Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Where And What of Back To School Shopping

In yesterday’s post, we provided information on the estimated growth of back to school shopping.  Just how large is the back to school shopping season? When you combine K-12 and college back to school spending, it’s the second biggest shopping season behind the winter holidays.  The variety of products that are needed to get kids ready for the school year is extensive and your business can certainly capitalize on back to school consumers.  Today, we’ll look at where people are shopping and what they are looking to buy.

• Over two-thirds of back to school shoppers nationally will make purchases at a discount store, six in 10 will shop at a department store

• Just over half will shop at a clothing store and over 40% will shop for back to school supplies at an office supply store

• 26% will buy something for back to school at an electronics store, 23% will shop at a drug store and just under 10% will make a catalog purchase

• Nearly 40% will shop online for back to school supplies

• 95% of back to school shoppers will be buying clothing and the average spending amount will be nearly $260.  93% will by shoes and the average amount spent will be nearly $140

• 96% of back to school shoppers are planning to purchase school supplies such as notebooks, pens, pencils backpacks and lunchboxes.  The average amount spent is roughly $100

• While 60% plan to buy electronics or computer related equipment, the spending amount is $365

• The economy is certainly effecting back to school shopping behaviors, nearly 40% plan on spending less overall and over a quarter will re-use supplies from last year

• Over half will shop more sales, one-third will do more comparative shopping online and 36% will be using coupons

• Over 35% will do more comparative shopping using newspapers and
ad circulars

What Does This Mean To You?                                                                        

Broward and Palm Beach Counties are a great environment for back to school shopping behavior; one in three adults have children in their household.  To make sure your business capitalizes on back to school shopping trends, you need to make sure you have top of mind awareness.  The majority of back to school shoppers will be looking for sales; you need to make sure your message is front and center in products that reach those shopping for back to school products.  Digital will also be a major player, digital products also offer excellent targeting options. While men may be spending more on back to school products, women will be doing a larger percentage of the shopping. This means that social networking can also help increase your share of back to school shoppers.  Print options cannot be overlooked either.  A great many shoppers will be relying on coupons and newspaper circulars to save money.  For more information on targeting back to school shoppers and seeing success, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager


Back To School Spending To Increase

It’s that time of year again, vacations are coming to a close and soon school buses will be rolling through neighborhoods.  The back to school buying period is here and even though the economy continues to be sluggish, a new research report shows school supply spending is set to rise.  In fact, back to school is now the second largest consumer spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays.

• Total K-12 back to school spending is expected to reach over $30 billion, when you add college back to school spending and it rises to nearly $84 billion

• The average household with children will spend nearly $690 on back to school supplies, up 14% from last year

• Nearly half of back to school shoppers will start to shopping three weeks to a month prior to school starting

• Almost a quarter will start 2 weeks before and 3 percent will wait until after school starts

• Men are expected to spend more on back to school supplies than women.  On average, men are predicted to spend nearly $740, that’s 15% more than women.  Women are more likely to shop at discount stores while men are more likely to shop at department stores

• Back to school shopping for those entering college is estimated to hit nearly $930 per college freshman

What Does This Mean To You?

Even if you are not necessarily a traditional provider of school supplies, there is money to be made  from the back to school season. Back to school merchandise can range from pencils & pens to electronics to furniture.  Back to school shopping can also be a great way to build your database.
Eight in 10 back to school shoppers say the economy is affecting their purchase.  Things like loyalty programs, permission based SMS campaigns and social media drives can help you get a database  built and extend your customer base.  Tomorrow, we’ll look at where back to school consumers are shopping and what they are buying.  For more information on reaching families and getting more results during the back to school season, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source:, National Retail Federation;

Snapshot Of A Google+ And LinkedIn User

All this week, we’ve given provided usage statistics, demographics and other glimpses into overall social media use, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Today we’re going to look at the other two major social entities – Google+
and LinkedIn.


• There are over 90 million unique users on Google+

• The vast majority of Google+ users are male (71%)

• 44% of Google+ users describe themselves as single

• 42% of users are on the site to look for friends

• The top occupation among users is engineer


• LinkedIn has over 150 million users

• 75% of users are there for business purposes

• Over 2 million companies have a presence on LinkedIn

• 71% of LinkedIn users have household incomes of $50,000+, more than 20% are in the $100,000+ level

• Half of LinkedIn users are college graduates

What Does This Mean To You

While these two social entities have smaller user bases, both offer your business great targeting options.  These sites are populated with well educated, high earners with good jobs.  LinkedIn is a great social pathway to expand upon any B2B marketing effort your company maybe doing. The tight focus of these sites underscores the importance of targeting.  Making sure that your message is relevant to the audience on the sites where you might advertise is key.  The people you use these sites are also used to getting a response when they post questions.  Reputation management with these audiences is vital.
They put a lot of faith in the opinion of their peers.  For more information in successful social marketing, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source:; Kalena Jordan,;

Snapshot Of A Pinterest User

Since launching just over a year ago, Pinterest has rapidly become the number three social networking site. For the unfamiliar, it differs greatly from Facebook or Twitter.  Pinterest is a photo-based virtual pinboard where users create boards and pin photos to them.  Being a visually formatted social presence, Pinterest offers your organization a great way to create awareness.

