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Why marketing to seniors is so terrible

Honest question: When was the last time you saw anyone over 55 in a decent ad? The world of oldsvertising is a hellscape full of reverse mortgages, erectile dysfunction pills, and bathtubs that won’t kill you.

If you took your entire view of the human race from primetime advertising alone, you’d see a society without old people. They don’t work, they don’t drink beer, they don’t drive cars. They don’t exist. According to Havas Group, only about 5% of U.S. advertising is even aimed at people over 50.

And yet by 2020, the world will have more 55-year-olds than 5-year-olds, and older people are expected to generate half of all urban consumption growth between 2015 and 2030. The U.S. Census Bureau has pegged 2035 as the year older adults will outnumber chil­dren for the first time in U.S. history. By 2060 in China, one in three people–or 487 million–will be over 60. As far as brands are concerned, that’s a lot of potential sales.

But forget about balancing between Instagram and “I’ve fallen but I can’t get up.” These statistics, along with more recent studies around how consumers want to see different generations depicted and reflected in culture, are starting to shift how some marketers try to lure different age groups.

SO WHY IS MARKETING TO OLDER PEOPLE SO BAD?

Major brand marketers over the years have demonstrated a distinct obsession with age. People are segmented off into age ranges like 18 to 34, 35 to 50, and over-55, as if our buying patterns, motivation, and lifestyles are homogenous and based primarily on how many years we’ve been alive. Life stage and age have been decoupling over the past generation, with milestones like education, marriage, kids, career, and retirement becoming unmoored from traditional age constraints. A 2018 study conducted by McCann and The Paley Center for Media asked people of all ages when you’re too old to do things like go back to school, start your own business, or date romantically, and an overwhelming majority of respondents said you’re never too old for any of it, putting into question the focus on age as a reliable indicator of consumer habits.

However, most advertisers still see the next generation as always the most exciting. Are you sick of gen Z headlines yet? They’re new, they’re different, their disposable income habits are not yet fully formed! When asked about AB InBev’s Super Bowl strategy in 2015, the brewer’s VP of global marketing strategy Jorn Socquet said, “It’s moving towards a different tone of voice. It will be more young, it will be a little more fun-based. So you will definitely see an evolution.” And last year, Tiffany’s chief artistic officer Reed Krakoff told me the brand has been experimenting and pushing itself to find the right balance between leveraging the enormous brand value in its heritage, “while at the same time not letting it become an albatross around its neck, preventing it from attracting newer, younger people into its doors.” The brand’s 2018 “Believe in Dreams” campaign featured both Elle Fanning (then 20) and A$AP Ferg (then 30).

There is some logic behind the strategy of targeting younger consumers. According to Forrester research, 55% and 54% of those less than 31 and 31-39, respectively, say they “enjoy trying new brands or products.” That number drops to 39% for those aged 54-63 and 31% for the 64-74 set. Forrester analyst Dipanjan Chatterjee says it’s possible that marketers see no quick win here among less promiscuous consumers who are unwilling to switch for quick inducements. “This may also reflect a mind-set among many brands where marketers are rewarded for acquisition after which the customer gets passed on to some other part of the organization,” says Chatterjee. And so the most creative, high-production campaigns tend to focus on the youngest consumers, while marketing aimed at older groups follows mindless formulas and plays into time-worn stereotypes about older people as needy and helpless.

THE REAL OPPORTUNITY OF MARKETING TO OLDER PEOPLE

But stats like those cited by Forrester can be misleading. On the flipside, Havas Group’s chief insights officer and SVP brand marketing at Vivendi Maria Garrido says talking directly to older people is a huge missed opportunity, not just because of their disposable income, but it’s also a group that is generally more sincere with brands. “They want brands to provide content that’s educational, informative, and more than just entertainment,” says Garrido. “They’re more sincere in that when they have a good experience with a brand, 68% say they share it with other people.”

Havas’s 2018 Meaningful Brands study found massive growth in the online presence of over-55 consumers, with 68% of them also buying something online every month.

Aside from healthcare, luxury is the product segment where Havas has seen more brands actively engaging with older consumers. And for good reason, since Euromonitor reported that 70% of all available U.S. income is owned by those over 55, and, globally, people over 60 will account for $15 trillion in spending power by 2020. “A lot of luxury brands are doing things with older models, showcasing an older target group,” says Garrido. “Part of that is affordability. I was having lunch with someone the other day from Chanel who told me that 80% of their fashion is sold to people over the age of 50. Most people don’t have the accumulated wealth to pay $2,000 for a jacket.”

THE RISE OF MULTIGENERATIONAL ADVERTISING

 There are brands that are finding ways of reflecting the reality that we live in a–shocker!–multigenerational society. L’Oreal Paris and British Vogue recently partnered to launch “The Non-Issue,” created with McCann London and Paris, a print insert in the May edition of British Vogue. Featuring older women like Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren, the aim was to celebrate women over 50, who feel ignored by the fashion and beauty industries.

Not all brands have completely ignored older consumers. While the bulk of advertising seems to follow an unspoken “No Olds” rule, some brands have managed to create multigenerational ads (either in whom they depict or who the target audience is) that stand out. In 2011, Toyota used a Venza ad to subvert expectations of a less-than thrilling, almost-empty nester lifestyle.

FOCUS ON ATTITUDES, NOT AGES

Perhaps focusing on age groups is the wrong approach altogether. The 2018 McCann study “Truth About Age” found that aging is actually something everyone thinks about. Its data showed that people in their 20s fear death the most, those in their 30s think about aging the most, while people in their 70s actually worry about aging the least. The report suggested marketers should shift from age to attitudinal segmentation. So instead of age ranges, it outlined five different attitudes: Ageless Adventurers, Communal Caretakers, Actualizing Adults, Youth Chasers, and Future Fearers.

Nadia Tuma, senior vice president and director of McCann Truth Central (the agency’s research unit), says that even if you just look at one small segment like empty nesters, you’ll get a kaleidoscope of different attitudes toward growing older, from excitement to fear, optimistic to apocalyptic. Similarly, if you filter it through culture, looking at how China compares to France, say, you start to get a very different picture of how different people think about aging. “It’s almost like the demographics that we’ve created are a barrier to us understanding people at a deeper level,” says Tuma.

