Advice from a Researcher on How to Make Research Your Business’s Superpower
By: Kirsten Lee Hill, PHD.
When I talk to people about research, the first thing I notice is that almost everyone is doing research–they just don’t call it that.
Put simply, research is creating an intentional plan to answer a question you have, and then putting it into action. As a business owner, I’m willing to bet that you have questions you would like answered. Questions like:
How are people experiencing my products/services?
Does my product/service work?
How can I improve my product/service?
On a daily basis as you continue to run your business and make decisions about growing or pivoting, you are using information to answer these types of questions. Every time you ask a customer for feedback, send out a poll, or look at records to make decisions about products or services–that’s research!
The quality of the information you get is only as good as the quality of the questions you ask. The key to good research is asking good questions, and crafting good questions is both an art and a science.
To create a good question, you have to get specific about what it is you want to know.
Have you ever asked a client or customer if they are “satisfied?” Or, has anyone ever asked you if you are “satisfied” with their product or service?
Personally, it is my least favorite question, and one that I never ask.
Here’s the thing–I never ask if someone is satisfied because I don’t care. Not asking is strategic. To me, that question is a waste of space (and my clients’ goodwill), and I want to use space and goodwill on important questions that matter to me. Big, vague words like “satisfaction” are not helpful in evaluating my work or making decisions.
What does it even mean to be satisfied?
In some sense it means that I generally did a good job or a bad job. But, I don’t make decisions based on ambiguous terms. I want specific insights to drive my business.
Specific insights come from specific questions.
So, instead of asking if someone is “satisfied” for if they “liked” your product/service, choose an area(s) of feedback that would provide meaningful information. Perhaps you want to know if your product was useful, made something easier, or fun. If you’re selling a new shirt and people say they hate it, that’s not helpful. Instead, ask specific questions about the color, fit, and fabric so that you can take action on the feedback.
Questions are powerful tools that can provide you with information to make important decisions. Don’t waste them.
To learn more about Kirsten Lee Hill, visit her website.
Is your business growth starting to slow down a bit and you’re struggling to get it up again? Have you ever thought about using Instagram as a part of your marketing strategy in order to grow your business?
Launched in 2010, Instagram has been around for a while, but is well known for being one of the most popular social media platforms to date. Instagram has a user base of over 1 billion people, many growth services such as Growthoid which help to organically gain followers, and more businesses and brands on top of that. Instagram has become very popular among the business community and a great way for brands to promote themselves and grow. Just having a profile isn’t enough though, and neither is just posting advertisements. There is a lot more that goes into social media marketing, and making use of a platform to grow isn’t easy but it is well worth the work.
If you are new to Instagram then you might not know how to use the platform effectively. Here is a brief guide on how to grow on Instagram.
Have a good profile
When it comes to social media, people tend to think that all that is important is the content you post, and all they want to do is advertise their brand or product as much as possible. While, yes, it is essentially about advertising, there is so much more that goes into the behind the scenes work in order to have a well-run and successful account, like starting off with a good profile.
It is so important to have a good and easily recognisable profile so that followers can quickly discover who you are and what’s your brand is about. Included in your profile should be a good username that is short, catchy, and at least the same or similar to your brands actual name. There should also be a profile picture that is your brands logo or something to do with your brand, and a good, well worded bio that include your location and website link.
Post at the right time
Contrary to some people’s beliefs, there is actually a wright and wrong time to post on Instagram. The general rule of thumb is that it is best to post in the evening when people are done with work and school for the day and have dome down time to spend on their phones. While this is a good baseline to follow, it changes from business to business, depending on their target audience, as well as their location and time zone.
A great way to discover what the best time is for you to be posting, is by looking at analytics. By looking at different posts you can see which one did better at different times of the day, and which allowed you to get more followers. From there you can plan out a posting schedule to post at the most optimal time for your followers to see your content.
Although a relatively new feature to the app, reels are quickly becoming one of the most used parts. Similar to TikTok, reels allow you to post short form videos that can be filmed, edited, and posted all from the same platform. It is a fantastic way to show off parts of your brand like the behind the scenes or meeting the teams, without tainting your actual grid or timeline with things that don’t match it.
