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Grey Group Marketing Digest - December 2007

Marketing Digest - December 2007

Bit By Agonising Bit
The new Australian government has hit the ground running. Already the new Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has announced a firm switch-off date for analogue television across Australia: December 2013. It’s an ambitious target, considering that digital television penetration currently stands at around 30% in the lucky country.

And what of Aotearoa, where digital television is already enjoyed by some 45% of the population? Surely we can manage to make this critical evolution happen even faster than our trans-Tasman cousins?

Attendees at last month’s Digital Future Summit were privy to a history-making announcement from the new Minister of Broadcasting, the Hon. Trevor Mallard. Mr Mallard proudly announced that – well, that 2012 would be the year that the Government would finally announce when it planned to close down analogue television. The Minister then went on to suggest that the actual closedown itself might be a further six to ten years away.

Wow. A teaser, pre-announcing an announcement still five years in the future, about a possible outcome a further decade away. That’ll bring us into the digital era a mere nine years after Australia.

We applaud the long-term planning; it’s just a little unfortunate that “Digital By 2022 – or somewhere around then” will leave us just a little bit behind not just Australia but also most every other broadcaster elsewhere in the world, some of whom have already pulled the analogue TV plug (Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Finland, Andorra, Sweden, Switzerland), are currently shutting down old technology on a regional-rollout basis (Germany, UK, Austria) or have a planned switch-off date already specified (US 2009, Canada 2011, Japan 2011, China 2015, Brazil 2016, etc). At this rate, we can expect the compassionate scientists at MIT to start working on an ODTPK (“one digital television per Kiwi”) project just as soon as they’re finished with their One Laptop Per Child manifesto.

In the midst of all this, as Bill Ralston recently observed in the Herald On Sunday, there’s a major debate raging (as part of consideration of the new Copyright Bill) over whether or not Sky should be able to carry free-to-air broadcasters’ signals without charge:

“TVNZ and other free-to-air broadcasters argue they want to be able to charge Sky for being retransmitted on the Sky platform. Currently, TVNZ has a deal that lets Sky transmit TV One and TV2 but that runs out in 2011. TVNZ would like to set a high price on its rebroadcast rights and is desperately lobbying Parliament to let it do that.

“The problem is, viewers may well be the losers. If TVNZ succeeds and sets an extortionate price on its channels, Sky may drop them. That could be good news for Freeview because many of us might then buy a box so as to still get TVNZ.

“In fact, TVNZ might deliberately put a huge price on its channels so as to deny Sky its signal, thinking that this will hurt its rival and boost its Freeview system.

“The trouble is, many of us may not rush off to Freeview as a result.”

A sizable number of viewers now watch the free-to-air channels through their Sky box: last month, 30% of both TV One and TV3 audiences (and 23% of TV2 audiences) watched via satellite. Deprived of a digital signal, these viewers may revert to land-based aerials – or they may just dial back on their dalliance with free-to-air. So many other channels, so little time …

There’s a clear and present danger, of course, that all this discussion over digital delivery mechanisms may already be irrelevant. More and more viewers, especially those of a certain (younger) age, are watching their favourite international shows online, downloading the likes of Heroes, Lost and Desperate Housewives from file-sharing sites as soon as they’re available (immediately after their US or UK debut – typically weeks or months before they’re screened over here).

The BBC was reporting twelve months ago that each new episode of Lost was being illegally downloaded more than a million times – that number has likely doubled by now. Internet researcher Envisional is reporting that nearly two-thirds of all Internet use is peer-to-peer network traffic – and most of that is related to piracy. New Zealand’s usage of such facilities has been limited by the parlous state of broadband under the current telecommunications regime – but by 2012, we’re told, faster cheaper broadband will be here (cue Tui billboard). Current Government tinkering with the Copyright Act is unlikely to diminish the demand of today’s viewers for the latest TV shows, right here, right now.

