It’s time to forget the ‘second screen’ and focus on mobile, with social the “crack that drives mobile addiction”, marketers were told at a breakfast conference hosted by a group of WPP agencies yesterday.
Smartphone users dedicate an average of 34% of their media time to the device, in a series of small chunks typically around three minutes in length, research from TNS presented at the ‘DNA://13’ event found.
These snack-sized sessions deliver a highly engaged audience, prompting executive director at TNS, Jonathan Sinton, to question the value of longer session on a desktop versus a shorter, more immersive experience on mobile.
“On PCs you tend to see people sit down and use the PC in big chunks of time, so it might be an hour or half an hour in one go. On mobile, it’s very small chunks… typically it’s very close to that moment of truth – the point of purchase.
“It really is a question of what’s better: is it 20 minutes of time on your site via a PC or three minutes of time on your site via a mobile?”
Findings from TNS’ ‘Mobile Life’ study, conducted in January, illustrate most people are now comfortable using their mobile phone for a wide range of tasks. One in two (53%) smartphone owners access social media, 58% play games, 68% access the mobile web and 45% watch video.
It’s not just a substitute device now, it is a primary device, Sinton said. “68% of people in Australia are using the mobile as their primary technology device.
“The crack that drives mobile addiction is undoubtedly social,” Sinton added, revealing that 53% of smartphone owners check social networks via their mobile, as often as hourly among frequent users, although many new smartphone users aren’t driven by social.
One of the highest growth areas over the past year was watching video on mobile, which shot up to 45% of smartphone users from 11% a couple of years ago. Bite-sized chunks, not longer formats like TV shows, dominate and videos are often watched in the home, despite the presence of the TV, as users stumble on clips. “This creates opportunities for marketers, not just for pre-roll ads, but also for demonstration videos, reviews of products… but remember it’s bite sized chunks,” Sinton advised.
Mobile Life also found women have become the queens of mobile gaming, with 61% gaming on their phones compared to 54% of men.
In terms of commerce related activity, the ‘showrooming’ trend (consumers checking out products in store to buy online) continues to boom, up to 46% of smartphone owners, from 30% in 2012 and 9% in 2011.
The completion of actual transactions via mobile however is still much lower, at 21%, while 31% research products and services on their phones. The use of QR codes continues to flounder with virtually no growth in the past year to remain at 21%. 46% of smartphone owners still don’t know what QR codes, lending weight to arguments that short code calls to action are more effective.
Sinton however still believes in QR codes, calling them a ‘sign post’ that says ‘go online to find out more’, but in the absence of efforts to promote them and educated people on how to use them they continue to languish as a marketing tool.
Conducted in January among around 1000 Australians, TNS’ global ‘Mobile Life’ study places smartphone penetration at 66% of Australian adults, one of the highest measured across the 43 countries covered in the research. One in three Australian households now own tablets.
Gaming and social media are the best places for marketers to find notoriously hard to reach teenage boys, a study from TNS suggests.
The research agency’s ‘TRU’ study, which interviewed over 800 teenagers between 12 and 19 years of age, reinforced the differences between male and female teens when it comes to media consumption. Certain magazine titles and TV shows are considered ‘rites of passage’ for young girls, making them easier to target – 60% read magazines, with Dolly, Girlfriend and Cosmopolitan the top three titles, while dramas, such as Home and Away, are their favourite shows.
In contrast, few teenage boys engage with traditional media, with only 7% nominating reading magazines or other forms of media as a pursuit they like to spend free time on. Playing video games and going online were the two most popular media-based activities for this group, with 49% and 29% electing these as a preferred uses of spare time respectively.
Preferred media pursuits in spare time
The findings come at a time when teen buying power is at an all-time high, according to Tania Kullmann, managing director at TNS Australia. The average spend per week among teenagers has now reached almost $100 per week, or $5000 a year. This is higher among boys, who average $124 per week, than girls, at $70 per week; and ranges from $56 per week for 12-13 year olds to $192 per week for 18-19 year olds.
Clothing and apparel was their number one area of spend, particularly among 18-19 year olds and girls, while mobile phones and technology to help them stay connected with friends followed a close second.
“Teens define themselves through their clothing, hairstyles, places they eat, and whom they associate with… and seek validation through brands,” Kullmann says.
