84% of Millennials Rely on the Opinions of Others

“By 2017, Millennials – those consumers now in their mid-teens to mid-30s – will have more spending power than any other generation.”

That quote shouldn’t take you by surprise. It’s the circle of life. A new crop of young, working, educated men and women who have discretionary income. In other words, the people you need to keep your business alive.

One hitch, a study by Bazaarvoice says that Millennials don’t make purchase decisions like their mothers did, not even like their big sisters did! Since Millennials are growing up in the social media age, they rely on the opinions of others more than any other group before them.

The Daily for iPad Proves That People Will Pay for Good Content

A year ago, News Corp set out on a new adventure — the launch of a daily news magazine that could only be found on the iPad.

On the content side, it wasn’t much of a gamble. News Corp publishes The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, the UK’s Daily Telegraph and hundreds of other papers around the globe. They also had some experience with paywalls for online versions of their newspapers, but The Daily had to be all that and more.

What they set out to build, was a news source that truly took advantage of everything the iPad had to offer; interactivity, linking, video and audio all working together to tell a story.

The Future of Cereal Packaging Includes a Digital Surprise

What did you read as you ate breakfast this morning? The newspaper or the back of the cereal box?

It’s a funny bit of pop culture behavior, reading cereal boxes, but Mark Addicks of General Mills says that on average, a person reads the text on their box 12 times. Some of those people are looking for calorie counts and nutritional information, but many are just passing the time as they eat.

I guess it’s a habit we developed as kids, since many cereal boxes came with games and fun facts on the back. Or perhaps it’s because cereal boxes are one of the few packaged items that we actually put on the table when we eat. Think about it. I’m having a frozen pizza, but the box is in the trash, not on the table.

99% of Facebook Brand Fans Don’t Engage

In an ideal Facebook marketing world, fans would like our pages, leave sweet comments on our amusing daily updates, and share their joy with their friends.

In the real world, it doesn’t work that way. You already knew that, but did you know how much it doesn’t work that way?

AdAge recently published the results of a study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and here’s what they found.

1.3% of brand fans on Facebook are actively engaging with the brands they like. (Meaning I fudged the 99% in the headline slightly, but it’s more about the point than the number.) The study tracked the top 200 brands for six weeks, counting all of those actions that go into the “People Talking About This” number. That means shares, likes, comments, posts and tags.

Revenue Starts to Figure Into Social Media ROI

We’ve been saying the same thing for a while now. Everyone knows social media marketing is good for business, but no one has a surefire method for quantifying the results.

To get around this, most marketers make themselves feel better by saying that social media marketing is primarily about brand awareness. This is true and important. Having your name out there is better than not, but awareness alone doesn’t pay the bills. That awareness needs to convert into sales and that’s the problem. Not the “getting sales” part but the “measuring sales” part.

Wildfire just put together a new infographic on this very topic. You can see the whole graphic when you click here. I’d like to focus on one part.

Facebook Wants to Make a Movie About Your Life

Imagine a movie based on your life. Would it be a blockbuster adventure? A romantic comedy? Hopefully not fodder for a Lifetime Original.

Oh forget imagining, Facebook wants to make it so, with the Timeline Movie Maker. Opt in, click a few choices and you’ll have a mini movie showing the best years of your life set to music. As long as you documented those years on Facebook, of course.

AdAge thinks Facebook is using the movie maker to make Timeline “less fearsome.” Personally, I think it makes it even worse.

These functions are terrific if you have cool list of adventures on your Facebook. For the rest of us, not so much. Seriously, I don’t even want to look at mine. It’s like watching your life flash before your eyes and the most exciting thing on there is the trip you took to Disneyland ten years ago.

And Now for the Good News: Communities Band Together to Save Local Shops

Ready for another Groupon horror story?

Amy Kunkle owns Food for All Market, a specialty grocer in Philadelphia that sells food items for the very allergic. As you can imagine, it’s not the biggest store in town, it has a small, but loyal client base and up until recently, made enough to pay the bills.

Then Groupon called and convinced Ms. Kunkle that she could increase her business by offering a $15 for $30 worth of merchandise coupon. Of that amount, she would get $7.50, Groupon would get $7.50 and she’d eat the rest in the name of marketing.

What wasn’t agreed upon was a cap. Groupon sold 450 coupons and Food for All Market went belly up. In an interview with a local newspaper, Ms. Kunkle estimates that she lost nearly $10,000 on the deal.