Partner with brands and influencers
Although it may seem counterintuitive to be working with the competition or with other brands, it is actually very helpful and a great way to be introduced to a much larger audience. Partnering with other brands is a great way to collaborate and allows for you to support them while they return the favour and support you. You could even collaborate with brands that have products which may accompany yours. For example, if you are a company that sells sportswear, you may want to collaborate with a brand that sells protein powder.
You could also enlist the help of influencer to grow your account. Influencer have massive followings that will listen to their every word. If you can get an influencer to speak well of your brand, you will be set for a while.
By: Carly Cohen
The American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker, the brilliant Theodor Seuss Geisel. Dr. Seuss has been extremely well known ever since he started his books and films. The books and films are classics and bring joy and childhood memories.
Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904, and released his first book in 1937 called And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. In total, he has written over 60 books and sold over 600 million copies throughout his career. In his early career, he attended Lincoln College at the University of Oxford for English literature, but left without receiving a degree and came back to the U.S. After moving back to the United States, Dr. Seuss began to send his work to different advertising agencies, magazines and publishers. In 1927, his first cartoon was published in The Saturday Evening Post. His career was long, successful, and brilliant.
In the latest news, Dr. Seuss will stop being published due to “hurtful and wrong racist images.” In his books and cartoons, there has been ‘insensitive’ imagery that is causing this news. Dr. Seuss’s enterprise assured consumers that the books which are no longer being published are a part of the plan to “ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprise’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.” The decision of this issue most definitely was not easy for the Dr. Seuss organization. Since this is such a serious and sensitive issue, it required for the organization to think it through, bring in experts, and spend long hours deciding on what is best way to maintain Dr. Seuss’ name and be sensitive to all of his readers.
Not all of his books will stop being published, but they still will all be carefully inspected. The confirmed books that will no longer be available for purchase are McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, The Cat’s Quizzer, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, and If I Ran the Zoo. The Cat In The Hat has also been under discussion concerning discontinuation, but will be fully examined before any decisions are made.
In The Cats Quizzer, the Japanese character has a bright yellow face and is standing on Mt. Fuji. If I Ran A Zoo shows examples of orientalism and white supremacy. Another issue with the Dr. Seuss books has been that a majority of the human characters are white, which makes it appear that Dr. Seuss focuses on white men and women.
A school in Virginia has already banned the copies of these Dr. Seuss books, and others are having similar discussions.
Even in death, Dr. Seuss receives backlash from his work along with many other brands such as Aunt Jemima pancake mix and Uncle Ben’s Eskimo Pies, which also had to change their branding due to racial issues. Brands from this point on need to pay close attention to their advertising to ensure that they’re being inclusive of all audiences.
By Joseph Heller
Love is in the air, gals… Valentine’s Day is almost here! If you’re new to owning an online boutique and this is the first Valentine’s Day you’ll be celebrating as a small business owner, the approach of February 14th might have you mainly thinking about what you’ll get for your significant other and (maybe even more so) what he or she will get for you. Or maybe you typically spend Valentine’s Day with your best single gal pals, eating chocolate and exchanging gifts.
But Valentine’s Day isn’t all about love, romance, and cheesy cards. No matter how big or small your eCommerce business is, it can be a day that drives sales like no other – especially if you sell clothing, jewelry, or other gifts. In fact, it rivals only Christmas in consumer spending. If you play your cards right, the days surrounding Valentine’s Day could make up one of your best sales weeks of all time.
Of course, competing with major retailers isn’t easy, least of all on Valentine’s Day. Stores all over the country are spending thousands of dollars on Valentine’s marketing, trying to get people to buy their gifts from them. Sure, you could have an incredible selection of Valentine’s gifts and accessories, available for great prices – but if nobody knows about your shop, it won’t do you any good in the end.
If you’re going to drive both new and existing customers to your shop for their Valentine’s shopping, you’ve got to get creative about your Valentine’s Day marketing. Read on to learn 15 affordable Valentine’s Day marketing ideas for your boutique – and why you really should care to do something special for this holiday in the first place.
