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Consumers Have Strong Appetite For Innovation
by Jack Loechner
According to results from a recent Nielsen report, based on a survey of 30,000 consumers across 60 countries, 56% say friends and family, and 52% say TV ads are the leading sources of information about new products for consumers.

For the purposes of the study, a new product is defined as any item that the consumer has never purchased in the past. And, for product awareness, Robert Wengel, Senior Vice President And Managing Director Of Nielsen Innovation, says “Media fragmentation is largely the cause for the decline in the reliance on TV as a top source for new product awareness.”

Wengel says that “… while TV offers the widest audience reach, a multi-media approach is necessary to connect with consumers at all touch points. Brand awareness studies show that the combination of TV and digital advertising can increase brand recall by 33% and message recall by 45% compared to TV ads alone.

Consumer Source of New Product Information (Global Average)








Change (% points)


   Friends/family told me about it




   Professional/expert told me about it




   Articles/content on frequently visited news or     lifestyle websites




   Internet forum/message board




   Social media postings




   Active internet searching





   TV ads








   Internet ads such as banner or pop-up ads




   Outdoor billboards or posters




   Direct mail




   Radio ads




   Publictransport ads




   Videosharing websites




   Attending a public event such as a concert, festival, or sports match





   Saw it in a store




   Received a free sample




   Brand/manufacturer web page




   Marketing emails




Source: Nielsen, Q1 2015, Q1 2012, July 2015

Consumers have a strong appetite for innovation, says the report. They’re increasingly demanding and expect more choice than ever before. Around the world, 63% of respondents like it when manufacturers offer new products, and 57% purchased a new product during their last grocery-shopping trip. And:

Consumers want more new products on the market that are affordable, healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly
The drivers of new product purchasing, include affordability, convenience, brand recognition and novelty
Respondents in developing markets say they are more inclined to try new products, and they lead the way in self-reported new product purchasing
Earned media sources are growing in importance for new product information gathering, but reliance on traditional sources is still strong
Social media’s sphere of influence shows tremendous growth since 2012
Millennials and Generation Z respondents say they use several traditional advertising sources at comparable, or even greater levels than older generations
Brand competition is intense and shelves are crowded. In Western Europe, 12,000 innovations were launched in four markets across 17 product categories between 2011 and 2013. In the U.S., there have been more than 20,000 launches since 2008.

Innovation isn’t just happening in developed markets, says the report. In India, there were more than 10,500 new launches in the FMCG sector in 2014. Competition isn’t the only hurdle, says the report. Manufacturers must also contend with growing media fragmentation, evolving retail distribution channels and tightening budgets, among other obstacles. As a result, the vast majority of new product introductions are taken out of distribution before the end of their launch year. Of over 60,000 new SKUs introduced in Europe over the last years, just 55% made it to 26 weeks, and only 24% lived to reach a full year.

Top Reasons For Buying New Products (% of Respondents)



Top Reasons



Africa/Middle East

Latin America

North America

Premium value






Convenience to Use
























Family friendly






Brand Recognition






Source: Nielsen, Q1 2015, Q1 2012, July 2015

When you hear “early adopter” it may conjure up an image of a tech-savvy teenager or college student willing to wait in line for the latest gadget. But this image is only partially accurate, says the report.

While the youngest respondents are more likely to say they have purchased a new product during their last grocery shopping trip than their older counterparts, those categorized as ‘early adopters’ only show a slight age bias. That is, compared to the total sample, younger respondents are only slightly overrepresented among early adopters.

Taddy Hall, senior vice president, Nielsen Innovation, said “… early adopters aren’t just younger consumer… consumers of all ages are looking for products that make their lives better… while Millennials are garnering a fair amount of recent time and attention… do not lose sight of the needs across all age segments…”

Purchased A New Product On Last Grocery-Shopping Trip


% of Purchasers

Generation Z (ages 15-20)


Millennials (ages 21-34)


Generation X (ages 35-49)


Baby boomers (ages 50-64)


Silent generation (ages 65+)


Source: Nielsen, Q1 2015, Q1 2012, July 2015

More than half 52% of global respondents cite TV ads a top source of new-product awareness, the second highest percentage of the sources reviewed, but a decline of 11 percentage points from Nielsen’s 2012 survey. The only paid-advertising sources to increase in importance were Internet ads and video-sharing websites, rising one percentage point each.

