Study shows younger consumers are more influenced by social media

Of the 10,000 global “connected consumers” A.T. Kearney surveyed for their latest report, more than half say they’re connected to the internet from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed.

But as the study’s title points out, “Connected Consumers Are Not Created Equal“. We do all start out on some common ground. We all go online to satisfy one (or more) of four basic needs: interpersonal connection, self-expression, exploration, and convenience.

In the US, exploration and convenience come out on top. We like instant access to products and services, information and directions. Expressing opinions lands at the bottom of the list. In China, Nigeria, and India, self-expression is one of the main reasons people go online. In China, India and Brazil, the ability to express themselves creatively is extremely important.

YouTube turns jukebox; beta tests ad-free subscription service

This morning, the folks at YouTube are singing a merry tune thanks to the launch of YouTube Music Key. This obviously music-oriented add-on comes in two sizes; free and ad free for $9.99 a month.

You heard it, YouTube is offering a subscription service. And though the subscription fee will only include music options, it’s a safe bet that if the beta test goes well, YouTube will try subscriptions site-wide.

YouTube Music

When you log on to YouTube, or launch the YouTube app, you’ll find a new tab marked Music. Here you’ll find trending music videos and top music by genre. What’s more interesting are the YouTube mixes like “Music for Every Mood” which includes playlists like “Swag Out” and “Morning Motivators”.  I had to check out the motivators and they’re right! These songs will get you going; U2 – Beautiful Day , Pharrell Williams – Happy, Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine and (for some odd reason) Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name.

Channel Sponsors

Marissa Mayer has tripled Yahoo’s stock price, but apparently that’s not enough

Yahoo's Stock Price

If you were an investor in any company that experienced the above growth in the past 2 years, you’d probably be pretty happy with whoever is running the ship.

Unless of course that ship were Yahoo, which perennially has at least a handful of influential shareholders who either a) don’t like the direction the company is heading or, b) want the company sold off or merged with someone else.

That’s the position Marissa Mayer finds herself in, despite the pretty impressive stock price growth since she took over the CEO role in July 2012. According to Reuters, at least two large Yahoo shareholders are unhappy with her performance:

…[the] shareholders are so unhappy with Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s turnaround efforts that they are making a direct plea to AOL Inc CEO Tim Armstrong to explore a merger and run the combined company.

Home, food and savings: reaching Facebook’s 2.6 million newlyweds

just-married-558205-mIn 2013, 2.6 million people in the US changed their relationship status on Facebook to “married”. That’s a huge target audience with a fairly definable set of goals. They’re thinking about setting up housekeeping – many of them for the first time. They’re thinking about saving money for a new home and some are already contemplating starting a family.

It’s a big shift from where these people were a year earlier. Facebook says newlywed Page likes quickly shift from wedding, love and relationship oriented pages to domestic topics like cooking and home improvement.

Newlyweds are excellent potential customers because most haven’t developed brand loyalties for items they never had to buy before. They’re a clean slate and they’re actively looking for guidance.

Writers Rejoice! Study shows Google rewards those with more to say

searchmetrics-labs-and-robotContent marketers, would you like to know the secret to getting in good with Google’s search engine spiders? Come closer and I’ll whisper it in your ear. . . .

. . .all you have to do is post high quality, relevant content.

Honestly, it’s a little more complicated than that but when you boil down all of the data from the comprehensive 2014 Ranking Factors Study from Searchmetrics, that’s pretty much what you’re left with.

But Searchmetrics did go through the trouble of writing an 83 page document. And they did produce an adorable infographic with retro robots (its as if they know me!), so we’re going to spend some time digging a little deeper.

Instagram adds People tab and a way to fix your mistakes

Instagram, like any social network, is more about community than content. We draw people in with a cool photo but they come back for the personality behind the photo. They follow. They share. They develop relationships that layer on the rules of social etiquette. Carmine’s lunch photo isn’t that great, but he shared my cat photo this morning so it’s only fair that I share his lunch pic.

This is why Instagram now has a People tab in addition to the Photo tab on the explore menu.

Instagram Explore

Digital will lead holiday shoppers to 345 billion in retail sales

Deloitte_2014_HolidaySurveyInfographicDeloitte is the latest company to publish their holiday survey for the upcoming season and so far, they get the prize for the best subtitle and Infographic.

The survey is subtitled: “Making a list, clicking it twice” which means shoppers will be turning to their mobile devices more than ever this year.

In 2013, only half the people in the survey had smartphones. This year that number rose to 67%. Smartphone owners are planning to spend 27% more on gifts than those without a smartphone so let’s hope your customers are the mobile savvy kind.

Tablet ownership is also up, 50% vs 38% last year. 65% said they’ll be using their tablets to shop and browse the internet for gifts. 57% said they expect to do their buying via a tablet.