“Milestones” were the hallmark of 2018 as consumers weathered the highs and lows of another eventful year in America. Snowboarding icon Shaun White shred major powder on the men’s halfpipe to earn America it’s 100th Winter Olympics Gold Medal. African-American girls, clad in their Sunday best, sipped tea to salute the first African-American woman to become British royalty. And most recently, the midterm elections, coined the “most expensive” and “most watched” captivated the country in an epic battle for congressional seats and equality. In our final report of the year, ThinkNow Snapshot: 2018 Total Market Markers & Milestones™, we highlight some of the major shifts in trends that impacted economic outlook, holiday spending, and digital media use.
MarTech companies have been focusing on incorporating datasets outside of traditional marketing data to create a more robust identity of a target consumer. With the rapid evolution of MarTech this past year with blockchain, AI and machine learning—what’s next? 2018 has been an exponential year of evolution for MarTech. Blockchain, AI, and machine learning have enabled MarTech to process and make sense of more data than ever before. On a high level, MarTech companies have been focusing on incorporating datasets outside of traditional marketing data to create a more robust identification of a target consumer from web, call centers, point of sale, social, television, and print.
With its ongoing investment in original content, Netflix continues its dominance over traditional broadcast and is slowly but steadily disrupting the reign of large movie studios. Expected to spend $13 billion on original programming this year, Netflix clearly has no plans to slow down. In fact, our most recent study highlights its meteoric rise across the total market, noting the viewership gap between live TV and Netflix is becoming significantly narrower (6 points in 2018 vs. 23 points in 2017)
According to our most recent retail study, this holiday shopping season is predicted to be a real clash of the titans as Amazon and Walmart fight for the top spot in sales. From Walmart investing more in its online shopping platform to Amazon continuing to invest in its brick-and-mortar expansion, the two retail giants are battling it out. Unlike last year, Walmart, although by a small margin, topped Amazon this year, pulling ahead as the top retail destination for holiday shoppers this season. More consumers said they would shop at Walmart and Kmart this year compared to one year ago. The close of Toys “R” Us may be a contributing factor to this. So what can retailers learn from Walmart’s battle with Amazon?
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Women’s entrepreneurship is thriving in America. According to the 2018 State of Women-Owned Business report commissioned by American Express, 1,821 women-owned businesses were launched per day over the last year, bringing the total number of women-owned firms to 12.3 million, employing over 9 million people and accounting for $1.8 trillion in revenue. So, in these last few days of October, as we wind down the celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month, we are still reminded of the tremendous contributions women business owners have made to the global economy, but also charged with challenging the antiquated mindsets and inadequate policies that still plague our cause.
New Report Finds Companies Underinvest in Digital Ad Spend to Reach Multicultural Consumers Today marks the last day of Hispanic heritage month, but the first time that digital media across ethnicity and race has been reported in the United States. Today is an important day for all of us in marketing, not just multicultural marketing. It is a day when the Mainstream ad spend will begin to be measured by ethnicity and race. Up to now, the mainstream has been synonymous with non-Hispanic Whites. But, given the dramatic changes in our demographic landscape over the last 20-years, the Mainstream or should I say, the New Mainstream is becoming a multicultural majority, and needs to be measured across ethnicity and race, moving forward.
Almost 60% of the total market has heard of cryptocurrency. But if you are Hispanic or African-American, you are less likely to know what bitcoin is or how it works. Among Asian-Americans, however, this isn’t the case. According to our most recent study, “Cross-Cultural Cryptocurrency Insights,” nearly 70% of Asian-Americans are aware of cryptocurrency, followed closely by non-Hispanic whites at 61%. But awareness of cryptocurrency among Hispanics and African-Americans is low, which is surprising for two cohorts that typically over-index in digital usage and awareness. So what makes this technology so different?
In marketing, it’s important to keep pace with demographic change. Even better to stay ahead. Right now, for instance, significant changes in the U.S. cultural landscape have made multicultural marketing imperative. As a small advertising agency in today’s economy, if you aren’t incorporating multicultural consumers into your work, you are hurting your agency’s growth and your clients’ growth. To put it bluntly, if you aren’t doing multicultural marketing, you will not succeed. Consider the following reasons: The Asian population in the U.S. grew by 72% within fifteen years (2000 to 2015), according to Pew Research, placing this population as the fastest growing of the major racial groups.
Canadian rapper Drake has been dominating global music charts for the past decade. In an industry often defined by one-hit wonders and flash-in-the-pan successes, Drake consistently turns out music that breaks streaming and sales records time after time. Not only does he dominate the music industry, but his social media accounts are the envy of brands and influencers alike, amassing a record number of fiercely loyal followers across his platforms. So, what are the keys to his success? And more specifically, how can agencies tap into the marketing mojo of Drake? From my perspective, there are three lessons agencies can learn from the rap phenomenon that is Drake.
Years ago, TV viewers watched and recorded their favorite shows on cable. Chained to our VCRs, we collected episode laden VHS tapes like squirrels collect nuts in the winter. Then DVRs came along, liberating us from reels of magnetic tape and wooing us with the allure of live TV on our own terms. Flash forward a few years. Streaming services disrupt TV as we know it. Viewers now have the option to stream entire seasons of shows from every genre, from throwbacks like The Wonder Years and Full House to Game of Thrones and Westworld, and everything in between. At ThinkNow, we’ve studied this shift in media consumption for three years now. Our ThinkNow Media™ report tracks cross-platform viewing, streaming habits, gaming, and binge viewing habits across the total market.