Big, mainstream brands are favoured, with Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonald’s and adidas ranking among the top five.
While traditional media is still an effective channel for targeting teen girls, online methods are emerging as more fruitful, particularly for boys, the report suggests. Both boys and girls spend 2.5 hours using the internet a day (a figure as high as 3.5 hours for 18-19 year olds), a time that is all about social networking where they ‘hang out’ with friends in spare time at home.
“Social media sites are increasingly prominent ways to communicate with Aussie teens, especially for reaching older teens,” Kullmann says.
But for targeting boys, marketers need look no further than video games, the report concludes. “With half of all teen boys nominating video games as a preferred way to spend their free time, the medium offers the potential for a captive audience.”
The Product of the Year awards program has appointed Nielsen to conduct its consumer survey next year, electing not to re-employ incumbent research provider TNS.
Under the new arrangement with Nielsen, the awards program will expand to interview 10,700 Australians about their favourite new FMCG products and broaden the scope of questioning.
Director of Product of the Year Australia, Sarah Connelly, says with the awards having grown 30% year on year it was time to up the ante. “Since launching in Australia in 2009, Product of the Year has grown enormously so it was timely to review the size, scope and methodology of the consumer research used to decide winners,” Connelly says.
“We spoke to Nielsen and they came up with some other ideas we hadn’t thought of and a new way of looking at the questionnaire. TNS have done an amazing job over the past three years, but we’re about innovation and about companies evolving so we thought let’s give Nielsen a try.”
The awards, which will be presented in February 2013, will re-design its survey questions to have a greater focus on new product performance, with an expanded consumer preference index as a key measurement area.
Before nominated products are submitted to the Nielsen survey, a jury panel of industry experts will review each entry to ensure it meets key criteria. The panel will be led by Ian Alwill, Chairman of the Advertising Standards Bureau and former Executive Director of Group Marketing for Nestle, who will be joined by Today Show’s Lisa Wilkinson, Kidspot.com.au CEO, Natalie Mactier, IGA’s Peter Love and Foodworks’ Middhat Massoud. Woolworths and Coles representatives were not invited to be on the panel this year, due to the higher number of private label entries the supermarket giants have begun to enter in the awards.
Smartphones have whet the appetites of Australians for innovative mobile features such as mobile payments, augmented reality applications and home control, with many displaying high interest in tasks once thought too technical.
The findings, from TNS’ ‘Mobile Life’ study, show that around one in two mobile owners use their phones for social networking, gaming and location-based services, more than one in three for mobile banking and streaming video, and around one in four for music streaming and video calling. In addition, a high number of mobile users indicate interest in using these and other innovative smartphone features.
The hunger for innovation on phones is driven by the utility consumers are realising it can provide, says executive director at TNS, Jonathan Sinton, as the usability barrier of the phone is lowered by increasingly intuitive interface design.
“The beauty of modern phones is there’s no technology barrier,” Sinton says. “They’re incredibly intuitive, and it’s pretty widely acknowledged now that if a two year old can figure out a phone and navigate it, then anyone can.
“So any of these [advanced features] are appealing to Australians if it makes their life easier, or it adds value to their life.”
According to the global study, conducted earlier this year among 48,000 people in 58 countries, 52% of the Australian population now own a smartphone, a figure higher among 16-30 year olds (67%) and men (59%). A further 22% intend to buy one in the next six months, with communication features like email the key drivers behind purchase intent.
Emerging features such as augmented reality, home control, mobile wallet and video are already showing signs of use and rank as some of the most desired feature among those yet to use them. 15% claim to be using augmented reality apps, such as augmented location browser Layar and the CommBank’s Property Guide app, while an additional 21% would like to use the feature. Similarly, 13% claim to be using their phone as a mobile wallet, through services such as CBA’s Kaching, and a further 28% would like to do so, which bodes well for uptake of the feature, despite experts insisting it won’t go mainstream for some time.
Sinton admits that there could be some confusion among respondents over augmented reality and mobile wallet usage, but is not surprised by the findings, given the high level of interest in the features.
Speech to text, video calling and home control via mobile rank as the three most desired features, with 36%, 33% and 32% keen to use them respectively.