Valentine’s Day and eCommerce
The numbers are clear – Americans spend a whole lot of dough on Valentine’s Day. The average American celebrating Valentine’s Day spent $196.31 on Valentine’s Day in 2020, adding up to a total of $27.4 billion spent on the holiday in 2020. Trends show that number only heading upwards – 2020 spending was up 32% from 2019.
Of course, that’s just the big picture – and not all of that money is being spent in boutiques like yours. Here are a few other stats you should be aware of that paint the picture of consumer spending on Valentine’s Day, based on 2020 numbers:
- 32% buy Valentine’s Day gifts from discount stores.
- Men spend nearly three times as much as women on Valentine’s Day.
- $5.8B was spent on Valentine’s Day jewelry
- $4.3B was spent on a Valentine’s Day night out
- $2.4B was spent on Valentine’s Day chocolate
- $2.3B was spent on flowers
- $2B was spent on Valentine’s Day gift cards
- $1.3B was spent on Valentine’s Day greeting cards
- 45% of adults didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day
- 15% of Americans buy themselves a present on Valentine’s Day
- Americans spend an average of $12.21 on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets
With all of that shopping and spending going on during the Valentine’s Day season, you’ll want to make sure your business ends up with even a small sliver of that massive pie. Running holiday-themed campaigns and upping your marketing efforts leading up to Valentine’s Day will help you keep your boutique fresh in people’s minds and increase the chances that they go straight to you once it’s time to shop for their Valentine’s Day gifts.
15 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
Don’t have a huge marketing budget? No problem – with time, effort, and the right direction, you can still get your boutique’s awesome Valentine’s Day gifts and products in front of the right people. Here are 15 Valentine’s Day marketing ideas for small businesses that you can implement for little or no money.
- Send a themed email marketing campaign
Instead of generic email newsletters or sale messages, send a themed Valentine’s Day email that’s all about love, friendship, and gift-giving. Drive your audience to your website with gift suggestions and fun Valentine’s-themed wordplay. (You know… “love is in the air,” “we will always love you,” “gifts with heart,” etc!) For more tips on how to use email marketing to grow your boutique, click here.
- Host a contest
Embrace the holiday and host a fun couples contest or giveaway on your boutique’s social media page. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Have participants recreate a photo, do a challenge, coordinate an outfit together using a piece from your shop – whatever sounds like a good time. Then, have your audience vote for their favorite entrant on Valentine’s Day. (No need to exclude single people from this one – you could welcome entries from couples, BFFs, family members, etc.)
- Run “couples” deals
How do you make a BOGO deal more festive? Call it a couples deal, or a two for one deal! Choose a selection of Valentine’s Day items that you’ll put on sale, whether it’s chocolates, earrings, or pink scrunchies. Encourage them to gift the extra item to their significant other, give one to their BFF for Galentine’s Day, or just keep it for themselves as a token of your love for them!
- Partner with another small business
Community over competition, right ladies? Partner with a local business and share the love. It could be another online boutique or a local business that doesn’t directly compete with yours but has a similar clientele, like a florist or a nail salon. Offer a combined Valentine’s Day gift package of your products/services and theirs. This is an especially great idea if you have a strong local presence (or if you’re interested in making it stronger!)
- Celebrate Galentine’s Day
Don’t sleep on Galentine’s Day! Coined by Leslie Knope from the TV show Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s Day is a day reserved for celebrating female friendships. It takes place the day before Valentine’s Day, February 13th. To celebrate, bundle a few of your most popular items offer curated gift packages that’d be perfect to gift to a best friend. You could also offer a discount when they multiple of the same item to gift to their friends.
- Have a V-Day themed photoshoot
Create some fun Valentine’s Day photos to post on your social media accounts leading up to the big day. You could take photos of couples wearing your clothing, flat lays of all of the red and pink items you carry, or outfit inspo photos against a red or a pink backdrop.
- Create a Valentine’s Day gift guide
You and I both know how hard it can be to shop for people – especially your significant other. Make the whole V-day shopping experience a little less stressful by putting together a list of gift ideas and sharing it on your company blog.
