Media Notes Canonical Briefs

Specific Words in Product Descriptions Boost Online Sales, Study Shows

Research from Stanford scholars revealed that specific words in product descriptions can predict sales. They found that polite language that invokes culture or authority helps products sell. The work was carried out on online products in Japan, but the authors’ method could reveal top-selling words in English, Chinese and other languages.

Computer science graduate student Reid Pryzant and Stanford linguist Dan Jurafsky applied a machine learning technique to analyze more than 90,000 food and health-related product descriptions and their sales data on the Japanese e-commerce marketplace Rakuten. The more of those keywords a description contained, the better the product sold, according to the research results, which recently appeared in an article presented at the SIGIR Workshop on eCommerce in Tokyo, Japan. “Product descriptions are fundamentally a kind of social discourse, one whose linguistic contents have real control over consumer purchasing behavior,” the researchers wrote. “Business owners employ narratives to portray their products, and consumers react accordingly.”

Challenges of language analysis

Online vendors have long struggled to figure out why the exact same product offered on different websites has varying sales figures. Previous research focused on online consumers’ reactions to product reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. But product descriptions haven’t received as much attention because studying the effects of language on consumer habits is a difficult task, according to researchers.

The problem is that many words are associated with high sales simply because they signal the product’s brand or pricing strategy, the researchers said. For example, if a product’s description includes brand names like “Nike” or phrases like “free shipping,” its sales will be higher than a description that doesn’t. But these are words that advertisers can’t change. “We’re more interested […]

By |October 29th, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on Specific Words in Product Descriptions Boost Online Sales, Study Shows

Nearly Half of Social Users Say Platforms Spark Purchases.

New study finds Facebook most likely to inspire a purchase decision.

Nearly half of US social network users make purchases that begin on social sites, a new study reports, a finding that underscores the increasingly free-form path to purchase. According to an August 2017 survey by visual commerce platform ViSenze, nearly one-third of social users make a purchase that begins on a social site about once a month.

Almost 15% of respondents said they make such purchases more frequently. The survey is the latest to highlight social’s role in consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Social platforms have had trouble living up to hopes that they would be strong drivers of direct sales, but a growing body of evidence makes clear that social touchpoints contribute along the path to purchase.

ClickZ, in partnership with Catalyst, polled US digital buyers in August 2017 about the sources that influenced their purchase decisions. According to the survey, social media influenced roughly one-quarter to one-third of respondents’ purchase decisions on items ranging from furniture to baby care.

Though social influence fell far short of other options, such as product reviews, the levels were not insignificant. The ViSenze survey asked about purchases that “begin” on social platforms—purchases that could be considered more akin to the original vision of true social commerce. Asked which social platforms were most likely to inspire a purchase decision, respondents scored Facebook considerably higher (31.8%) than Pinterest (16.4%) or Instagram (12.5%). Snapchat, the other option listed, registered below 2%.

A recent PwC survey on holiday shopping, which broke down results by age, found somewhat parallel results. In that survey, US […]

By |October 21st, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on Nearly Half of Social Users Say Platforms Spark Purchases.

Can Social Media Create Brand Awareness and Drive In Customers?

Manufacturers and retailers are constantly talking about finding new ways to drive traffic, thus added sales. First, we all have to understand that the shifting consumer shopping behavior, from how they show across different retail channels, between departments and categories across the store, to how they shop differently for brands, is a fact. It is not some esoteric thesis from a professor in a college speaking on conditions of today in business. This disruption has left both manufacturers and retails struggling to adapt. But first we have to understand through experience and research, where dollars are being spent and how to tap into changing shopping habits in order to drive growth. Consumer dollars haven’t vanished from brick & mortar. As Nielsen has stated, ‘The automation behind digital retail is changing how consumers shop Across channels, particularly online, consumers are buying less each time they shop.’ They say it is an action called ‘not filling the basket’. They further stated, ‘Their (customers) primary goal is to simply get what they want quickly and without any friction.’

That is all well and good, but how can you get them to prefer your store…get them to come into your store?

In a world where budgets in retail have decreased, primarily because sales have declined, one cannot live by what we did before…what our fathers did before us…what their fathers did before them. We live in a completely different world. Only a few things of commonality blend over the generations. Radio is still in the cars…television sets are still in the homes…and something on print is occasionally seen as we go by the place where you buy water in the […]

By |October 14th, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on Can Social Media Create Brand Awareness and Drive In Customers?

Mobile To Overtake Desktop In Retail Visits

If there ever was an immediate need to make sure your website is mobile friendly, the time is now! For those who have delayed, get moving. For those who have taken their employees word for their website’s mobile friendliness, double check with an independent consultant. For those who have just made a new website, full of stuff and movement, you better double check with an outside consultant to make sure you are really mobile friendly.

