Digital’s Top Line May Be a 25% Share of Retail Sales

projected us retail sales

According to eMarketer, total retail sales in the US will grow 14% to $5.7 trillion by 2021. Interestingly, sales through eCommerce and mCommerce will grow between 4% and 5% through the same period.  The suggestion in those numbers, should they hold, is that sales through digital channels is leveling off.  Sales through digital will continue to grow as total retail sales grow, but they are likely to flatten at about one quarter of total retail in the ten-year horizon.  Source: eMarketer

Chinese Consumer Confidence UP

consumer confidence

China’s consumer confidence soared in February, jumping more than 3% compared to January.  It foreshadowed the positive GDP number of 6.9% announced by the government last week and a reflection of the industrial growth we reported a couple weeks ago.  Reports of China’s economic stagnation were apparently pre-mature.  February’s index number of 112.6 is the highest we have seen since we started watching consumer confidence in January 2015.  Sources: Trading Economics: National Bureau of Statistics, China; New York Times

The Integrated Marketing Approach

marketing approach

Results from Adobe’s 2017 Digital Trends Report support the obvious though often neglected fact of marketing: to be successful all elements of a marketing plan must to be integrated into one focused message with individual elements supporting the central theme.  Brands that adhere to this approach have a better chance to succeed.

The winning strategy:

  • Focus on the customer’s experience
  • Build content to support it
  • Integrate social and other new media into the plan
  • Personalize the message
  • And use resulting analytics to adjust

Source: DMN

UK Study: Ad Viewability Improves

ad viewability

A UK study, by Integral Ad Science, revealed two positive turns that occurred in 2016.  Ad viewability went up dramatically while brand risk went down both in video and display. Other things that came to the surface include:

  • For the first time, video advertising outperformed display
  • Ad fraud rates were reduced when prevention technology is used: 0.3% wit – 4.9% without
  • Home pages attract significantly more fraud than secondary pages implying that fraudsters live on the surface.

Source: ADTech Daily

A Place for Digital Radio in the Ad Mix

digital radio

This blog has cited the new reality that cross-channel marketing is a growing pattern.  The channels commonly included are TV, mobile, digital, radio and print.  Often left out of this matrix is digital radio, which claims 22 million unique users spending eleven hours per week listening.  In the overall scheme of things these numbers are small potatoes compared to a user rate of thirty five hours a week for overall digital consumption. But digital radio is here and it has the advantage of being, as McLuhan said, a hot medium, one that engages its listeners more than audio-video media. This tendency to focus concentration is good for advertising.  Source: CampaignUS; Statista

Credit Suisse: Chinese Consumer Spending Growth to Continue

credit suisse

Below are five takeaways from the seventh annual Emerging Consumer Survey conducted by Credit Suisse Research Institute’s (CSRI).  They reinforce the point that the Chinese consumer class will be the continuing story of growth well into the future.

  • A growing older population means more spending on healthcare
  • 40% of Chinese consumers intend to increase sports activity
  • 80% are practicing more healthy eating
  • Spending on large-ticket items outstrips spending on basics
  • Entertainment expenditures are up 50% since 2010

Each of these behaviors contribute to an expanding economy based on positive consumer expectations. Source:

New Reality for Cross-Channel Marketing

cross channel

The new reality is that marketers don’t buy just TV or mobile or digital or radio or print.  Today they launch campaigns across the entire media landscape. And, based on the survey represented here, 2017 appears to be the year when measurement and audience analytics from the individual mediums will become more and more integrated to reflect the cross-channel reality.   Source: eMarketer

…and Quality Counts Too

quality quantity

In recent weeks we have noted increased concern about quality ad placement in the age of programmatic ad buying, when the human is removed from the process.  One could get the impression that there is an overwhelming swing toward human intervention until an article in Dididay argues that scale is still the central concern.  “[People] talk out of both sides of their mouths. Scale wins over quality,” says Patrick Keane, president of Sharethrough and former CEO of Associated Content, in a brutally honest statement of the reality he sees.  The point: building revenue numbers is the ultimate driver for publishers and advertisers alike….and yes, quality counts too.  Source: Digiday


February’s Retail Sales Come Back

monthly retails sales

February’s retail sales growth has bounced back after a notably slower growth month in January, as illustrated by the slight dip in the line.  It looks minor in the scheme of things, but given the monthly consistency that preceded it, the drop seemed important at the time.  Now that growth has returned to prior norms, January can be viewed as an anomaly, though we will watch for further gyrations in future data. Source: Trading Economics: National Bureau of Statistics, China

Safe or Sorry

Impression filter

As brand safety becomes more of an issue, it is incumbent on advertisers and their agencies to protect their valuable names by preventing guilt-by-association ad placement. It is the kind of thing that can be done in-house, but it can easily be resource sink of epic proportions. The only real answer is a third-party, independent pre-bid brand safety expert. Here is a list of companies that specialize in brand safety in alphabetical order: AdXpose, AdYapper, Double Verify, GeoEdge Analytics, Proximic, Peer3g, Project SunBlock, RealVU, The Media Trust.  Sources: NowOnlineAdvertising .com; MediaPost