News U Can Use – June

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

AN EYE FOR VALUE.     About two-thirds of US adults need glasses or contact lenses, and those who have bought glasses or contacts recently know that the cost can be eye popping.   That’s why a lot of buyers, especially with no eye care insurance coverage, are turning to online eyeglass and/or contact lens sellers.   Indeed, the dollar savings can be significant – for example the median online price for single lens eyeglasses is $47, compared to $139 from a brick-and-mortar optician, and for progressive lenses the median prices are $91 versus $284.   On the other hand, a survey of online eyeglass purchasers found that 22% of the ordered items never arrived, and 45% of glasses delivered had problems (Money, 5/12).

ROOFING COPY.     Roofers typically don’t have frequent buyers – and as the source article points out, it’s hard to imagine a less enjoyable way to spend $7000 to $15,000+ than putting on a new roof.   Complete tear-offs will add another $2000-$3000 to the job cost.   That’s why consumers are careful in their choice of roofers, and many use the YP to find a short list of likely contractors.   Four things consumers are advised to look for in a roofer are:  (1) willingness to get all permits; (2) protect decks, patios, shrubs, etc. with tarps, plywood, etc. ; (3) clean up the job site every night; and (4) correct any venting problems with the existing roof.   A strong YP ad should cover these points, among others (Money, 5/12).

GUNS AND GUNSMITHS.     It’s a YP heading that’s beginning to surge, probably reflecting events on the political landscape.   Specifically, the US gun market was worth $19 billion in 2008, but in 2011 sales shot up to $31 billion, a 63% increase.   Another telling measure is that jobs in the firearms industry jumped 30% between 2008 and 2011, while so many other industries were losing jobs.   Also significant is the fact that over 25% of gun purchasers were first-time buyers, thereby placing a high premium on a gun shop’s capacity and facility to offer instruction and safety programs.   Indeed, such programs, if available, would be an important advertising emphasis in the Yellow Pages (Washington Times, 4/23/12).

Find out how to be at the top of your sales performance by clicking on

Other recent media/advertising news:

Radio advertising rises in Q1
Digital, network and off-air nudged total radio advertising revenue up a modest 1% in the first quarter, reaching $3.81 billion, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau. Local radio was flat. Home furnishing and floor coverings (up 30%) and grocery and convenience stores (up 11%) paced the growth. (Source)

TV’s fall ad rates are up from last year
Another positive sign for advertising — despite grumbling from some major advertisers, the major TV networks are achieving higher rates for ad time in the coming fall season. Notable among the dissenters, however, has been General Motors, which is behind only Procter & Gamble and AT&T as a buyer and has been demanding a decrease in rates from last year.   (Source)

National brands looking local for higher ROI
Eighty-eight percent of North American national brands are investing in local marketing, but fewer are measuring their return on that investment, according to a Balihoo survey. About 1 in 5 brands are allocating 25% or more of their marketing budgets to local efforts, according to the survey, although more than half of brands don’t measure local marketing ROI. Most brands, however, expect an ROI for local to meet or exceed that of national advertising.  (Source)

Facebook Poll:   Ads Not Attracting Much Interest                                       A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 4 out of 5 Facebook users have never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network site, the latest sign that the company faces some big challenges to turn its 900 million customer base into advertising dollars.

The online poll also found that 34% of Facebook users surveyed were spending less time on the website than six months ago, whereas only 20% were spending more.

Results like this and a totally botch IPO stock offering underscore worries about Facebook’s money-making abilities.  Those concerns were exacerbated last month when General Motors Co, the third largest advertiser in the United States, said it would stop paid advertising on Facebook.  Its stock is down 29+% since its initial public offering last month, reducing its market value by $30 billion to roughly $74 billion.

Consumers’ increasing use of smartphones to access Facebook has been a drag on the company’s revenue. It offers only limited advertising on the mobile version of its site and analysts say the company has yet to figure out the ideal way to make money from mobile users.  (Source)

A Peak Into Online Marketers Emerging Digital Strategy                       An Adobe’s Digital Marketing Optimization survey indicated that more than two-thirds of online marketers say they will be performing more website analytics checks with social media analytics being  a priority for more than half of respondents. The study indicates that resources will likely be shifted toward the creation of more video (61% of marketers said they’d be focused on that), as well as interactive publications (a priority for 45% of respondents). The survey also shows dissatisfaction with testing methods.  (Source)

Google:  Going Local Thru Social Network                                                  The Google+ social network will be the focal point for a new effort by the search giant to capture local business advertising. Google’s “Business Builder” will combine local search data with smartphone applications such as Punchd, for loyalty rewards, and TalkBin, a mobile-phone feedback service for merchants. Google hopes local businesses will feel better connected to their customers through Google+ and that in turn will spur display advertising as well as coupon offers and other deals through the social network.

At the core of Google’s campaign is a desire to get more local merchants to spend money on digital advertising, including on Google’s search engine, where 20% of searches are for local information.  According to BIA/Kelsey, digital-ad spending by local businesses last year reached $21.2 billion, a figure that is expected to increase by more than 12% annually. (Source)

Some Yellow Pages Love (Yes, It Still Does Happen)                              Here are some recent examples:

Phone books are still useful:  For many adults, looking up your name in the South Central Bell telephone directory meant you had ‘arrived.’

Lessons I Learned From Phone Book Advertising Part I | Your …:  I enjoy placing my business in phone books for several reasons. I find that the response is good if you have correct placement.

Tips for Finding a Roofing Company « Iowa Appliance Rebate …:  The phone book is another good way to find a roofing company in your area.

The big steps to starting a small business:  There are literally thousands of web sites with information on how to create and circulate your newsletter or book. Yellow Pages – This can be a more expensive source for marketing but a high profile way to get your name in the public eye.

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