Our BLOG

Millennial Moms Wrap-Up - AMP Agency Ethnography Series

The Strategy team at AMP is on a mission to better understand marketers’ most sought-after consumer segments. Each week, individuals from these segments take over @AMP_Agency Instagram stories to give us a peek into their world as part of our digital ethnography series, “Through Their Eyes.” Throughout the fall, we focused on millennial moms to babies and/or toddlers and saw the world from the perspective of Caitlin, mom to Ridley (almost 5) and Elliot (2), Alessandra, mom to Mila (almost 2), Victoria, mom to Mason (3 months), and Monica, mom to Jack (3) and Tucker (8 months).   A year ago, I remember a colleague at AMP Agency, a mom to two youngins, declared she was tired of mom marketing. Her argument was that companies like to make motherhood seem like a total chore, and try to relate to mothers by acknowledging how hard it all is. She said that most brands failed to also recognize the pure fun of it all. As we followed our four moms for this ethnography series, we certainly saw a lot of chaos and business, but, luckily, we also got to see that fun shine through. Let’s dive into our evidence – those real mommy moments, taken directly from their phones. There is no blessing quite like the drive-through. While it’s safe to assume that most moms rely on coffee, we were surprised to see so many moms actually snapping from the Starbucks or Dunkin’ drive-through. More often than not, the kids were in tow in the backseat. Not only does the drive-through provide Mom with the caffeine she needs, it serves many other functional benefits, from avoiding buckling in and out of car seats, not disturbing coveted naps, and providing fun chat time between mom and child(ren). Brands with drive-throughs should find ways to celebrate this cherished time in the car, perhaps by designing games for kids in their app, or designating a few days a year to “surprise and delight” families who pull up with kids in the backseat.   L to R: Alessandra excitedly enjoys her first sips; Mason peacefully sleeps as Victoria sits in the Dunkin’ drive-through; Caitlin and her boys have some fun while waiting in line Whether multi-tasking, hurrying, or wading through the backlog, each day is a new race. To no one’s surprise, moms are really busy. From multiple kids to multiple jobs, they’re juggling a lot. What was evidenced from our Instagram Stories, though, was an optimistic, “go with the flow” attitude rarely seen in stereotypical depictions of moms. Whether they were distracting their kids with toys to finally load the dishwasher, rushing through a shower before their infant cried, or not getting to the breakfast dishes until 2 pm, brands should take note of the light-hearted tone of their chaotic Stories, including their use of stickers and emojis, which proves they’re willing to shrug their shoulders and say “c’est la vie” with a smile, rather than with frizzy hair and a scowl.         L to R: Caitlin’s boys play with Play-Doh as she cleans up the kitchen; Victoria humorously writes a how-to guide on showering with a newborn; Monica finally tackles the dishes as her kids nap Sneaking in “me time” is necessary – not just as a mom, but as a woman. Moms realize that to show up for their families everyday, they need to take care of themselves too. While it may only be for a few minutes or at odd hours of the day, brands should consider how they themselves can support women’s efforts to recharge. Yes, this may be by finding ways to make chores easier and faster, but outside of their duties, moms’ needs as holistic humans should also be acknowledged and prioritized.      L to R: Victoria sneaks in a little reality TV as she pumps; Monica finds an hour for a pedicure; Alessandra winds down after a long day by digging into “Call Me By Your Name”    Moms have a sense of humor. Let’s say it again: MOMS HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR! When we think of moms, especially in the media, certain stereotypes may come to mind: the nagging mom, the strict mom, the overly sentimental mom. If we learned anything from this ethnography series, it’s that moms don’t always take themselves too seriously. They laugh at themselves, and they laugh at the dumb stuff their kids do everyday. While they love and protect fiercely, they’re also willing to have an innocent chuckle at their kids’ expense: Alessandra laughed upon discovering her daughter perched on a shelf as if it were a chair, while Caitlin tried her best to be “sympathetic” as her son started to cry that the wet playground slide had made his pants damp. We certainly appreciate our moms’ senses of humor as they let us follow them during this series!     L to R: Caitlin and her kids play “Restaurant” at the park; Alessandra can’t help but laugh as Mila steals her glasses and “tries them on”; Victoria plays everyone’s favorite game – “Put The Binky In, Spit The Binky Out”