THE ONE UNIVERSAL TRUTH ABOUT AGING

The most surprising finding Tuma and her team discovered was when they asked people to envision an aging utopia–and an aging dystopia. In every single country surveyed, the utopia had generations living together in harmony, learning from each other, and helping one another other. The dystopia, conversely, strictly segregated young and old. Which one do we see most in advertising today?

“The vast majority of people said aging well means spending time with people who are both younger and older than you,” says Tuma. “It’s about intergenerational connections, something much more powerful than just finding a good moisturizer.”

Source:https://www.fastcompany.com/90341477/why-marketing-to-seniors-is-so-terrible?partner=rss

5 email marketing tools for startups

Traffic generation techniques and driving branding through digital marketing has been talked about so extensively already that we do not need to review them any more. 

Almost any startup can learn to use Google Ads, Facebook Ads, content and organic search engine optimisation (SEO) to get traffic at the top of their funnel. These are great ways to get the word out and making the brand visible. 

However, in order to nurture your leads and keep your customers engaged, you need to master email marketing. 

Email marketing remains the most powerful channel to communicate directly with the people who want to hear from you. This includes your blog’s content audience, your customers, people who want to work with you in the future, and your leads for the products and services you plan to sell.

When people sign up for a service, the most important initial communication, like login details, receipt of purchase, etc, is expected to be communicated over email. This also includes sending out relevant and personalised content so that you have your subscribers’ undivided attention. 

Relevance in the times of instant communication

Many digital marketing experts claim that email marketing is dead because of the rise of Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms and, most importantly, instant communication apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. But email still continues to drive revenues at our startup and for thousands of other startups in the world.

Email marketing works when email subscribers expect to receive an email from you. Else, unsolicited emails are just spam.

Many startups have tried to use email marketing to drive brand awareness and instant sales, but it doesn’t work. That’s when people claim email marketing is dead. But the problem lies in the fact that people have little to no idea about how to do it correctly.

The permission to reach the inbox of the subscriber should be used judicially and nurtured over time with relevant content.

Email marketing is personal because the email inbox is a personal space. And people like to hear from people, rather than brand names, because people want to connect with people. (Read Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing, if you haven’t read it yet). 

When people give you permission to communicate with them, and you carefully nurture that permission without abusing it with promotional messages, email marketing can work wonders. 

In this article, I want to talk about the top five email marketing tools that startups can use. These tools are pocket-friendly, have an easy on-boarding procedure, and come with the basic set of features that startups can use without the need to have a tech team.

Awhile back, email marketing software was not cheap and one had to pay heavy upfront costs to get things up and running. Most of the email marketing tools in the market nowadays will charge you based on the total amount of email subscribers you have hosted with them. That way you are not going to incur heavy upfront costs like setup fee. You will pay more only when your business grows along with it. 

Most of these email marketing tools come with a free trial or a money-back guarantee. You can experiment with multiple tools without risking money and find the best fit for you. 

So here goes my list:

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is one of my favourite email marketing tools. Their interface is simple and easy to use. Nathan Barry, Founder of ConvertKit, is a designer himself, and he has taken a personal interest in designing the user interface.

The ConvertKit plan starts with $29 a month for up to 1,000 subscribers. If you have 10,000 subscribers, you would pay $119 a month. The cost goes up based on the number of subscribers you have.

ConvertKit is the only tool that allows unlimited email sending for any given number of subscribers you have. Most of the email marketing tools have a sending limit of seven to 12 emails per subscriber per month, and if you send more emails, you will be billed separately.

For example, if you have 1,00,000 subscribers, you will be able to send a total of 5,00,000 emails a month and if you send another 5,00,000 emails to the same subscriber base, you will be charged the equivalent of having 2,00,000 subscribers. Such pricing is unpredictable and gives early-stage startups surprise bills.

ConvertKit is made for bloggers and info-product marketers, but it works for anyone who has a focus on personal branding.

Many email marketing tools come with a lot of bells and whistles, which include fancy HTML email templates. ConvertKit keeps the focus on the conversation and doesn’t encourage you to add fancy designs. The email editor is plain and simple, and your HTML emails look more like plain text emails. 

If you are looking to send heavy branded HTML emails, then ConvertKit might not be the right option for you. However, if you are trying to leverage 1:1 communication with your subscribers with written content, ConvertKit is the best fit for you.

ConvertKit also has the best delivery rate in the industry and has a high conversion ratio for emails sends to opens. They have maintained the reputation of their email servers very well by carefully monitoring all the users and preventing spam complaints.

One downside of ConvertKit is that they do not support highly customisable automation. If you are looking to build custom marketing automation funnels, then ActiveCampaign might be a better fit for you.

ActiveCampaign

There are three reasons why ActiveCampaign is better than ConvertKit. The pricing of ActiveCampaign is slightly lower than ConvertKit at higher subscriber slabs.

For 1,000 subscribers the monthly pricing plan starts at $29 a month – which is almost the same as ConvertKit. If you have 10,000 subscribers, the pricing is $129 a month.

At higher subscriber slabs, there are significant differences in pricing. If you have 100,000 subscribers, you will be paying $459 a month for the Lite Plan on ActiveCampaign, and $679 a month for ConvertKit.

While ConvertKit doesn’t have multiple plans, ActiveCampaign comes with four different plans.

The Lite plan of ConvertKit is good enough for most of the bloggers, information product marketers, and startups. If you also want sales automation with features like Lead Scoring, then the Plus plan will be the right fit for you.

The professional plan comes with predictive sending and site messaging. And there is also an enterprise plan for people who want to customise the entire offering. 

ActiveCampaign allows you to add webhooks in the automation, which helps you pass data to other tools. You can also set up an SMS drip campaign with ActiveCampaign – which is not available with tools like ConvertKit.

If you have a lot of subscribers, are very price conscious, and if you want to have the possibility of upgrading to a CRM automation suite in the future with the same subscriber database, I would recommend ActiveCampaign over ConvertKit.

The only downside of ActiveCampaign is that the tool is much more complex to use than ConvertKit. You might find it difficult to create a simple drip marketing automation and finding an email template that looks like plain text emails (if plain text emails are your preference). 

