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Brand Strategy Key Findings – Jan/Feb 2011

Who Uses Twitter Hispanic Women on Social Networking Sites
Sandwich Generations’ Concerns Value of Facebook Fans
Cell Phone Usage: Talking vs. Texting Formula for a Great Corporate Blog
Americans’ News Sources B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011
Shopping with a Smartphone

Who Uses Twitter

A recent Pew Research survey shows that 8% of online adults use Twitter, with 2% using it on a typical day. Some 74% of American adults are Internet users, which means that 6% of all American adults use Twitter.

Some of the groups notable for their relatively high levels of Twitter use include:

  • Young adults: Internet users ages 18-29 are significantly more likely to use Twitter (14%) than are those ages 30-49 (7%); ages 50-64 (6%); and ages 65+ (4%).
  • African-Americans and Latinos: Hispanics (18%) and African Americans (13%) are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are White internet users (5%).
  • Urbanites: Urban residents (11%) are roughly twice as likely to use Twitter as rural dwellers (5%). Some 8% of suburban dwellers use Twitter.

Sandwich Generations’ Concerns

The Sandwich Generation is defined as mid-life adults who have adult children (ages 23-28) and aging parents. About 16% provide some type of financial assistance to both a parent and an adult child. They express more concern about a child not becoming financially independent (11%) than with supporting their parents (1%).

Parents cite college debt (32%) and unemployment (31%) as the most common reasons their children are not supporting themselves. Other reasons include overspending (25%) and consumer debt (19%).

Sandwich Generations Greatest Financial Concerns

Cell Phone Usage: Talking Versus Texting

Americans are almost as likely to use their mobile phone for texting as for talking. Women spend an average of 14.3 hours a month talking, and send/receive an average of 601 text messages. Men spend an average of 11.1 hours talking and send/receive 447 text messages.

Young cell phone owners ages 18-24 years old text twice as much (1,299 per month) as those ages 25-34 years old (592 texts per month) while spending an almost equal amount of time talking. Those ages 18-24 years old spend 16.4 hours per month talking, compared to 15.9 hours for those ages 25-34 year old.

The chart below provides cell phone habits by race.

Cell Phone Usage per Month Talking Versus Texting, by Race

Source:  Nielson Company

Americans’ News Sources

A recent Pew Research Center survey shows that television is still the main source for Americans’ news about national and international issues. However, the Internet is gaining quickly with a jump of 17 percentage points since 2007.

Where Americans Get Most of Their News About National and International Issues

Where Americans Get Most News

Shopping with a Smartphone

More than one-third (35%) of Americans who own a web-enabled phone used it to shop online in 2010, up from 31% in 2009. Among the activities, 13% made a purchase via their phone. The same percentage used it to check product availability (13%) and find sales and coupons (13%). Almost one-quarter (22%) researched product details or  specifications, and 21% checked or compared prices.

These shoppers are most commonly buying digital content for their phones (65%) as well as other items including:

  • Consumer electronics, except computers (57%)
  • Books (42%)
  • Clothing (34%)
  • Computers, laptops or related equipment (31%)
  • Jewelry and watches (16%)

Source: “Smartphone Shopping Behavior,” PriceGrabber

Hispanic Women on Social Networking Sites

Most Hispanic women in the U.S. (85%) have accessed social networks, including 58% who do so daily. They mostly use Facebook (92%), MySpace (35%), Twitter (26%), LinkedIn (14%), and Classmates (11%).

Hispanic women say that social networks would be better if they provided a greater sense of the Latina community (38%), offered more content that is appealing to them (31%), and urged more Hispanic women to participate (29%).

Value of Facebook Fans

The average Facebook fan is worth $136.38 a year to brands. This value is based on past and projected consumer behaviors; their attitudes and actions based on their friends; as well as their family’s perceptions of their consumer behaviors relative to 20 top national brands.

Calculating the Value of a Facebook Fan, 2010

Calculating the Value of a Facebook Fan, 2010

Formula for a Great Corporate Blog

A recent survey of Fortune 1,000 companies shows that nearly one-quarter had a corporate blog. The blog was most often written by the marketing department, followed by a social media or blog specialist. When asked what makes a blog great, respondents said that having an engaged community is by far the most important attribute. Engagement is defined as blog posts which receive comments and evoke a lively discussion as opposed to just pushing content onto readers. The chart below shows other highly rated traits.

Attributes that Make a Great Corporate Blog According to CMOs at U.S. Fortune 1,000 Companies, December 2010

Attributes that Make Great Corporate Blog

B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011

According to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog, these are the top business-to-business predictions for the upcoming year:

    • Marketing automation and automated lead nurturing will become a foundational B2B marketing activity as we are expected to accelerate deals through our funnels.
    • Customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention re-emerge as key metrics B2B marketers will use to measure the performance of their holistic marketing programs.
    • Attribution modeling will become a hot topic as digital marketers begin to understand and recognize the real cost of  the “last click” problem where results of marketing activities are tied to the last tactic a lead touched.
    • Marketing and sales alignment continues to be the #1 issue impeding marketing’s ability to be perceived as a major driver of B2B business value.
    • The quality versus quantity of leads debate will rage on. (Hint: you have to do both).
    • The ROI of social media programs will continue to be challenged by some executives. Too many marketers and business executives still question the value of social media (mostly in private), while the rest of us catch on to what works.
    • Inbound marketing spend will grab more share of the marketing budget but will stay far from a majority in most B2B companies.
    • The shortage of digital marketing talent will create a seller’s market for online, search and social marketers.
    • Display media experiences a resurgence as advanced targeting, re-targeting and behavioral methods allow marketers to demonstrate real value in display.
    • The brand is back, baby! We will remember that results improve when we balance awareness activity on top of effective consideration techniques and pay-for-performance demand generation.
    • Colleagues and managers will start to treat their fellow employees with a little more respect as the economy turns around. We will re-discover that happy employees create loyal and satisfied customers who in turn improve profit margins.
    • From the fading influence of newspapers for world news to newsletters for company news, traditional communication including email will have a tough time competing with the amazing rise of mobile devices usage for web surfing, texting and micro-blogging for consumer attention.
    • The iPad and possibly other tablets will start to make laptops look soooo 2000-singles as more and more move 100% of their digital work and personal lives to these devices.

Source: B2B Marketing Insider by Michael Brenner


  • By 2030, all of the Baby Boomer generation will be age 65 and older.
  • Financial issues that married couples fight about include how much money to spend on various items (49%); how much debt to carry (33%); how much to keep in savings for emergencies (26%); how much to invest (15%); and how much or where to donate money (10%).
  • The range of costs for Americans’ weddings in 2010 include: more than $10,000 (26%); $5,001 – $10,000 (19%); $1,001 to $5,000 (30%); $501 to $1,000 (5%); $1 to $500 (18%); and nothing (2%).

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