No need to have every single item come from just your shop – in fact, it might be more helpful and comprehensive if you scour other local or small boutiques as well and feature their products in your guide. (It’s a great way to open the door to new networking relationships, too!) If you’re feeling up to it, you could create multiple gift guides with different people in mind – for her, for him, for mom, for Galentine’s Day, for your pet, etc.
- Send a card
Everyone loves getting mail! Send your past and present customers a real-life Valentine via snail mail. No need to be salesy – the point of this is to show your customers how much you appreciate them and that you’re even thinking about them on the day dedicated to love. Include a coupon to be used in-store or a unique promo code to thank them for showing you and your store love throughout the years.
- Share the love
Turn your social media into even more of a community. Invite your audience to share their love stories with you, whether through DMs or by using a certain hashtag in their posts. You can make this as sappy or spicy as you want to – feel free to mix things up a bit by also asking people to send you their worst or funniest dating stories as well! Once you’ve compiled submissions, feature your favorites in your stories. It’ll keep the rest of your audience engaged and help participants feel even more involved in your brand.
- Show the love locally
Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love. What better way to do that than by giving back to the people who need it most? Celebrate Valentine’s Day by hosting a service project, donating products from your store to a local organization, or pledging to donate a certain percentage of your profits in the weeks surrounding Valentine’s Day.
Make sure to advertise this throughout your social channels and your website so your customers know how much good their purchases are doing. Not only will you be able to make a real difference in your community, but you’ll also be able to involve your customers in your charity work.
- Highlight date night outfits
People don’t just spend money on gifts during the Valentine’s Day season. They also spend money on themselves, buying clothing, lingerie, date night jewelry, and more. Put together a few fabulous Valentine’s Day outfits using products from your boutique and share a few outfit inspo photos on social media. Be sure to group those products together on your website so your customers can easily purchase everything they need to recreate the outfit.
- Don’t alienate single people
For people who aren’t currently in a relationship, Valentine’s Day feels a whole lot more like Singles Awareness Day. Why not go out of your way to show them a little love, too? Don’t leave single people out of all the Valentine’s Day fun – consider running some sort of promo just for them. Run a sale on self-care items that make treat yo’ self gifts, like bath bombs, jade rollers, and (of course) chocolate. You could do this in conjunction with your regular Valentine’s Day promotions or the week before.
- Be clear about shipping deadlines
Some people plan ahead of every holiday and finish their gift-shopping weeks in advance – but most people tend to be last-minute Valentine’s Day shoppers. Of course, placing a last-minute order from your online boutique on February 13th probably isn’t going to work out for them. Add a banner to your site reminding shoppers of the Valentine’s Day delivery deadline. Be clear and realistic about shipping cutoffs to receive items by Valentine’s Day. Encourage people to buy early, especially with COVID-related shipping delays making package deliveries even more unreliable than usual.
- Make a Valentine’s Day video
When it comes to commanding your audience’s attention, video is one of the very most effective marketing tools out there. Rather than just snapping a few photos of your new Valentine’s Day products, create a video showcasing your favorite Valentine’s Day outfits or gift ideas. You could create a short-form vertical video using IG reels or TikTok, or share a longer informative video on YouTube, Facebook, or IGTV.
- Host a Giveaway
Spread the love with an exciting giveaway. Partner with other small businesses in your community or your niche to give something away. It could be a romantic couple’s getaway with flowers, a hotel stay, and a new outfit, a date-night-in package with a dress, a romantic candle, chocolates, and a voucher for fancy takeout, or an epic Valentine’s Day shopping spree. Just make sure it’s somewhat Valentine’s Day related, whether with what you’re giving away, how you enter, or even just with the images and language you use to introduce it.
While implementing these Valentine’s Day marketing ideas might take some serious thought and strategizing, with a little effort they can pay off in a big way.
Now that you have a few great ideas on how you can encourage your customers to shop with you this Valentine’s Day, make sure you’ll have enough Valentine’s Day gifts and outfit ideas in stock ahead of time. Click here for 15 wholesale boutique items you’ll want to stock up on for Valentine’s Day.
A November 7 article on Sportscasting reports on NFL Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s generosity in using his clothing brand to give to communities in need. The article notes that Wilson’s clothing company, Good Man Brand, donates 3% of all purchases to the Why Not You Foundation, another one of Wilson’s charitable endeavors, to provide food and career guidance for those in need.