Aweber

Aweber is one of the oldest email marketing companies in the world. Aweber has a very simple interface and allows users to send plain text emails. Plain text emails have a higher chance of landing in the primary tab of Gmail (and 90 percent of internet users who use email are on Gmail). 

Aweber has high-reputation email servers that have built trust with the email ISPs over the years. This helps to get very high delivery rates and open rates for your email campaigns.

The pricing of Aweber is very simple. The basic plan for 500 subscribers comes at $19 a month. If you have 10,000 subscribers, it would cost $69 a month. It’s $149 a month for up to 25,000 subscribers. And beyond that, it’s $8 additional for every 1,000 new subscribers that are added to the database. 

Aweber supports the creation of a simple drip marketing campaign but is not the best tool to build complex automation.

Drip.com

Drip is one of the most sophistical email marketing and CRM tools out there in the market. 

Initially Drip was competing against ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit with the same set of features and pricing. Later Drip has rebranded itself into a communication tool for e-commerce companies.

If you are an ecommerce startup, Drip.com might be the right option for you as they have custom built the features keeping in mind the needs of an ecommerce startup.

The pricing starts at $49 a month for 2,500 subscribers and goes up to $1,300 per month for 100,000 subscribers. Drip.com is the highest priced tool on my list.

Drip allows advanced rules and liquid templating, which helps you dynamically change the content on the email based on Subscriber tags. Unless you are an ecommerce startup, I wouldn’t recommend using Drip.com. 

MailChimp

Any mention of email marketing tools for startups brings MailChimp into the conversation. MailChimp is the largest provider of email marketing services for the internet, and one of the oldest and most profitable companies in this field.

MailChimp is the only tool that comes with a free plan. For up to 2,000 subscribers, there is no cost. You can upload your subscribers and send emails for free. Just make sure that the subscriber list you have is an option subscriber list. If your email campaigns have a high spam complaint rate and bounce rate, MailChimp will immediately ban your account. 

If you want all the features of MailChimp that include marketing automation, I recommend the Pro plan. It costs $199 a month, and then additional pricing based on the number of subscribers you have. For 1,00,000 subscribers, you will pay $475 per month plus $199 a month, which puts you at a cost of $674 per month.

MailChimp, being a leader in the email marketing field, has the best email servers that help you get the best delivery and open rates for your email marketing campaigns. Advanced automation is still difficult with MailChimp and the learning curve is steep.

The pricing is very similar to ConvertKit. And ActiveCampaign is much cheaper with a better set of features. 

Final thoughts

My personal recommendation for the best email marketing tools will be ConvertKit, and ActiveCampaign. Both have a compelling set of features, come with flexible pricing, and have great customer support. 

I wouldn’t recommend setting up your own email server for sending emails. Setting up your own server is complex and there are too many chances of failure. Signing up for an email marketing service provider is always easy and gives you peace of mind as you scale up your business. 

Source:https://yourstory.com/2019/05/email-marketing-tools-digital-solutions-startups

It’s a fine line between simplifying and stereotyping

It’s important to simplify the market when creating a segmentation, but if you create too few segments you risk filling them with people who don’t belong.

Segmentation is a powerful weapon in the marketer’s arsenal but a poor one can be catastrophic. Avoiding oversimplification is crucial.

Simplification is at the core of any segmentation exercise because people, purchase occasions, consumption occasions, businesses, employees (or whatever it might be) aren’t all the same. They all respond differently to elements of the marketing mix. Treating people as if they were the same makes no commercial sense, and treating everyone differently is inefficient, if not impossible.

Where segmentations can often go wrong

Sometimes segmentations fail and there are many reasons why. Some are too all-encompassing. Others clash with senior stakeholders’ deeply held beliefs. Some are statistically fantastic but pull the market apart in all the wrong places.

Others don’t make the grade because research consultancies, client-side researchers and end users are used to seeing the market divided up into a small number of segments that cannot hope to offer any real clarity, targeting potential or sizing accuracy.

It’s almost trivial to say that the fewer segments you create, the muddier they are. But real problems kick in when time and money are spent on conveying the essence of a segment that only represents a stereotype. It’s clear this has happened when, with closer examination, most members of the segment don’t look how you might expect – a segment of ‘Innovation Seekers’, for example, where a third claims to be resistant to change.

Sometimes this happens because you’re trying to squeeze the market into five or six segments to avoid overwhelming the people who need to use them. This is an understandable strategy, but the consequence is that many individuals in any given segment don’t really reflect what it’s supposed to be about. This might not always matter if we’re just trying to paint a broad descriptive picture. But often that’s not what we’re doing.

How can we tread the line between simplifying and stereotyping?

Segmentation is powerful for identifying and sizing market opportunities, quantifying barriers to product usage, or measuring spend and loyalty.

All of these require quantitative data, and here’s the issue: if your brand share of Innovation Seekers is 30%, it’s easy to believe you’re doing a great job meeting the evolving needs of this group. But what if this is the 30% that shouldn’t be in that segment?

It’s critical to start with far more segments than you would ever circulate broadly in an organisation, let alone develop a strategy against. By creating 11 or 12 segments you can choose to entirely disregard a majority of them without stripping away huge swathes of the market. This means you can simplify effectively: focus on five or six segments and create collateral and strategies around these.

Then you can feel confident, knowing that these segments are clear. Everyone in a segment is actually similar and reflective of the description. And they’ll be more likely to respond as a unit to whatever activities you put in place.

We need a different way of rolling out segments

A careful roll-out plan is required. The right people need to be involved throughout to ensure the paring down process is timely and features the right segments. The model of consultancies signing off a segmentation with the insight department and then rolling it out into activation stage just doesn’t work here. The right people have to consider the activation potential together as we’re evaluating which segments to take forward.

These principles need a shift for everyone and at all phases of a segmentation project. Researchers need to find more granularity in the right places to support a successful segmentation. And clients need to be open to a different segmentation research journey to maximise impact and accuracy of decision-making.

At the end of the day, if you build a segmentation with only five or six segments, you may well get a useful, broad understanding of your market. But the amount of noise you’ll introduce to each segment means that you’re confusing segments for stereotypes.

By: Sam Davis – Source: https://www.marketingweek.com/2019/04/08/fine-line-simplifying-stereotyping/

Why Tourism Marketing Is Such a Political Issue in the U.S.