As the media landscape evolves, so do the sources consumers use to find out about new products, and the reliance on earned media is growing while some paid media sources are declining. For the purposes of this study, the sources consumers say they used to get information about new products are grouped into three categories:

Owned Media

Saw it in-store
Received a free sample
Brand/manufacturer web page
Marketing emails
Earned Media

Articles on news or lifestyle websites
Internet forum/ message board
Social media postings
Active internet searching
Paid Media

TV ads
Internet ads
Outdoor billboards or posters
Direct mail
Radio ads
Public-transport ads
Video-sharing websites
Public event (concert, festival, or sports match)
But creative execution counts, too, says the report. An ad should not only clearly demonstrate usage; emotional context is also important to ensure the message is memorable and persuasive. Put simply, outstanding creative sets its self apart by balancing imagination with meaningful content.

Developing the right product is only part of the success equation, concludes the report. Opportunities may ultimately be won or lost in the store, and marketers need a strong activation strategy to generate awareness and trial. And all of this must be supported by a positive product experience.

Millennial women using technology are driven, not distracted
By Kay Sorin 
NEW YORK – Millennial women use technology to be more productive in their everyday lives, adopting the latest Web sites and applications early on and quickly adapting to changing methods of communication, according to research from Refinery29.

There is plenty of media hype speculating that members of the millennial generation are obsessed with technology, unable to turn away from their devices as they become increasingly isolated from the real world. New research, presented by Refinery29 at Her Brain On Digital on June 3, however, suggests that while millennial women are certainly using technology at high rates, most feel they are able to improve their lives with these innovations.

“This is a love affair,” said Melissa Goidel, chief revenue officer of Refinery29. “This woman is in love with technology, and it’s not just love, it’s lust.

“Early in the findings we realized that it’s not just about the device. It’s about the content that is connecting the woman through the device.

“It’s not just about the box. It’s more about the shoes in the box.”

Refinery29 surveyed 750 women between the ages of 18 – 54 and conducted nine in-home immersion sessions in Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.

Take back time
One of the most significant benefits of new technology and mobile applications is the ability to accomplish menial tasks quickly, leaving more time for valued activities. Women surveyed reported using multitasking apps, online calendars and other innovations to be more efficient with their time.

Her Brain On Digital focused on millennial women using technology

Video Web sites and mobile apps, especially video tutorials, are popular among women of all ages who want to learn new skills in a variety of areas such as beauty, DIY, gaming and fashion. For example, 93 per cent of millennial women agreed with the statement that technology helps them learn new things.

Social networks are one of the most popular digital innovations used by millennial women, and social Web sites and apps were ranked first place among women in all age groups. Women use social networks to maintain existing circles and connect with others who share their passions.

Refinery29 found that women use social media to connect with others around the world

Last but not least, women value digital technology for the ease with which it allows them to shop and purchase new items. Mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular with 58 per cent of women ages 18-24 reporting that they prefer to shop on their mobile phones.

Luxury brands around the world can use this data to better connect with consumers. Offering the latest video and social technology is important for a brand to appeal to millennial women who are looking to improve their lives and they way that they shop.

Refinery29 shared quotations from the women interviewed 

More of Refinery29′s research can be found on the Her Brain On Digital microsite.

Generational differences
Refinery29’s research is consistent with many experts’ views on the changing preferences of the millennial generation. For example, panelists at Luxury Interactive 2014 on Oct. 15 argued that traditional online storefronts no longer meet consumer expectations as ecommerce has evolved.

To meet the expectations of consumers, marketers must be consistent across channels and work to blend content with commerce to create concise engagement. According to panelists at “Content for Commerce Mixology — Become Your Brand’s Mixologist,” as the ecommerce game changes brands will need to adapt omnichannel strategies full of rich touch points to cater to the sentiments of millennials (see story).

