MAY 02, 2011

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Communication
Yankelovich: Using Psychological Tactics To Make Your Brands Immune To The Competition
A recent paper by Yankelovich focuses on the benefits of a social psychological tactic called “attitude inoculation” on brand loyalty strategies. Attitude inoculation is essentially a method of increasing resistance to persuasion, much like a flu shot increases our resistance to the flu. The idea is that by providing a group of individuals who hold a shared attitude (e.g., that your brand is great) with a weak counter-argument to that belief, you can build up their resistance to the opposing view (that your brand is not great and that another brand is better). In essence, you can immunize people against the negative messages about your brand. The paper suggests that attitude inoculation is even more effective in preventing attitude change towards a brand than messaging that focuses solely on the benefits and advantages of that brand.
So what? Apart from the broad benefit of staying on top of cutting edge thinking, this is a fascinating tactic worthy of our attention- both for the benefit of our brands and as an approach to help our clients protect market share from competitors.
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The Power Of The “F-Factor” (Friends, Fans, & Followers) On Purchase Decisions
According to a recent report by trendwatching.com, the “F-Factor” (friends, fans, and followers on social media sites) greatly influences consumers’ purchase decisions in increasingly sophisticated ways. The report claims that consumers are increasingly tapping into their networks of friends, fans, and followers to discover, discuss and purchase goods and services, resulting in a consumption arena that is more efficient, relevant, and interesting than ever before. Of course, consumption has always been social: people have forever been influenced by what those around them think and buy (KellerFay estimates that there are nearly one trillion conversations about brands every year in the US alone). But, while the core consumer behavior isn’t new, technological developments are unlocking new manifestations of that behavior, which here amplify its importance and impact. The report highlights 5 specific ways the “F-Factor” influences consumption behavior: discovery, ratings, feedback, virtual shopping, and turning social networks into actual products.
So what? The “like” button matters.
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Media
J. Walter Thompson: The Evolution of Traditional Integrated Marketing Models
A common goal for many traditional integrated marketing campaigns is to communicate a set of consistent messages across multiple touchpoints. In a recent paper called "Transmedia Rising," J. Walter Thompson claims that in today’s interconnected world, people consume content differently across multiple platforms. Therefore, a successful integrated marketing strategy should strive to communicate different messages tailored to each platform. The story, the brand, and the overarching strategy should remain at the center, but the specific messages and tactics should be different based upon the nature of each participating platform and how they are consumed. For example, in 2005, Audi launched an alternate reality game involving traditional media (TV, print, billboards, radio), online media and live events in spinning an interactive fiction about a stolen Audi A3. An estimated half-million people became involved in the search for the missing car, and about a third of the microsite’s visitors searched for more information on the A3 (e.g., dealer locations). JWT claims that this helped make 2005 one of Audi's best years in terms of sales.
So what? In a transmedia world, strong brands with powerful stories to tell will prosper. ”It’s all about the central idea: If you create a memorable character, then you can create an app that allows you to dig into the character a little bit more or a television show based on the character’s life or a poster that reminds you what you love about that character.” —MATHEW CULLEN, film, commercial and music video director and producer; co-founder of new studio Mirada
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eMarketer: Convenience Trumps Social Features for Online Video Viewers
Online video viewing is on the rise around the world. In the US, eMarketer estimates 158.1 million Internet users will watch a video online at least once a month in 2011, up from 145.6 million last year. An Accenture survey found that convenience and control (e.g., the ability to delay or pause during viewing) were more important than interactivity or social features (e.g., the ability to communicate with friends while viewing).
So what? If a “pause” button isn’t part of your online video strategy, you’re not even in the game.
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Technology
Nielsen Crushes Stereotype That Men Are More Tech Savvy Than Women
Thanks to Peter Clarke, Senior Research Manager, for calling out a recent article by Nielsen that challenges the widely held notion that men are the earliest adopters and heaviest consumers of new technology. The article claims that women are just as likely to upgrade their consumer electronics as men (women aged 18-34 are just as likely to purchase HDTVs as men aged 35 and over), are more engaged than men online (women spend more time at less sites per sitting and use more social and community sites), and talk and text on their mobile devices more than men (women talk 28% more and text 14% more than men every month). The article claims that women are just as adept at navigating technology and the new media landscape as men, but the key difference is that women are utilizing new technologies in their own way. In particular, women are most likely to adopt new technology when it is social and relevant—that is, when it seamlessly improves their day-to-day lives.
So what? With an expanding piece of the economic pie, women are a prime and valuable audience for technology marketers, but only if they can appeal to female sensibilities.
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Culture
Are American Men Struggling To Find Their Place?
Suzette Jacobowitz of the Condé Nast Media Group recently shared with us an interesting overview of the contemporary men’s market. In it, she states that the latest trends among men that have emerged recently can be traced back to two major events/cultural changes over the past few years: 1) The Great Recession (unemployment and fewer traditional “male” jobs); and 2) Gender Parity (more women in the labor force; gender roles are blurring both at work and at home). Men have traditionally been seen as the dominant sex and for the first time in history that is changing; many men are struggling to find their place. They are looking for a way to re-connect with something more authentic and “manly”. In some cases they are looking back to more stable times to find ways to better define their masculinity (The “Retrosexuals”), in others they are dismissing tradition and forging a new path for success (The “Indie Guy”).
So what? “With our iconic men’s brands and a significant reach of more than 22 million men across all our print and web properties, it behooves Condé Nast to keep ourselves and our clients relevant to today’s male mindset.” – Babette Lazarus, Executive Director of Marketing, Condé Nast Media Group
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Quick Takes
Chart Of The Week: iPhone To Make Point & Shoot Cameras Obsolete
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List Of The Week: Top 10 Search Ad Spenders
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Best 10 Luxury Branded Mobile Sites
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Contributors:
Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights