The Changing Nature of the American Household


Census-Changing-US-Household-Types-1970-2012-Sept2013Marketers often look at household groups, whether they be TV households or high-income households. But what does the typical American household look like? A new study [pdf] from the Census Bureau analyzing a couple of its broader population surveys shows that the constitution of the American household has evolved considerably in the past 4 decades or so, such that there really is no typical household type anymore. For example, as of last year, so-called “nuclear families” accounted for just 19.6% of US households, down from 40.3% in 1970.

While the percentage of households made up of married couples with children has seen a marked decline, other household types have grown more common. Men living alone now represent 12.3% of all households, up from 8.6% in 1980 and just 5.6% in 1970. Additionally, women living alone account for 15.2% of all households, up from 11.5% in 1970.

To be fair, the biggest changes in household dynamics occurred between 1970 and 1980, as the above chart illustrates. But each of those trends has only continued to strengthen since 1980: in the past decade alone, the share of households counted as married couples with children has dropped by almost 5% points.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 news No Comments

Pandora Shows That A Media Business Can Grow Around Mobile Ads


Pandora reported total mobile revenue growth of 92% year-over-year, according to the company’s earnings released last week.

That puts Pandora’s mobile revenue at $116 million, almost 72% of total revenue, up significantly from a 65% share last quarter.

More than ever, Pandora is a mobile-first company, and its efforts to build a media business around mobile advertising make it a bellwether for the industry.

In the recent past, Pandora seemed to be struggling to monetize mobile effectively.

The company even saw its RPM rate, the amount of revenue it could command for a thousand advertisements, decline in recent quarters.

But this past quarter it accomplished a 180-degree performance turnaround.

Pandora’s RPM rate jumped 52% compared to the same quarter last year, and 39% compared to the prior quarter.

Pandora executives have attributed the impressive mobile numbers to app improvements and bulked-up efforts to sell locally targeted ads.

Pandora has improved its ad revenue picture enough that it now feels confident lifting its 40-hour-per-month listening cap for free mobile users, despite the increased content licensing costs that will bring.

The end of the 40-hour cap could also be seen as a preemptive defensive tactic against the expected September launch of Apple’s iTunes radio streaming service.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 news No Comments

CPG Marketers Distributed 168 Billion Coupons in H1, A Slight Rise From Last Year


NCH-Marketing-CPG-Coupon-Distribution-Trends-H1-2009-H1-2013-Jul2013After a couple of years of decline, the volume of coupons distributed by CPG marketers rose by 1.8% year-over-year in the first half of this year, according to [registration page] a new report from NCH Marketing. The study finds that marketers distributed 168 billion coupons, the highest number since the first half of 2010 (178 billion). Free-standing inserts (FSIs) remained the predominant media type, at 91.1% of all distributed coupons.

Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, August 1st, 2013 news No Comments

Google Search Satisfaction Lowest on Record Continues Decline


ACSI-Customer-Sat-Portals-Search-Engines-2013-v-2012-July2013Overall, the major search engines fared better than the largest social media sites in customer satisfaction, per the ACSI report. But, the trend is moving in the wrong direction for each of the portals and search engines tracked

The bad news continues for Google – which saw declines in customer satisfaction ratings for Google+ and YouTube. Turning to its core business – search – Google experienced a 5-point drop to a score of 77, its lowest since the ACSI began tracking its ratings more than a decade ago.

On a more positive note for Google, it maintained its position as the highest-rated search engine or portal, as Bing also fell 5 points to a rating of 76, Yahoo slipped a couple of points to 76, MSN dropped 4 points to 74, and AOL declined by 3 points to 71. The aggregate of all others plummeted by 10 points, to 70.

The overall rating for portals and search engines – 76 – is the lowest since 2007. Customers were most frustrated by the quality of the ads and page loading speeds, per the study.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 25th, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Microsoft’s Big Problem In One Chart (MSFT, AAPL, GOOG)


Microsoft’s stock was clobbered today, falling 11.4%.

The most obvious reason for the decline: The collapse of the PC industry has finally hit Microsoft’s earnings.

Windows operating income fell by over 50% on a year-over-year basis. It took a $900 million charge for inventory of its Surface RT tablet. Its CFO admitted that it’s going to take a while for tablet sales to offset the decline of the PC.

Few charts illustrate what’s happening to the PC market, and thus, what’s happening to Microsoft, better than this one from Horace Dediu, independent analyst/blogger at Asymco.

Microsoft’s monopoly over our computing is dead.

Combined iOS/Android unit sales are outpacing PC sales 2.6 to 1.

chart iOS PC Android unit sales

drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 news No Comments

Digital Ad Agencies Sour on TV, Turn to Online Video


RocketFuel-Digital-Agencies-TV-and-Online-Video-Perceptions-July2013Digital ad agencies believe that the effectiveness of TV advertising is on the decline, and are making a move to online video, according to a survey conducted by Rocket Fuel among 149 digital agency professionals, the majority of whom directly authorize media spend. 8 in 10 respondents plan to spend more on online video this year, even as 60% recognize there are serious barriers to shifting money from TV to do so. Chief among those barriers? Building reach (58%) and prior budget commitments (56%).

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 news No Comments

Blu Ray Already Declining

People learned to spell Blu Ray correctly (without the “e”) but this media format is already in decline, being replaced by video streaming through services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, etc.
Inline image 1

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, July 20th, 2013 news No Comments

Gartner and IDC: PC shipments dropped about 11 percent in Q2


IDC PC shipment estimates for Q2 2013, worldwide

If you were looking for a bounce-back in the PC market after a sobering first quarter… well, keep looking. Both Gartner and IDC estimate that shipments fell about 11 percent year-over-year in the second quarter. The two analyst groups blame the decline on sluggish uptake in a few regions, most notably China and Europe, as well as a market that favors tablets over low-end computers. It’s easy to agree after seeing the numbers. Taiwanese PC makers like Acer and ASUS faced steep yearly declines as they switched their attention toward tablets and Ultrabooks, while even top-seated Lenovo took a small bruising.

There’s a silver lining to this cloud, however. Dell, HP and Lenovo all fared much better in the US than they have in recent quarters. Gartner and IDC attribute the resurgence to the corporate world, where the end of Windows XP support in 2014 may be pushing some upgrades to PCs running at least Windows 7. It’s not quite the broader recovery that vendors are hoping for, but it may have to suffice when any help from Windows 8.1 and OS X Mavericks is months away.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 11th, 2013 news No Comments

The Major Retailers Most Threatened By Mobile Showrooming


The practice of “showrooming,” or viewing an item in a retail store and then buying it online, has brought the e-commerce threat directly to bricks-and-mortar retailers.

Mobile raises the showrooming threat to a new level since price comparisons are available to shoppers immediately, as they make decisions and browse e-commerce websites in stores.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we analyze mobile showrooming’s influence on retail, and examine the various different types of consumer behavior that make up showrooming.

We also look at what the big retailers are doing to combat showrooming, and identify the five broad strategies that will help brick-and-mortar retailers win business from showroomers.

Access The Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Take a look at this chart from our report:

bii_showrooming_risk<br! >

Estimates of how much retail volume is influenced by smartphones vary wildly, but here are some numbers that gauge mobile showrooming’s influence:

In one dramatic effort to combat showrooming, U.S. electronics retailer Best Buy announced last month that starting March 3, 2013, its stores would match the prices of 19 major online competitors, including Apple, Amazon, and Target also has a price-matching policy in effect.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, June 24th, 2013 digital No Comments

Flash Sale Sites Have A Social Media Problem

Source: FacebookFlash sale sites are reaching the end of their growth trajectory, and might start consolidating soon.

Many analysts have blamed the problem on an inability to get designer labels.

But a recent study shows that various customer service issues could be responsible for the decline of sites like Fab, HauteLook, ideeli, and RueLaLa.

About 44% of social network commentary related to flash sale sites is negative, according to the study by Dotcom Distribution.

Consumers’ biggest complaints are related to shipping, log-in, marketing, and customer service.

According to the survey, BeyondTheRack, HauteLook, and ZuLily had the worst consumer feedback for shipping issues.

Fab’s site forces users to log in, which infuriated many customers.

Customers also expressed frustrations with “misleading” email marketing, according to the study.

One woman wrote that she was frustrated with because it sent out an email advertising free shipping when in reality the promotion only applied to purchases greater than $75.

These problems hurt the sites two-fold, according to the study: Customer service complaints on Facebook and other social media sites drive away both existing customers and potential new ones.

Flash sale sites can solve their social problem by responding to customer complaints regularly, and advertising promotions accurately, according to Dot! com Dist ribution.

The sites represent a $2 billion business, according to Reuters.

But to keep customers and attract new ones, flash sale sites are going to have to focus on the customer experience.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

Augustine Fou portrait
Send Tips:
Digital Strategy Consulting
Dr. Augustine Fou LinkedIn Bio
Digital Marketing Slideshares
The Grand Unified Theory of Marketing