There are a ton of football games on any given week. In the NCAA football games, you’ll see colleges advertising their institutions, but the audience for television is missing teens who are rapidly pulling from traditional TV and headed to other video sources. TV viewing for Teens

Making reaching teens even more difficult is the fact that teens are more influenced by friends, influencers (bloggers, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat) than by their family members, celebrities or athletes. So if that TV ad is targeted at parents, it is probably not working either.

The Piper Jaffray annual survey found that Apple is a leader with teens, and 86% say that the iPhone is their next phone. More than 50% of teens say Amazon is their top online shopping destination. Nike is No. 2.  Eighty-five percent of teens surveyed use Instagram, and 81% use Snapchat. Only 31% say they use Facebook. teens influencers 2019.JPG

Teens have always been outliers of marketing, even when we didn’t want to believe it. The change in influencers leading purchase decisions will really impact college decision-making in the future.


According to Sarah Feldman at Statista, internet advertising will account for more than 50% of ad spending in the next three years. chartoftheday_19438_forecasted_ad_spending_n

Internet advertising is beating all growth expectations, and the landscape is looking one-sided from a category perspective.

What this means is that you must make sure the goal of your campaign is singular and crystallized. For example, with digital you can’t promote consumer perception ratings and form fills and viewership conversions and general branding (you never could in crowded newspaper ads either, but you didn’t have the data to show).   

Now we have the data and the results. Narrow your messaging and conversions, or you’ll find the digital age will eat all your money and deliver poor results.  That’s not a prediction. That is a fact going forward.

We’ve all read the poor marketing story about malls. The prediction by Credit Suisse is that 25% of all malls will close by 2022.20191020_183108

Against this somber background, the massive American Dream mall opened in New Jersey. It has 3 million square feet of lease space, a 16-story indoor ski slope, a roller coaster, a water park and 450 retail, food and specialty shops.

While I was recently walking around Vegas, I noticed the major malls inside casinos and the enormous Las Vegas Fashion Mall were vibrant, active and full of retailers. What’s going on? I thought malls were dying at a 25% rate. Well, only the ones that have missed a key ingredient of marketing: the experience.

If you’re just erecting a large building with stores, you will fail. That is the internet. If you are building a destination, a lifestyle, an experience — that is a successful mall. In Vegas, music is pumped in loud throughout the mall, not just in stores. That alone says this is a different kind of experience.  Other malls have developed street scenes with fountains and entertainment throughout. Retailers and restaurants have been required to develop facades that are inviting and total eye candy.

Turn up the experience and turn around the trend. Build an experience, and they will come.

It’s the food. It’s the product. It’s our service.

Most organizations do not promote their stars. They promote their food, product or services. However, it seems so obvious for football teams, basketball teams, television anchor teams, TV shows, movies …

But when it comes to business, no star is born. This is especially true for restaurants. Most restaurants spend too much time on the theme, menu or ambiance. Those are all important, but the star can rise above all that and provide a personal experience with the organization.

In Las Vegas, where there are an overabundance of restaurants and new concepts, the chef is starting to take more center stage in the marketing.


Stars humanize the back of the house and provide confidence that what is prepared is truly special. Starification of your talent provides a unique identity, personality and builds trust in the brand. Stars give us something to talk about in our shares and posts.

Car dealers try to make stars of the owners. Again, the idea is to build trust through familiarity. So why not make a star of your employees?  The upside could be delicious.

Halloween has passed, and after looking at a bowl of “fun-size” candy bars, I realized this is a perfect metaphor for content marketing.snackable content

We need “fun-size” content — smaller, snackable, memorable content that easily fits in our daily life. There is less waste, less outer coating and more of the sweeter treat inside. We also need to be able to scan the content like trick-or-treaters scan a bucket of candy, so we can make a quick selection and head to the next house.

Audiences are hungry for content, and they want to consume it at a faster pace and on smaller and smaller platforms.

  • Snackable. The content is designed for quick, easy, on-the-go consumption by people who are looking at smaller mobile screens.
  • Scannable. The content needs to be visual. Charts, graphs, boldface, bullets, images. All designed to help the viewer decide to invest precious time.
  • Shareable. Do you want to share it with others? Just like a great taste treat, you want to share the bite-size experience with others and move on.

Snackable content is loud and literal. Highly useful. There is a sweet satisfying feeling after ingesting.

How do you provide the snackable approach for a longer brochure or white paper? Think of each paragraph or idea as a snackable moment. If the person only reads the first few lines and the last few lines, will they get all they need?

Fun-size all your content no matter the overall length.

Let me be the first to wish you a warm and wonderful Halloween. More than $9 billion spent — $2.5 billion of that on candy.

Happy Halloween Text With Pumpkins Background

Marketing today is different. Reviews are just as important as advertising. Advertising needs to be more authentic and look less like advertising. Real photos are replacing stock imagery. Real stories are more effective than an “actor portrayal.” Transparency is replacing hidden fees and pricing.

know, like, trust den

There are new driving forces in marketing — trust and affinity.

  • Trust is “Do they understand my problem? Do they care about me? Do they come through when I need them? Do they make me better?” Strong relationships are built on trust. Truth builds trust. Reliability builds trust. 
  • Affinity is “Do I like them? Do they fit my ethos? Does the association improve my brand?” Affinity is built with empathy, kinship and harmony of ideas and beliefs. It’s reinforced with understanding. 

Some have described these two concepts as the “new currency” of marketing and sales. Trust disappears when you find out that the “lowest price of the year” was just the same as the Memorial Day sale price or that a store raised its prices before offering a 40% markdown. Affinity is lost when you put yourself before the customer or when you brag too much or switch your mission. What you trust and like about people are now the same for brands.

Trust and affinity. You need both. They now bookend brand.