Prepare For Gen Z Mom, The Ultra Millennial

Intercept-Group_Millennial-Mom.jpgMillennial moms, with their natural digital savvy and often progressive views of family, forced a major change in marketing. But you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Generation Z is going to rock the marketing world. They didn’t just grow up with the internet, they grew up with Facebook and mobile phones. In some ways, these young adults are expected to be even more “Millennial” than Millennials.

Connecting with this group is a new challenge for brands. Advertising successfully to them will help determine how billions of dollars will be spent.

Generation Z is comprised of the 67 million people born between 1995 and 2010. They contribute $44 billion to the U.S. economy and influence $600 billion in family spending. The oldest is already 22 years old. And, by 2022, 45% of all parents will be Generation Z.

Early studies are already showing that to connect with these Gen Z moms and dads, marketers will need to push themselves.

For example, while marketers certainly embraced interactive marketing for Millennials, this new generation will require that they produce more content for more digital delivery mechanisms than ever. According to our research, older Gen Z moms discover new products on Facebook more than do the previous generations. But that’s not necessarily where they want to receive all of their communications with brands. Gen Z parents also appreciate hearing from advertisers via email and they’re comfortable with branded content.

Millennials are known to shop based on their progressive values. It’s likely Gen Z parents will take this to another level. While older Gen Z parents tend to have lower household incomes than their older counterparts, price isn’t the only factor that weighs in their purchasing decisions. To become a part of parents’ consideration set, “quality,” “safety,” “easy to use” are table stakes, and parent recommendation carries tremendous weight, according to our research.

In many ways, Gen Z is doubling down on the changes Millennials forced on the system. Young adults brought up in an environment unique to other generations can only age up to lead in their own unique way. For example, we found that Gen Z likes seeing real brands featured in their content significantly more than Millennials do—and this alone signifies a major change in spirit.

And, perhaps most surprisingly, Gen Z moms also long for connectivity in real life. That’s right—real life, person-to-person interactions. We have learned that, more than their Millennial counterparts, Gen Z moms rely on their parents and grandparents, healthcare providers, and local mothers groups as parenting resources, similar to the way their Gen X parents did. So, it seems that there is a little Gen X attitude in them, too, just to make marketing considerations even more complicated.

The first thing marketers can do to prepare for this up-and-coming shift is education. Key observations about the consumer behaviors new to this up-and-coming group of parents are how it all starts. Then these observations become translated into actions, and these actions eventually reveal solutions that work, which years later become proven best practices. But we’re only at the beginning of this chain of events. The findings presented here just scratch the surface. We need to learn more in order to better predict how Gen Z will make parenthood their own—and how marketers will best be able to reach them.

11 Effective Ways to Use Facebook Ads

facebook-ads-use-case-examples-how-to-600@2xDo you need to use Facebook ads more effectively?

Have you considered narrowing the goal for each of your ads?

In this article, you’ll discover 11 examples of results-oriented Facebook ads you can use as models for your own business.

#1: Remarket to Potential Customers Who Abandon Carts

This Bluehost ad gets Facebook advertising right on so many levels. Bluehost uses this ad in the middle of the sales funnel to reduce cart abandonment. The ad appears to people who have added a Bluehost service to their cart and prompts them to return to the website and complete their purchase.

The ad features compelling copy, beginning with the question to remind someone they’re in the middle of a decision about building their website. The second line hits the low-cost barrier to entry to using the Bluehost service, only $2.95. Next, the ad uses text to provide extremely heavy social proof: trusted by millions of customers.

Video makes this ad even more effective. Video is currently the best-performing type of content; people watch more than 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. Also, by featuring different business owners, the video reinforces the social proof mentioned in the ad copy.

Below the video, the clear link title, description, and call to action (CTA) also make this a strong ad. The link title, “Launch Your Website Today,” is clear and direct, design to compel users to take the final action to launch their website.

After the link title, the link description reinforces social proof that appeared earlier in the ad copy and video. The description also highlights another benefit of joining: getting a free domain. The CTA, Shop Now, reflects what the ad would like customers to do: prompt them to finalize their buying decision and launch their site.

See the rest of the list here. 

DIGITAL Spotify Hits 140 Million Monthly Active Users After Adding 40 Million in Just One Year

140-mil-users-spotify-CONTENT-2017-840x460Spotify announced today that it has 140 million monthly active users, up from 100 million a year ago.

The music service declined to say how many of the 140 million are on commercial-free subscription plans and how many listen for free with ads. In March, Spotify—which continues to compete in the on-demand listening space with Apple Music, Pandora and others—announced it had 50 million paying users.

