Mobile Shopping Trends

Dec 02, 14 Mobile Shopping Trends

Posted by in CPG, SJ Consulting

By Jenny Bergman, Junior Executive Intern at The San Jose Group   Motivated by the massive winter storm that spoiled in-store shopping plans and prevented presents from arriving on time, consumers got a head start on their holiday shopping this year. The holiday season accounts for more than one-fifth of retailer’s sales for the year, and shoppers now rely more on mobile devices to take care of their loved one’s wish lists. The Internet represents the favorite shopping destination of almost half of all consumers, and in the spirit of the recent Thanksgiving holiday, retailers should be grateful for the 75% of consumers expected to use their mobile devices to shop during the holidays, as online shoppers tend to spend more. Through mobile email marketing, social media and mobile apps, brands can target this increasingly large mobile-savvy shopper demographic. Email marketing messages can be an effective way to inform consumers about deals and promotions, as email offers influence 80% of online shoppers to make a purchase. However, if retailers want shoppers to open their emails, content should take center stage; emails must include both compelling texts and graphics–just having one will not be enough. The inboxes of consumers likely contain a multitude of emails from their favorite brands, as 91% of retailers around the world will integrate email marketing into their marketing campaigns during the 2014 holiday season. Social media platforms inform consumer shopping decisions in different ways, as shoppers tend to turn to Twitter for product reviews, Facebook for discounts and Pinterest to research ideas. Over the last 12 months, 30% of consumers made a purchase based on their engagement with a social network, and exclusive discounts on social media sites encourage consumers to complete purchases on social networking sites. As a marketing tool, native ads on social media continuously prove to be successful ways to entice shoppers, as they fit well in social content streams. “Effective digital campaigns and online retailers create even more competition among retailers during the holiday season,” said George...

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Are you getting through to your audience? Successful campaigns are still about the message

Jan 06, 14 Are you getting through to your audience? Successful campaigns are still about the message

Posted by in CPG

By George L. San Jose, President and Chief Creative Officer Marketers are always searching for how and where to get the best ROI, and the answer is always the same: brands that develop creative insights aligned with consumer needs and expectations and allocate adequate resources to reach their target consumer will always achieve far better marketing success than those that don’t. I know the answer sounds simplistic…and it is. The key lies in the message, the channel and the resources. The right message in the wrong channel – no matter how much money placed behind it – will always fall flat. It’s like placing a lamp under the table; the light would represent insightful creative, yet no one gets to see it. On the other hand, the right message in the right channel with the right media weight is like a beacon shining from a hilltop. So the pursuit of finding this right balance is really the approach for developing a winning strategy and accomplishing marketing success. Mastering this fine balance comes from experience. The other critical component in a successful marketing equation is targeting effectively. In effect, investing against the real customers and not the marketer’s personal experience. There are too many retail and packaged goods professionals that year after year continue to market to the likes of themselves, or just as flawed, to the same old they knew from yesteryear. Please research your consumer thoroughly and leave your belief system at home. I see too many disjointed communications strategies and they usually all have one thing in common: either the market demographics and psychographics have changed and aren’t being addressed by the marketer…or even worse, the unseasoned marketer has an obtuse impression of the customer in their mind so the fate of their brand is limited to the personal experience of the inexperienced. Last week I was having lunch with one of our clients and approached the subject carefully to get an inside look as to what is currently happening on the...

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What happened to the USP?

By George L. San Jose, President and Chief Creative Officer at The San Jose Group In high school, I could typically identify people by their cliques (jocks, cheerleaders, hippies, disco fashionistas, etc.) but not as individuals. So unless I personally knew them, they had no individuality. Today’s consumers see brands as cliques and clicks; they have learned to navigate cyberspace without looking at the obtrusive digital ads popping up wherever they go. Not too appealing for brands campaigning to win consumers. We have conditioned consumers to get free software or new apps in exchange for allowing a provider to bombard them with ads that they have mastered to utterly ignore. Mix this with brands caving to funding in-store promotions instead of branding and you have the perfect ingredients for a brand’s death sentence…lack of differentiation and discount price are always the race to the bottom. Brands that lost their consumer preference entirely have died, so brands must establish the right brand positioning, Unique Selling Proposition “USP,” and creative content to win preference and emotionally connect with consumers. A recent report by Northwestern University’s Don E. Shultz and Martin P. Block, Killing Brands… Softly, presents some alarming news for brands and their advertisers. Over a ten-year study, Shultz and Block found consumers are shifting from having specific brand preferences to no preferences. Although this may sound like brand loyalty’s obituary, the study points out a major flaw in the industry: consumers can’t identify the differences between brands, because in the “smaller competitive space,” consumers find brands “more and more similar.” Rare opportunities for brands to win consumer preference exist because brands scarcely produce actual persuasive content. Today’s brands (with the help of social media) distribute more clutter than they do creative. Since social media’s inception, brands have attempted to use it to establish their brand identity and engagement to win consumers, but just because a consumer favorites your brand’s funny tweet or likes your Facebook page, it doesn’t mean they’ll purchase your brand. Even Coca-Cola...