• Some of the latest data has Pinterest with over 100 million users, but their growth rate has slowed recently

• Six in 10 users are female

• Over half of users are age 25-44

• Half of users have household incomes of $50,000+, over 20% are in the $75,000+ group

• The Pinterest iPhone app has been downloaded over 250,000 times

• Over 20% of Facebook uses are daily Pinterest users

• Some of the top Pinterest boards relate to crafts, hobbies, design and fashion

What Does This Mean To You

Pinterest can be a great sales driver for your company.  It’s not just Pinterest’s rapid growth but also it’s the basic format and the user’s propensity to purchase
that make it a valuable tool.

• Pinterest is projected to account for 40% of socially driven purchases in 2012

• Buyers referred from Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase and spend an average of 10% more than visitors referred by other networks

• Shopify, one of the major e-commerce platforms, reports that orders generated from Pinterest have quadrupled from September 2011 to April 2012

Pinterest is quickly gaining adoption and awareness, but you need to direct customers to your Pinterest boards.  Three-quarters of consumers said they “like” or follow companies on social media because of advertising.  Social media success begins with creating awareness about your offerings.  For more information on keeping your business top of mind and developing loyal customers, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Forbes;; Media Bistro; Mashable; Shopify

Snapshot Of A Twitter User

Yesterday, we provided information on who the average Facebook user is.  Today, we’ll take a look at the world’s number two social network – Twitter.  Twitter is rapidly becoming a mobile-first social entity.  By utilizing Twitter, you can connect with engaged followers where ever they might be.

• Twitter has nearly 130 million active users

• One-third of Twitter users are over the age of 45

• Over half of Twitter users utilize the network via mobile device

• Over one-third tweet at least once a day

• Nearly 60% of Twitter users are female

• The average Twitter session last 14 minutes

What Does This Mean To You

Social media gives you the ability to connect with a great consumer base with
high household incomes.
In the next 12 months in Broward & Palm Beach Counties, social networkers are:

• 14% more likely to buy furniture

• Nearly 10% more likely to buy a mattress or appliance

• 26% more likely to buy a home

• Nearly 35% more likely to buy a mobile device

• Over 20% more likely to buy a vehicle

Social consumers are active buyers, for more information on leveraging these valuable consumers, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source:; Kalena Jordan,;; The 2012 Scarborough Report, Release 1

Snapshot Of A Facebook User

Facebook is the world’s biggest social network and to many consumers social media and Facebook are two sides of the same coin.  Many businesses only form of social media presence is a Facebook page.  Knowing what the average Facebook user looks like and their social activities can help you maximize the impact of your Facebook offerings.

• Facebook has over 845 million active users

• The average Facebook user has 130 “friends” and the average visit lasts 23 minutes

• Over 45% of Facebook users are age 45 or older

• Nearly 60% of users are female

• 57% have attended college and roughly one quarter have a college degree

• Almost half of Facebook users have household incomes between $50,000 and $100,000

What Does This Mean To You

Simply having a Facebook page does not equal social media marketing.
Do you have a social media or Facebook strategy?
What are you doing to engage readers?
How are you leveraging your “friends”?
How often you post?
What kind of content do you post?
Having a Facebook page is just the starting point for creating a winning social media strategy.
How important is this audience?
In Broward & Palm Beach County, nearly half of adults have accessed Facebook in the past month.  40% of these users have household incomes over $75,000+ and 23% are $100,000+.  For more information on how to bring your business more success through social media, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source:; Kalena Jordan,;; The 2012 Scarborough Report, Release 1

Why Consumers Are Using Social Media

Recently, we’ve had posts on how companies are using social media and how consumers are using social networks to give companies feedback about products. Your organization’s social success starts with understanding why consumers use social media.  A newly released study looks at the underlying reasons why people use social networks.

• Two-thirds of online adults in the US utilize social media

• 67% adopt social media to stay in touch with their friends

• Over 60% use social media to stay in touch with family

• Half of American social networkers are on social sites to reconnect with
old friends

• Social networking is now the most popular online activity.  22% of time spent online is with social offerings

What Does This Mean To You

Think of social networks as a connection point.  Consumers use it to create connections or keep existing ones alive.  It’s also your chance to engage consumers and form relationships with them.  Social media can help your business extend its message through fans and followers.  It can also help you target specific audiences deliver exclusive content to your followers.  Social media is not on monolithic organism, the sites differ in the audiences they attract and the purposes they fulfill.   All this week, we’ll be focusing posts on the major social media platforms and the audiences they serve.  For more information on creating a successful social media strategy, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Prosper Mobile Insights; Biginsight