As Visit Florida sounds the alarm over threats to its very existence, tourism experts around the country hear a warning.

While they believe Florida could find alternate ways to promote itself without government support, destinations without famous beaches and theme parks could have a much tougher time.

“If Florida falls, what does that mean for destination marketing across the country?” said Bill Geist, CEO of DMOproz, a consultancy that works with destination marketing organizations across the Americas.

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The drama in Florida is the latest example of how hotly politicized publicly funded tourism has become in the U.S., mostly at the state and local levels. More and more, officials are debating the economic benefits of earmarking dollars to attract visitors, versus where that money in these cash-strapped times could best be spent elsewhere, like schools.

Florida’s official tourism marketing organization is only authorized to exist through the end of September. After months of lobbying from the industry, as well as pleas from the new governor, a powerful state lawmaker signaled his reluctant willingness to reauthorize — but only for another year.

“The governor’s office has expressed a desire to have it go forward so that he would have an opportunity to make an assessment of his own of how unnecessary it is,” House Speaker Jose Oliva, a Republican from Miami Lakes, told reporters on Friday.

And Oliva said he wasn’t sure about funding; the organization got $76 million from the state last year, and Gov. Ron DeSantis asked for the same in the budget for the upcoming year. Florida’s Senate wanted to cut that to $50 million, and the House has only agreed to $19 million to keep it running through the sunset date. Last week, the Senate agreed to the House amount since reauthorization had not yet been passed.

“I would expect it would be some level of compromise in there that the chambers can work out amongst themselves,” said Visit Florida CEO Dana Young, a former state legislator who took over the job in January.

Lawmakers only have until Tuesday to come to agreement on reauthorizing Visit Florida.

“I am optimistic because I know the incredible value that Visit Florida brings to the taxpayers of our state,” Young said. “I know that we have the facts and our good work on our side, and I think that is in the end what will carry the day.”

But even if it does survive to fight another year, the celebration will likely be short-lived as the battle for future funding revs up.

TOUGH TREND FOR TOURISM

Florida’s fight is the latest and most high-profile example of a longstanding trend in the U.S. that appears to be escalating as elected officials at state and local levels question whether public dollars should go toward tourism marketing efforts. The United States is not isolated; Mexico’s new government has reimagined its own destination marketing in a way that eliminates the country’s tourism board.

But observers say the U.S. has been especially vulnerable.

Colorado, which cut spending for its tourism board altogether in 1993, is the most famous case study. But in more recent years, ConnecticutWashingtonPennsylvania, and Texashave all seen cuts that ranged from dramatic to moderate. Visit Florida has survivedseveral attempts to slash the budget, but its fate is still up in the air.

“It’s one of the issues we’ve been grappling with ourselves in terms of every year there seems to be a much larger number of destination marketing organizations who are involved in some sort of funding fight, which somewhat is expected because every year there is a legislative body somewhere that’s going through their appropriations process,” said Jack Johnson, chief advocacy officer for Destinations International, which represents tourism boards. “The number of them that are having their existence questioned is growing.”

Local convention and visitors bureaus have not been immune. Elected officials in destinations including Dallas, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; and Boulder, Colorado have recently found their spending under scrutiny, budgets threatened, or funding at risk of being diverted.

Chris Barrett, CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau in Pennsylvania, has watched as the state’s tourism money dwindled over the year.

“At a time when Pennsylvania was at $35 million a year, the state tourism agency was a real leader in the nation as far as developing all types of electronic tools to market Pennsylvania,” he said. “And now they basically don’t have enough money to maintain the state’s website, or barely enough.”

While his own bureau is funded through a local hotel tax, he said the state cuts hurt those smaller bureaus that don’t have much money to work with.

“They really depended on the state funding to be able to market the state more globally,” Barrett said.

Travel industry insiders in Pennsylvania are hopeful that a new law closing a loophole in taxes charged through third-party booking sites will add more to state coffers. Barrett said projections have suggested as much as $24 million in revenue could be on the way.

“I’m in a wait-and-see attitude,” he said. “I hope it does; that would be great.”

Even the nationwide effort to marketing the United States to international travelers, Brand USA, is in a fight for its future. The public-private partnership, which gets $100 million in public money from fees paid by visitors from visa waiver countries, is due for renewal in 2020.

Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said Congress shifted that visa fee money to the general fund after 2020 — a mistake he said he is certain they will rectify — but lawmakers are moving slowly. He said Brand USA needs to be reauthorized and the funding source restored so private partners can allocate their own matching funding as required.

“When things change, it’s hard to call money back because everyone has tight budgets,” he said.

FORCES AT PLAY

Observers say tourism boards are under fire for a few reasons, the simplest one being competition for scarce resources as governments look for ways to fill budget gaps.

Destination marketing money can be attractive because often, especially at the local level, it comes from hotel taxes paid by people who typically don’t live in the area.

“At the end of the day, they have to balance their budget, and they need to keep their constituents’ taxes low,” said Geist. “They’re looking for ways to find non-resident taxes to pay for residents’ needs.”

Residents may not think of tourism dollars as being a critical need compared to education or infrastructure, especially if they don’t work in the industry. But Amir Eylon, president and CEO of  tourism market research consultancy Longwoods International,  said there’s a danger to tapping into destination marketing budgets for other uses.

“If that money’s not reinvested in marketing and promotion, you lose market share,” he said.

Some tourism boards have raised eyebrows due to their spending on items such as salariestravel expenses, events, or marketing programs. Visit Florida famously drew ire from the state legislature over a $1 million contract with the rapper Pitbull, which led to the departure of its CEO, chief financial officer, and chief marketing officer in late 2016.

There have even been criminal cases, with staffers arrested for theft or embezzlement at tourism boards including those in PhiladelphiaSaratoga, and Northern Kentucky in recent years.

“It only takes a couple of those to seed some doubt there,” said Johnson, of Destinations International. He urges organizations to make sure their expense reports are accurate and to be aware of the expectations for spending public money.

“I think there have been many in our industry that have kind of shot themselves in the foot,” he said. “They’re finding themselves now being held to a question of, ‘Are you a good fiduciary of the public’s money?’ And I think that’s something they’ve been unprepared for — and they should have been prepared for whenever you spend public money, it comes with expectations attached to it.”