Furthermore, millennial consumers have been consistently shown to have different preferences when it comes to the digital world. Consumers are split on their willingness to download luxury brand applications, but when dispersed into generations, 72 percent of millennials are inclined to download a branded app, according to a report from The Luxury Institute.

Digitization of the luxury world is slowly evolving as younger generations grow into being affluent consumers. Luxury clients differ across more than just generations, but understanding the prime and upcoming consumer can prepare marketing teams for the future (see story).

Luxury brands can use this information to form closer connections with consumers.

“It is important to create a robust experience in the digital space,” said Neha Gandhi, vice president of editorial strategy at Refinery29. “The online and offline experience has to be completely seamless.

“It is important for brands to treat this person like a friend. It’s not just about being familiar, it’s about adding value to her life.”

RSR Research: Retailers underestimate digital influence
Walnut Creek, Calif. -- Retailers underestimate how much digital technology influences physical shopping experiences, but their expectations are rapidly catching up to reality. According to a new study from RSR Research, “Commerce Convergence: Closing the Gap between Consumer and Brand,” while 84% of retailers surveyed say a digital presence is very important to build brand awareness, but only 64% say it is very important to drive traffic to stores.

However, retailers do show an understanding that having disparate digital and brick-and-mortar systems produces negative results. For example, 77% of respondents strongly agree or agree that their legacy POS system is holding them back from providing a consistent customer experience across all channels, and 82% are aware of viable customer order management systems that can traverse all channels.

Yet 68% of respondents strongly agree or agree that replacing legacy POS systems with newer omnichannel POS systems would be too expensive or disruptive. This is despite the fact that 95% of respondents strongly agree or agree the store and the digital experience must be brought together for a continuous, seamless experience.

RSR Research managing partners Brian Kilcourse and Steve Rowen conclude that to respond to the new consumer shopping reality, retailers must define a brand experience that is inclusive of all the ways the consumers “touch” the brand, both in the digital world (e-commerce, mobile, social) and the physical one (store, call center). According to RSR, “winning” retailers are already starting to enact strategies to create this type of brand experience.

Steps taken by retail winners (and recommended for all retailers) include designing a total selling environment around a seamless experience that reflects the unique context of the retailer’s brand, synchronizing core brick-and-mortar and digital functionality while maintaining different systems when needed, and training store employees to effectively use in-store omnichannel applications. RSR Research also advises that retailers follow either a centralized IT strategy or one that is managed via private or multi-tenant cloud solutions.

Confidence In Online Ads Rises, Agencies Focus More On Streaming Sites
by Wayne Friedman
Amidst concerns about viewability of advertising on digital platforms, a new survey of advertising agency executives says that confidence in digital video advertising value has improved.
Strata, a Chicago-based advertising systems provider, says that 44% of agencies in the second quarter say they are getting a “good value” for recent online video ad purchases -- up 43% increase from the previous quarter.

At the same time, agencies executives who have been unsure about their ROI for online video also improved -- 25%.

Some agency executives now have a stronger interest in established video sites: 65% of agencies say they are more interested in Hulu and YouTube than a year earlier. Also a 12% gain from the prior quarter. Another 82% say it is “very important or important” to access online video sites such as YuMe, Videology, or Tremor.

Forty-six percent of agency executives say the biggest benefit to programmatic media buying is the improved ability to reach a targeted audience; 40% says programmatic benefits come from automation/efficiency.

The biggest fear with programmatic -- 49% of those surveyed --- continues to be the lack of transparency of inventory sources.

Forty-five percent of agencies see their overall business increasing in the first quarter, compared to the same time last year. Additionally, more agencies are now focusing their digital ad spend on search (76%) as compared to online display (75%).

Apple Pay adds select retail credit cards, rewards programs 
Cupertino, Calif. – Apple Inc. is enacting a number of significant enhancements to its Apple Pay mobile payment app, including adding support for rewards programs and store-issued credit and debit cards. During a June 8 keynote address at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Jennifer Bailey, VP of Apple Pay, said that retailers, including Dunkin' Donuts, Walgreens, Wegmans, and Kohl's, will support the new reward card functionality.

