J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.

Twitter by the numbers: An eMarketer report

Research firm eMarketer gives us a peek at its new report on Twitter usage, which offers some juicy predictions for marketers.

Among findings shared in the report summary:

  • 14% of all U.S. adult Internet users will be using Twitter in 2013
  • Twitter usage rate among 18- to 29-year-olds is double that of the 30-to-49 group
  • A revised 2012 forecast that says 24.1 million U.S. adult Internet users will be on Twitter. The previous forecast had predicted Twitter would reach 36 million.

The whole report will cost you $695, but the summary itself includes some not-insignificant numbers. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Groupon and CP+B: No crying over spilled fish curry

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. It does not endorse any product, services or agency. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

Advertising fun bunch CP+B is having a bad week, Ad Age reports.

Burger King jumped ship after seven years (no loss there), and Groupon’s Andrew Mason is still apologizing for the Super Bowl ad that has been wrongly vilified as the most tasteless spot ever produced in the history of advertising. It’s more than a month after the Super Bowl. Are we really still talking about this? Did the ad really hurt the deal-of-the-day site? Not likely. We are still talking about this ad. No one will shut up about Groupon. The publicity couldn’t have been all bad.

C’mon, didn’t Groupon know what agency they were hiring?

If you don’t want flavor, don’t order the curry. Here’s a similar sentiment from the Ad Age story:

The situation illustrates a classic tension in marketer-agency relationships: Clients say they want to take risks, but later realize they weren’t ready or can’t stomach the criticism associated with them. And CP&B is nothing if not a risk-taker, known for ads that reap miles of PR, even if they stir up controversy.

Maybe when Groupon goes public, Mason can afford some big-boy pants.

As for the disputed ad, judge for yourselves:


Something to thumb through: More e-textbook news

In response to visitors’ interest in The Wall Street Journal story on e-textbooks, I’m now covering textbook publishers’ response to industry demands. As a marketing student who spent a child’s ransom on textbooks this semester, and the semesters before that, I understand the need to find a lower-cost alternative to traditional textbooks. And although I’m tablet enthusiast who is always eager to see what added value emerges as the technology becomes more sophisticated, I’m a compulsive highlighter, note-scribbler and paper-clipper, all of which makes me feel like I learn more. So it’s likely I’ll be slower to adopt e-textbooks.

I doubt I’m the only student who feels this way about textbooks, but as the industry shifts, students’ purchasing habits will have to change. In the spring issue of College Services magazine, Jade Roth, of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, discusses the slowth growth of the e-textbook market — which she attributes to technological and content limitations — and the surge in purchases last year.  Roth reports B&N campus bookstores enjoyed a 3000% increase in e-textbook sales last year — the same year 14% of students reported buying an e-textbook. Roth cites e-readers’ improved functionality and integration among the reasons more students — and faculty — are turning to e-texts.

What’s not mentioned — and I understand why; the author works for B&N — is the 900-pound industry disrupter: the release of the iPad last April. Suddenly the world was introduced to a slick and pretty tablet from a company that can do no wrong. Apple’s halo is super shiny, and it’s understandable that more people — including students, despite iPad’s price tag — would flock to a tablet computer. And if we couldn’t afford an iPad, maybe we went with a NookStudy or a Kindle as e-reader sales doubled in 2010.

In the wake of the iPad/e-reader explosion, social learning outfit Xplana has revised its five-year projections for the e-textbook market. Rob Reynolds blogs that the Xplana report predicts “eventual dominance of digital (textbooks) over print an inevitable outcome within five-seven years.”

Meanwhile, Reuters tells us that the Association of American Publishers reports January e-book sales (not just e-textbooks) jumped to $69.9 million compared with $32.4 million in January 2010 — 115% increase.  Reuters reports adult hardcover and paperback sales dropped in January, but sales in the higher-education category, which includes college textbooks, were down only a bit: $382 million from $387.6 million in 2010 — perhaps further proof that the skyrocketing e-textbook market is far from maturity.

RELATED: This just in: The Associated Press is reporting Borders is closing an additional 28 stores.

Spotted at Tysons Corner

I bravely ventured into the Virginia Department of Transportation’s hellhole known as Tysons Corner for a late dinner at Tysons Corner Center (where the stores are!) and spotted this: It’s a very noticeable ad for the shopping center’s Facebook account, offering connected shoppers “parking secrets,” “gift ideas” and other “insider tips.” The ad’s Facebook-ish bright blue and ‘F’ logo are certainly recognizable, enough to make more than one shopper stop and look. All in all, I think it’s an effective promotion of their social media efforts on Facebook.

Even so, I’d rather drive to the Yukon to shop than Tysons Corner.

Tysons Corner Facebook floor ad


Small Business Saturday: All that small?


And a look at their Facebook page.


‘Class’ on Paragraph Planet

More with the shameless self-promotion! This is me marketing my small works!

I’m happy to say my short “Class” is featured today on Paragraph Planet, a creative writing website that features 75-word pieces on one topic. If you’re a writer, please give it a go. There’s something so satisfying about writing just 75 of just-right words. If you’re a reader, click and click daily. There are some real gems there, and they make for a nice breather between phone calls, a shared human moment before another deadline. Writers may also write a sequel to the posted paragraphs using their own 75 words.

My piece that is featured today was inspired by a quartet of smokers sharing cigs one day after class. Ted Hughes and his crow make a cameo appearance. Check it out while you can. The pieces change daily.

UPDATE: This is the piece that appeared Nov. 22.

Class. Oh, it had been so very good. An odd quartet agreed as they shared their smokes, happily disagreeing on today’s quality of tobacco. Was it North Carolina’s? Virginia’s? Did it matter anymore? Wasn’t soil just the devil’s dirt? Had Hughes’ crow taught us nothing about death and dying today? Eager white teeth bit into a moist stem, not quite a ripe woman’s thigh. Class had been good, even Red had agreed. And so did I.

Very Pinterest-ing

I have a new obsession: Pinterest.com, a website that lets you create “pinboards” of interesting things you find on the Web, and it lets you follow people whose pinboards you find interesting. It’s a little like Tumblr, but more sophisticated.

The site is still in beta, but you can request an invite. It’s ideal for photographers and other highly visual people. Using their “pin it” tool, you can build pinboards that share books worth reading, places you want to go, places you’ve been, products you love, and all the styles you’d ever covet. And, of course, you can share your pins on Twitter and Facebook.

One word of caution: Once you start pinning things, you’ll find it’s hard to stop.