Broadcasters everywhere (including here) are moving their content online as quickly as their business models allow, in response to the demands of their consumers for anytime anywhere television. Amongst the latest movers and shakers: the UK’s BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 who recently announced the creation of a commercial three-way joint venture to launch an on-demand content service in 2008 with the working title of 'Kangaroo'.

The Kangaroo service will tap into more than ten thousand hours of the UK broadcasters' current and archive programming, all in one place for convenience, simplicity and ease of use. For now, it looks like the service will be confined to the UK – but the BBC has in the recent past been exploring the ramifications of rolling out its online replays worldwide. Eventually the benefits of doing so will outweigh the revenues to be gained by selling first-run rights in specific overseas territories. Sooner rather than later, especially in small markets like ours, networks will be competing with websites and ISPs for the right to offer the first airings of hot TV series, at the same times as they screen elsewhere in the world.

To no-one’s surprise, consumers expect this online video content to be free – and even those who are willing to pay will not bring new money into the market, so spending on other forms of entertainment will suffer. Such are the findings of a just-released survey of British consumers conducted by YouGov on behalf of the legal firm Olswang.

The Olswang Convergence Consumer Survey, now in its third year, confirms that there is strong support for advertising, rather than payment, as the business model for online media.

“True convergence is starting to take hold in UK households, with more people networking their devices to share content in the home and taking this content with them when on the move,” said Matthew Phillips of Olswang. “This has intensified demand for free content, as consumers want a full range of content for these devices but are unwilling to pay for it. New challenges are facing broadcasters, rights holders and service providers who are keen to target these consumers but need to overcome the issue of reluctance to pay.”

Advertising is likely to become the natural alternative as companies battle to attract an audience that is willing to accept adverts with their content — as long as the content is free. However, the challenge will also include ensuring that consumers keep on the right side of the law as they begin to download more and more material and to use it on an ever-increasing range of devices.”

The US Writers’ Strike, of course, is all about the drift of audiences to online media, with content creators determined to extract their fair share of rewards from shows screening in the online space – and producers equally keen to minimize their costs, especially while the revenue model is so fuzzy. The money involved is still just a small proportion of total ad revenues, but it's growing fast, doubling in size in 2006 and with major increases expected in the next year (according to digital media research company Accustream). The total US online video advertising market is expected to be worth close to US$1.3bn this year, with an estimated US$120m in ad revenues accruing to the four main US networks. Scale down to taste for your own marketplace.

The good news for marketers is that our money is a welcome component of the online video model. The bad news, however, is that one size won’t fit all – consumers simply won’t sit still for the traditional mass media model, the same TV commercial mindlessly screened for everyone. Consumers will watch our advertising if it’s relevant to them, informative and ideally entertaining. Otherwise, they won’t even pretend to be polite – they’ll just fast-forward, mute or ad-avoid.

Opportunity or problem? In a perfect world, all communications should be relevant to the intended recipients – and the internet provides magnificent targeting possibilities to ensure such matching on a one-to-one basis. It’s just that the adserving tools currently available may not yet be up to the task – and the costs involved in developing multiple creative variants are usually prohibitive. Time for a paradigm shift or two, as Video Insider has also recently noted on its newsletter/blog.

But how long can we afford to wait for marketing to get relevant (and NZ to go digital)?

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Online Shopping Rocks On
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring – or was that a mouse?

Mice – at least those of the species personalis computerus – have been stirring mightily this Christmas season, in New Zealand as around the world. Latest figures from NZ electronic payments processor Paymark indicates that the number of kiwis shopping in cyberspace was up almost 44 per cent in the first two weeks of December, compared with the same period last year.

Last month, according to Nielsen Online, 1.3 million New Zealand internet users spent NZ$585 million on new and used goods and services - an average of about $450 each. During November, some 63% of internet users aged 18+ made an online purchase, a percentage that – if the Paymark figures are any guide – should increase to as much as 75% of Kiwi web users shopping online during December.