“By integrating with Apple Pay in all of our stores, Kohl’s customers can choose how they want to pay, whether using their Kohl’s Charge or Yes2You Rewards loyalty points, payments are easy and secure,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, CEO and president.

Adding to the convenience, customers simply have to hold their iOS device up to the reader at the retailer’s POS and the correct reward card will automatically be selected.

A new store-finder feature on Apple’s new iOS 9 Maps app will show consumers where retailers who accept Apple Pay are located. And U.K. consumers will be able to join the Apple Pay fun starting in July, when eight leading U.K. banks will begin supporting the mobile payment service.

The mobile payments service will launch in the United Kingdom next month. It will be available at more than 250,000 locations with support from eight of the U.K.’s most established banks, across all of the major credit and debit card networks.

Other upcoming changes include the availability of an Apple Pay Square card reader at Apple Store locations later in 2015. This will allow any retailer who accepts Square payments to also accept Apple Pay, which would open Apple Pay to much smaller retailers. Apple had previously announced the Square partnership, but this marks the company revealing timing and specifics of how it will work.

Bailey said Apple expects to have 1 million merchant locations accepting Apple Pay as of July 2015. Currently more than 2,500 banks, as well as MasterCard, Visa and American Express, support Apple Pay. Discover will start supporting Apple Pay in fall 2015.

Other changes include renaming the Apple Passbook app to Apple Wallet.

41% Buy on Smartphone, 37% on Desktop
by Chuck Martin

Using more than one device in the course of a purchase is becoming more common.

This should be no surprise to anyone making purchases, which could be pretty much anyone, but it does pose some rather significant challenges to those doing the selling.

One recent study did somewhat of a breakdown of what buying looks like by device when using more than one in the path to purchase.

As a baseline, cross-device purchasing is happening with 40% of purchases involving a consumer using multiple devices to visit the same retailer, according to the study.

The mobile commerce report by Criteo comprised an analysis of 1.4 billion transactions in 3,000 online and retail travel businesses.

The idea that a person researches on a phone and buys on a desktop doesn’t hold true in this study.

For example, of those who used multiple devices in their path to purchase, 41% completed their purchase on a smartphone and only 37% complete the purchase on a desktop.

Tablet purchasing was slightly higher than smartphones, at 43%, which differs from other studies that show purchasing being higher on smartphones than tablets.

The challenge for retailers is to determine where the sales decision is being made so they may attempt to influence the decision process at that stage.

And then there is in-store purchasing, which dwarfs all other types.

So while there are multiple commerce device actions that retailers need to get a handle on, there’s the off-line linkage to store activity that has to be factored in.

While mobile commerce grows, so do the interconnections of activities on other devices and in the brick and mortar environs.

Mobile commerce didn’t replace desktop and in-store shopping. It became part of it.

Google Referral Data Nearing Zero
by Laurie Sullivan

The story of Google's disappearing referral data from search results isn't new, but the amount of daily visible data continues to vanish. The inflection point could signal the end within two weeks, according to Matt Abrams, CTO at AddThis, which tracks Web traffic in real-time.

AddThis has been tracking the disappearing data across a network of more than 50 million domains. "Google said the data would disappear, but it held up at a pretty steady rate for about a year," Abrams said. "The baseline began to change in the U.S., not worldwide, and it's too steep to be a change to the organic traffic. We think it's the last clampdown of data. The data suggests it could take a couple of weeks in the U.S."

Abrams believes the trend will negatively impact companies offering search retargeting services, as Google cements the final block on the walled garden. As publishers and brands look for data quality and transparency in referral data, this trend favors secrecy.

"While Google has publicly said it will go to zero, it's been years since that announcement," Abrams said. "I know companies are still using unencrypted search referral traffic. Some marketers are still using the trickle of data, so they don't need to use APIs from Google and Bing."

