful social media campaigns in the coming years.

SOURCE eMarketer

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3 Marketing Mega Trends For 2012

I lead strategy for my Web design company, and one of my primary roles is to connect with potential clients. This means I am in the middle of 1,000+ conversations per year about marketing — its past, present and future.

Based on these conversations and experience, I will share my predictions for 2012.

Mega-Trend #1: Mobile Ecommerce Will Reach a Tipping Point

It was a quiet explosion and it’s not over yet.  Purchases made on mobile devices will jump significantly in 2012. If you’ve never bought anything on your phone, watch yourself in 2012. You may personally contribute to this trend.

In 2010, e-commerce sales from mobile devices on Black Friday were 3.2%; in 2011, this number jumped to 9.8%. This year will be the tipping point for the ecommerce portion of the mobile mega-trend.

Retail spaces will still be stores, but more than ever, will become showrooms for their Web sites. Big retailers will make it easier to order online from the store on your phone. For small brick-and-mortar retailers, “buy it where you try it” will be the rallying cry.  Either way, in 2012 shoppers will realize they can scan, price shop and order any product in front of them, then have it delivered tomorrow.

Mega-Trend #2: The Decline of Apps
Well — not an actual decline, but a decline relative to the growth of mobile sites. 2012 will be the year when people who say “I want to build an app” also say “…unless the same thing is possible with a mobile site.”

Potential mobile application builders are starting to figure out that building an app really means building two apps (one for iPhones and one for Android) or else leaving out a big chunk of the audience. Mobile Web sites don’t have that problem.  A properly built mobile site will display on any mobile device.

When something is purchased through an app, there’s a middleman who usually takes a cut (Apple takes 30% of purchases made through iPhone apps, for example). But when you sell something through a mobile site, you don’t have to worry about this. Sales are handled through the company.

App development is expensive and time-consuming and usually has no advantages over mobile sites. They have to be downloaded and installed: This is not my preferred way to access things — is it yours? Plus, apps can’t be linked to easily, so they’re harder to promote.

In 2012, marketers will begin to realize that mobile sites can do virtually everything an app can do, easier, faster and cheaper.

Mega-Trend #3: Enter Inbound Marketing
This is the year that millions of companies large and small realize that inbound marketing, rather than outbound advertising, is the way to go. By inbound marketing (a/k/a content marketing), we mean writing and promoting content using search marketing, social media, blogging, email marketing and PR.

As we begin year four of the recession/recovery, marketers are still cost-conscious.  They will find that inbound marketing takes time, but the out-of-pocket expenses are low. Business-to-business companies seem to be leading the charge, but everyone will be on board soon. Year 2012 is the year of content marketing.

Inbound isn’t a fad or the next “shiny object,” it’s a long-term commitment of real time and energy. But as word gets out about the clever ways to combine search marketing with blogging, social media with PR, hordes of marketing departments will jump in.

And to help all these marketing departments, a new generation of marketing company will rise to prominence: the inbound agency. These companies will combine the disciplines of formerly separate companies. Look for hybrid SEO/PR/social media firms. These will be small strategic firms that write search-optimized press releases and understand social media analytics.

Courtesy of MediaPost, written by Andy Crestodina.

Racy Approach Brings Axe Full Control Sweet Victory in Latin America [VIDEO]

Thanks to ‘Premature Perspiration’ Campaign, Sales of Unilever Product Rose 11.7%

Known for provocative advertising that portrays Axe as a brand that makes young men irresistible to young women, Unilever took an even more outrageous approach than usual for the Latin American launch of its Full Control antiperspirant line, with a campaign called “Premature Perspiration.”

“We took a key topic that is related to men’s virility and extrapolated it to armpits,” said Hernan Ponce, CEO of Ponce, Buenos Aires, whose agency and its forerunner Vegaolmosponce have done international work for Axe since 1999.

The “Premature Perspiration” campaign explores the idea that a young man excited by the presence of a young woman risks losing his self-confidence due to sudden heavy sweating, in a thinly veiled allusion to another problem of concern to men. In spots, embarrassing underarm rings quickly appear when young men are exposed to innocently provocative situations, such as a girl eating an ice cream bar or pulling lingerie out of the dryer at the laundromat.

Read the entire article at Ad Age.

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Newsroom Layoffs Rose by 30% This Year

The latest survey shows that the number of newspaper jobs eliminated this year rose by 30 percent from last year. Notable stats from the full article at PR Daily News include:

  • 45,000: Number of journalism jobs at U.S. newspapers in 1978, the first year the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) conducted the survey.
  • 41,000: Number of journalism jobs at U.S. newspapers at the end of this year.
  • 56,900: The number of journalism newspaper jobs in 1989, the peak from 1978 to today.
  • 1 in 3: Newsroom jobs eliminated since the number of journalists peaked at 56,900 in 1989.
  • 3 out of 4: Number of years The New York Times has offered buyouts, and this week its parent company announced it was selling its 16 mid-size newspapers.
  • 15,993: The number of journalism jobs cut in 2008, the peak year for layoffs.

More commentary is available at Poynter.org.