Los Angeles-based manufacturer Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says that brands big and small should be sure to take advantage of all marketing opportunities available to advertise their unique message and branding.
Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says that while the most obvious locations to include a brand’s ethics are on the company’s website, online product descriptions, and in-store marketing, clothing tags, and labels are just as important and are often overlooked for their benefits.
The Los Angeles manufacturer adds that by including a brand’s message on fabric tags and labels, it reminds customers of the causes they’re supporting each time they wear a product, which helps to encourage future purchases as well.
Without a message’s integration on clothing tags, Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says customers will only be reminded of the charitable connection if they actively visit a physical store or the company’s online shop. Even a big fan of a product is going to see clothing labels many more times than they are ever likely to see its website or advertising, says the manager.
For a brand’s message to remain visible over time, Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says it’s important for clothing tags and labels to be made from high-quality materials that will not wear or fade for a long time. The Los Angeles manufacturer notes that product tags can only be effective if they can remain fully intact even after numerous wash cycles. Brands that invest in durable fabric labels demonstrate their attention to detail to customers.
Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says that telling customers of a brand’s ethics is crucial for brand loyalty. Whether it’s sustainability or supporting a local community, customers are more likely to purchase products from a company whose mission they support. The Southern California company adds that oftentimes, individuals are more than happy to donate to a good cause; they just don’t know where to start.
By ensuring that a clothing brand’s message is clearly advertised across all marketing opportunities, including clothing tags and labels, customers will always remember the company and causes they’re supporting and where they can return to for more.
Readers interested in learning more about Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. and its offerings can call (213) 746-7772 or visit its website at https://www.fabriclabels.com.
IN ON-SCREEN DIVERSE REPRESENTATION
Diversity at all-time high due to growing television landscape but notable disparities persist
The explosion of new television platforms across broadcast, streaming and cable has led to an increase in on-screen representation of diverse identity groups, according to Nielsen’s latest Diverse Intelligence Series report: Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV.
Among the 300 most-viewed programs in 2019, 92% had some level of diversity in the cast (i.e. women, people of color or LGBTQ+). Whites, African Americans and LGBTQ+ had the largest overall share of screen while Women, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans were underrepresented relative to their population estimates. The report uncovers notable differences in identity group representation across different platforms; with streaming over-indexing on representation for certain identity groups versus traditional broadcast and cable.
In this report, Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV, Nielsen reports on scripted, reality, variety and news programming on key metrics:
- Share of Screen (SOS): composition of the top 10 recurring cast members in a program
- Inclusion Opportunity Index (IOI): compares the SOS of an identity group (e.g. women) to their representation in population estimates
- Inclusion Audience Index (IAI): compares the SOS of an identity group to their representation in a program’s audience.
The report is powered by Gracenote Inclusion Analytics, a new solution delivering cutting-edge metrics created from Gracenote content metadata and Nielsen audience measurement data, providing the industry with consistent and reliable measurement of granular viewing. The report also leverages Gracenote Video Descriptors, metadata relating to story, mood, character, theme and scenario in each program.
Key insights from the report include:
Overall, representation of diverse identity groups in on-screen programming is low across all media platforms. Streaming fares better for inclusion followed by broadcast and cable. Viewing audiences are increasingly seeking content that tells their stories. As a result, people are migrating to platforms that have broad and more diverse content offerings.
- Representation by platform (Broadcast, Cable, Streaming): Nearly one-third of the content on cable doesn’t have parity representation of Indigenous, People of Color (Black, Native American, Asian & Pacific islander, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle eastern/ North African, Multiracial), Women or LGBTQ talent.
- Subscription video on demand (SVOD) programming represents several identity groups e.g. Blacks, Hispanic and Asians well, helping us understand, in part, why more diverse audiences are subscribing to streaming services than the general population.
- Representation of identity groups by genre (e.g. comedy, drama, news):
- While women are not well represented in any single genre, the highest representation for women is in science fiction, drama, comedy and horror.
- Women have the lowest representation in news.
- People of color representation is at parity in music and drama, followed by science fiction and action and adventure.
- People of color have least relative representation in news.