In a new report, Adobe expects mobile to surpass desktop by the end of the year. While desktop remains the primary driver of retail revenue, retail mobile visits are steadily rising, and the data suggests it will surpass desktop in visit share by the end of 2017.

Today, people are viewing retailers on their phones, but still buying from their desktops,” Schreiner said. “By the end of the year, we’ll see mobile eclipse desktop with site visits. It’s hard to imagine they won’t take a very big share of sales, too.”

The study also details how effective email promotions and social conversions are at different times of the day. Email promotions are most successful in the morning and evening, whereas social and display conversions grow in the late evening, probably thanks to impulse buys.

Social still lags as a channel. Retail will have its mobile moment before the end of the year. And paid search is challenging organic for the number one channel.

A couple of notes:

. Search channels convert best in the afternoon.

. Social and Display best convert in the late PM and early AM.

. Tablet share continues to decline.

. Quality over quantity is the key strategy.

. Overall […]

By |September 28th, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on Mobile To Overtake Desktop In Retail Visits

Social Messaging To Drive 2018 Strategies

The big question as we all begin to budget for 2018 is: What Social Trends Are Marketers Paying Attention To? According to eMarketer, many are looking at social messaging and video.

Social media is providing marketers with an ever-growing litany of media options beyond just display advertising. But which are the most important? A new study from The Creative Group polled 400 US advertising and marketing executives, asking them which social media trends they expected to have the greatest effect on their advertising and marketing efforts in 2018.

According to Rimma Kats writing in eMarketer, ‘One-third of ad and marketing execs said social messaging would sway their efforts in 2018, making it the top choice among survey respondents. Video was another trend that many respondents said would play a role in their marketing strategies next year, named by 28% of respondents—an unsurprising outcome.’

Meanwhile, influencer marketing, which continues to draw a lot of press attention, was expected to have a large effect by just 11% of respondents. Meanwhile, only 10% thought virtual and augmented reality were sure to affect social marketing strategies.

A separate study by and Geometry Global, conducted in March and April 2017, found that nine in 10 social network users are influenced to make a purchase after seeing content on social media. And video has the greatest influence of all content types.

By |September 26th, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on Social Messaging To Drive 2018 Strategies

It’s About People…Not Product

Marketing is undergoing a much-needed makeover to better align sales and business results. Old ways of thinking are not going to deliver the results needed. A shift in focus is already underway.

Customers, stakeholders, influencers, decision-makers and consumers all require renewed attention. JoDee George, in writing about the subject stated, ‘Finding new thinking and new marketing strategies that move the needle is essential. And the solution is relatively simple: Put people, not product, at the center of everything you do. To be clear, people are your target audience.’

The solution is relatively simple, states Ms George. ‘Put people, not product, at the center of everything you do.’ People are your target audience.

She adds, ‘People are whoever is an important audience that you spend time thinking about, developing content for and considering how to contact. People are who you need to persuade to buy whatever it is you’re selling. 

Melody Yan further noted the benefits of people-first marketing were multiple. First, it drives conversations. It strengthens the engagement of your brand across audiences, channels and campaigns to maximize your ROI. Second, it increases your brand’s memorability. A Study by Yahoo! demonstrated that personalized creative is 54% more engaging and 45% more memorable than generic creatives. Third, it provides real value. Provide relevant and compelling content that specifically parts the needs, interests and pain points of your target audience. Fourth, it captures your customer’s attention. A study by Microsoft Corp. found that the average attention span is eight seconds. Presenting a personalized message will allow you to capture your audience within this fleeting window.

Lauren Drell noted that it’s important to look at consumers as people because each brand, […]

By |September 22nd, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on It’s About People…Not Product

Mobile Use Lowers Consumer Patience In eCommerce

A recent report from Akamai indicates that users have little patience when it comes to making purchases on a mobile device. Here are just a few of the stats:

• While almost half of all consumers browse via their phones, only 1 in 5 completes transactions on mobile

• Optimal load times for peak conversions ranged from 1.8 to 2.7 seconds across device types

• Just a 100-millisecond delay in load time hurt conversion rates by up to 7%

• Bounce rates were highest among mobile shoppers and lowest among those using tablets.

Gord Hotchkiss, writing in MediaInsider (082917) suggested that there may be more behind this than just slow load times. He noted that we also have to consider what modes we’re in when we’re interacting with our mobile device.

In 2010, Microsoft did a fascinating research project that looked at how user behaviors varied from desktop to tablet to smart phone. The research was headed by Jacquelyn Krones, who was a search product manager at the time. Search was the primary activity examined, but there was a larger behavioral context that was explored. While the study is seven years old, I think the core findings are still relevant.