Use and desired use of feature among all mobile users
Access of video via mobile phones shows strong momentum, with 37% streaming video and a futher 21% interested in doing so, and 18% watching live TV, with an additional 25% interested in the feature.
Social networking is conducted via mobile by 46% of mobile users currently, a figure higher among smartphone users, 47% of whom access social networks via their phone on a daily basis. The number of people checking in to locations on social networks has risen over the past year, up from 14% to 21%, with a further 15% interested in doing so.
In addition to smartphone users, according to the study, another 13% of Australians use phones that allow access the mobile web, enabling two-thirds of Australia’s mobile market to be digitally connected.
Browsing the mobile web continues to have relevance for all connected users – 58% currently browse the internet by mobile, almost every user with the ability to do so – indicating that map searches and app content are unlikely to take over altogether. With this in mind, Sinton comments that brands need to step up the quality of mobile websites, unless they deal in more habitual interactions with consumers, such as checking the weather, where apps tend to dominate.
“There is still a push to get clients to localise their sites, websites that are not optimised for mobile. There’s so much branding, so much searching, so much information search now happening on either a mobile or a tablet… the market hasn’t caught up with that yet.”
As with most types of advertising, few consumers express an interest in receiving mobile ads, according to a recent study which tested a number of mobile advertising scenarios with consumers.
‘Mobile Life’, a global study of 48,000 people in 58 countries from research group TNS, found that no more than one in five Australians are interested in receiving ads via their mobile phone, regardless of whether they’re relevant to their interests, location or current search behaviour.
This came as no surprise to executive director at TNS, Jonathan Sinton: “If you ask any consumer if they’re interested in advertising they’re likely to say no.” But despite the low interest on a surface level, non-intrusive mobile advertising holds great potential if targeted by context or location, Sinton says.
“Looking at some of the campaigns that we’ve worked on with a mobile component, mobile tends to stand out. It’s more clear, it’s top of the page and the simplicity of delivery is much easier for consumers than going to a mainstream website and having four other adverts there.”
For consumers that were interested in receiving mobile ads, the relevance of interest trumped location and search as target points. One in five expressed an interest in receiving ads related to something they’re interested in, while only 13% were interested in deals based on their current location (a figure below global interest levels) and 17% if related to something they’ve searched for. Membership in loyalty programs appears not to indicate interest in unsolicited mobile ads, with only 8% receptive to this option.
The study also found that 58% of Australians are using mobile internet, a practice as high as 79% among younger age groups and more prevalent among women than men, at 65% to 52%.
Use of mobile internet, as well as a range of other mobile features, was found to be consistent throughout the day, apart from during dinner times, when it dips, and later in the evenings, when it peaks.
It’s that time of year again – the time when every marketer and their dog looks to their crystal ball to light the way ahead. We all want to know what the world is going to be like so we can beat the competition to the punch, right?
Noteworthy trend watchers such as JWT Intelligence and trendwatching.com have released their trends for 2012, while local researchers are also chiming in with their own opinions on the state of play. Marketing has done the reading for you and cross tabulated the two to bring you a guide to the consumer trends most likely to shape the Australian marketing world next year.
The state of the our nation
Roy Morgan Research this week released its ‘State of the Nation Report’, which tracks the relative importance of the key issues facing Australians. The big mover over the past few months has been ‘government, political and human rights’ which has shot up to almost equal the economy as the most important issue.
The economy, of course, has been captivating our attention for quite a while now. According to Dr Rebecca Huntley, director of The Ipsos Mackay Report, the long running social trends study that tracks the ‘mood and mind’ of Australians, we remain in an altered emotional state of conservatism and caution due to a combination of negative political leaders and media, and the filtering down of global unease. JWT Intelligence describes the uneasy and frugal mindset as the ‘new normal’, predicting it will continue for many years.
This altered state prompts Huntley to predict that spending will continue to flow towards online and private label goods in response, and that experiences will be favoured over brands even more. However, brands that incorporate experiential elements in their offer, or engage consumers on their journey, stand to unlock spending.
Technology is another recurring theme that is impacting on our behaviour and it continues to change the way we work and live. The pervasiveness of constant connectedness is clearly impacting on how Australians spend their leisure time. Fewer are playing sports (23%, down from 32% in 1999) while more are using ‘a computer at home’ (81%, up from 48% in 1999). Time spent facing a screen will continue to grow, with a number of sources predicting a ‘screen culture’ that will see screens turn up in greater numbers and more places.
