Apps are hot items. With the transition to mobile for every kind of need possible, apps are becoming critical to success.

Man and Woman Sharing Information Leaflet over Exhibition Stand

Some of my favorite apps are distributed by companies at trade shows. These apps carry specific specs that would have required piles of papers or sales sheets to disseminate to prospective buyers of products and services. It also saves your back because you are not having to lug large sales booklets to the show. The other advantage is you can update specs and pricing for all the potential buyers who have downloaded your app. You don’t have to send new spec sheets and hope the potential client changes out the old specs. The problem is that it is easier to hand someone a brochure than it is to get them to download your app.240933

And there is the rub. You can make an app, but the real work is getting it downloaded and used. As of June 2019, there are nearly 2 million apps in the Apple App Store and 3 million in the Google Play Store. The clutter in the app world is high.

The competition should not dissuade you from creating and marketing an app. Just don’t get so caught up in curating the app that you forget you must distribute it to be effective. There is high competition for space on the phone.

User acquisition strategies should be high on the app-meeting agenda from the start.

The debate is raging: Some believe TV is going down, and others believe this is the “platinum era for TV.” When you look at who is saying what, you can quickly see built-in bias.246497

Needless to say, TV is changing. And the word video is quickly replacing TV, primarily due to the popularity of YouTube. The hard part in all the numbers is that some people are watching TV, but it is time-shifted or on a digital device. This complicates reporting and analyzing the numbers.  If you watch a replay of the news on your iPad, are you watching TV or are you watching digital?

So as you look at this chart and its predictions for 2020 and 2021, know there is a huge note at the bottom. I really like that multitasking was accounted for. However, time spent with video via social networks was excluded. I guess we are not counting Facebook’s video power for live and recorded programming.

This chart is for adults 18 and older. It’s a high-level look at the change coming. Deeper in these numbers is our love for screens and video — more than five hours a day on average. That’s the equivalent of 2.5 months a year or 21% of our lifetime. Sobering. Pass the chips and the remote.



If you have kids, you know that frequency works.

If you are a manager, you know that saying a message one time does not work with employees.

Male teenager ignoring scolding mom with mobile phone

There is an inherent value to frequency. Parenting, managing, selling, marketing are not one-shot propositions. Sometimes one ad works, sometimes people win the lottery and sometimes you catch a big fish — but usually the one time has a lot of one times piled up against it.

The logic goes like this: “Frequency breeds familiarity, and familiarity breed trust.” We like to buy from people we trust and from trusted brands.

So what about in the digital world? Well, there is the well-agreed-to rule of seven, but who knows if that is correct. I’d say with all the clutter, the frequency number should be 10 to 20 times.

Where my thinking differs from most is that I believe the buy should be level for the entire year. That way you make sure you supply the reach frequency to the right audience when they are ready to buy into your message, not when you are trying to sell.

Front-loading campaigns works in TV and traditional advertising, but in digital the front load is really a front, learning load. Because you can optimize a digital campaign throughout the year, it make sense to keep running and measuring your frequency with your audience.

Most like to spend time talking about what people need to hear; the smart marketer asks, “How many times do they need to hear it?”

Reach is a long-term staple of marketing research. It’s the constant across all media — from bench billboards to specialty magazines.

My first college advertising book from 1978 defines reach as “The number of different persons or households exposed to a particular media vehicle or media schedule at least once during a specific time period (“Advertising: Its Role in Modern Marketing,” Dunn and Barban). Yep, still accurate more than 40 years later.


I loved highlighters in college.

I believe reach is still important, but less so. It is just one metric to study and evaluate. One thing I do know now is that distribution is not reach. A newspaper delivered to a Walmart is not reach. Oonly when it is purchased should it be in circulation numbers. A digital ad on 40 display networks is not reach. A specialty magazine delivered to hotel rooms is not reach.

Real reach is the total number of people who will see your content. Now impressions are the number of times your content is displayed. Not read, not clicked, not understood. Reach is the number of unique people who see content. Impressions is the number of times something is delivered or distributed. Impressions are important to study for digital ads, but it is just one metric, like reach, that leads you forward.

You can have lower reach and lower impressions and rising clicks, purchases or conversions. That’s when the right message is delivered to the right audience.

Every message has a potential audience (reach and impressions), an actual audience and performance (conversions, sales, form fills, video views, etc.).



Follow the money. It usually leads to answers to the question “Why?”

The money is flowing to digital, but inside digital there are many channels that are up, down or stagnant. One that is growing is podcast advertising. Podcasting rates

According to a study from Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, podcast revenues will exceed $1 billion by the year 2021. It’s one of the fastest-growing digital mediums, and voice-activated assistants will make audio an even more important part of the media mix. 245818

So if you want to know where to invest your media dollars, follow the money.

Emojis are small images used in digital communications. However, you probably know them best from text messages. The word “emoji” comes from the Japanese e (“picture”) and moji (“character”).chartoftheday_17275_number_of_emojis_from_1995_bis_2019_n

You may be wondering why you should care or use emojis in your marketing. According to Hubspot, emojis drive engagement. Tweets with emojis experience 25% more engagement. Push notifications saw an 85% increase in open rates and 9% bump in conversions.

Emojis really help provide personality to your marketing and can say things that words can’t or require too many words to define.

So know that the Face with Tears of Joy is the unofficial most commonly used emoji. Next is the Red Heart followed by the Loudly Crying Face and Smiling Face with Heart-shaped Eyes.

It just reminded me of a joke: What do cows use when they are texting? E-moo-jis

Emoticon with tears of joy

Another gloomy report on quarterly retail sales from brick-and-mortar stores. So why have retailers abandoned “old people,” defined by Pew Research as age 65-plus? They have also abandoned the largest spending potential.chartoftheday_9648_tech_adoption_by_seniors_n

Jakob Nielsen, NN/g, said that older Americans are underserved. In an interview with MarketWatch, Nielsen said: “Based on the number of businesses that have bought reports for each age group, there is three times as much interest in catering to teenagers as for seniors, but there’s probably 10 times as much money to be made from seniors.”

The senior market is growing and more affluent than other sectors. The medium net worth of senior households is $108,000; under 35 years old is $7,240.

This group is also working past 65 and earning added income. Yet marketers are still chasing the younger market. The most important finding for this age group is that its tech knowledge is growing. The 65-plus group also can afford a $1,000 cell phone or tablet.

If retail, or any marketer, wants to increase sales and meet quarterly goals, it’s time to begin targeting older audiences.