Bridging the Gap Between Print + Digital

We’ve all seen QR Codes.  The real reason to blame for the slow growth of QR Codes are how people have implemented them.  Here are some do’s and don’ts, when using QR Codes.

Keep in mind, there are a lot of new solutions available that are quite fascinating, which go beyond QR Codes.  These general rules would still be relevant to any of those other options that help to bridge the gap between print and digital.


For Coupons, Most Americans Still Turn to the Sunday Paper

Source: April 9, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


Local businesses are spending more on promotions than advertising, per a recent report, and perhaps with good reason. According to recent survey results from Linkable Networks, 95% of consumers use coupons when they shop, including 30% who claim to do so every time they shop. And while the internet is turning into a prime source of coupons, inserts in the Sunday newspaper still rule the roost, with 78% of coupon users saying they typically find them there.

That suggests that the internet is being used as a complementary source for coupons, rather than as an alternative to traditional means: even while digital trends transform the marketing landscape, the Sunday paper remains tops among those identified, just as it did in a study almost 2 years ago. Of course, free-standing inserts are the dominant coupon distribution method, at anestimated 90% share of distribution by volume last year.

Coupons and deal websites are a major source, too, with 61% of coupon users typically finding deals there, according to the Linkable Networks survey. And along with estimates that paperless coupon redemptions (C2C, mobile) are on the rise (see link above), the survey also reveals that 19% of respondents typically find the coupons they use on a smartphone, and 7% on iPads and other tablets. (The survey did not specifically identify other coupon sources.)

Other Findings:

  • About 3 in 4 respondents said that deals or coupons were somewhat (44%) or much (29%) more important to their purchases this past holiday season compared to the one before.
  • Asked to identify which of a list of statements sounded most like their personal opinion on store selection when shopping during the holidays, a plurality 38% chose the response indicating that they would try a great advertised deal even it was at a retailer they had never been to, while 30% indicated they prefer to shop at stores they know and love. That aligns with recent research showing that promotions are an excellent way to lure customers into trying new fashion retailers.
  • Married respondents are more likely to use the Sunday paper as a coupon source than those who are not married (81% vs. 75%).
  • Women are about 20% more likely than men to find coupons or coupon and deal websites (67% vs. 56%).

About the Data: The data is gleaned from an online survey of 803 Americans conducted on behalf of Linkable Networks from January 7 – 12, 2013. To qualify, all respondents had to identify being 18 years of age or older. Weights were applied to ensure the sample was demographically balanced to reflect the US adult population.

Circulars and Flyers Influence 2 in 3 US Household Shoppers

Source: February 4, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff

BrandSparkBHG-Idea-Sources-for-Household-Shoppers-Feb2013Circulars and flyers provide more inspiration for shopping trips than recipe books, websites, and even family members, according to study results from BrandSpark International and Better Homes and Gardens. The survey of Americans who participate in their household’s shopping trips found that 66.9% say they get ideas for their shopping trips from circulars and flyers, with the next-most influential sources – recipe books (28.5%), newspapers (28.2%), and websites (25.1%) – providing inspiration for far fewer respondents.

Spouses (23.9%) rounded out the top 5 shopping inspiration sources, followed by TV ads (21.2%), friends and family outside the household (16.8%), magazine ads (16.5%) and kids and grandkids (15.9%). Least influential among the sources listed were magazine editorials and articles, cited by just 5% of shoppers.

The study also finds among those who consult flyers, the vast majority (88.8%) do so to look for lower priced specials, while many also consult them to compare prices between stores (56.3%) and plan their shopping trip (50.3%).

Other Findings:

  • Among respondents who regularly comb through flyers or circulars, roughly 8 in 10 prefer print over digital or online formats.
  • 63% of respondents said that when shopping in the grocery store or supermarket they walk all the aisles to make sure they don’t miss anything, as opposed to 37% who just follow their shopping list and try to get out as fast as possible. That may be why research has found a high incidence of decisions being made in-store: according to research findings released in May 2012 by The Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI), 3 in 4 grocery shopping decisions are made in the store.

About the Data: The 2013 BrandSpark/Better Homes and Gardens American Shopper Study presents the results of the fifth annual American shopper trends and behavior survey. More than 77,500 respondents contributed with data weighted to a national profile of shoppers (Oct. – Nov., 2012). The data used in this article is from the SSI respondent sample only (only respondents sourced from Survey Sampling International, and excluding respondents from Meredith Publishing sources) to avoid bias from magazine readers. The SSI base has been weighted to the identical MRI Principal Grocery Shopper profile.

Online News Viewing Cuts into Cable Viewership

Source: eMarketer, JAN 16, 2013

Cord-cutting and mobile foster more digital news consumption

Cable news shows may be seeing a dip in viewership among digital-savvy US consumers. According to a January survey by AYTM Market Research, 37% of internet users surveyed said they watched less cable TV news than they did five years earlier. The survey points to both online news sites and online video clips as drawing more attention from news seekers.

Online news reading has become a commonplace activity among US consumers, with the frequency of online news reading having passed that of cable TV news watching, according to the survey. While 39% of respondents said they read online news every day, only 25% said they watched cable TV news every day. Moreover, a mere 4% said they never read news online, compared with nearly 20% who said they never watched cable TV news.

Despite the popularity of reading news online, watching video news content on the internet may have an even greater effect on whether consumers tune in to cable TV news or not. More than half of internet users surveyed said they watched news clips online—45% watched short video clips, 19% live-streamed video, and 14% viewed full online news shows.

Cable TV cord-cutting plays a likely role in consumers’ decreased interest in cable TV news and growing viewership and reading of online news. Additionally, mobile news snacking has affected the way consumers get their news. According to September research on mobile news consumption by mobile ad network Mojiva, 42% of US smartphone owners and 40% of tablet owners considered their laptop or desktop computers their primary news source. The Mojiva data suggests that mobile device owners consume news more often through digital means than they do via cable or network TV.

When it comes to accessing mobile news, Mojiva data also found that tablet and smartphone owners were roughly split when it came to receiving mobile news through the mobile browser or a mobile app. Based on mobile device behavior, it’s likely that mobile users snack on bite-sized news items during the day. These users want and expect news to find them wherever they might be, and on whatever device they might be using.

Online Catching Up to Print in SMB Local Ad Spend

Source: January 14, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff

Borrell-SMB-Local-Ad-Spend-by-Medium-2013-v-2012-Jan2013SMBs will devote 26.6% of their local ad budgets to newspapers (18.6%) and other print media (8%) this year,finds Borrell Associates [download page], based on a survey of 1,756 SMBs in December 2012. That’s a slightly bigger piece of the pie than the 25.4% allocated to online ad spend. But, the gap has narrowed significantly from last year, when SMBs estimated spending 28.9% of their budgets on print media, compared to 21% on online ads.

Local newspapers and digital were the most common SMB ad buys last year, according to separate results from the report. 64% of respondents reported having purchased ads in local newspapers, slightly ahead of the proportion who had bought online ads (excluding mobile – 62%).

SMBs devote a far larger portion of their local than national budgets to newspapers, while the reverse is true for online advertising. SMBs reported devoting 31% of their national ad budgets to online advertising in 2012, compared to 21% share of their local budgets. But newspapers commanded 20.1% of local budgets, compared to just 6.2% of national budgets.

Last year, respondents also allocated a greater share of their local than national budgets on radio (13.2% vs. 1.9%), local TV stations (12.4% vs. 5.7%), and directories (7.5% vs. 1.2%). Advertising media getting a bigger proportion of national budgets included direct mail (16.1% vs. 9.1%), print – other than newspapers (10.2% vs. 8.8%), cable TV (8% vs. 3.8%), and out-of-home (4% vs. 1.5%). Those same patterns are predicted to hold true this year.

All told, SMBs are planning to spend 7.5% more on advertising this year, upping their local spend slightly more than their national spend (8.2% vs. 7.1%). National ad budgets will still command a majority 63.6% share of total advertising budgets.

Most Common SMB Ad Buy? The Local Newspaper

Source: January 11, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


SMBs see the local paper as a valuable advertising medium, finds Borrell Associates [download page] in a newly released study. Based on a survey of 1,756 SMBs in December 2012, the study found 64% reporting having purchased ads in local newspapers, slightly ahead of the proportion who had bought online ads (excluding mobile – 62%). A majority had also invested in advertising in other local publications (54%), while direct mail (45%) remains popular too.

SMB advertising in local newspapers might find a receptive audience. According to April 2012 survey results from the Newspaper Association of America, 44% of local news readers who read the print format say they do so because it has useful advertising.

Returning to the Borrell Associates survey results, SMBs are far less likely to to turn to some other traditional advertising channels. For example, just 3% purchased cinema ads and 5% reported telemarketing. Cable (13%) and broadcast (17%) TV stations also appeared towards the bottom of the list, behind radio (34%) and mobile (29%).

Those who invested in mobile ads appear to have been happy with their success. Looking specifically at respondents who had used mobile, the report finds that the vast majority (83%) are very likely (45%) or somewhat likely (38%) to incorporate mobile elements into their advertising and marketing efforts again this year, compared to just 13% who are not very likely or not at all likely to do so.