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Podcast Episode 33: How to Reach Gen Z, Seafood + Marijuana, & Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2019

Jeffrey Lambert
Sep 7, 2019 11:01:31 PM

We’ve rounded up 3 stories from the marketing industry that you need to know about on this week’s episode, including how to reach the “Gen Z” market, one seafood restaurant chain’s plans to use ganja to increase customers, and top digital marketing trends to pay attention to in 2019. That’s next, on Inbound Academy!

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Episode Transcript

Jeff Lambert:                00:00                We've rounded up three stories in the marketing industry that you need to know about. On this week's episode, some of our topics include how to reach "Generation Z," a seafood market who's planning to use marijuana to increase customers, and a top digital marketing trends list that you should pay attention to in 2019. That's next on Inbound Academy.

Jeff Lambert:                00:35                Welcome to Inbound Academy, everybody brought to you by Rizen. I'm your host, Jeff Lambert. On this week's episode we're continuing with the longer conversations and doing the weekly posts that we started last month, And based on the feedback and the playback stats that I've been looking at, it seems like that's been the preferred method. So we're going to continue using that strategy. We're going to have some longer conversations and we'll put out a new episode at the beginning of each week. So you can plan on that, set that into your morning commute schedule, and we can continue our growing relationship here on Inbound Academy. So for today, like we did last month, we're going to kick off September by talking about three stories from the marketing world that you need to know about. So to discuss those stories with me and provide some insight of course, is Rogelio Rodriguez. He's the CEO of Rizen inbound. He's become a regular face on the show. Rod, thanks for coming back.

Rod Rodriguez:             01:31                Thanks for having me Jeff.

Jeff Lambert:                01:32                Absolutely. So we've got some interesting topics to talk about today. I know you've had a chance to review them and we talked about them a little bit. So let's just jump in and share some of these with our audience and to our onions members. I'll make sure to post the links to each of these stories. That way you can a reference them later or share them with coworkers and friends. So let's jump into our first topic Rod. This one was published by Forbes Magazine and the title of the article is "Realism: the Key to Gen Z Marketing." Now this one I chose because it talks about the all-important "Generation Z," which marketers are going to have to pay more and more attention to as time goes on. And I shouldn't even say as time goes on, they have to start paying attention to them now. So, you know, just to start off so we can define terms, we always hear Generation X, Millennials, Baby Boomers, now we have Gen Z, I think we're Millennials, right? Is that correct?

Rod Rodriguez:             02:36                I mean I think I'm an elder Millennial really early into the generation, because I was born in 1982 but, but yes, we are considered millennials, borderline millennials.

Jeff Lambert:                02:49                Got It. Okay. So let's talk about generation z. Who would fall into the Generation Z category?

Rod Rodriguez:             02:56                So it's everyone in grade school through college at this time. Those are the Generation Z'ers.

Jeff Lambert:                03:07                Gotcha. Okay. So we're talking maybe somewhere between age six to seven through age 22 to 24. Do you think that's a good range?

Rod Rodriguez:             03:16                Yeah, that's a good range.

Jeff Lambert:                03:18                Okay. So that sounds like a lot of people. What percentage of the world's population do they make up?

Rod Rodriguez:             03:25                It's about 72 million individuals. A third of the population of the world. And it outnumbers Millennials.

Jeff Lambert:                03:34                So they're actually a bigger market?

Rod Rodriguez:             03:37                Yes.

Jeff Lambert:                03:39                Okay. So, yeah, this would seem like a group that bears paying attention to, especially if they're larger than Millennials because, considering we are on the fringe of that one, marketing really has shifted towards reaching this group. But now this group is starting to have kids, I know I have a three year old myself, and even a Gen Z - I don't know what they're gonna do after Gen Z. Maybe they'll start over with "A" maybe. Who knows. We'll see. So let's talk about Generation Z. Obviously every generation is different. What are some commonalities with the views and the philosophies and the expectations of this Gen Z group?

Rod Rodriguez:             04:22                Sure. so according to the article, they see life online and offline as a single experience - a continuum. I tend to see life the same as a marketer. But I think they also, for the most part, live at home and they spend their parents' money right there. They're younger, of course.