“The acceleration of audience growth is allowing us to continue to grow the ads business at a 50 percent year-over-year clip,” said Brian Benedik, vp and global head of sales at Spotify. “Six, seven years into the advertising journey at Spotify, we’re proud of that. It’s tough to do when you get deeper into the journey, but what we’re learning is this idea of understanding people from music.”

Benedik said Spotify’s ad offerings fall into three buckets: audio, video, and sponsored playlists and branded moments.

Video in particular is growing, and Spotify is adding nonmusic content like original series and podcasts to its library. The company is currently testing a discovery feature within the popular Rap Caviar” hip-hop playlist. After a few songs, videos (including episodes of All Def Digital’s Traffic Jams) pop up on the screen. Benedik described the feature as a “test” and also said the company is testing pop-ups promoting Spotify’s original podcasts.

“How can artists—in the case of Rap Caviar—express themselves in different ways?” Benedik said. “Certainly music and audio is one thing, but video and visual expression is something that we’re testing with and that users are interested in.”

At Cannes next week, Spotify is setting up an experience targeted at creatives to show them the ins and outs of the platform. Data is a big part of its pitch. First-party data collected from user IDs like age and gender as well as proprietary data on listening habits underpins Spotify’s ad business for brands including Heineken, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble, Benedik said.

“We can share very intelligently and clearly: ‘Here’s what’s happening on Spotify,’” Benedik said. “More importantly, we can tell some of these brands how their audiences are behaving on Spotify. It sets the stage for a much different conversation than we’ve ever been able to have before.”

Facebook is building chat bots that can negotiate and plan ahead like actual humans

shutterstock_239157115.0.jpgFacebook says its machines are getting more and more human.

The social giant released research Wednesday outlining its efforts to train artificially intelligent chat bots to negotiate with real humans — a skill that requires bots to actually plan a few steps ahead.

Facebook trained the bots by showing them negotiation dialogues between real people, then training the bots to “imitate people’s actions,” a process called supervised learning. In the training, the bots were asked to divide up a number of objects that each correlated with a different point value. The goal was to divide the objects through negotiation and end up with the most possible points.

Facebook claims the bots got smart enough to negotiate with humans who didn’t realize they were dealing with a machine. As explained in a Facebook blog post: “Interestingly, in the [Facebook AI Research] experiments, people did not realize they were talking to a bot and not another person — showing that the bots had learned to hold fluent conversations in English in this domain.”

Facebook says that the bots even learned to bluff, pretending to care about an outcome they didn’t actually want in order to have the upper hand down the line. “This behavior was not programmed by the researchers but was discovered by the bot as a method for trying to achieve its goals,” reads Facebook’s blog post.

Dividing up a list of fake objects doesn’t mean a whole lot, but Facebook hopes these bots could eventually assist with real-world conversations. It could be as simple as having a bot negotiate meeting times with co-workers, or as complex as conducting a business deal on your behalf.

“Think about a marketplace, like Facebook’s marketplace or Craigslist,” explained Dhruv Batra, a Georgia Tech professor who is spending a year with Facebook’s AI research team. “Sometimes you’re willing to [negotiate]. ‘I’ll drop this price if you’ll come pick up.’”

Facebook isn’t the only company trying to build smart assistants. Google, Apple and Amazon all have voice-controlled assistants in the market, but Facebook hasn’t moved into voice. Instead, it’s focusing on text-based AI challenges.

This particular technology isn’t live yet in any of Facebook’s products, but it could be soon, according to the company’s researchers. Facebook, a big proponent of open sourcing AI research, is publicly releasing the code for the negotiation bots.

McDonald’s to hire more U.S. workers this summer, some via Snapchat

McDonald’s said it will hire more U.S. workers this summer to staff french fry stations and cash registers, and it will bring in a new way to apply in an effort to draw in more young applicants.

The world’s largest burger chain said the company and its franchisees will hire about 250,000 people across its more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants for what is usually one of its busiest seasons of the year. That hiring figure accounts for typically high turnover.

McDonald’s will offer applications through Snapchat, the social media platform that allows users to post pictures or videos in 10-second snippets. The chain started accepting “Snaplications” in Australia last month, allowing potential employees to make video submissions with a special filter that shows them wearing a McDonald’s uniform. The video audition can then be submitted to McDonald’s Snapchat account. After that, McDonald’s will send back a link to the application and digital careers page.

“We thought Snaplications was a great way to allow us to meet job seekers where they are — their phones,” said Jez Langhorn, McDonald’s USA’s senior director of human resources.