Also at play is an ideological clash: a sentiment that government should not be in the business of funding economic development efforts and that tax-funded tourism promotion amounts to corporate welfare.

Florida’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch brothers-backed group, has issued statements applauding past decisions not to increase Visit Florida’s budget and decryingits full funding.

“The Florida Senate is also wrong to fund Visit Florida with another $76 million dollars,”  Chris Hudson, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Florida, said in a statement in 2017. “Visit Florida’s lack of transparency and lack of accountability have engulfed the Sunshine State in national embarrassment that should not be rewarded. This failed program needs more than just reform; it should be completely eliminated.”

That corporate welfare argument is the wrong mindset, Dow said.

“This isn’t government giving away money, this is government priming the pump to get more money into the state,” he said.

Critics of Visit Florida argue that the state’s beaches, theme parks, and other attractions will be able to spread the promotional message without added money from the state.

“This is a case of hubris,” said Geist. “They think their destination is so cool that people will still come — and some will, but not in the numbers that they’ve enjoyed for decades.”

But Eylon said the idea that a handful of big spenders can make up for a lack of state or local funding misses the point that mom-and-pop businesses make up a big part of the tourism industry.

“Those businesses have very limited marketing budgets,” he said.

A NEW APPROACH

Johnson has been giving presentations lately — soon to become a policy brief — to help members better communicate their mission. That requires taking a more emotional approach.

“Stop telling people that you support x number of jobs and start talking about the number of people you put to work in your community every year,” he said.

And, he said, destination marketing organizations need to consider local residents their customers, as opposed to meeting planners, tour guides, concert promoters, hoteliers, and other industry insiders.

“You need to keep them involved, you need a community outreach plan, you need to have them support you in what you’re doing and the elected officials will follow,” Johnson said.

Later, he added: “It’s no longer putting heads in beds. Your goal is much better than that: It’s to help that community.”

Geist said destination marketing organizations have been so focused on outward-facing messages that they have forgotten the audience in their own backyards. Especially important, he said, is communicating how tourism helps local businesses beyond just hotels and attractions.

“Most people don’t realize the tentacles that go out into the community, and when they do, they go ‘Oh,’ and the conversation changes,” Geist said.

Eylon said a new report that Longwoods is releasing this week with Destinations International shows that 70 percent of those polled in a study agree that tourism is important to their state, while 24 percent were neutral. And 65 percent believe it’s important to their local area, with 19 percent neutral on the question.

Asked if they agreed that government should fund tourism promotion, 54 percent agreed and 33 percent were neutral at the state level; 53 percent agreed and 31 percent were neutral about local funding.

Despite that support, Eylon said destination marketing organizations have been under pressure to come up with alternative funding models, such as public-private partnerships or voluntary fees paid by businesses. Visit California operates under a self-assessment system.

“I think as long as destination marketing organizations are going to have their primary funding source be attached to a public source of revenue, there will always be a risk,” he said. “Because there’s always competing interest for scarce resources, and they’re always going to have to demonstrate that they’re getting the best bang for the taxpayer dollar.”

Source:https://skift.com/2019/04/29/why-tourism-marketing-is-such-a-political-issue-in-the-u-s/

MAXIMIZE YOUR BRAND’S POTENTIAL WITH SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING RESOURCES

Small business marketing resources help get your business noticed. Marketing tools are essential for any company to be able to succeed and grow. To accomplish that, you have to know who your customers are, what they want to buy, and how to get them to buy it from you. There are a lot of practical tools available that can help you accomplish these goals. If you are starting a small business, or your existing business has hit a slump, try using some of these marketing resources to expand your brand’s digital footprint.

BEST MARKETING RESOURCES FOR BLACK-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all have millions of users who log in every day to connect with friends and get information about the things they like. If you are not using these sites, you are missing out on free, beneficial marketing for your business. Pique customers’ interest with a hint about a new upcoming product, offer a special limited time discount and keep people posted about the latest company news.

ONLINE DIRECTORIES

Remember, if customers do not know about you, they cannot buy from you. Above everything else, you have to make sure that customers can find your small business. Get your company listed in all the major online directories, such as Google, Yahoo!Business, and CitySearch. Online directories give your customers instant access to your phone number, location, website, and other details they will be searching for. Not only does it increase your online presence, but it also gives potential customers the chance to see why you are better than the competition.

REVIEWS ON REVIEW SITES

There is now an entire industry devoted to telling other people about good and bad experiences with a business. The sites are called review sites, and they are another powerful small business marketing resource. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, made even more powerful by the internet and websites such as Yelp.

Surveys show that 84% of consumers trust online reviews to help them decide which local businesses to use. Your online reputation is essential, and when you give customers exceptional service, they will do some of your marketing for you by leaving good reviews on these sites.

EMAIL LISTS

Maybe you already have a loyal online following, but that does not mean that you should stop there. Email marketing is the most effective way to reach customers because it is both fast and affordable directly. Make sure that you are using this small business marketing resource to its fullest potential by having a way for customers to join an email list.

Each time you send a message about a sale or offer a coupon for 10% off, you will convert a percentage of those email readers into customers. Build your list continuously, so you keep expanding your base.

BLOGS

You might be tempted to stop your online marketing at social media and email lists. However, you will be overlooking another popular marketing tool, which is a blog. If you do not know what to write about on a blog for your business, take a look at some of your competitor’s blogs. Read blogs by other companies in your industry, too. An excellent place to start is to write about one of your products in detail, with some personal notes, or make a list of current trends and hot items in your industry.

Small business marketing resources are more than just a way to get your name noticed. They are tools for you to generate and continue interest in your small business’ products or services. The proper use of marketing resources drives traffic to your websites and customers to your door. Even if you are creating products that customers want and selling them at prices they like, first those customers have to know that you exist and that they can trust you. Use all the marketing resources at your disposal, and you will maximize that potential quickly and effectively.

By: Jeff Shuford – Source: https://www.blackenterprise.com/maximize-your-brands-potential-with-small-business-marketing-resources/

Looking to boost tourism: State leaders meet in Mitchell to introduce new marketing options

With peak tourist season on the horizon, the South Dakota Department of Tourism is ramping up for another big year, hoping to use new marketing strategies to help attract more visitors to the state and the city of Mitchell.