Jeff Lambert:                04:47                Yeah. You think about if we're talking about from early grade school to college, especially most college kids nowadays, they're coming home after they finish, during the summer and even after graduation. There's a growing number of people, especially due to this economy, who may move back home with their parents. And that's just kind of the reality nowadays.

Rod Rodriguez:             05:09                Absolutely. And you know, I think the dynamic between parent and children also has shifted in that generation. In the article it mentioned that parents value the opinions of their Gen Z kids, and they have a say in big decisions. So when they want to convince their parents to spend money, it's not just toys and clothes, they have a say on vacations, on groceries, onmajor household items. They really influence family spending. According to this, it was like over to around 600 billion a year in how much they influenced the family spending.

Jeff Lambert:                05:50                So that's an important stat to pay attention to, because a child in fourth grade isn't gonna have their own personal income to spend. But if they're influencing what mom and dad are spending money on, then yes, they do need to be paid attention to as a group that can be reached. That makes perfect sense. That feels different. I don't remember my parents ever consulting me on large scale purchases, or even like at the grocery store. If I wanted a certain cereal, I didn't get a choice in that. I got whatever. So that's definitely a switch. So we have these commonalities with Generation Z. They're different. So they can't be marketed to in the same way as Millennials or Gen X'ers, right?

Rod Rodriguez:             06:35                Right. You know, you have to look at their motivations and they are really motivated by future success rather than the immediate family finances. They spend a lot more time in classes and extracurricular activities than their parents. Only 35% have summer jobs as compared to 60% of the kids that did back in 1978, having summer jobs.

Jeff Lambert:                07:00                Wow. So yeah, Gen X. And I remember, I think it was Bernie Sanders that ran on that in 2016 talking about teen and youth unemployment. How, you know, 30 years ago when it was just kind of a thing that every teenager and college-age kid, they had a job during the summer. They would work while they were in school and that really doesn't seem to be the case anymore. So what are some other what are some other ways that we can define Generation Z so we know how to reach them as marketers?

Rod Rodriguez:             07:32                Sure. So they are set on being leaders and entrepreneurs, not employees. Many grew up during the recession. They saw their parents struggling. They're really influenced by seeing that and they want to create a path to personal success, individual success. I think that's a big point to cover.

Jeff Lambert:                07:52                So maybe not really a "get into a job when you're 24 and wait for your pension to mature and spend 30 years at one company" kind of a road?

Rod Rodriguez:             08:01                Exactly, exactly.

Jeff Lambert:                08:04                I think that might appeal to Millennials as well. I mean, we kind of came of age in the 2008 recession. I was only a year out of college. I don't know about you. I remember I had an uncle that lost his 401k when he lost his job. All of it gone. He was there for like 22 years.

Rod Rodriguez:             08:26                It transcends generations for sure.

Jeff Lambert:                08:30                So we really have to keep in mind that Generation Z is they're self starters in a sense?

Rod Rodriguez:             08:39                Yeah. We hope so.

Jeff Lambert:                08:42                Okay. What else defines Generation Z Rod?

Rod Rodriguez:             08:46                Sure. I think they prefer personalization,such as social media. So the advertising that they connect with has to be relevant to their lives.

Jeff Lambert:                09:01                Now is that like in a creepy "Minority Report" movie kind of a way to where I'm walking in the mall and something says "Jeffrey by these socks?" What does that mean?

Rod Rodriguez:             09:11                No I think we need to build campaigns that are based on what their own experience is, right? So I think in terms of brands connecting with individuals, the brands have to make an effort to listen to them on what their wants are and what their needs are in order to be effective to market to them. I mean, just as an example, oftentimes those Kickstarter projects that you have on on, a lot of the times they, they don't have a product built, but they have a vision for the product and based on the response that they get from the backers is how they build the product itself. They even add and change things to the product itself based on what they've learned from the individuals that are backing that product.