It's not clear whether the change will affect Yahoo if the latest test with Google turns into reality. Google search results and ads have begun to appear when people search on Yahoo as part of the non-exclusive deal with Bing. SEO Book was the first to report the results' appearing on Yahoo Wednesday.

Many marketers have moved past using the referral data. AddThis looks at the content on the Web page to understand the meaning. Some call it reverse engineering the search engine or content classification.

It didn't take Webris digital marketing consultant Ryan Stewart long to realize he initially overreacted to the news. He was "furious" when initially hearing the news, but now thinks the "truly valuable keywords are the ones visitors use within your site."

Social Media Is The GO-TO For Small Business Marketers
Social Media Examiner’s seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, a survey of 3,720 marketers, business owners and solopreneurs from the U.S. and overseas, reveals some social media trends gaining momentum, as well as some surprising stalls, writes Suzanne Delzio.
96% of survey participants use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, “Social media marketing is important for my business.”
Social Media Is Important For My Business Or Company
Strongly agree 58%
Agree 34
Uncertain 7
Disagree 2
Source: SocialMediaExaminer, June 2015
93% of respondents use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%. In the coming year, 62% of respondents plan to increase their use of Facebook for marketing purposes. 66% will increase Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn activity. 71% of businesses with 100+ employees use YouTube, compared to 38% of the self-employed.
Use of Social Media 
Social Media % of Respondents Using
Facebook 93
Twitter 79
LinkedIn 71
Google+ 56
YouTube 55
Pinterest 45
Instagram 36
All others ≤ 15
Source: SocialMediaExaminer, June 2015
B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking because B2B businesses are looking for the marketing people, facilities managers, buyers and others who rely on LinkedIn for industry connections and news.
B2C companies, on the other hand, go to Facebook first and in larger numbers, as Facebook is comprised of nearly every consumer on the planet.
Number 1 Choice For Social Media 
Social Media B2B #1 Choice B2C #1 Choice
LinkedIn 41% 9%
Facebook 30 65
Twitter 19 10
YouTube 4 4
Google+ 3 4
Pinterest 2 4
Source: SocialMediaExaminer, June 2015
Despite the fact that 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business, the majority of small businesses either don’t know if Facebook achieves the goals they’ve set, or it does not achieve those goals. Despite the high numbers using Facebook, just one in three self-employed respondents characterize Facebook efforts as “effective.”
Effectiveness of Facebook Efforts 
Consider effective % of Respondents
Strongly agree 9
Agree 36%
Uncertain 35
Disagree 19
Source: SocialMediaExaminer, June 2015
Because of the crush of responsibilities they have, small business owners worry about the time it takes to keep an audience engaged on social channels. 33% of study respondents report that they devote 1 to 5 hours weekly to social media marketing; however, 25% spend 6 to 10 hours each week.
51% of businesses with 10 or fewer employees, who spend 6 hours or more on social media marketing, still believe that it reduces overall marketing expenses.
Time Devoted To Social Media Per Week
Hours Per Week On Social Media % Of Respondents
None 3%
1-5 33
6-10 25
11-15 12
16-20 10
Others ≥ 21 4
Source: SocialMediaExaminer, June 2015
Even though “increased exposure” is more difficult to measure than traffic or bounce rate, marketers and small business owners rank it the number-one benefit of marketing on social media.
77% of the survey respondents consider the traffic that comes to their sites via social referral a significant benefit. And, social media bringing additional traffic to respondents’ websites increases year after year, from 61% of those using it less than 1 year to 82% calling it effective after 5 years.
Benefit Of Social Media Exposure To Small Business Owners
Top benefit % of Respondents
Increased exposure 90%
Increased traffic 77
Develop loyal fans 69
Provide marketplace insight 68
Generate leads 65
Improve search rankings 58
Grow business partnerships 55
Improve sales 51
Reduce marketing expenses 50
Source: SocialMediaExaminer, June 2015
Once a small business determines which channel drives the most valuable (and intentional) traffic, the next step is to provide the content to engage that traffic.
Despite the easy digestibility of video and visuals, marketers pinpointed blogging as their most important type of content. Consumers now research their purchases thoroughly before buying, and the blog provides more extensive information than the quick image or one minute teaser video, says the report.
Important Content
Most Important % of Respondents
Blogging 45%
Visual 34
Videos 19
Podcasting 2
Source: SocialMediaExaminer, June 2015

Wolfram Alpha Introduces Reverse Image Search
by Laurie Sullivan
Take a picture of an image or upload one to a site and the technology can identify and return results. It's a feature that search engines have been working on. Wolfram Alpha launched their version Wednesday. identifies the picture and returns results, complete with data behind the visual such as weight, height, origin, and more. 

