News U Can Use-January

These news items are brought to you by Kuk & Baldwin:

NO RECESSION FOR PET CARE. In 2010, Americans spent $20 billion on vet bills, up 8.5% over 2009 – and that will increase in 2011, because more and more pet owners are paying thousands of dollars to treat pet illnesses that would have gone undiagnosed or untreated a few years ago.   For example, some dogs and cats are receiving pacemaker implants at a cost of $1000 to $1500, while a dog or cat with kidney failure may undergo a kidney-clearing procedure that costs $20,000 to $25,000 for just the first few weeks.   Other examples include a detailed exam, $200-$450; an MRI, $1500-$2500; surgery, $500-$8000; radiation, $1500-$10,000; and chemo, $200-$1000 a month (Smart Money, 1/11).

LOCKSMITH PRICES.     A 2010 price survey of basic locksmith services came up with the following averages (nearly identical to 2009):  service call, $65; hourly rate, $45; auto opening call, $60; fit standard auto ignition key in shop, $50; fit auto transponder key in shop, $92; fit auto sidewinder key in shop, $125; fit motorcycle key, $81; cylinder key-in-knob, $15; make US or foreign single/double cut keys by code, $12-$18; make foreign sidewinder key by code, $58; duplicate US or foreign single/double cut keys, $2.50-$5.50; duplicate hi-security key, $15; and first-key fitting, $32.  Such data can justify listing these services in a YP ad – even for locksmiths who specialize mainly in electronic access and other hi-tech systems (Locksmith Ledger, 12/10).

OPTICAL CONFUSION. In spite of the name, very few eyeglasses these days actually contain glass.   Most lenses are made of plastic for lightness, impact resistance, and overall safety.   And there’s a widening variety of types of plastic lenses – e.g., CR-39s, which are the least expensive; polycarbonate, which are highly shatter-resistant, UV protective, and cost more; high-index lenses, which are thinner, lighter, UV protective, and cost even more; progressive, also known as no-line bifocals; photochromic, which darken automatically in sunlight; and trivex, which are highly impact-resistant.   Several lens coatings are also available, such as for scratch resistance and anti-reflectivity.   A good YP ad for an optician or OD might list and briefly define many of these choices (Consumer Reports, 12/10).

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Other recent media/advertising news:

US Ad Spending Rebounds to Over $150 billion in 2010

The Wall Street Journal (link to full article) reports that after a difficult 2008 and 2009, the U.S. ad market will take a step forward in 2010, based on the latest study from ad-buying firm ZenithOptimedia. The company’s projections have U.S. ad spending coming in at $151.5 billion, a 2.2% increase over the $148.3 billion taken in during the previous year.

Let’s hope that this trend also continues into the Yellow Page industry as well.

Don’t Look Now – Online publications are about to edge out newspapers for ad dollars’s blog (link to full article) reports that companies are expected to spend $25.8 billion on online advertising this year, which for the first time will exceed the total spending on newspaper ads, according to a study by eMarketer. Marketers are reallocating dollars because “they see more customers shifting time toward the Web. It’s something we’ve seen coming for a long time, but this is a tipping point,” said eMarketer CEO Geoff Ramsey.

Magazines post first ad sales gains in three years

Are we seeing the end of the chill in advertising??  Reuters has reported that the magazine industry has posted its first gains in ad sales since 2007. Ad revenue at consumer magazines climbed 3% in 2010, the first such gain in three years. Time Warner’s People magazine led the way in total ad revenue at $1 billion, while the Food Network magazine was up 174% for the year’s largest percentage increase. Increased auto ads accounted for much of the boost across the industry.

Google, Google, and more Google

Two news items related to Google.  First one: from The Wall Street Journal (link to full article) — It appears that Google is getting into the cold-calling game, reaching out to local businesses with offers of online advertising packages and discounts. The calls are designed to demystify the online-ad buying process for small-business owners.  For example:

One person who has experienced the results is Debbie Codino, a manager at Bob Brown Tire Center Inc. in Portland, Ore. She said she hangs up daily on callers who say they can help boost the small tire shop’s presence on the Web to attract new customers. But when she received a call from a Google salesman last month, she stayed on the line.

Ms. Codino quickly agreed to pay $25 a month to highlight her store and show a 10%-off coupon when people use terms like “Portland tires” in a search on Google. “I was surprised,” she said. “This time it was really Google calling so I was motivated to listen.”

And – ClickZ (link to full article) reports that Google, which is on track to reach some $2.5 billion in display ad sales this year, is positioned itself through various ad products and platforms to take advantage of the growth projected for the segment. Displays are expected to go from $8.9 billion in 2010 to $15.9 billion in 2014.

“Google has rebuilt the infrastructure of a huge part of online advertising,” said Adam Cahill, senior vice president and director of digital media at Hill Holiday. “They’re the guts. It kind of doesn’t matter what the outcome — they’ll be touching it in some way.”

Gen X Cost Cutting Most in Tight Economy

When talking with your potential advertisers, be sure to find out what their products and services demographics are.  According to a recent poll from Harris, GenX-ers (ages 35-44) have taken significantly higher steps than the average American to cut costs.  Some finding from the study:

  • Generic Brands (as a cost cutting measure) has become popular with all ages
    • 62% of US adults have bought more generic brands in the last six months
    • 70% of GenX have bought more generic brands in the last six months
  • Taking a brown bag lunch is the second most popular cost cutting measure:
    • 45% of US adults brown bag it instead of buying
    • 62% of GenX brown bag it instead of buying
  • Gen Xers are likely to take other cost cutting measures:
    • 45% of GenX tend to go to the hairdresser less often against the overall average of 37%
    • 44% of GenX switched to refillable water against the overall average of 37%
    • 35% of GenX stopped purchasing morning coffee against the overall average of 22%
    • 28% of GenX cut back on cable or TV services against the overall average of 22%.

Younger users prefer IM and texting to e-mail

Age warfare?  ComScore has reported that although the use of digital communication tools, such as instant messaging, texting and Facebook, is up across the board, e-mail usage is falling off. The number of unique visitors to Hotmail, Yahoo! and other top sites has dropped 6% overall from its peak in November 2009, and fallen 18% among 12-to-17-year-olds. Gmail, with a 10% growth rate, is the exception to this trend.

But now there is mobile email

MediaPost presented additional data from a ComScore report which shows the online population is getting into the mobile e-mail habit.  Mobile e-mail use was up 36% with a 40% boost in daily usage.  Compare that with the previous news item which showed a modest decline in Web-based products. The trend was most pronounced among users aged 12 to 17 (because Mom and Dad can’t monitor their usage as easy??). Among that group, time spent on Web-based e-mail clients dropped 48% and page views dropped 53%. But keep all of this in perspective — e-mail remains a leading Web activity with 153 million U.S. users accessing e-mail on the Web during November.


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