Generally, as identified by Nielsen Online’s New Zealand Online Retail Monitor, NZ online purchasing is dominated by women (which is why, as Sam Morgan mentioned at the Digital Futures Summit, online auction site Trade Me has always been designed for that demographic). Another unsurprising factoid: the younger the age group, the more likely they are to shop online.

The strongest categories for online purchasing (in terms of total spend) have always been flights, accommodation and clothing/accessories. Online purchasing tends to mirror offline retail patterns and consequently declines through the winter months and then rises again in spring. Some of this increase is as a result of the start of Christmas spending.

Yes, amazingly (this will come as a shock to most of our male readers), Christmas shopping online takes place early.

30% of all Christmas-related travel services online are purchased before October.
• 45% of research and 17% of purchasing for gifts takes place before October.
94% of internet users researched products and services online in October.
• However 32% hold off purchasing gifts online until December (40% of Kiwi males!);
• and 18% even hold off buying Christmas related travel until December – perhaps those people hunting for last minute online travel deals from the likes of GrabASeat.

Most popular Kiwi Christmas gifts, in order: Clothing, Books, Toys, Gift vouchers, Beauty products.

It’s Local

Just 15% of Kiwi spend online was from overseas websites in October, and this is a fair reflection of the trend through out the year. Areas which attract more spend on overseas websites are all aspects of travel (flights, accommodation and car hire), but also software downloads, non-downloaded music (CDs etc) and inevitably books.

And It’s Global

This masculine imperative (the slow-to-buy-prezzies gene) isn’t just a Kiwi bloke thing. Male procrastinators abound around the world this holiday season, according to the US National Retail Federation’s 2007 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. The survey – conducted from the 4th to the 11th of December - found that nearly one in five men (19.4%) had yet to begin their holiday shopping, more than women (13.7%) or young adults 18-24 (17.6%).

An impressive 25 million US consumers (11.7%) have completely finished their holiday shopping, but more than 35 million shoppers (16.5%) admit they haven’t even started. Thus far, the average person has completed about half (52.6%) of his or her shopping, compared to 53.1 percent at this time last year.

According to the survey, department stores are expected to be the destination of choice the week before Christmas, as 42.4 percent of shoppers plan to visit those stores to finish up holiday shopping. Other destinations will include discount stores (38.9%), the internet (34.9%), and specialty stores (29.9%).

Most popular presents in the US? Same as in NZ. Clothing and accessories have been the most popular gifts this holiday season, with 44.4 percent of consumers (and 49.8% of women) purchasing at least one item this year. Books, CDs, and DVDs (41.9%) have also been popular choices, as are toys (35.4%).

eCommerce Lessons For Next Christmas

The Atlas Institute, the research and education arm of Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Solutions, crunched a zillion numbers from Christmas 2006 and reached some fascinating conclusions about online advertising and shopping in the lead-up to Christmas:

1. Online retail holiday shopping remains predictable: Mondays continue to be king. Online shopping activity swells after Thanksgiving, climaxing on the Monday two weeks before Christmas. It’s interesting to note that there is a similar “Black Friday” effect online, much like that of offline sales. Sales on the Friday (after Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday) were 42 percent above average. Unlike offline shopping, which peaks over the weekends, peak days online will be on Mondays and Tuesdays.

For this Christmas Atlas were predicting that the peak online shopping day would again be on the Monday two weeks before Christmas – December 10th. They selected this day, not only for the aforementioned trends, but also due to the push and pull of human procrastination and shipping concerns. While procrastination pulls the peak shopping day closer to Christmas, shipping concerns push the peak day back.

A curious aside: The Times of London was reporting last week that “the most lucrative moment in British online shopping history began at 1.09pm [on Monday the 10th of December] when more than £750,000 was spent in a single minute.

“Nine minutes after their lunch break began, office workers joined other online shoppers to create the ‘Mega Minute’ – the peak shopping moment of the year.

“Experts predicted that online sales would reach £370 million on the 10th, the peak for the year. It surpassed the £291 million record set on the so-called “Mega Monday” last week, and is expected to remain unbroken until Christmas next year.