Jeff Lambert:                10:03                Yeah, that's a great point, Rod. Kickstarter is kind of like a hub for that, where like you said, there was a board game that I supported a couple of years ago on Kickstarter that was based on a Zombie type of thing. And I thought it was really cool because it was a spinoff after "The Walking Dead" started. And I was really into that genre and they were talking about "this is what the idea that we want to do," "these are the packs that we want to come out with," you know, after the fact to be able to expand it. And I was thinking "this is really cool." And yeah, they eventually came out with it. The game's neat. You know, they're still coming out with updates for it. I can't remember the name of it. I gotta dig it out of the closet. But that is a great point. So maybe that speaks to millennials a little bit as well. Have there been any crowdfunding campaigns that you've ever jumped on?

Rod Rodriguez:             10:49                Yeah, several. I like my Mizen knife, the chef's knife that's maybe a quarter of the cost of a traditional Japanese knife. I love that knife. I have it now. I use it every day. And also their patents and their cookware, like their professional level cookware for that doesn't cost as much as a professional level cookware that's out there, you know.

Jeff Lambert:                11:17                What was the name of it again?

Rod Rodriguez:             11:19                Mizen. It's m,i,z,e,n.

Jeff Lambert:                11:23                Does it cut anything? I'm interested. Does it do well with everything?

Rod Rodriguez:             11:26                It cuts everything. I mean you can make paper-thin tomato slices if you want.

Jeff Lambert:                11:31                Okay. I'm going to have to check that out. I'm always looking for a good knife for the kitchen.

Rod Rodriguez:             11:35                Yeah. Yeah. And you know, I just looked for the high end knife. 60 bucks.

Jeff Lambert:                11:40                That's it?

Rod Rodriguez:             11:40                Yep, that's it. Yeah.

Jeff Lambert:                11:42                All right. Well Mizen, if you want to contact Rizen we are apparently giving you free advertising. And I just looked up that board game on Kickstarter I ended up buying. It's called "Zpocalypse." Good stuff.So great points, great points all around. So making sure that your advertising is personalized to your audience is going to get Gen Z'ers. Is there anything else that defines his generation that we need to keep in mind as marketers?

Rod Rodriguez:             12:13                Yeah, there's actually three more elements. And we can go a little deeper into each. They demand quality and they love luxury. I mean, I can really identify with Gen Z. I'm feeling more like a Gen Z right now actually reading that article cause you know, they don't want to spend on experiences and instead are being focused on stuff. Accumulating stuff. They devote approximately 50% of their budget to tactile things. Physical objects like gifts. They're not really brand loyal. At this point. If they're really unhappy, 52% of them switch to a higher quality product.

Jeff Lambert:                12:56                You know, going back to what you just said, that is a switch because millennials are often painted as we put experiences over personal things like stuff because you know it's all about making the most of the moment. And I can see that. I mean you're, you're a traveler. I know you are. And I've traveled to different places, but you're saying Gen Z, they like their things.

Rod Rodriguez:             13:20                Yeah, they're more focused on stuff. But then physical things like, so I'll give you an example of a physical object which a Gen Z I think would love and a Millennial would love at the same time, because obviously traveling for Millennials is important. But like the Away Bag, the Away Luggage lifetime warranty is probably half the price of a Tumi bag, you know? And so people really, really love it. The experience of buying the actual item and when you're getting it, it's a fantastic experience. It's really well built. And the fact that they back it up with a lifetime warranty, I think solidifies that experience, right? So a millennial can use it to travel, but a Gen Z'er will love just having it.

Jeff Lambert:                14:16                Makes sense. And there was another thing that you mentioned that I think is really important to this. You're saying that Gen Z is, and I think this applies to Millennials to an extent too. They're not brand loyal. Can you just repeat that stat again?

Rod Rodriguez:             14:29                Yeah. 52% switch. If they are dissatisfied to a higher quality product,

Jeff Lambert:                14:35                That feels a lot different than my parents. You know, like the Baby Boomer generation. Because I think about like my Grandpa, well my grandfather wouldn't be a Baby Boomer. He'd be even further back. He big into tools. He's all about Craftsman. He was a Craftsman guy, so anything that he bought, it didn't matter what the competition was doing. He went to Sears and he got Craftsman tools. And that was that. He didn't really shop around when it came to different types of brands for tools. Because Craftsman, that was it. They were known for high quality. I think they have a lifetime warranty on their stuff. I don't know about you, I'm speaking for me, like if I'm looking in the circulars and somebody like Ryobi, as opposed to Craftsman, you know, or Dewalt, I'm going to go with the one that's probably the best quality for the lowest price. It doesn't have to be a certain brand.