Millennial Fiancés Wrap-Up - AMP Agency Ethnography Series

The Strategy team at AMP is on a mission to better understand marketers’ most sought-after consumer segments. Each week, individuals from these segments take over @AMP_Agency  Instagram stories to give us a peek into their world as part of our digital ethnography series, “Through Their Eyes.”   Throughout June and July, we focused on millennials who are in the midst of planning their weddings and saw the world from the perspective of Jillian from Allentown, PA, Casey from Chicago, and Haley and John from Boston.    As marketers, we frequently consider how to reach and resonate with our audiences during times of pivotal life moments. This month, we decided to focus on the time leading up to what is often considered to be the “most important day of your life” – your wedding day. How are engaged millennials posting on their Instagram Stories during this time? What do they consider to be the elements of their day worth showcasing? Keep reading to find out.    The way to the heart is still through the stomach Yes, learning to co-manage meal routines is integral to cohabitating (see our earlier Grocery Diaries reflection for more here), but our participants’ Stories also reminded us that sharing meals together is still the perfect setting for creating memories as a couple.    Food is especially important to Haley and John, as they met at culinary school, and their Stories showed the small ways in which food helps them “play house” as a couple and demonstrate their care for one another: John made Haley breakfast, while Haley texted John a photo of the quiche she was making for him in turn later that day.    Food also plays a role beyond the day-to-day drudgery, as we saw Jillian and her fiancé’s spread at a taco date night, as well as Casey and her fiancé posing at the dinner table during their friend’s wedding reception.  The New York Times understands the hecticness of this time in fiancés’ lives and the power of food to force a couple to slow down and enjoy each other – in their robust How to Plan a Wedding guide, they even go so far as to instruct the reader to take a break from wedding plan and go on a date. There’s opportunity for brands in relevant industries like food, restaurant, and grocery to remind millennials at the wedding planning stage that they deserve a break.          Food is love: (L to R) John cooks Haley breakfast, Jillian enjoys date night, and Casey poses at the dinner table during her friend’s wedding reception.   Everyone else in their life is getting married and having babies too While culture likes to romanticize weddings as a time to completely celebrate oneself and one’s partner, in reality this time is extra stressful because fiancés aren’t just planning their own affairs – they’re spending considerable time and money attending and participating in their millennial friends’ similar milestones and events. While the average wedding in 2019 cost almost $39,000, nearly 20% of millennials say they’ve also spent $1,000+ to attend a friend’s wedding.    In fact, our soon-to-be-Mrs. Casey, chose to take over our Story on a day when she was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. We followed as she got ready (in matching wedding tribe tees), put on her bridesmaid dress, and enjoyed the beautiful venue. While it was undoubtedly a day filled with love and memories, we were reminded that in an already financially-stressful time, wedding expenses go beyond those for a bride and groom’s own big day. While financial tools like Ellevest for wealth management or The Knot for wedding planning help fiancés save for a wedding and keep an event budget, brands like these could expand their offerings by helping millennials also account for the money they need to save in order to participate in friends’ celebrations in the same time period.        While planning their own weddings, brides and grooms may also be participating in – and budgeting for –  friends’ marital events. Every fun wedding extra, like Bride Tribe t-shirts, should be factored into budgets for brides, grooms, and members of the wedding party.   “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!” At the end of the day, our Millennial Fiancés warmed our hearts. (And maybe that’s because of the prolific use of heart emojis, gifs, and stickers they used on their Stories.) By following the days of Jillian, Casey, and Haley and John, one couldn’t help but sense the wave of positive energy that comes over an engaged couple during this exciting time in their lives. And while the “big” moments, like Jillian’s wedding band shopping, surely set off a surge of emotion, Instagram Stories also continues to be an arena for sharing all the “small” details that might make a fiancé smile when spending the day with the one they love, like Jillian taking her partner to the site of her childhood summer camp, or Haley driving John to work.    When brands speak with millennials, who are likely in the midst of major life events, they shouldn’t forget utilizing imagery and copy that also celebrates everyday life and the small moments that make it all worth it.        Don’t forget the small stuff: While Instagram is of course ideal for posting about big milestones, like Jillian’s wedding band shopping (L),  you can also feel couples’ excitement as they experience “regular” days with their partner.