South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen kicked off the event at the Corn Palace and unveiled several new programs his department will be offering this year to help communities boost tourism, which includes cooperative marketing and a la carte programs.

“These programs are designed to attract more visitors from across the country and around the world to experience the many beautiful attractions in South Dakota,” Hagen said. “We are trying to work with communities across the state to take a hands-on approach to boosting tourism through utilizing our many attributes in the Department of Tourism.”

According to Hagen, the essential goal for the cooperative marketing program is to increase the awareness of South Dakota’s communities to reach tourists. In the program, communities can partner with South Dakota Tourism’s advertising efforts and get assistance in advertising buys, technology and marketing methods with six-month ad campaigns that can range from $40,000 to $185,000. The a la carte options include partnering with South Dakota Tourism on an individual basis for direct mail, magazine, online and email marketing to potential consumers.

The tourism department’s Mike Gussiaas, who is director of global marketing and brand strategy, detailed the unique promotional videos and commercials the Department of Tourism is unveiling this year, which heavily emphasized the Black Hills and West River.

Toward the end of the two-hour session, state tourism representatives opened up the floor for questions from attendees. Mitchell City Council member Susan Tjarks raised a question to Gussiaas, asking why there was a lack of marketing and promotional campaigns for tourist attractions and destinations on the eastern side of the state.

“I feel like there is a lot of attention solely geared toward advertising the Black Hills and western South Dakota, rather than some of the beautiful places and attractions on the eastern side of the state,” Tjarks said. “How come there isn’t anything about the Corn Palace Festival? And we have some of the best biking trails in the entire state, and I don’t see them listed anywhere with you guys.”

Gussiaas suggested the city of Mitchell and community members should communicate with the Department of Tourism and provide information regarding leisure activities and attractions in the city.

“Be in touch with us, and let us know that you have the best bike trails, because we then can look for ways to promote them and Mitchell,” Gussiaas said to Tjarks. “For us to inspire travel to South Dakota on a big scale, we have to start with our biggest attractions in the state, and that’s why you see more marketing on the Black Hills and Badlands.”

Hagen then joined the discussion and stressed to Tjarks the importance of the city getting involved in the department’s programs, such as the co-op program, which he said the city of Mitchell is not a member of at the moment.

“I think there is a challenge here in Mitchell, because I’ve heard a lot of mixed emotions from community members about being invested with us,” Hagen said. “But Mitchell has a lot to offer for tourism and travel, but we all have to partner at different levels to help your city’s tourism.”

Mitchell Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism and Marketing Director Jen Johnston said there’s been a disconnect previously between the city of Mitchell and the state Department of Tourism.

“We need to start developing a working relationship, and we will be a partner next year, and we’ve already earmarked some dollars for the commitment,” Johnston said to Hagen.

More broadly, Hagen provided a forecast for the state’s upcoming tourist season this summer, which he said is projected to see a 2 percent travel and leisure growth.

“Our website visits have been reaching record levels, and we continue to see a lot of tourism growth, which is extremely vital to the state’s economy,” Hagen said, noting tourism generated an estimated $298 million in state and local taxes last year and supported nearly 55,000 jobs.

Hagen emphasized the importance of tourism in the state’s economy, as he said visitor spending reached $3.98 billion in 2018, a 2.5 percent increase compared to 2017.

South Dakota Tourism’s Kirk Hulstein, who is the industry outreach and development director, provided details of a consumer survey that he said has proved effective for the state. Through online surveys, Hulstein said he’s collected a fair amount of valuable data to help identify some of the state’s strengths in attracting visitors.

According to Hulstein, agritourism, sports tourism, outdoor recreation and tribal tourism, have been identified as the four key areas of development, which he feels will greatly increase visitors.

“We have an opportunity to increase our visitors in those four areas, and they’re unique compared to many other states,” Hulstein said.

Source: https://www.mitchellrepublic.com/lifestyle/travel/4603884-looking-boost-tourism-state-leaders-meet-mitchell-introduce-new-marketing

MAXIMIZE YOUR BRAND’S POTENTIAL WITH SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING RESOURCES

Small business marketing resources help get your business noticed. Marketing tools are essential for any company to be able to succeed and grow. To accomplish that, you have to know who your customers are, what they want to buy, and how to get them to buy it from you. There are a lot of practical tools available that can help you accomplish these goals. If you are starting a small business, or your existing business has hit a slump, try using some of these marketing resources to expand your brand’s digital footprint.

BEST MARKETING RESOURCES FOR BLACK-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all have millions of users who log in every day to connect with friends and get information about the things they like. If you are not using these sites, you are missing out on free, beneficial marketing for your business. Pique customers’ interest with a hint about a new upcoming product, offer a special limited time discount and keep people posted about the latest company news.

ONLINE DIRECTORIES

Remember, if customers do not know about you, they cannot buy from you. Above everything else, you have to make sure that customers can find your small business. Get your company listed in all the major online directories, such as Google, Yahoo!Business, and CitySearch. Online directories give your customers instant access to your phone number, location, website, and other details they will be searching for. Not only does it increase your online presence, but it also gives potential customers the chance to see why you are better than the competition.

REVIEWS ON REVIEW SITES

There is now an entire industry devoted to telling other people about good and bad experiences with a business. The sites are called review sites, and they are another powerful small business marketing resource. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, made even more powerful by the internet and websites such as Yelp.

Surveys show that 84% of consumers trust online reviews to help them decide which local businesses to use. Your online reputation is essential, and when you give customers exceptional service, they will do some of your marketing for you by leaving good reviews on these sites.

EMAIL LISTS

Maybe you already have a loyal online following, but that does not mean that you should stop there. Email marketing is the most effective way to reach customers because it is both fast and affordable directly. Make sure that you are using this small business marketing resource to its fullest potential by having a way for customers to join an email list.

Each time you send a message about a sale or offer a coupon for 10% off, you will convert a percentage of those email readers into customers. Build your list continuously, so you keep expanding your base.

BLOGS

You might be tempted to stop your online marketing at social media and email lists. However, you will be overlooking another popular marketing tool, which is a blog. If you do not know what to write about on a blog for your business, take a look at some of your competitor’s blogs. Read blogs by other companies in your industry, too. An excellent place to start is to write about one of your products in detail, with some personal notes, or make a list of current trends and hot items in your industry.