Six consumer trends that will affect your brand
1. Mobile brings it all together. The impact of the smartphone is becoming all-encompassing. According to TNS, a mobile device is used by 51% of (smartphone owning) Australians while watching TV, 58% to find a product in store, 55% to do live price comparisons in store and 42% after viewing an ad . It is the glue that connects the dots between offline stimulus and online touch point. And it is quickly becoming a platform for closing the purchase cycle also, with mcommerce set to take off rapidly, capitalising on the ability to connect ads, location, deals and purchasing on one device.
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Video: When grocery chain Tesco wanted to expand their market share in South Korea, they put up billboards in subway stations with their range of products, accompanied by QR codes, that consumers could scan, buy and have delivered by the time they got home.
2. Selling the experience
With many prioritising experiences over goods, savvy brands are incorporating experience into their offer. Bricks and mortar retailers are also looking to enhance the customer experience, a necessity if they are to recover, says Huntley. Her research notes an undercurrent of antagonism towards local retailers around disappointing in-store experiences, particularly when compared to overseas.
Video: Many are turning to the smartphone to enhance the in-store experience. Macy’s ‘Backstage Pass’ initiative delivered celebrity tips via QR codes on tags to enhance the retail environment.
3. Screen culture
With the explosive proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and the ‘cloud’, 2012 will see more surfaces become screens, and more screens become interactive. This is opening up novel opportunities to inform, engage and motivate consumers. 2012 will see three technological currents converge: Screens will be even more ubiquitous, mobile, cheap and always on; Interactivity via touchscreens, tablets etc. will increase; And, the screen will become an interface to everything and anything that lies beyond via the mobile web and, increasingly and finally mainstream in 2012, ‘the cloud’ .
Video: Adidas Germany’s ‘adiVerse Virtual Footwear Wall’ identifies nearby consumers as male or female and provides product recommendations accordingly.
4. The future of deals
In 2012, not only will consumers continue to hunt for deals and discounts, but they will do so with relish, if not pride. Deals are now about more than just saving money: it’s the thrill, the pursuit, the control, and the perceived smartness, and thus a source of status too . However, deals will have to take on new creativity and relevance to consumers, with large discounts losing their novelty and no longer considered out of the norm.
Pictured: Notikum is a real-time, location-based app for Singaporeans which enables users to find deals near them, organised into categories of ‘Shop’, ‘Eat’ and ‘Play’.
5. Authenticity gives way to ‘flawsome’
The desire for authenticity goes up a notch every year. It’s now reaching the point where consumers are drawn to brands that behave more humanly, including by exposing their flaws.According to JWT, a greater emphasis will be placed on reintroducing randomness, discovery, inspiration and different points of view into our worlds. Consumers will embrace brands that push the boundaries with frank, risqué or non-corporate products, services and campaigns.
Pictured: In July 2011, US-based fast food retailer Domino’s launched a month-long promotional campaign in New York. Hiring out a huge billboard space in Times Square, the brand live-streamed good and bad customer feedback via Twitter onto the digital hoarding.
6. Bottom of the developed world’s pyramid
Prolonged economic unrest in the developed world has created consumers that are permanently in a cost sensitive state. Frugality and thrift are now the norm, with spending unlikely to return to pre-bust levels anytime soon. JWT Intelligence predicts that marketers will find new opportunities in creating stripped down offerings, smaller sizes and otherwise more accessible products and services, such as is common in the developing world.
Pictured: In the US, Heinz has introduced a range of smaller-sized and less expensive products to boost sales in a sluggish economy, including a 10 ounce (284 grams) pouch of ketchup retailing for US$0.99.
A final thought to keep in mind is that, according to JWT, trends don’t occur in isolation. They tend to intersect and work in tandem with each other. If this is true, these trends suggest that in 2012 your brand needs to start acting more human, revealing its flaws while exciting your customers with randomness delivered with a relevant deal via an interactive touchscreen experience. Marketing magazine looks forward to hearing how you go about this.
 Findings from Roy Morgan Research, State of the Nation, November 2011.
iTunes has named photo sharing app Instagram as iPhone App of the Year in its annual list of the most downloaded apps, music, TV shows, movies and podcasts released today.
