In this era of consumer self-awareness, marketers are interested in health-related questions such as these: Do you think YOU are healthy? If yes or no, what criteria are you using? Are you being truthful or rationalizing? How would you describe your eating patterns and level of physical activity?
Recently, Nielsen conducted in-depth research on this subject. Here are some meaningful conclusions:
“Despite the recent explosion of the health-and-wellness industry, one-third of American adults remain clinically obese. According to findings in the Nielsen/NMI Health and Wellness in America report, we literally want to have our cake and carrot juice — and eat them, too. For example, while 75 percent of us say we feel we can manage health issues through proper nutrition, a whole 91 percent of us admit to snacking all day on candy, ice cream, and chips. So, why is there a disconnect between our what we know is healthy and what we actually do? What are the perceptions around ‘health foods’ that prevent us from making better choices? And how can retailers help bridge the gap?”
Click the image to access the Nielsen health-and-wellness report.
As we have written several times before, the marketing dictionary seems to be exploding. The new term for today is sympathetic pricing.
According to Trendwatching.com, sympathetic pricing is driven by this phenomenon:
“Get ready for a wave of imaginative discounts that relieve lifestyle pain points, offer a helping hand in difficult times, or support a shared value.”
However, Trendwatching.com adds that:
“When brands claim to care about people and their everyday challenges, or about the shared problems we all face – sustainability, social responsibility, and more – most consumers think they’re just saying that. Sure, that’s a simple characterization of a complex issue, and it doesn’t apply to all consumers and every brand.”
“But countless surveys, reports, and statistics all point in the same direction: when it comes to truly caring about consumers, owning a higher purpose and generally being a more HUMAN BRAND, most people think that most brands still don’t get it.”
Click the image to read a LOT more about sympathetic pricing — from the seller’s and the buyer’s perspectives.
The complexities and variability of airfares can be disconcerting even to the most patient people. Two recent articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal illustrate the situation. The second article referenced in this post shows how dire matters are to many fliers — the government is proposing a new disclosure rule.
First, Scott McCartney reported about the “Airfare Riddle: Same Flight, Different Prices”:
“The flight is the same. Even the seat is the same. So why is the airline charging two different — sometimes very different — prices? American Airlines and US Airways, which merged late last year, are selling seats on each other’s airplanes. But they are pricing tickets separately, and will continue to do so for the next 18 to 24 months. American flights have one price in American’s reservation system and sometimes a different price in US Airways’ reservation system. Same for flights on US Airways airplanes: Check both AA.com and USAirways.com and you’re likely to see different prices.”
“The savings opportunity for savvy travelers can sometimes be large. Earlier this week, a one-way ticket on American’s Flight 1054 from Boston to Dallas-Fort Worth was $656 on American’s website, but only $346 on USAirways.com. A Phoenix-Seattle round trip on US Airways flights for travel June 13 to 20 was $359 on US Airways’ Web site, but only $298 on AA.com.”
Within McCartney’s article was an interesting chart. Click the image for a larger version.
Illustrations by Jean Tuttle
Second, Jack Nicas wrote about “U.S. Government Proposes Requiring Airlines to Disclose More Fees”:
“The U.S. Transportation Department’s proposed new rule would enable customers to see airline fees for the first two checked bags, a carry-on bag, and a seat reservation alongside airfares when they browse for tickets. The requirement is largely aimed at improving fliers’ ability to compare prices between carriers on travel Web sites like Kayak and Expedia. ‘The current system does not give consumers accurate pricing and does not allow comparative shopping,’ said Charlie Leocha, head of the Consumer Travel Alliance, a flier-advocacy group. ‘This new system will… So it is a dramatic change.'”
Within Nicas’ article was another interesting chart. Click the image for a larger version.
We have another new term for our expanded marketing dictionary: “injected advertising.” This occurs when third parties with sophisticated software programs upload online ads onto the Web sites of unsuspecting companies. Only the third-party firm gets paid for the ad. This is clearly a practice that is upsetting to many companies on whose sites such ads appear.
For example, not long ago, a Target ad popped up on the Walmart.com Web site.This occurred without the knowledge or permission of Walmart.com.
How does this happen? Alex Kantrowitz, writing for Ad Age, explains it thusly:
“In one of the most bizarre scenes you’ll see on the internet, a Target ad recently ran smack in the middle of Walmart.com. The ad wasn’t sold by Wal-Mart, though. That’s because Walmart.com doesn’t even sell the ad space Target bought. But there it was, running in plain sight when Ad Age visited the retail giant’s Web site late last month.”
“This ad was no momentary glitch. It sits at the heart of a scheme that uses browser extensions to place ads on the Web sites of some of the biggest advertisers in the world, including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Macy’s, Dell, and Samsung. These are forcefully ‘injected’ onto sites and sold by third parties without the owners’ permission. Those third parties pocket the proceeds.
Click the image for an Ad Age video on injected advertising. Then, go full screen for the best viewing.