“During the peak minute an average of 128 people every second spent almost £100 each – a total of £767,500 for the minute.”

2. Advertisers have opportunities through both the Online Crush and Offline Rush: Increasing marketing budgets for the holiday season translates to both increased reach to new shopping prospects as well as increased ad frequency. However, the highest consumption of ads occurred after the primary rush of online purchasing activity.

Advertisers would be wise to adjust their messaging and offers to the mental and behavioral shift that occurs on Cyber Monday. For instance, advertisers can allay consumers’ shipping concerns with offers of guaranteed shipping. Consumers will also be attracted to in-store pickups, and last minute deals that are highlighted “still in stock” in your brick and mortar stores.

3. Target campaign messages and distributions to those at work, before the peak shopping day. Prime online transaction hours are usually between noon and 4 pm. Analysing the results for the 2006 holiday season confirmed that shopping behavior is no different during this time. It may be worth considering paying a premium for space on Mondays and Tuesdays, placements during the middle of the day, fixed one-day placements or high-impact rich media. Although Cyber Monday might be the peak in online sales, it’s important to maintain an online presence throughout the holiday season.

NB We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that much of the NZ-specific information in this article comes from Nielsen Online, who’ve compiled a 13 page report on NZ Online Christmas research & purchasing, spend online & offline, research and purchasing of gifts, travel, and entertainment, types of gifts purchased, research and purchase timings, consumer motivations and demographic segmentation. Too late for this Christmas, sure, but a wealth of knowledge as you gear up for Christmas 2008. Email Tony Boyte for the details.

Sky 1 Gets A Makeover
Sky 1 is getting a bit of a do-up, complete with a new name and a brand new on-air look. From 1 February 2008 Sky Digital Channel 5 will be relaunched as THE BOX. New programmes include master illusionist Criss Angel: Mindfreak, new Australian drama Dangerous, and a reality series with ‘The Crusty Demons’ called Dirt Demons. There’ll also be new season episodes of hit series including CSI, CSI: Miami, SVU, My Name is Earl, The Real Hustle, Hogan Knows Best, Battlestar Galactica and more.

It probably is time for a refresh for the channel. We like the new logo, but not sure about the name “The Box” because of the generic-to-television nature of said honorific. Still, we remember back to the days when the channel was simply called Orange, which (at least to us) seemed a pretty odd branding choice. In comparison, The Box is a downright traditional appelation.

As a general entertainment channel on a pay television platform, Sky1/The Box is something of an anomaly anyway, amidst narrowly focused channels offering sports, movies, docos, music et al. As a result, it doesn’t have a natural constituency and must appeal for its viewers on a programme by programme basis, competing with free-to-air broadcasters and even its sister channel Vibe. Fortunately, ratings aren’t everything in the world of pay television.

Unravelling Her Shopping DNA
We’ve already noted above that women, virtual or real world, are the primary shoppers. So we thought we’d delve a little deeper, and unearthed an online survey of over 3,000 women ages 18-49, released earlier this year by US-based AMP Agency.

According to that report, how a woman approaches shopping does not change as she grows older, shifts from life stage to life stage, moves from region to region, has children, or moves income brackets. A woman's approach to shopping is very much part of who she is: "it is part of her DNA."

The report suggests that there are distinct approaches to shopping, and identified and segmented women across four distinct mind-sets or "Shopping Genes":

The Content Responsibles (20% - Practical, Loyal, Efficient)
The Natural Hybrids (34% - Confident, Balanced, Classic)
The Social Catalysts (35% - Social, Smart, Trendy)
The Cultural Artists (11% - Creative, Impulsive, Adventurous)

With US$418 Billion up for grabs every year in the US (perhaps a little less over here), figuring out how women shop might help marketers determine how to connect with them in distinct and effective ways, hints the report.

The groups were based on the respondents' self-reported views of themselves and their place in the world according to respondents' answers to a series of "influencer" type questions. This is how an estimated 67,560,586 women in the United States between the ages 18-49 slice up in population and overall discretionary and nondiscretionary spending.