Wolfram Alpha is the company's flagship product, which they refer to as a computational engine, and ImageIdentify is just one of thousands of functions built into the Wolfram Language.

The page, Wolfram Language Image Identification Project, allows anyone to drag a picture from a Web page, desktop or phone to the window on the page. The technology behind the feature provides information about what it identifies.

It seems to me the technology could come in handy when hiking through a dense forest, and traveling in new territories or unfamiliar places. Taking an image of something and loading it on the Web page brings up a description of the image in the photo.

I tried pulling in an image of Annabelle, my Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier before a haircut. The tool didn't get it correct, but came close. It called the dog breed a Lakeland terrier.

"It won’t always get it right, but most of the time I think it does remarkably well," wrote Steven Wolfram, creator and founder of Wolfram Alpha, in a blog post. "And to me what’s particularly fascinating is that, when it does get something wrong, the mistakes it makes mostly seem remarkably human."

Wolfram calls the tool a practical example of artificial intelligence. It relies on use and will learn more in time. The more people use it, the more accurate become the results.

Just the Facts, Ma'am
Bronto has teamed up with Apparel Magazine to answer what factors influence online spending, why shoppers abandon their cart and more. By 2016, says the infogram, ecommerce will make up 9% ($327 billion) of $3.8 trillion in U.S. retail sales, and mcommerce will make up 8% ($27 billion) of that 9% in ecommerce sales.
This data-rich information, says the report, offers actionable insight into which devices consumers are using to shop online, and how one can engage with consumers across multiple devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops creating a more seamless online shopping experience.
Web buyers abandon online purchases for reasons of User Experience, Indecision, Technical Issues and Cost:
70% of online shopping carts are abandoned across the web
85% of shoppers find cart reminder emails helpful
61% say cart reminders will get them back on your site
58% of Frequent Shoppers report always or occasionally taking online shopping information into a physical store location
24% of customers would use a wish list option instead of the shopping cart to store items for later
43% would use both the wish list and shopping cart in tandem
Online Shoppers Leave without Paying:
56% Presented with unexpected costs 
37% Just browsing 
36% Found a better price elsewhere 
26% Decided against buying 
25% Website navigation too complicated 
24% Website crashed 
21% Process was taking too long 
18% Excessive payment security checks 
17% Concerns about payment security 
16% Delivery options were unsuitable 
15% Website timed out 
13% Price presented in a foreign currency 
11% Payment was declined
Consumers have become “always-addressable,” meaning that they access the Internet multiple times per day, from multiple devices, in multiple locations.
90% of American adults have a cell phone
58% have a smartphone
42% own a tablet computer
Factors That Contribute More to Customers Spending More on a Website 
42% Range of Payment Methods
53% Better Payment Security
43% Accurate Delivery Dates
49% Better Protection of Personal Info
36% More Customized Offers
Consumers, especially in emerging markets, expect ordering online direct from brand manufacturers to change their shopping process considerably in the next three years. 51% predict that they will spend more money online than in-store.
Fashion stands out as the category with a high degree of online momentum
Fashion shows an increase of 9 percentage points of consumers having purchased a product in the past 6 months
61% of shoppers shopped online for fashion items in 2014, up from 52% in 2012.
All other product categories show growth of only 1% to 2%

48% of shoppers report that they will use stores increasingly as showrooms rather than as purchase destinations
Data sources for the Infogram from: 
Bronto/Magento Study
Bronto White Papers
Bronto and MarketLive
Pew Research Internet Project
CWCS Managed Hosting
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