The app awards, judged by iTunes’ editorial team, were dominated by photo and video apps, with 8mm Vintage Camera and Luminance taking out the runner up awards for iPhone, and Snapseed taking out the top spot for iPad.
Gaming apps dominated the most downloaded paid apps on both iPhone and iPad. The title of Game of the Year was awarded to Tiny Wings on iPhone and Australian developer Firemint’s Real Racing 2HD on iPad.
Top 10 free apps
Social networking and communication apps were the most downloaded of the free apps on iPhone, while for iPad the most downloaded was a mixed bag of media, games, shopping and utilities.
Top 10 paid apps
Gaming apps dominated the top ten downloaded paid apps for both iPhone and iPad, with Angry Birds and its spinoffs occupying several places on both lists.
According to data from research company TNS’ Mobile Life study, gaming apps are the most frequently used apps, while video/picture apps are the least frequently used of the main categories.
Commercial director at TNS, Jonathan Sinton, says that a branded presence in apps can address three core marketing goals: creating brand awareness, boosting engagement or loyalty, or changing the way the market behaves.
“The issue with apps is cutting through the clutter,” Sinton says. “To do so an app needs to add benefit to the consumer’s life, either through utility or entertainment.”
An example of an app that has added utility and has the ability to change the way the market behaves is the Commonwealth Bank’s Property Guide app which uses augmented reality to help home buyers find properties.
“There are lots of different ways brands can get involved with gaming also,” Sinton says.
“At the base level brands can insert advertising into a game, such as the Gillette billboard ads often seen within FIFA games.
“At the higher level, custom white label games such as Angry Birds Rio can be developed,” he says, referring to the version of the popular Angry Birds game series integrating promotion for the 3D animated film, Rio.
A major finding of TNS’s Digital Travel Study is that trust is less of a factor than ever before for Australians booking travel online.
30% felt that online travel information is more reliable than offline travel, with 27% stating that the service of online travel companies was as good as traditional travel agents.
When asked which travel brands came to mind when planning travel online, the top contenders in the varying sectors were as follows:
Travel agents: Flight Centre (39%) and Webjet (31%),
Consolidators/OTAs: Webjet (31%) and Wotif (17%),
Airlines: Qantas (22%) amd Jetstar (11%) and
Other: Google (5%) and Lonely Planet (3%).
The results pointed to the lure of brands, but also the importance of being among the first to market in the online space.
In theory the internet creates an open playing field, but in practice trust is more important when you can’t see the other person – leveraging or building brand equity is the key to building trust online,” said Carolyn Childs, director of travel and leisure research at TNS.
We don’t necessarily need to be tied to the digital approach; it’s about marketing in the digital age, not just digital marketing,” said Childs.
As many as two in three Australians are unaware that many well known TV brands are actually manufactured in China – and many would be concerned over the quality of the unit if they knew.
According to the ‘Consumer Electronics Study’ TNS Global Research, the majority of manufacturers, including leading brands Sony, Panasonic, LG and Samsung, are now assembling most of their TVs in China, whose standards Aussie consumers don’t generally trust.
The study found that 48% of Australians are not aware that most TVs are manufactured in China.
One in two Australians believe that the quality of TVs made in China are not as good as those made in Japan or Korea, while 20% rate the quality of units made in China as poor.
“Currently, consumers perceive Chinese manufactured products to be of inferior quality, be it correct or not. It is a common misconception and, in the case of TVs, an incorrect one. Sets assembled in China are done to the same specifications as those made in countries with better quality reputations,” explained Marcus Pritchard, director of technology research at TNS.
“These preconceived ideas of quality are challenges to the growing ranks of Chinese brands, such as HiSense, entering the Australian market more than to the established credentials of the big players.
TNS Media Research has been awarded a three-year contract to develop the first audience measurement system for the pay TV industry.
Multiview will begin in late 2009 and will use an audience measurement service that uses ‘Return Path Data’ technology to collect data from set top boxes.
The Multiview service will comprise a representative panel of 10,000 households recruited and maintained by TNS Australia from the AUSTAR and FOXTEL subscriber databases. It will measure digital TV services carried on the operators’ platforms and offer a national overview of subscription TV.