- News does prominently feature LGBTQ talent on-screen.
- Reality and horror programming also prominently feature LGBTQ talent.
All audiences, regardless of how they identify, like to see diversity in the content they view on TV. Programs that represent multiple identity groups evenly yield higher overall audience ratings for all viewers when compared to shows that have a significant over or under representation of any one identity group.
Quality of representation matters too. The themes and narratives depicted on-screen can contribute to identity formation and social perceptions. As the industry seeks to improve diversity on-screen, content creators and publishers should consider the context in which women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ talent are presented. Equally important is investing in marketing those diverse programs so that they are watched.
- Women insights
- Comprise 52% of the U.S. population; show up on screen only 38% of the time
- Women 50+ years old
- 60% less likely to see themselves in programming than in the general population, and 2x the representation of men 50+
- Women 50+ comprise 20% of the population and 20% of all TV viewers, but have a SOS of less than 8%
- Men 50+ years old are 17% of the total population and have SOS of 14%
- LGBTQ+ insights
- 1 out of 4 top performing programs across cable, broadcast and streaming have relative representation of LGBTQ+ cast members
- Total SOS for LGBTQ was 7%. LGBTQ people are 4.5% of the population so across all platforms we see fair representation
- The highest level of representation is on SVOD (8% SOS), followed by cable (7%) then broadcast (5%).
Aligning representative casting and content themes is an area of opportunity. In the programming where identity groups see themselves represented at parity, these are the themes that are most present:
- Latinas: dysfunction, emotional, suspenseful, melodramatic, police stations
- Black women: emotional, personal relationships, sons, investigation, rivalry
- Black men: investigation, thrilling, streets, pursuit, teamwork, discovery
- East Asians: challenge, courage and bravery, justice, sons, discovery
- South/Southeast Asian males: thrilling, awakening, offices, courtrooms
- White women: friendship, family, love, husbands, daughters
Nielsen’s findings aim to show media owners the degree to which their programming is inclusive, coupled with the diversity of the audience they draw. Additionally, brands and agencies will now be able to measure their advertising investment and alignment to inclusive content. The identity groups measured included: Female, Male & Expansive Gender Identities, Black/African American, Hispanic, Asian & Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern/North African, Multiracial, White, Native American/Native Alaskan, and Sexual Orientation. The data, which was both intersectional and granular, enables Nielsen to look at specific identity subsegments like Afro-Latino or Southeast Asian.
“At Nielsen, we believe that the audience is everything and that inclusion is a prerequisite of a healthy media ecosystem, ensuring all communities and individuals are heard and seen,” stated Tina Wilson, Nielsen EVP, Media Analytics and Marketing Outcomes. “The call for inclusive programming that breaks traditional stereotypes and gives a voice to underrepresented groups has never been louder.”
“This work underscores the essential importance of on-screen representation in an increasingly diverse audience landscape,” said Sandra Sims-Williams, Nielsen SVP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Not only is the business case for inclusion made but it also provides practical recommendations on how media companies can address inclusion gaps. This is a must-read for any media professional who wants to be part of the change that today’s television viewers demand.”
For more details and insights, download Being Seen On Screen: Diverse Representation & Inclusion on TV. Please visit nielsen.com/inclusionanalytics to learn more. Join the discussion on Facebook (Nielsen Community) and follow us on Twitter (@NielsenKnows).
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
By Hannah DiPilato
Both President Donald Trump and presidential candidate Joe Biden have splurged a fair amount on their 2020 presidential campaigns. Biden’s campaign along with his allies have spent an estimated $600 million while Trump’s campaign and his supporters have spent a little over $400 million.
Over $1 Billion has been spent between the campaigns on TV advertisements in only 13 states alone according to an NPR analysis from the tracking firm Advertising Analytics. This money is being used to target six states: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona. TV ads may be playing a larger role in the presidential campaign this year because of the pandemic keeping so many Americans at home watching TV.
Tracked by Ad Age Datacenter, for the presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races, campaign spending has now surged past $3 billion. This hefty amount includes TV, radio and digital ad spending. The digital ad spending includes Facebook and Google properties only for presidential candidates.