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How to make the Consumers “Nice” List—2013 Multicultural Holiday Shopping Trends

Companies have made and locked down their 2013 holiday campaigns, but they should check them twice in order to make this 25-day-long holiday shopping season a profitable one. The National Retail Federation projected this year’s holiday sales to reach $602.1 billion (a 3.9% increase from 2012). Despite the traditional holiday season lasting seven days shorter than last year, a number of stores have worked to extend it by beginning promotions the day after Halloween. Brands must keep in mind consumer shopping trends affecting purchases this year. Thanksgivukkah Hanukkah begins early this year, coinciding with Thanksgiving. Therefore, some holiday gifts will be purchased in advance of the holiday. Black Friday falls on the second of the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. Online and Mobile Purchases The convenience and growing simplicity of online shopping make it a continually surging trend. Cyber Monday purchases last year were almost double that of 2011. Savvy Americans benefit from using online shopping for early deals, and free shipping is essential for online purchases. According to, 39% of companies plan to offer free shipping. This year, online retail should exceed $50 billion, of which $8 billion will be from mobile devices. Multicultural consumers overindex on making purchases through their mobile phones: 60% of Hispanics mostly access the internet by mobile phone compared to 43% of African Americans and 27% of whites. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, mobile online sales are up 35% from 2012. Hispanics spent $5.15 billion online mobile shopping the last holiday season. Social Media Influence Social Media acts as a key component to holiday brand strategy. Brand presence and awareness through social media sites are high despite low purchases resulting from advertisements placed on social media. The tech savvy Hispanic consumer demographic also overindexes on social media usage, with 80% of Hispanics using social media vs. 70% of the general population. Special Deals Since the economic recession, consumers have placed an importance on specials. Continuing this trend, Marketers are promoting specials early this year. As early as...

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Just Because You Build It, Doesn’t Mean They Will Come: Brands Utilizing Digital Content

By George L. San Jose, President and Chief Creative Officer of The San Jose Group Digital Jabber Jaws is a modern epidemic plaguing today’s brands. In fact, brands are losing out daily by casting out massive quantities of digital content with little regards to the most important aspects: quality and relevancy. Yes, social media and search engine optimizations have altered the industry in the sense that brands need to be present, involved and constantly engaging in the online conversation. Yes, clients want to see ROIs, conversions, likes, follows and retweets. However, the method to achieving this is not “new.” Building brand awareness isn’t about populating every digital space available but more so about creating rich, memorable content that aligns with the brand’s persona and speaks at the opportune time to its targeted consumer. Is this a pioneering or groundbreaking concept? Perhaps not, but that doesn’t mean brands don’t need a reminder from time to time. Speaking frankly, the objective of the advertising game is the same as it was before Facebook, Google and Twitter dominated the playing field. The only thing that’s changed is brands simply have more channels to play in now. So, as brand guardians, changing our approach to meet the opportunities within the growing digital space doesn’t need to be revolutionary. It appears the onset and growth of social media has distracted marketers, causing them to switch their focus from “quality, quality, quality” to “views, views, views.” Unfortunately, views and clicks do not build brands or increase market share. In the grand scheme of the advertising industry, the Internet—particularly social media—is still a new frontier confusing brands to believe they should strive for the numbers by flooding everywhere and anywhere with content. In doing this, creativity almost always suffers thus changing the role of Artistic Director to Mass Producer. Most often, marketers play the Field of Dreams approach: “If you build it, [they] will come.” This strategy only generates content and speaks nothing to creating a positive, lasting brand impression—let alone...

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Brands doing it right

By Cassandra Bremer, Content Manager and Developer at The San Jose Group Each September, a growing number of marketers celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, recognizing the growing Hispanic American community. Introduced by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and later expanded to cover a 30-day period by President Ronald Regan in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Latino Americans. According to the 2010 census, one in six Americans identifies themselves as Latino. While Hispanic Heritage Month gives Hispanics a chance to embrace their roots and connect with their favorite brands on a more intimate level, they know the difference between obligatory campaigns and true public relations efforts, so to succeed, brands must do it right. “Hispanic Heritage Month offers brands a grand opportunity to really capture Hispanic consumers’ attentions,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer of The San Jose Group. “Often though, marketers forget about Hispanic Heritage Month by October, having filled that marketing quota in September.” This case is especially evident in social media where the hashtags #HispanicHeritageMonth and #HHM have dwindled in usage from brands since the second to last weekend of September. Naturally, one would think that targeted social media posts would be on the rise since Hispanics over index in social media use (Pew Research Center reported that 80% of Hispanics use social networking sites vs. 70% of white, non-Hispanics). While some marketers have missed opportunities to reach these consumers, a number of brands are truly making the most out of Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, for instance, PBS planned a full calendar, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, including a new six-part series embracing Latino contributions ranging from arts and entertainment to journalism and politics entitled, Latino Americans. According to PBS, this series, narrated by actor Benjamin Bratt, is the “first major television documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history of Latinos.” Supporting the project as a major corporate funder, Ford featured...

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