Growing Your Business through the User Experience

By Killian Knowles, Junior Executive at The San Jose Group In an age constantly growing online with new business technologies, new jobs arise as well. One job in particular, User Experience (UX) Strategist, is popping up all over the web causing agencies to second-guess their web presence strategies. Creating engaging online content is only half the battle. The rest includes developing strategies and marketing plans aimed towards fixing fallen online efforts while maximizing the effective ones. “Here, at the The San Jose Group our development team has adopted many of the strategies user experience strategists implement daily,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “But brands need to understand UX past all the hype and craze surrounding the user experience.” Any company technologically involved has been introduced to the concept of user accessibility, as it is a legal right through the Disability Discrimination Act. User accessibility testing within companies aims to find results or statistics about their current or prospective website users to determine how accessible their information actually is online. Through personal business strategies built around reviewing results, the difference between user accessibility and user experience shows that UX strategists take the accessibility results, analyze trends and actively build upon new methods of web design in hopes of shifting user trends in their favor. In the day of uniformed branded social media profiles like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, companies are looking for ways to differentiate. In fact, 69% of North American marketers say effective, personalized content is crucial for their website; while a measly 5% say it’s of low importance. The San Jose Group’s strategies zero in on methods that consistently produce effective, personalized content. This constant, online contribution towards our client’s presence ultimately can be the deciding factor between their happy customers or non-existent ones. Designer, author and instructor, Jim Kalbach, of Citrix Online, states “a UX strategist’s job centers on three questions: Why? What? And How?” The most important question we find to ask...

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Traveling with the Millennial Generation: Get it Right Before You Get Left!

Aug 05, 14 Traveling with the Millennial Generation: Get it Right Before You Get Left!

Posted by in Travel and Leisure

By Dalton Lind, Junior Executive at The San Jose Group After a seemingly eternal winter, people have been making sure to get the most out of the summer this year. The warm weather makes it a peak season for tourism and traveling to new vacation destinations. While this has always rang true for the summer months, the way we travel has changed significantly over the years. Consider technological advancements, shifting demographics and evolving notions of ideal travel. As the times progress, the Millennial generation is becoming an increasingly prominent market for the travel industry. So, why does this matter? The travel industry is the top grossing service export in the United States, and more people are traveling now than before. In fact, the U.S. Department of State reports over 100 million more U.S. passports are in circulation today than the 7.2 million in 1989. In total, Americans took over 2.1 billion trips over 50 miles last year. The government estimate that a large portion of those trips are taken by people under age 35, and many businesses would be wise to take note of this age group. In an article about Millennial travel trends, the Boston Consulting Group stated, “Although members of the Millennial generation are not yet the core customers of airlines, hotels, and travel companies, they will be in five to ten years, when they enter their peak earning, spending, and traveling years.” This makes adapting to the world’s ever-changing new consumers of travel and tourism increasingly crucial for marketers and advertisers. When considering the consumer behavior of young generations, modern technology cannot be overlooked. The last thing Millennials will resort to is a physical road map. Smartphones can serve as a GPS, music player, computer, camera and, obviously, as a phone. Similarly, tablets can perform those same functions and more. These devices eliminate the need to purchase a plethora of products that were once associated with travel, such as CD players and disposable cameras. Millennials do not call an airline to set up a...

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Latin America: The China of 2020 and the Next Destination for International Retailers

Jul 29, 14 Latin America: The China of 2020 and the Next Destination for International Retailers

Posted by in Latin America

By George L. San Jose, President and Chief Creative Officer of The San Jose Group What is it about China that grabs the attention of international retailers? Is it the rapid economic growth? Or the incomprehensible size of the population? Maybe it’s because 20 years ago you could roll a basketball through Shanghai and not touch a thing; now skyscrapers are sprouting out of ground like it’s going through puberty. No matter how you look at it, China is on the economic pedestal of the planet…for now. In a constantly changing world, there’s another international market for retailers that’s on the rise, and it’s about to get the attention it fully deserves. Direct your attention to Latin America–the market that’s about to give China a run for its money. Literally. The success of international retailers in Latin America shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Global Retail Development Index ranked Brazil, Chile and Uruguay with the top three scores worldwide in 2013. Latin American counties happen to hold seven of the top 22 positions as well. Plain and simple, Latin America is proving an area that couldn’t be a more lucrative for marketers to invest in. It may have been flying under the radar, but with fast expansion and surprisingly low risk, Latin America should already be drawing your attention. So how did Latin America become such an attractive market? You can attribute much of the success to the rising middle class, which has grown to over 51% in 2011 from 41% in 2001 with no signs of stopping. The majority middle class has fueled a rise in per capita income and strength in the working force. As of 2010, the Latin American working class expanded to 280 million. Even better, the improved work force also includes a rise in female participation from 32% in 1990 to 53% in 2008. With Latin American women having increased financial independence and decision-making ability, consumer buying is growing. Retailers know a strong middle class means strong buying power,...

