Newsletter Archive - News U Can Use
News U Can Use - April 2009
04/23/2009 - These news items are brought to you by Kuk, Baldwin & Associates:
BUY NEW, OR CLEAN? The fact that more people are interested in carpet and furniture cleaning is a signal that homeowners are bent on getting more life from their old stuff, rather than replacing it. Typically, carpet cleaners also clean upholstered furniture – and most who do say so in their advertising. Typical furniture cleaning cost ranges (which can depend on color) are: 3-cushion couch, $90 to $180; upholstered arm chair, $45 to $100; wingback chair, $30 to $50; and sofa bed or chaise lounge, $85 to $120. Eco certification is important to many potential customers, as is the use of eco-certified cleaning products (Wall St. Journal, 2/19/09).
LOCKSMITHS AND YELLOW PAGES. The locksmith industry is concerned about “the increased number of locksmith names listed in the yellow pages…they use large blocks of phone numbers…small groups of employees to answer phone calls…[and] they specialize in lockouts.” Of greater concern are reports of (1) customers waiting hours for service; (2) use of fictitious addresses in ads and listings; and (3) higher than normal charges by some phone bank locksmiths. There’s no question that legitimate local locksmiths can fight back on most of these issues with appropriate ad copy and increased community presence. And perhaps publishers can address the problem of fictitious addresses (Locksmith Ledger, 4/09).
ELECTRONICS. In spite of our economic woes, the $125 billion US consumer electronics industry seems to be steady. And while young people still lead the way in electronics use and ownership, the 50-and-over crowd is the fastest growing market segment. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the top six products 50-and-overs bought in 2008 were HDTVs, laptop PCs, cell phones, digital cameras, GPS devices, and desktop PCs. As the saying goes, “advertise to the money” – and to attract more 50-and-overs, a copy point worth emphasizing is instruction and support on using these products (Research Alert, 2/20/09).
Old Has Become New Again -- Consumers Clip Coupons
It probably is not a surprise to you given the economic downturn that an increasing number of American consumers have adopted what some would consider to be an old behavior -- clipping coupons from newspapers and in-store circulars and finding them online (full story link) to help stretch people’s budgets. Coupon use rose 15% in the last three months of 2008, compared to 2007, say researchers at Valassis, one of the top coupon companies.Over 50 Set Still Target for Marketers
In a typical year, Americans redeem $3 billion worth of coupons. Now fewer people are embarrassed to pull out albums stocked with coupons for various household goods. "There's less negative stigma attached to coupon use during slower economic times," says Ron Larson, marketing professor at Western Michigan University. Nearly 57% of consumers in December said they were once self-conscious about using coupons but no longer care, per ICOM Information.
In particular, manufacturers of brand-name food products bought about 5% more coupons in the fourth quarter of 2008 to promote their goods because more people were eating at home to save money, says Suzie Brown, Valassis chief of marketing.
Perhaps publishers need to be promoting those coupon sections a little harder right now…
Customers age 50 and older are becoming increasingly attractive to marketers, according to this The New York Times article.Print/Web Synergy
"The recession has most conspicuously made advertisers far more focused on the return on their investment and more selective," noted Henry Schleiff, president and chief executive at Hallmark Channels. "For those of us focused on the baby boomer, it's a good time for us."
With the deepest pockets of any of the demographic groups, even in a down economy, this is still a lucrative segment for business to target.
And how are you positioning your products to capitalize on this???
The Kuk, Baldwin & Associates team also found this interesting item: Here’s a recent observation by the legendary Copy Chasers:Overall Ad Spending Still Under Strain
“…in these digital times, a good b-to-b [print] ad needs to drive readers to the advertiser’s website, where a much richer story can be told, or an electronic transaction can take place. It’s surprising how many print ads we’ve encountered lately seem to treat the company’s Web address as an afterthought….Most companies invest a lot of time and money in their websites, so why not get people there?”
Having just completed the 2009 updates of the K-B Ad Analysis sheets, we note that more and more YP advertisers are taking advantage of the print/web synergy the Chasers are talking about – and not just in b-to-b ads (source: B to B, 3/9/09).
Numerous articles have appeared recently reporting on the current status of advertising sales and offering future predictions.Maybe those that don’t believe in print Yellow Pages should take a look at these comments
Worldwide advertising expenditures will fall 5.8% this year and grow 0.7% in 2010, according to new forecasts released by media buying agency Carat, a unit of Aegis Media (full article link).
Looking at other media here are several reports: The economic recession is hitting local radio and TV stations even harder than Yellow Pages -- but even with a projected 2010 turnaround, SNL Kagan, a media research group, has revised its estimates through 2013, projecting slow growth or continued declines (full article link)
You may have also noticed that there are a lot more empty billboards out there these days. After strong growth through most of this decade, the outdoor advertising industry hasn’t escaped the effects of the economic downturn either, with revenue tumbling 15% in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to figures released by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. The fourth quarter of 2008 dragged down outdoor revenues for the year by 4% to $7 billion (full article link).
Consumer magazines have also gotten hit. EMarketer projects magazine ad spending was down 7.1% in 2008 to $13 billion. In 2009, the decline will be a more severe 16.2%. Because of the economic slowdown, advertisers reduced their budgets across the board -- and print publishing took a significant hit. EMarketer expects the industry to recover somewhat by 2012 with a 4% increase in ad dollars to $10.5 million in total ad spending (full article link).
Of course to help their revenues, eMarketer wants $695 for the report.
And as you have probably heard by now that several newspapers have decided to stop publishing daily print newspapers, most notable was the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The Hearst Corp. decided to stop publishing the 146-year old newspaper and cease delivery to more than 117,600 weekday readers. It will however maintain www.seattlepi.com, making it the nation's largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product (full article link).
Despite the negative news you may read about the lack of value that print Yellow Pages brings in this wired, mobile, digital world, perhaps those naysayers should check out this small sampling of people that have nothing but praise for the value of the print media:
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