INDUSTRY AND MARKET EXPERTISE

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Curated Intelligence(TM):  An Almost Unfair Advantage. Posted by on Sep 22, 2016

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Mobile Shopping Trends Posted by on Dec 2, 2014

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A Shift to Mobile Marketing Posted by on Mar 24, 2015

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The emergence of the power of our Polycultural Society fueled by the chasm in Social Economics Posted by on Aug 24, 2016

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The Hot Topic in Health: Preventative Healthcare Posted by on Mar 9, 2015

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Millennial Homeownership and Renter’s Insurance Posted by on Jul 14, 2014

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LATIN AMERICA ONLINE: WHAT A CONNECTED LATIN AMERICA MEANS FOR BUSINESSES Posted by on Sep 24, 2015

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Olympic Sized Branding Opportunity Posted by on May 15, 2015

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Involving Millennials in Nonprofit Organizations Posted by on Sep 5, 2014

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The Fragility of Brands in a Culturally Blind Society Posted by on Jul 25, 2016

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Exposing the Millennial Myth – What’s the real deal? Posted by on Jun 13, 2014

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Chicago and Mexico City: How Sister Cities Boost Tourism and the Economy Posted by on Dec 16, 2014
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Chicago and Mexico City: How Sister Cities Boost Tourism and the Economy

Dec 16, 14 Chicago and Mexico City: How Sister Cities Boost Tourism and the Economy

Posted by in Travel and Leisure

By Jenny Bergman, Junior Executive at The San Jose Group An old travel tactic is boosting tourism from Mexico City to Chicago: Sister Cities. The idea of “Twin Towns” and “Sister Cities” originated after World War II as an effort to rebuild diplomatic relationships and solidify peace. Today, the concept of sister cities extends past cultural and educational purposes, now creating a solid foundation for greater economic engagement between two cities. In 2013, Chicago and Mexico City signed a historic city-to-city strategic trade agreement, the first pact to be tried under the Global Cities Initiative. A project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, the Global Cities Initiatives calls for a joint effort in trade, investment and innovation. While Chicago and Mexico City have been Sister Cities since 1991, this trade agreement builds on existing cultural and economic ties between the two cities. Both cities are a top North America trading partner for each other, involving the trade of more than $1.7 billion worth of locally produced goods. Additionally, about 1.6 million people of Mexican descent live in Illinois, and the Chicago metro area has the fourth-largest concentration of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. An addendum to this partnership pact included an agreement to further cooperation on tourism promotion. The main focus of sister city partnerships today is on shared economic development, and the tourism industry is a huge factor in the economic well-being of a city. Travel from Mexico represents one of the highest sources of international visitors to Chicago, along with the U.K, Japan and Germany. In 2013, visitors from Mexico to the Chicago Metro area increased 42%. At least six flights bring travelers from Mexico City to Chicago each day, and 72% of Mexicans who flew to Illinois in 2012 or 2013 not go on to travel anywhere else, choosing to stay in the Land of Lincoln. Chicago was the most popular area for Mexican visitors during this time, with 96.1% of travelers to Illinois visiting the downtown area. These trips do not solely function...

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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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Blurred Lines: In Today’s Digital Age, Where Does Advertising End and Public Relations Begin?

By George L. San Jose, President and CCO of The San Jose Group To the average consumer, advertising and public relations have never really seemed like two distinctly different marketing tools—branded content seems like branded content. After all, advertising and PR share the same goal: engaging and ultimately communicating a message to a target audience. However, industry insiders know the tactics applied to reach that goal have traditionally differed. Advertising works as a more direct medium, providing consumers with entertaining messaging and platforms, while PR operates as a more covert or indirect medium, sometimes seeking out third party opinions to plug a product. However, the line between these two fields is increasingly blurring and many PR firms are coming to resemble full service advertising agencies. This “blurred lines” effect seemingly results from the increase in digital and social communication techniques over the past several years. Digital and social media represent especially tricky territories for determining where advertising ends and PR begins. Consumers look to social media, websites, blogs and video sharing channels to stay abreast of products, promotions and developments (which is advertising territory). However, everything on social media happens in real time and is a platform for message control (which is PR territory). Ultimately, PR professionals were prepared to take on these digital changes as they were experts in creating content used to engage consumers, versus advertising agencies who work in the format of 30-to 60-second messaging. When PR professionals take over the digital space, they assume the role of advertisers because they can speak directly to their audience. As a result, many agencies have re-branded themselves as integrated firms that have the ability to both develop their clients’ messages and disseminate those messages to a wide array of audiences. What were once traditional PR agencies are now firms with the ability to provide creative and strategic support for clients. This blending of industries allows for a more cohesive approach to branding and messaging. When the entire process for creating a campaign comes from the same place, it...

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Corporate Wellness Programs: Healthy Employees, Healthy Companies

Sep 18, 14 Corporate Wellness Programs: Healthy Employees, Healthy Companies

Posted by in Healthcare

Over the past few years, the number of companies that offer wellness programs and incentives to their employees has increased significantly. Companies are no longer just offering employees discounted memberships to gyms as a part of their wellness programs. The 60% of companies with wellness initiatives are offering incentives that range from fines for not completing preventative health screenings, to group fitness classes to even being paid bonuses for completing triathlons. Healthy employees save employers time and money, as they tend to take fewer sick days and are more productive in the office. Additionally, wellness programs are seen as effective method to lower or contain medical care; these programs are now more widely offered as part of comprehensive insurance benefits packages, and terms in the Affordable Care Act serve to encourage the growth of these initiatives. This $6 billion a year industry is growing in such a way that companies don’t even have to design their own programs.  For example, VirginHealthMiles helps employers design programs to keep employees healthy that best fit the goals of the company. Wellness initiatives are investments, and just like any investment, companies hope to see a return. However, the kinds of returns depend on the goal of the wellness programs. If a company wants to improve the health and productivity of its employees, evidence-based lifestyle management programs are often the most effective. These programs focus on promoting healthy lifestyles, maintaining good health and preventing disease. For example, Safeway offers its employees a preventative-care health center, an on-site fitness center and health-focused cafeteria options. With the mindset that they are a “wellness company that happens to sell groceries,” Safeway has integrated health and wellness into its overall company mission, and its wellness program has participation rates of over 80%. On the other hand, if the goal is to achieve healthy ROI (in addition to healthy employees), employers should target their programs toward employees who have chronic diseases. A 2010 study done by Harvard found that for each dollar employees spend on wellness programs,...

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