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Amazon tests boundaries for advertising toys online

He man toysWhich came first, the cartoon or the toy?

  • Transformers
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Smurfs
  • He-Man

Some toys are so inextricably connected to their media brother that it’s hard to tell which begat which. In the 80’s, cartoons based on toys and vice versa were so popular that Saturday morning TV was the equivalent of watching two hours of infomercials.

To protect children from undo influence the FCC put rules in place that force a separation between cartoons and related toys.

The FCC also requires that, in television programs directed to children ages 12 and under, program material be separated from commercials by intervening and unrelated program material. The purpose of this separation policy is to protect young children who have difficulty distinguishing between commercial and program material and are therefore more vulnerable to commercial messages. If a program fails to adequately separate program and commercial material, the entire duration of the program may be counted as commercial material (a “program-length commercial”).

Planning a vacation: value trumps loyalty and search engines rule

Booking a vacation used to be a job for a qualified professional, but now everyone’s a travel agent thanks to sites like Kayak, Orbitz and Expedia. But online booking sites come in second to the good old, everyday search engine.

The Great American Vacation Study: How Travelers Seek, Shop and Save,” from parago takes an in-depth look at how Americans are planning their leisure travel and I think there’s a lot to learn here – even if you’re not specifically in the travel industry.

It starts with a big number. 90% of the people who responded said they travel for leisure at least once a year. 82% of women and 74% of men always or almost always plan the trip themselves. I don’t know if that speaks to the ease of online bookings or a rise in our need to control all things.

Shoppers shout ‘I am not a number!’

oe9N7VseBay has been hiding things from me. I suspected it was true and now I know I’m not being paranoid. When I search, I only get back a portion of the items available for that keyword.

They say it’s for my own good. That they’re helping me weed through the clutter so I can get the best item for the best price. But frankly, I’d rather wade through an extra page of listings than have a computer decide what I should buy.

McCann Truth Central’s “Truth About Shopping” says that consumers are getting tired of being treated as part of an algorithm. Which is not to say they don’t like personalized service. The difference falls somewhere between personal and personalization.

Looking for power consumers? You’ll find them on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Consumer Buying PowerLinkedIn released an unusual report this week called “Harness the Power of the LinkedIn Pro-sumer“. Unusual, because the topic is shopping – not an activity I usually think of when I think about LinkedIn. But the B2B social network claims that their users have more buying power than visitors to any other social network.

Here’s a graph to prove it —>

Look at LinkedIn, towering over even Pinterest and way over Facebook.

Are we talking about business buying power? Office supplies? Expensive hardware and software? Inventory?

No, LinkedIn appears to be talking about the same kind of consumer goods we all buy.

  • $839 annually on clothing
  • $2000 – $3000 yearly on vacations
  • 41% more likely to have spent over 30K on a new car

Nearly half of all consumers expect a customer service response within an hour

lithium impatient customersThere are companies with a team of dedicated customer service professionals whose job it is to monitor and instantly reply to all consumer queries.

Your company probably isn’t one of them. How can I make that assumption? Because I know that a large number of online companies are small businesses. Some a run by 1 person or a couple. Some are manned by an owner who also has another full-time job. These are the companies that can’t afford to lose even one customer, so attending to questions and complaints is even more important.

Trouble is, 66% of consumers in a recent Lithium survey said they expect a same-day response to their online request

  • 43% expect a response within an hour.
  • 14% expect a response in a lightning fast five minutes or less.

Back-to-school time is . . . here?

The kids are barely out of school for the summer which means its time to start planning your back-to-school campaigns.

Facebook says that back-to-school chatter begins in July, so that gives you about a month and a half to put together a strategic plan. Here are some facts that might help:

Back to School

Side note: no insult intended to the young model in the red shirt but there’s something very menacing about this image. . don’t you think? Pigtail girl is texting with her friend on the back of the buss while red shirt pretends to be a part of her life by voyeuristicly reading over her shoulder. . .

Back to the facts:

On Facebook in the US,

This is how 60% of millennial women learn about fashion brands. . . .

Punchtab millennial genderOnline advertising, blog content, social media posts — there are so many ways to reach the fashion buying audience. How do 60% of millennial women learn about fashion brands? From direct contact with other people who are wearing it or talking about it.

According to Punchtab, the omni-channel engagement and insights platform, only 20% of millennial women and 10% of millennial men learn about brands via a social channel. (Haven’t we sung this song before?)

34% of millennial women and 29% of millennial men say they read articles online to learn about new brands.

Not such good numbers but don’t give up the fight.

Punchtab says that once they hear about a brand from friends, 80% of millennials will go to an online shopping site to check out your product. 58% will go to your company website for more information.