Social Catalysts: 24 Million people / Spending US$153 Billion
Natural Hybrids: 23 Million / Spending $133 Billion
Content Responsibles: 13.5 Million / Spending $70 Billion
Cultural Artists: 7.5 Million / Spending $62 Billion

And, on an individual annual spending basis, says the report:

Cultural Artist will spend an average of $7,672 annually
Natural Hybrid $5,383 Annually
Social Catalyst $6,035 Annually
Content Responsible $4,778 Annually

While the trendsetting Cultural Artists rank at the bottom for overall spend, they are spending more on an individual basis. And when it comes to key influencer categories including Fashion, Beauty, Health and Wellness, and Food categories, the Cultural Artists spending reigns.

This 11% of consumers falls at the highest end of the influence spectrum as the super influencers. Almost half stated they frequently go shopping just to see what's new in the stores. They are always shopping and almost all of them (97%) are willing to try new and different things and generally, want to be the first to try new things on the market , with a significant 85% reporting so. Surprisingly, they do rely strongly on information from friends, particularly across fashion, technology and health and beauty.

The Natural Hybrid (34%), is a cross between a social and trend-following butterfly and a grounded domestic diva. They look for classic products, things that aren't too trendy and are long lasting. Though 80% like to try new products, only half say they are likely to be the first of their friends to try new things, while the other half would rather their friends try first and report.

The Social Catalyst (35%) group falls near the top of the influencer spectrum and can be one of the strongest brand advocates. They are the planners, organizers, take pride in their friendship status and tend consider themselves the experts amongst their group. Almost 80% of this group think a night on the town is money well spent, but they are likely to seek out bargains to keep up with the latest trends. Only a third, however, is willing to spend money on products that may appear to be a fad.

The Content Responsible (20%) group is neither a trendsetter nor trend spreader, and not much of a spender, but they can be lifelong and increasingly loyal customers. 80% agreed that social status was not an important part of their life. These Practical, Responsible, Loyal consumers crave a hassle free shopping experience. Shopping to them is not seen as fun past time, but rather an errand or chore.

For more information on the report including marital status, number of children, ethnicity, working moms versus stay-at-home moms, household income, profession, area of residence and age, please check it out here.

What We’re Reading
The well-known prayer invites us to “ask for the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference”. Somehow that gets you through.

And that’s the problem. We’ve come to believe that when we face enormous challenges that can be solved only by influencing intractable behaviours, we might attempt a couple of change strategies. When they fail miserably, we surrender. It’s time to quit and move on. We tell ourselves that we’re not influencers, and that it’s time to turn our attention to things that are in our control. We seek serenity.

Every year over 3,000 Americans drown – many of them in public pools. This ugly statistic remained unchanged until a team of tenacious leaders from the YMCA and Redwoods Insurance decided to abandon serenity and search for a workable change strategy. It wasn’t long before they reduced fatal accidents at YMCA pools by two-thirds simply by employing a few influence strategies.

To reduce the senseless loss of lives, the team found a way to encourage YMCA lifeguards to alter how they performed their job. Now that’s no easy challenge because it requires the ability to exert influence over hundreds of teenage employees across the organization. However when it came to guarding, the team discovered that one vital behaviour – something they called “10/10 scanning” – was a key to saving lives.

It turns out that traditional lifeguards spend much of their time greeting members, adjusting swim lanes, picking up kickboards or testing pool chemicals. However when lifeguards stand in a specific spot and scan their section of the pool every 10 seconds and then offer assistance to anyone in trouble within 10 seconds, drowning rates drop by two-thirds. To date, scores of communities have been spared the devastating loss of a life because a handful of clever influencers looked for a way to change behaviour rather than accepting the existing reality.