Information reported from Multiview will include live viewing and other activities such as time shift viewing, high definition channels, interactive services and video on demand services.
The data will be automatically collected without relying on viewers to actively record their actions, and will include all aspects of viewer behaviour including play back and skipping through ads.
“Our partnership marks our commitment to gain new insights into the viewing and behaviour of audiences in subscription TV homes. In addition, the services will provide greater accountability to advertisers across our platforms in areas such as target audiences and interactive advertising,” said Ian Garland, who will be leading Multiview Analytics.
According to a recent study, Generation Y places considerably less value on buying Australian-made goods.
The Retailer and Shopper Insight study, conducted by market researcher TNS, found the importance placed on buying Australian-made decreased based on the participants generational age.
48% of Gen Y Australians state they ‘always try to buy Australian-made products’, said Chris Kirby, TNS’ director of consumer research, significantly lower than older generations. According to the study, 55% of Gen X and above ‘always try to buy Australian-made products’.
“The older generation of the ‘True Believers’ (aged 60 to 78 years) are the most ardent supporters of home-grown goods, with 69% stating they always try to buy Australian made,” explained Kirby.
The report indicated that across all generations the average Australian always tries to buy Australian-made products 53% of the time.
The study also found an inverse effect in terms of buying supermarket’s own brand products. The popularity of these products is rising, with 13% of Australian’s now buying them out of preference, juxtaposed with 2% not willing to buy them. One-third of Australian consumers buy own brand products as frequently as branded and 54% of Australian shoppers expect to buy more own brand products in the future.
“Our Retail and Shopper Insight study found that 57% of shoppers state price to be the most important factor when purchasing… While this may be true on the surface, the study [also] found that the underlying factor most powerful in the shopper’s decision-making process is the perceived value for money,” said Kirby.
“Encouragingly for retailers, it is more about the bang consumers are getting for their buck rather than simply the lowest price.”
Google’s financial services team has joined with Compete.com to help advertisers identify ‘credit-worthy consumers’ online, allowing them to be targeted through its display and text ads network.
It was one of two projects aiming at working to help advertisers reach a better quality audience by combining Google search research with Compete data from TNS.
While this initial test has been run based on US FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) scores, it does have the potential to drive more value to those using the Google AdWords platform if it expands internationally.
The potential benefit for advertisers is that using the AdWords content network, a luxury advertiser can target high credit-worthy consumers. Also it is possible that mass-market advertisers can focus on low-income audience who are looking for better deals or a price driven.
The downside – the potentially dark side of this data – is that consumers with low-level credit scores can be directly targeted with ‘low doc’ and ‘interest free’ products and taken advantage of by marketers.
Interesting points that were discovered during this research about those with higher credit scores:
• Make up more than half of those looking for a credit card online • Were not as credit hungry as many other segments • 34% of them do five or more search queries • Were significantly more likely to apply for a card, and • Used non-branded terms such as travel rewards, low rate and balance transfer.
If you are looking to pre-qualify online those with good credit score use your ad copy like this:
• ‘Have good credit, apply for a card today’, and • ‘Got good credit, apply for a card online’.
The second research project tried to understand what prompts a search for cheaper insurance in a recession and how price and reputation matter to consumers. Interestingly, the auto insurance mark continues to grow as vehicle sales fall – showing people are still shopping to get better rates.
The survey found that 65% ranked ‘low cost’ as the most important factor with only 14% of consumers rank reputation of brand as an important factor in auto insurance choice. No need to panic as brand reputation is still important but is relevant later in the decision process.
As discovered in the credit score survey, most applications search multiple times with 57% of auto insurance shoppers performing multiple queries. This multiple query behaviour shows the importance of having a consistent message and reach out to your audience at multiple touch points along the buying process.
The important focus in this sector has to be around the features and benefits accompanied by a strong ad message. When evaluating your search campaigns, all parties need to anticipate a longer conversion cycle.
It was also discovered that application rates increase with the number of search queries preformed, with shoppers using both brand and non-brand search terms – non-branded terms convert at twice the rate of branded terms.
While most of these new features may take some time to be rolled out across all accounts, the information in this article can be utilised on your existing campaigns.
Remember that the conversion process is taking longer and just focusing advertising on brand alone, with single touch points, will not be sufficient in growing your brand.