The researchers found that we tend to have three large buckets of behaviors:
• Missions,
• Explorations and
• Excavations.
Missions were focused tasks that were usually looking for a specific piece of information – i.e., looking for an address or phone number. Explorations where more open ended and less focused on a given destination – i.e., seeing if there was any thing you wanted to do this Friday night. Excavations typically involved multiple tasks within an overarching master task […]

By |August 31st, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on Mobile Use Lowers Consumer Patience In eCommerce


Nielsen came out with a definitive report that if you are in business, you should take a look at. According to Nielsen, Millennials are often the most stereotyped, yet coveted, group for marketers. The second-largest generation group in the U.S. has now “grown up,” and its consumers have disposable incomes. This provides a plethora of opportunities for advertisers and marketers who are so eager to reach them, as Millennials are highly engaged, using multiple platforms for many hours on a daily basis.

Volume II of Nielsen’s Millennials on Millenials report series offers critical insight into Millennials influence and engagement. The report is unique in that it was produced and researched by a team of Nielsen Millennial associates, utilizing their everyday experiences as they compiled data and insights about the lifestyles of their peers—who are often the first to recognize emerging trends, technologies and cultural phenomena. Nielsen Millennial associates have the unique ability to leverage this data to discover ways to reach their own generation.

Within a fragmented media landscape, the myriad forms of engagement are as varied as the personalities that use them. So what drives Millennial media involvement when it comes to music streaming?

Millennials are active listeners of music streaming services and are 21% more likely to frequently choose songs than to let the music play without making changes. They also access digital music more regularly than consumers 35 and older. While Millennials are active listeners, they’re 18% more likely to use multiple music apps on a monthly basis. In fact, nearly 60% of Millennials use two or more apps for streaming, compared with only 39% of consumers aged 35 and up.

The recent report also sets […]

By |August 23rd, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on MILLENNIALS ON MILLENNIALS: LOTS OF LOVE & LACK OF LOYALTY

The Average TV Show’s Millennial Audience Is 8% Bigger Than We Thought

Nielsen recently began measuring out-of-home (OOH) TV viewing, which takes place in areas such as airports, bars, and gyms. The research firm has now released some figures related to such viewing, finding that it provides a disproportionately large lift to TV programs’ young audiences. Overall, Nielsen reports that almost 60% of OOH viewing impressions come from core buying demographics. People ages 18-34 comprise more than one-quarter (26%) of impressions, while those aged 35-54 and 55+ each add another third (32%).

While the 18-34 group isn’t the most heavily represented among OOH viewers, the addition of these viewers results in a greater audience lift from in-home viewing for this bracket than for any other. Specifically, adding OOH viewing to the equation results in an 8% lift in broadcast and cable programs’ 18-34-year-old audiences. That’s greater than the lift in the 35-54 (5%) and 55+ (3%) audiences, as well as for kids ages 6-17 (+5%).

OOH Contributes Almost Double-Digit Increase in Sports Event Audiences

In analyzing the genres that are watched the most out of the home, Nielsen found that Sports Events lead not only in percentage lift but also in time spent. Beyond the 30-odd hours already spent on sports events, viewers watched in excess of 2-and-a-half hours of sports events outside of the home during the January-May period. The resultant 9% lift from in-home viewership for sports events was matched only by “Audience Participation” shows. However, viewers spent only an additional quarter-hour or so watching this type of programming out of the home.

Finally, viewers also watch a good deal of news programming outside of the home, clocking in at […]

By |August 13th, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on The Average TV Show’s Millennial Audience Is 8% Bigger Than We Thought

Four P’s Become 5Ps For Retail Marketing

Product, Price, Promotion and Place were the all important cornerstones of retail marketing in the past Century. According to Ranjeet Laungani, writing in Nielsen’s Insights (081017), they are becoming fashionably old school. ‘In a world where consumers are more aware, spoiled for choice, connected and disloyal, marketers need to lean into what the new five Ps of marketing: Precision, Purpose, Partnerships, Pace and Personalization.’

Precision: Managers complain about the complexity in marketing today, The toolkits that most marketers have at their disposal to navigate all of this complexity are equally compelling and sharper than ever. Data sets that were earlier disparate are not coming together to drive more illumination. Advanced analytics, AI and algorithms are helping accelerate performance as you can now manage retailer fill rates, build look-alike digital audience, and respond to negative online reviews in real time. Technology stacks, like data management platforms, are enabling individual and device-level activation of your brand message. Your ability to leverage this precision tool set to make a definitive plan is one of the biggest opportunities in marketing today. The killer question for your business: ‘Are your teams empowered and enabled to make the journey from a mass-marketing past to a precision-marketing future?’

Purpose: A brand without a purpose, a mission or a social role to play is increasingly seen as unreliable and will be soon forgotten. Millennials are more vocal than any previous generation about what’s important to them, and they expect brands to engage in conversation and take a stand just like they do. Make no mistake as you think about tomorrow: You’re not saving the planet because you sell potato chips, but you may be selling […]

By |August 11th, 2017|Media Notes Canonical|Comments Off on Four P’s Become 5Ps For Retail Marketing