This is “the most expensive election in history,” according to CNBC. The expected total spending for the 2020 election is predicted to be a whopping $10.8 billion according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This prediction takes into account both presidential and congressional races. CRP has recorded the election has already cost $7.2 billion, so the $10 billion milestone isn’t far out of reach.
“The 2018 election smashed fundraising records for midterms, and 2020 is going to absolutely crush anything we’ve ever seen — or imagined — before,” Sheila Krumholz, executive director of CRP, said in a statement. “This is already the most expensive presidential election in history and there are still months of election spending to account for. The unanswered question is whether this will be the new normal for future elections.”
So far Biden has topped the charts for his advertising spendings. Between September 28 and October 11, Biden estimated spendings have been $55,928,770 and his ads have aired about 80,452 times. Trump trails Biden with estimated total spending of $31,796,960 and 32,011 airings in the same time period.
The Biden campaign has been able to air ads in 17 states, even though there are many fewer states considered a close race. The campaign cost continues to grow over the expected TV budget of $280 million. “If we didn’t have the resources we had now, we’d be having to make [some] hard choices right now,” said one Biden campaign official.
Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, said the campaign has “more than sufficient air coverage.” He also stated that the campaign has spent more than the Biden campaign in different areas such as Facebook ads.
The Biden is not shying away from spending and they plan to keep spending as much cash as possible until the campaign concludes. However, in the event the result of the race is contested, the Biden campaign is reserving money for legal fights.
by Justin Lyons
Netflix co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings sat down with Variety recently to discuss his new book and everything regarding Netflix. From business strategies to hiring strategies to creative strategies, Hastings seemed to be quite open about his ideas for the streaming service.
One of the biggest questions everyone seems to have about Netflix revolves around its revenue strategy. The home of shows like “Stranger Things,” “Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards” and other award-winning, binge-inducing shows has been ad-free since its inception.
Hastings said the decision to rely entirely on a subscription model is more of a judgement call than a strict rule for Netflix.
“You know, advertising looks easy until you get in it. Then you realize you have to rip that revenue away from other places because the total ad market isn’t growing, and in fact right now it’s shrinking,” Hastings told Variety.
Hastings went on to say there’s more opportunity for growth in the consumer market than there is in the advertising business, also citing 20 years of success to back his point.
A 2019 report from eMarketer said Google, Facebook and Amazon received upwards of two-thirds of advertising dollars in the United States, so it would make sense to believe the room for growth in advertising is limited.
The New York Times reported in April that Netflix gained nearly 16 million subscribers early in the year, pushing the total number of subscribers to more than 182 million.
Hastings also touched on production during COVID-19’s shutdown, saying Netflix was able to shoot some originals, like the fourth season of “The Crown,” before shutting down production. He added that Netflix is currently producing in Europe and Asia.
While producing in Europe and Asia is more practical than producing in the United States right now, it also goes along with goals Hastings has for Netflix.
He said he wants Netflix to become a first-class developer all around the world, not just in Hollywood. Hastings said shows like “Dark,” from Germany, and “La Casa de Papel,” from Spain, have aided that movement.
On the future of Netflix, Hastings said, “What’s next is becoming a great Turkish developer of content, becoming a great Egyptian developer of content and sharing that with the world.”
He closed the interview with a discussion about other streaming platforms. Hastings compared Netflix to Starbucks, serving a specific product, while Amazon is more of a Walmart, serving every need.
With the number of streaming services growing exponentially, it might be easy to assume doom for the original streaming platforms. Even with Disney+ reaching 60 million subscribers, Hastings isn’t worried, calling the streaming industry a “healthy situation.”
“Because you’ll continue to push each other to innovate and entertain people. It’s only in the old communist states of the 1960s when you’d have a single network. No one wants to create that,” Hastings said.
A rising tide lifts all boats, right? There is no doubt that Netflix remains king of the streaming industry, and we can probably assume we’re safe from ads on Netflix for now. That, along with the possible development of more content from other countries and cultures, makes it an exciting time to be a Netflix subscriber.
For now, we’ll continue to rely on Netflix’s ad-free experience while studios that rely on theatrical releases are slowed down.
To read the entire interview from Variety, you can click right here.