News U Can Use – March

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

REMODELING REPORT. As you’d expect in this post-housing-bubble period, figures for cost recoupment of remodeling jobs are significantly lower than in 2008 – e.g., only a steel entry door replacement gets a 100% recoupment within 2 years, while a garage door replacement recoups 84%; siding replacement recoups 74% to 80%, depending on materials; and window replacements average about 72%.   Most everything else runs 45% to 65%.   Note that the highest recoupment projects add curb appeal to make the property more saleable (Journal of Light Construction, 1/11)….Remodeling growth for 2011 could be as high as 9% – ending at an annualized dollar figure of $124 billion (Remodeling, 2/11).

HOME SECURITY. The US residential security market is worth $21 billion a year, and that includes everything from complex monitored electronic systems to simple deadbolts.   According to the Uniform Crime Report, there are now nearly 10 million property crime offenses a year in the US – with burglary accounting for 25%, of which 67% (1.7 million) are residential.   The average loss is close to $2000.  But if the economy stays flat, the numbers could get worse.   While the vast majority of households won’t be buying an elaborate system, many are spending up to a few hundred dollars with locksmiths for basic protections like deadbolts, window locks, garage locks, and door viewers (Locksmith Ledger, 2/11).

MARKET BRIEFS. A recent survey of restaurant owners showed that 70% expected their 2011 sales to be better than 2010, while 28% felt sales would be about the same, and only 2% thought 2011 would be worse than 2010 (Restaurant News, 1/10/11)….Some 89% of brides-to-be are considering a small wedding to save money, with 45% planning to spend less than $10,000 (Research Alert, 1/21/11)….In a recent survey, a bare majority (51%) of small business owners said that “weak sales” was their biggest problem and that it reflected the effect of declining household wealth on consumer buying (World, 2/12/11).

Find out how to be at the top of your sales performance by clicking on www.kukbaldwin.com.

Other recent media/advertising news:

Kantar Media: U.S. ad spending increased 6.5% in 2010
Research firm Kantar Media indicated that the overall US domestic advertising sector grew 6.5% last year.  TV (including broadcast and cable) was up 10.3%, online display rising 9.9%, radio up 7.6% and outdoor up 9.6%.  Yellow Pages were not specifically mentioned but the newspaper sector was the only down sector, coning in down 3.5% from 2009. The total U.S. spend was estimated at $131 billion. Looking deeper at which vertical market segments drove the gains, automotive was the largest climbing 19.8%.  (source)

More Bad News for Newspapers:   Classifieds aren’t coming back
The estimates presented in the above research by Kantar are consistent with an industry that has seen steady losses over the past five years.  Why?  “Fundamental shifts in consumer and advertiser behavior” to use the Web for help wanted, auto and real estate ads, according to  Alan D. Mutter, a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. The drop in classified advertising has accounted for 58% of the nearly $23 billion in lost newspaper ad sales from 2005 to 2010, according to Mutter. (source)

Interactive ads engage readers better than print
A new study finds that interactive advertising via digital magazine platforms (such as Apple’s iPad) are better at engaging  readers and have stronger purchase intent than the same ads featured in print magazines according to research commissioned by Adobe.  The study did not measure actual purchases though.  (source)

Webvisible: SMB Search Spending Down, But getting More Efficient
The “State of Small Business Advertising” report, conducted by online advertising firm WebVisible found that sSmall businesses actually spent less on search advertising during the final three months of 2010, and they spread those dollars across more keywords.

The new report indicated that the average small business spent $2,126 on search in Q4 2010, a 1.1% year-over-year decrease from 2009. The average keyword count was 87 root keywords per advertiser over the last three months of the year — a 30% increase from the same period in 2009.

WebVisible suggested that the numbers suggest smaller advertisers are becoming more efficient with their paid search strategies, but didn’t make any comment that the down economy might have also contributed to the reduction.  (source)

Yodle introduces local display ad product
Yodle is moving beyond its core search and online directory ad products with a new display ad tool. The tool is oriented at giving local businesses, especially franchises and those with multiple sites, the ability to place contextual and targeted display ads.

Since its creation in 2006, Yodle has primarily focused on helped local businesses attract prospective customers by facilitating search and online yellow pages campaigns. Now, according to company execs, using the new Yodle Display product allows local businesses to run contextual- and even behavioral-targeted display campaigns.

While the company’s other products are aimed at every range of small business—from pizza places to plumbers—Yodle Display is primarily geared for franchise and multilocation businesses.  To date, the company has yet to show a profit.  (source)

Skype launches front page advertising
Skype is opening its video calling service to advertisers.  In an effort to develop a new revenue stream ahead of the company’s much anticipated public offering, the site will begin showing large-format ads on its front page from companies including Visa, Universal Pictures and Volkswagen. Windows users in the U.S. and the U.K should have already seen the first ads by now. (source)

Twitter more popular among small businesses

From a survey by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, about 20% of small and midsized businesses use Twitter, and about half are using Facebook. Twitter use more than doubled for small and midsized businesses between the third quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2010, the survey found. (source)

Groupon Sued

A Minnesota man has sued Groupon, alleging that expiration dates on the company’s discounts are “deceptive and illegal.”  The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis said federal and state laws prohibit companies from selling or issuing gift certificates with expiration dates. Groupon of course had no comment. Instead they rolled out a new ad campaign of short, mild TV commercials. Groupon also dismissed its ad agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, following a poorly-received set of Super Bowl commercials.  (source)

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