Small business marketing resources are more than just a way to get your name noticed. They are tools for you to generate and continue interest in your small business’ products or services. The proper use of marketing resources drives traffic to your websites and customers to your door. Even if you are creating products that customers want and selling them at prices they like, first those customers have to know that you exist and that they can trust you. Use all the marketing resources at your disposal, and you will maximize that potential quickly and effectively.

Source: https://www.blackenterprise.com/maximize-your-brands-potential-with-small-business-marketing-resources/

THE FUTURE OF MEDIA AND MARKETING: EIGHT PREDICTIONS FROM INDUSTRY PROS

From social media to podcasts, livestreaming and more, and from advances in artificial intelligence to near-limitless software options, professional marketers and media professionals have never had more methods and venues for getting their messages heard. At the same time, with new data regulations, ever-shifting SEO best practices and a saturated marketplace, it’s never been a more challenging time to be in the industry, either.

It’s vital for professionals in the marketing and media industries to not only stay on top of what’s happening but also what’s coming down the road. Below, eight members of Ag Age Collective share their predictions for what will be impacting the industry in the next couple of years.

1. Brands will need to show what they stand for.

The impact of broad and divisive societal crises — and the need for brands to take stands on these — has started already, but I believe it will only grow over the coming years. As this grows, more brands will be challenged in how they market, communicate and engage with employees, customers and consumers. This shift is changing how we work today and how we will pick the brand leaders of tomorrow. – Maggie O’Neill, Peppercomm

2. Social media will help brands deliver a better customer experience.

More and more of the customer journey occurs on social. Increasingly, social has become how we consume media, connect with others, ask questions and seek recommendations, make buying decisions, and show love for the brands we love. Given this, social will expand within and beyond marketing to become an integral part of how organizations deliver a best-in-class customer experience, regardless of whether it’s business-to-business, business-to-consumer or business-to-employee. – Greg Perotto, Hootsuite

3. Data is going to be more scarce.

With reports coming out about Facebook’s and Google’s data collection methods, folks are getting antsy about where and how their data is being used. I’m anticipating a good deal of backlash that these tech giants will have to react to. The reaction, I believe, will create more hurdles for marketers, as data won’t be as freely available for targeting. Retargeting and targeting will become more difficult. – Troy Osinoff, JUICE

4. The podcasting space will rapidly expand.

With recent investments made by iHeart, Spotify, Google and others, the hurdle of discovering podcasts will continue to shrink and the number of people listening to podcasts regularly will continue to explode. Couple that with an increased focus on tech development to assist in direction measurement and attribution and we’re going to see advertisers jumping into the space at an unprecedented rate. – Kurt Kaufer, Ad Results Media

5. AI will play a greater role in driving campaign decisions.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has forever changed our lives — from the digital assistants that help us every day to self-driving cars and medical diagnoses to the recommendation engines of Amazon and Netflix. Today, AI is transforming how we market and sell by recognizing patterns, predicting outcomes and making complex decisions faster and far better than humans. – Brian Kardon, Fuze

6. Agencies will focus on comprehensive solutions.

Agencies are under pressure to create performance for clients but are lacking ecosystem tools to do so. This is forcing some to rethink how they approach performance in programmatic. One way they do this is by moving away from trying to deliver their value proposition across fragmented platforms to centralizing intelligence into a singular solution they control that then informs other access points. – Joseph Meehan, IPONWEB

7. Metrics will yield even more information.

I’m most excited about the advances in measurement that will allow brands to optimize marketing campaigns based on clicks or sales. AI and deep learning technology are already improving the value that brands can expect from influencer marketing and brand integration. Deep-learning algorithms have the ability to provide predictive analytics on lower funnel metrics, like clicks and conversions. – Ricky Ray Butler, Branded Entertainment Network

8. Technology will make human creativity even more important.

Automation is going to have a massive impact on everything related to digital advertising in the next one or two years. This means that more and more digital advertising success will depend on creative and funnels rather than just platform knowledge, which will become commoditized over time. – Michael Lisovetsky, JUICE

Source: https://adage.com/article/executive-collective/future-media-and-marketing-eight-predictions-industry-pros/2165846

Four marketing trends from China in Q1 2019

We take a look back at some of the trends in tech, digital and marketing in China from the start of the year.

Seniors are the next market to look out for in China

Seniors – defined as those 60 years and older – are the fastest growing generational group in China. With over 170 million people and growing every day, this is a group that is comfortable with using technology and remain open to new experiences.

For marketers and retailers, these savvy seniors have a few key characteristics, as detailed by Jing Daily:

1. A second lease of life: With a hectic working life behind them, these seniors are now looking to balance maximizing enjoyment of their newfound leisure and providing support to their children (such as caring for grandchildren). Brands should consider providing relevant content and being a pillar of support.

2. Maintaining health: Seniors are pursuing a healthier lifestyle. The sheer amount of conflicting information on healthy living is reason enough for brands to offer authoritative advice.

3. Seeking meaningful socialization opportunities: Increased leisure time means seniors are now able to spend more time with friends and family. Brands could take a lead in creating opportunities for seniors to develop greater attachments to friends and family. Social shopping platform Pinduoduo may provide a way of combining social interaction with commerce.

4. Open to using technology: Brands should make it easy for seniors to utilize technology – one way is to get them involved. TikTok, a short-form video platform, saw a sharp increase of videos featuring youths asking seniors for red packets over the Chinese Lunar New Year.

More Chinese buying luxury products at home, but Millennials may cut back on spending

According to a report by Bain & Co, half of global luxury spending will be in China by 2025. Chinese consumers made up 33% of the global luxury market in 2018, with expectations that it would rise to 50% by 2025.

Millennials aged between 23 and 28 were the most willing to spend on luxury items to keep up with trends. Novelty was a more important factor than price, making cultivating brand loyalty a significant challenge, and 57% of respondents indicated that they could draw on funds from parents to keep up with the Joneses.

Digitalization is a large driver of luxury sales in China, with luxury brands allocating increasing budgets to digital marketing platforms and often marketplaces such as Alibaba or JD.com. These ecosystems are largely omnichannel, with digital campaigns aiming to drive consumers into physical stores.