Sara Whiteleather, AMP Agency VP of Media, Speaks on Global Digital Ad Spending in Latest eMarketer Report

Our own Sara Whiteleather, VP of Media, was recently interviewed for eMarketer's latest report on Global Digital Ad Spending by Jasmine Enberg. The report details fascinating findings, like the fact that for the first time, digital will account for >50% of total global media ad spending.   Sara spoke with Jasmine in depth about the shifting media landscape and AMP Agency’s focus on driving greater efficiency and a stronger customer experience through the convergence of digital and traditional channels.   In the report, Sara shares, “Brands are continuing to break down the traditional marketing silos and think about customer experience first and foremost. That applies to traditional vs. digital and paid vs. owned. They’re thinking holistically about how to reach consumers across all the different touchpoints in the full marketing ecosystem.”   Check out the full report from eMarketer here: https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-digital-ad-spending-2019  

Pin It To Win It

Advertising on social platforms can be a great way to get your message out, but as many of us know, creating compelling content that doesn’t necessarily feel like an ad is a really tough balance to strike. Enter Pinterest’s new Pin Collective, a team of creatives that you can hire to create ads in less than 10 days. Pinterest’s paid adoptions have been around for several years under Promoted Pins. What makes them unique is that they have designed Promoted Pins to flow in with organic content smoothly, making the viewing experience for the consumer much more pleasurable. How many times have you been scrolling through your feed and come across a jarring image that is clearly an ad? I don’t know about you, but I find that really annoying. Pinterest solves that by making the separation between organic and paid content much more subtle. This approach is paying off. According to Pinterest, advertisers who use Promoted Pins receive an average of 20% more clicks in a month after launching a Promoted Pin. And now, with their Pin Collective self-serve platform, marketers can use a team of content creators to make super appealing Pin ad imagery in as little as 10 days. Easy, breezy, lemon squeezy. Let’s take a peek at some pristine pinners who are doing a great job using promoted pins. (Are these puns too much or am I pinning at this pun game?) Target   Not only does Target do a stand-up job at promoting its merchandise, it also showcases its products in a lifestyle setting. 2. Chobani   So, maybe Chobani doesn’t have a catalog of ‘perfectly pinnable products’ like Target, but they do have a cool Pinterest page packed with wellness tips, recipes, general information and inspirational quotes. Chobani is a perfect example of a brand that understands their customer base and plans their pins accordingly. 3. L.L. Bean L.L. Bean’s Pinterest board does a fantastic job highlighting their ‘nature enthusiast’ brand with their outdoor, dog and flannel packed board.  Their paid product ads flow seamlessly into the other lifestyle imagery, inspiring viewers to get into nature wearing L.L. Bean clothes The message is clear: Pinterest paid posts are a great tool for marketers to promote their content in a subtle and effective manner.  

Talking Is The New Interface To Everything

Chatbots are nothing new, but there have been some significant changes to make chatbots the hot new marketing platform like mobile messaging apps, artificial intelligence, and voice tech. Bot-enabled conversation will quickly become the new digital interface. Not the browser. Not smartphone apps. Bots. And voice will become the dominant input method.   Welcome to the conversation frontier.

The Great Unbundling

To say that the Internet has changed the media business is so obvious. It turns out that the impact of the Internet — and the outlook for the future — differs considerably depending on what part of the media industry you look at. Most of the changes in the last three years were simply laying the groundwork for actual shifts in behavior. Once those shifts start to happen in earnest, there will be feedback loops in everything from advertising to content production to consumption that will accelerate the changes, resulting in a transformed media landscape that will impact all parts of society.   The end is nearer than you think.

Survey Finds US Teens Upped Daily Facebook Usage in 2016

The November 2016 survey by UBS Evidence Lab found that 65% of teens said they used Facebook daily, up from 59% in November 2014. And despite concerns that teens are abandoning Facebook for other social networks, daily usage among teens remains higher for Facebook than for any other social network, including Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook’s utility continues to drive usage.

How to Improve Your Look-To-Book Ratio: Converting Selfies Into Sales

When tourists aim to compose the perfect vacation selfie, they’re creating more than just travel envy – they’re creating copycats. Our research revealed that 84% of Millennials and 73% of non-Millennials are likely or very likely to plan a trip based on someone else’s vacation photos or social media updates. Travel destination brands should consider ways to make their experiences “share-worthy” – incorporating wit, unique visuals, and selfie opportunities, as well as rewarding brand engagement.   Target moments of need.

Instagram Is Testing Mid-Roll Video Ad Pop-Ups In Stories

The new Instagram tests are essentially an extension of Facebook's ad experiments in live video, where it has been serving mid-roll ads into broadcasts. Facebook has been tinkering with these mid-roll video ads as a way to make money from streaming. Now with options available on both platforms, publishers have more opportunities to test the viability of the format as a marketing investment. New year, new ads.

Facebook Is Going To Start Showing Ads In The Middle Of Its Videos and Sharing The Money With Publishers

Facebook wants to show more ads to people who watch its videos and start making money for the people who supply it with those videos. Industry sources say the social network is going to start testing a new “mid-roll” ad format, which will give video publishers the chance to insert ads into their clips after people have watched them for at least 20 seconds. Emphasizing time spent vs. impressions

    Related Posts