The new book Influencer: The Power To Change Anything by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan & Al Switzler (McGraw Hill, New York 2008) argues that there are actual leaders out there who – instead of continually seeking “the wisdom to know the difference” - have instead sought the wisdom to make a difference. And they’ve found it. They’ve discovered that when it comes to changing the world, what most of us lack is not the courage to change things but the skill to do so.

The promise of this book is that almost all the profound, pervasive and persistent problems we face in our lives, our companies and our world can be solved. They can be solved because those problems don’t require solutions that defy the laws of nature; they require people to act differently. And while it’s true that most of us aren’t at all skilled at getting ourselves and others to behave differently, there are experts out there who do it all the time.

In fact, so the book suggests, one of the best-kept secrets in the world is that over the past half-century a handful of behavioural science theorists and practitioners have discovered the power to change just about anything. The authors of the book then go on to track down those people who have successfully exerted influence over human behaviour, identify their principles and strategies and attempt to communicate those ideas to the reader.

The notion that deep-rooted human behaviours can be changed is an intriguing concept and well worth exploring. You’ll find Influencer in local bookstores.

On Our Blog
Stories featured recently on our blog:

Hold The Presses! News Is News!
Turns out that people who read online newspapers are pretty influential. That's the conclusion of a new Millward Brown study just released by the US National Newspaper Network and the Newspaper Association of America.

Gen Z as well?
We've seen a cascade of statistics that describe the always-connectedness of Gen Y. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the upcoming Gen Z (and specifically the 8-12s at the leading edge of this generation) are already über-connected themselves. So much for the simple pleasures of childhood.

TV3 & Those Sunday Morning Ads
Stuff is reporting that TV3 has been sued for showing ads on Sunday mornings during the Rugby World Cup, despite longstanding legislation to the contrary. According to Stuff, "A Ministry for Culture and Heritage spokeswoman confirmed yesterday the government department had filed proceedings against TV3 in the Auckland District Court under the Broadcasting Act. A conviction for breaching section 81 could lead to a fine of up to $100,000.

Sky Television Wins Gold
In a major blow to the free-to-air networks in general, and Television New Zealand in particular, the world's biggest sporting contest has finally made the move across to Sky and Prime. The International Olympic Committee has confirmed its agreement with SKY Network Television's free-to-air channel, PRIME, for the New Zealand broadcast rights for the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games.

Robbed? Gen Y Under Scrutiny
A story in the Sydney Morning Herald early in November suggested that Gen Y "are missing out on benefits enjoyed by their predecessors." The article, citing a study by Roy Morgan Research, posed the question: "What if today's young adults, the so-called generation Y, were finding it tougher than their predecessors, generation X, while at the same time baby boomers grew ever richer, using their wealth to lock their children out of the housing market?"

To read these stories in full, go to,34, While you’re there, sign up for our RSS feed so that you’ll get the nod as soon as new blog entries are posted.

Merry Christmas!
We wish you the most glorious Christmas and the happiest of New Years. If this is your holiday season, enjoy your break, drive safely, and we look forward to your company in 2008.And a little Christmas message from us can be found here:

GREYgroup, a subsidiary of WPP, has 568 offices in 152 cities across 87 countries. Within New Zealand GREYgroup offers multiple solutions under one roof. In NZ we have three operating divisions:

G2 is a next-generation advertising agency that combines the best of traditional marketing, direct response and interactive disciplines: the human insights of traditional marketers, the Direct Response focus on results and the detailed data/process approach of the web-savvy.

Grey Healthcare offers innovation in specialist healthcare communications, whether aimed at healthcare professionals, administrators, public sector health interests or consumer targets.

MediaCom is one of the world's largest and most respected independent media planning and buying organisations - small enough to be flexible, nimble and closely in touch with our clients. But MediaCom is also the local arm of a global media powerhouse, ranked #6 in the world and looking after more than $17 billion in worldwide billings.

You’ll find us all at

MARKETING DIGEST is published by GREYgroup, P O Box 3369 Auckland New Zealand, Phone 09 914 4739 Fax 09 914 4901, Second Floor, 1 Cross Street, Newton

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