Gen Y Lives for Tech; Sales & Marketing’s Shared Interests; Branded Content Sites Score Big

*Hip Gen Y-ers Lead the Tech Charge, Companies Try to Catch Up: Companies are still searching for ways to integrate their services into the life of Generation Y, the tech-savvy 18-to28-year-old demographic so vital to their future revenue streams. Forrester Research's 2008 North America Technographics Benchmark revealed that, although Generation X (ages 29-42) uses technology when it suits their lifestyle needs, it's the other way around for Gen Y: Lifestyle revolves around technology, specifically PCs and mobile phones. The study also showed an increasing number of Gen Xers using online and mobile technology.

Key findings based on data obtained from 61,000 consumers in the U.S. and Canada include:

  • Nine out of 10 Gen Yers own a PC and 82% have a mobile phone;

  • The Web is now more popular than television for Gen Y-ers, who spend more time online than they do watching TV, with 42% watching online video at least once per month;

  • 72% of Gen Y mobile phone users send or receive SMS messages; and,

  • Gen X is increasingly using new technologies favored by the Gen Y set, with 21% now reading a blog once per month compared to 15% last year. In addition, 61% of mobile subscribers text compared to 49% in 2007.

Source: Forrester Research

*Sales and Marketing: Not Such Polar Opposites, Really: The majority of companies have no programs in place to unify their sales and marketing functions. In a survey conducted by the CMO Council, only about 40% of sales and marketing professionals reported having such programs. Of that 40%, reviews were generally positive: Nearly half have seen an increase in the synchronization and optimization of these often-polarized fields.

Although the benefits of unifying sales and marketing are clear, most respondents reported several obstacles in the way; corporate culture biases about traditional sales and marketing roles topped the list. Respondents concluded that the top three measures of sales performance and productivity are lead quality and ROI, conversion and close rates, all of which could benefit from a sales-marketing unification. Other findings include:

  • Less than 20% of respondents say their sales and marketing organizations are extremely collaborative. Most felt the two groups had intermittent relations and interactions;

  • In looking at ways sales could add value to marketing messaging and communications, survey participants felt that engaging strategically with customers to better understand needs were the most valuable contributions;

  • In contrast, two of the most important roles marketing could play in optimizing sales performance were fielding campaigns that generated and nurtured leads and opportunities, as well as providing customized value-selling content and presentation materials;

  • The top three area of deficiencies highlighted by nearly 50% of respondents were the ability to easily create analytic reports, customization of the application and forecasting capabilities; and,

  • While 50% of those surveyed said they had extensive visibility in customer accounts and business activity, the other 50% said they had trouble finding customer account data, or had little/no information.

Source: CMO Council

*Environment Matters When It Comes to Online Advertising: A study by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) showed that ads on branded content sites outscore Internet industry norms 41 out of 43 times. Branded content sites were even able to improve two metrics notoriously difficult to boost: brand favorability and purchase intent. Other findings include:

  • Branded content sites provide 29% improvement over average online advertising performance;

  • Video advertising on branded content sites provide an 82% brand awareness boost over market norms' overall online video advertising averages, and a 67% boost for improving brand favorability;

  • Sponsorships on branded content sites are 42% more effective than the overall average and 36% more effective than on portals; and,

  • 18-to-34-year-olds are more responsive to ads on branded content sites: They are 33% more likely to form favorable opinions about advertised brands than when viewing ads on portals.

Source: Online Publishers Association