Week 2: Advertising, Audience and Commerce

Advertising to Millennials

The booklet “Next-Generation Strategies for Advertising to Millennials” from comScore was an interesting review of the tendencies of Millennials vs previous generations (specifically women).  It seems that in general Millenials are less affected by advertising; and when they are affected, they are affected by pragmatism and brand connections.  But at the same time they exhibit this behavior, they are roughly in line with the way that younger women have behaved since the first study was done in 1961.  It was noted in 1961 that: “Younger women tend to respond to logical, ‘reasons why’ demonstration more than older women…This points to the possible existence of a more tough-minded attitude, an innate skepticism, among younger women.” (Page 11)  But the study also noted that young women respond better to digital media than older generations.

Audience Development

The article from Forbes entitled “What Is Audience Development?” Is a simple foray into a phenomena that businesses try to harness.  Mr. Correa concludes by clarifying two tactics to develop an audience: the buckshot method (get as much coverage as you can) vs the sniper method (affect to your target audience as much as possible). He also seems to have left a sizable thread from his article dangling: virality.  He asks what does it mean to “go viral” only to get a half answer from answers.com… I’m still left wondering what does it mean to “go viral” How can one harness virality? Or is virality in his estimation just Audience development? Which would be a bit unsatisfying, as virality seems to me not just audience development but indeed a form of community development, cultural catharsis, and trend setting (among other things) that has a crowd-sourced brain for development.  What do you dear reader think about virality? What’s your experience of it?

Digital Commerce

The “Advancing Digital Commerce Capabilities to Drive Financial Value” publication by Booz and Company was an interesting series of fact sheets that talk about their services to help businesses develop audiences and competitive multi-channel commerce (and increase profit and market share of course). One section that particularly interested me was “Digital commerce functionalities… drivers of financial value”. I found it interesting because it shows the effects of express checkout, personalization and “user friendly product displays”. boozThe express checkout does as anticipated, and increases conversion rate(14%) and decreases dwell time (8%) while attracting new unique visitors (31%). Personalization, which I take means tailoring ads, carts, up-sales, etc. to the visitor based upon cloud data and cookies, does as anticipated as well . It increases conversion rate (19%), increases cart size(9%) and increases monthly return visitors (7%). While it also increases unique visitors the most of the three methods by 55%.  The interesting thing that I found was the “user-friendly product displays” while increasing dwell time (7%) they decrease conversion rate(7%). Which by itself makes me think they’re not very helpful, and instead just a relative annoyance to the visitor. But then when you factor in that it increases unique visitors (29%) and monthly return visitors (6%) the picture is a little more ambiguous and mottled. Booz&co claim that the former is “compensated” by the latter, and I just don’t know if I buy it.  I wonder what other people think? Are 360 views (& etc.) just an annoyance, a feature, or something else? I know I occasionally use them but I generally prefer the static 6 view images, mostly because the 360 views often have a slightly non-intuitive UX and are fickle to a slight mouse movement.  Does anyone else think it’s a UX problem that’s causing a decrease in conversion rate or do you buy Booz and company’s line that it’s “inspiration seekers” causing the change?

Edited to include links to articles thanks Jessica!


2 responses to “Week 2: Advertising, Audience and Commerce”

  1. I think the decrease in conversion rates with user-friendly product displays happens because sites with these features attract people who are researching buying a product. Those customers will probably end up buying from whoever has the cheapest price once they’ve made a product decision, but they might hop around a few online retailers to read up on all the product descriptions/specifications, look at different product photos, compare prices and read reviews first, which definitely will reduce conversion rates for those sites they are just looking for information on.

    I think that “inspiration seekers” is an odd way to refer to the consumers who are site-hopping – I think a better term would be “undecided consumers” or something like that since that seems to describe the behavior better.

    I would generally agree with you that the 360º views on some sites can definitely be clunky, but there are times when it is really useful. For example, if you’re buying a piece of clothing and you want to see the back of it. I also just recently used this feature after I purchased a used stroller that was missing a piece. I tried to find some 360º views of other similar strollers because the manufacturer was out of replacement parts for my specific model, but I knew there were others like it. Obviously my site-hopping during that time definitely lowered conversion rates for a bunch of retailers!

    • “Researchers” are definitely a type of shopper online that can decrease conversions. And 360 views can be helpful. Maybe they’re most helpful in brand equity, they establish that their site has occasionally used, but very nifty features, and thus help make them more expert in their field.

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