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Millennial Homeownership and Renter’s Insurance

Jul 14, 14 Millennial Homeownership and Renter’s Insurance

Posted by in Insurance

By Killian Knowles, Junior Executive at The San Jose Group Are insurers wasting their efforts on Millennials? Homeownership in the U.S. has officially dropped down to the lowest point since 1995, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, causing new generations to tap into alternative methods of housing, mainly renting. With home prices expected to jump 6% in the coming year, the rental trend is expected to skyrocket as well. Millennials (those born from the early 1980s to early 2000s) have increased the demand for rental properties, ultimately, refusing homeownership due to money factors including the ever climbing unemployment rate, student loan debts, and harsh job market. Each year, the number of Millennials who decide to have a home mortgage declines. A survey conducted by Nationwide states only 11% of consumers ages 20-29 actually have a mortgage versus the other 30% nationwide that includes Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. The homeownership market is becoming even more difficult for the Millennial generation to enter, resulting in the generational choice to enjoy renter’s privileges such as avoiding home repair bills, mortgages or simply not being responsible for mowing the lawn. “We need to look at this consumer group as ‘skeptical, wise shoppers,’ with different value sets and motivating factors” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. Since Millennials are already boarding the rental bandwagon, insurance agencies aim to pivot their marketing strategy by offering and stressing their renter’s insurance. However, as San Jose points out, these agencies are struggling to pitch renter’s insurance policies due to a generation wide misconception that renter’s insurance is unnecessary and unaffordable. To target this consumer group, The San Jose Group deploys their proprietary tool, the 4th Dimension, to gain true insights into how this group perceives insurance and how to align their wants and needs with the insurer’s offerings. A survey done by Apartments.com found 58% of Millennial renters do not have renter’s insurance and don’t intend to invest in it anytime soon,...

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Exposing the Millennial Myth – What’s the real deal?

Jun 13, 14 Exposing the Millennial Myth – What’s the real deal?

Posted by in Total Market

By Cassandra Bremer, Content Manager and Developer at The San Jose Group Quarterbacks throw Hail Marys; hockey players pull their goalies; advertisers post viral videos. Sure, viral videos have their place—views boost recognition, keep brands top-of-mind, increase SEO and occasionally bring viewers back to the brand’s website for those coveted conversions. However, when brands develop videos as last-ditch efforts to win over the young, social media-obsessed and self-absorbed Millennial consumer group (roughly speaking, those born in the ‘80s and early ‘90s), they’re wasting their resources. According to The National Chamber Foundation’s “Millennial Generation Review,” this generation, 80 million strong, has a $200 billion direct purchasing power, $500 billion indirect spending power and will outspend the Baby Boomers by 2017. As such, marketers are on the Millennial treasure hunt, and every Millennial obstacle (i.e., increased mobile technology use, decreased attention span) has brands on the quest creating new advertising avenues. However, they largely misunderstand the true Millennial market, so the loot they’re trailing is little more than fool’s gold. Opportunities to win a greater portion of their spending power exist only once brands shed their stereotypes. Although TIME characterizes Millennials as “Lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents,” the reality—in most cases—is quite the opposite. While Millennials are not carbon copies of their parents, they do share a plethora of similarities with the Baby Boomers and Generation X, including education and families. In a recent study, “Millennials as New Parents,” Barkley found that older Millennials (ages 25 to 34) actually are, contrary to popular beliefs, hard-working and family-focused: 63% are married with children, while 44% are “very financially stressed.” So with their families in mind, they’re not working to splurge entire paychecks on the latest and greatest trends. In other words, Millennials aren’t the types of consumers brands think they’re targeting. The narcissistic, social media obsessed, younger spenders concerned with keeping up with the Jones, Kardashians and everybody in between are a part of the mix, but according to Maureen Morrison, they only make up...

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