WeChat falling back on a tried and tested gaming strategy

WeChat has opened its mini games platform to developers worldwide. In China, WeChat is an essential tool for… well, pretty much everything. But outside of China, WeChat has not been particularly successful. The international version did not include any of the features that made it a phenomenal success in China, including the ability to make payments or hail a ride.

To get users to download and use the app, WeChat is falling back on its parent company’s Tencent expertise in games. Right now, the available games are largely in Mandarin but only two developers outside of China have built games for the platform. Google’s Guess My Sketch is a game where players doodle everyday objects and Google’s AI will attempt to guess what it is. (More from The Verge)

Smartphone apps have notoriously high turnover rates, with 24% of usersdeleting apps after just one use. Even with the prospect of mini games, WeChat must move quickly to introduce features that would draw international users to it.

Queen’s Day continues

International Women’s Day – 8 March – has for the last couple of years been branded as “Queen’s Day” in China as an opportunity to indulge in shopping for oneself. In 2017, Tmall, one of China’s largest ecommerce portals, unveiled a tagline – “Live your beauty” – for its 5-day shopping extravaganza (More from Quartz).

Brands jumped on the bandwagon this year. Calvin Klein showcased a diverse group of Asian women challenging Asian gender norms: the campaign features transgender model Anjali Lama and Japanese filmmaker Shiori Ito, among others, who discuss their identities and how they face down obstacles and pressures as women.

Calvin Klein’s campaign comes on the back of notable Western brands whose campaigns have sparked controversy over propagating hackneyed stereotypes of Chinese culture and misrepresenting the festive tone of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

While Western brands clearly still have much to learn in terms of communicating to the Chinese, Calvin Klein is taking a brave but tentative first step in bringing the spirit of the #MeToo movement to China.

By: Nigel Hee – Source: https://econsultancy.com/four-marketing-trends-from-china-in-q1-2019/

5 Tips for Better Email Marketing Performance

Email is a powerful marketing tool, but too many businesses miss out on its potential. Is yours one of these?
Email is one of the most effective ways for businesses to advertise their services. While many businesses still use direct mail, their budgets might be better spent on email marketing. According to a partnership study conducted by the Data and Marketing Association and United States Postal Service, more than half (57 percent) of mail being sent at the time of the study was still direct mail.

But this strategy, the researchers said, produced a return on investment of just 7 percent. In comparison, email marketing offered an ROI of 28.5 percent. In terms of value, studies have found that email marketing offers businesses $44 for every $1 spent.

Still, some businesses fail to realize email marketing’s full benefits, so to convince them, here are five of the best ways for any business to improve its email campaigns.

1. Personalize your email content.

Most marketers are aware of the benefits of personalization, but many don’t take it seriously. Personalized email content is by far one of the best ways to increase email marketing effectiveness. According to statistics, personalized emails offer six times higher transaction rates than emails without any personalization. Other studies have shown click-through rates are 14 percent higher and conversion rates are 10 percent higher when personalization is part of the general email content.

However, personalization for many businesses means they’re just including the name of the contact in the content. This is far from perfect as a strategy, and many subscribers are now fully aware of this tactic. Instead, personalization needs to be taken to the next level.

One way of doing this is to segment your audience into groups. Then you can send more relevant content to each group. A wedding specialist website that attempted this asked one question: Are you shopping as the couple or for the couple? This simple question split the website’s audience into two groups, but the results showed a 244 percent increase in open-rates and 161 percent increase in click-through rate.

2. Avoid certain words.

Spam filters are there to stop malicious emails from reaching audiences. Of course, spammers usually use words that businesses themselves would like to use. So filters are growing more sophisticated, and allowing more genuine content to gain access into inboxes. Still, there are times when your email might be mistaken for something malicious.

Therefore, you need to minimize the use of certain words that are considered spam by these filters. For instance, words like “bargain,” “50 percent off” and similar keywords will likely send your email to the spam folder.
When you do want to use a typical spam word, because it is relevant to your content, be inventive with your subject lines. Also restrict yourself to just one high-level spam word per email within the content and email subject line. This will reduce the chance of your emails being blacklisted.

3. Change the times you send your emails.

The aim here is to catch people who are just about to check their inbox or are in the process of doing so. This will put your email close to the top of their inbox. The more time between your sending it and customers checking it, the less likely it will be that your email is read.

You also don’t want to be sending your promotional content at the same time as everyone else, so sending your emails on the weekend might be the best option. Research has shown that many businesses don’t start campaigns on weekends, so you’ll have less competition, and more people are checking their emails on the weekends now than ever before.

4. Ensure you’re building an engaged email list.

It is often the pride of some entrepreneurs to promote how many people they have on their email lists. However, long lists mean nothing if those people aren’t engaged.

There are many ways to ensure that your list is engaged. It requires removing old and inactive subscribers, but in the end, it will help you achieve more profitable campaigns. The first thing is to check for addresses that have bounced three or more times. Ensure that a simple typo such as .con instead of .com is not responsible for the error.

You can also use email verification services. Those services will identify emails that bounce or are inactive, and they can help to remove spam traps: old emails that ISPs use as a tool to identify businesses that send spam.

5. Optimize emails for mobile.

The number of people who open emails on their mobile varies depending on the study being cited. One study said that 46 percent of people opened emails on their mobiles while another found that 59 percent of emails were being opened on these devices. Very few people actually use a desktop mail client to open emails (15 to 18 percent).

To support your efforts, ensure that your campaigns are optimized for these devices. If your campaigns don’t look good on a mobile device, people aren’t going to read them and take action. Therefore, check to make sure you have great mobile templates. A few quick tips include:

  • Have short subject lines.
  • Use one-column email designs.
  • Keep your email design under 600 pixels.
  • Usie a larger font (13 or 14 pixels).

Conclusion

Email marketing could be the best way to make your business grow. For over a decade now, it has remained the most profitable form of digital marketing. Yet, too many businesses are failing to optimize their campaigns to maximize potential revenue. So, ensure that you are personalizing your emails as much as possible and make sure you avoid the traps your competitors are falling into. Most of these changes can be made without too much disruption to your current campaigns. So, why not implement them right away?

By: Thomas Smale – Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/332331