Rod Rodriguez:             15:31                Right, absolutely.

Jeff Lambert:                15:32                Okay, interesting. So there's a lesson there I think for marketers, that if you don't push that your product is worth it, people are just going to move on. Now you said there were two more. What else defines Generation Z in terms of how they can be reached? I.

Rod Rodriguez:             15:53                They're very trusting of their peers on social media. So they listen to bloggers, people who tweet, Snapchatters. And 70% of successful brands use Instagram influencers, Individuals that are Instagram, that have large followings in order to attract those individuals. Those are people who put a lot of trust in those influencers.

Jeff Lambert:                16:20                I don't know if we're too old for this. Do you have any influencers on social media that you trust?

Rod Rodriguez:             16:26                Yeah. I mean, I think Gary Vee has very pointed commentary and when he typically recommends something, I look at it and I have a tendency to go with his recommendation.

Jeff Lambert:                16:44                Yeah, I can think of, for me, it's a Marquez Brownlee. MKBHD on Youtube. He's a tech reviewer. He puts out videos on the regular, at least once a week, if not more. And he reviews a lot of tech products. And if he reviews something, I usually will pay more attention to it. And I'm trying to think of...Tim Ferris. I know we're both fans of him, you know, "The Four Hour Week."

Rod Rodriguez:             17:07                Absolutely. Yeah. He interviews a lot of influencers, actually. I have his book, he has a book where he collected all the interviews that he's had on his podcast, and it's a collection of all the people who influenced him. I've been following Tim Ferriss for a long time and I trust his recommendations. I actually started a workout program because of him. I discovered Pavel Tsatsouline. He's a Russian Kettlebell instructor. And because of that, I actually started that program and I mean, I can say it's changed my life, you know? So I think it's very in line with how we trust these individuals that are influencing us to do everything from buying, to taking up hot new habits.

Jeff Lambert:                18:06                What's the name of that pushup you've been trying to do? The push up...I think it's called the "Ottoman Pushup?"

Rod Rodriguez:             18:10                No no. It's called the "Turkish Get-up." Yeah. With 70 pounds.

Jeff Lambert:                18:13                I was way off. The Turkish Get-up. Got It. So for our listeners, you've got to explain that one. What exactly is the Turkish Get-Up?

Rod Rodriguez:             18:23                Yeah. Ah, it's a little hard to explain without visualization, but you know what I'll send one out. Well, we should put a link in the podcast to show you what a Turkish Get-Up looks like. But it's taking a kettle ball from the ground. You start in almost the fetal position and you raise it up all the way above your head, all the way up, and you press it up above your head and then you come back down in the same manner. And that's one. One move. That's one repetition up and down.

Jeff Lambert:                19:00                So, you know, for me, I'd probably do one and then just be on the floor and be like, good. Where are you at? What do you do?

Rod Rodriguez:             19:09                The objective is 10. To do 10, 10 of those.

Jeff Lambert:                19:13                So five on each arm, man. More power to your Rod. Well, yeah, I'll include, I'll find a good YouTube video. We'll put that in the show notes for everybody to take a look at. Well we went off on a tangent there. Let's try and get back on that. What else? I think you have one more. What's another defining characteristic of Generation Z?

Rod Rodriguez:             19:39                Sure. So they admire self-awareness and authenticity. But while their parents strive for perfection on social media, Gen Z'ers share like the hashtag "no filter," hashtag "no makeup" posts. So they want real, you know, they wanna portray a reality in their activities online and they look for that in the individuals that they are following.

Jeff Lambert:                20:07                Interesting. So that's obviously something that should be kept in mind when you're thinking about campaigns to reach this group.

Rod Rodriguez:             20:13                Absolutely.

Jeff Lambert:                20:13                Alright. So Rob, we're an inbound podcast, we're talking about marketing from an inbound perspective. What are the opportunities for us to reach Gen Z. We know about what they are, how can we reach them?

Rod Rodriguez:             20:29                Sure. so they're not strictly digital. Almost 98% of them shop in brick and mortar stores, almost twice as much in person as online. And they never disconnect. They use social media and the Internet to research before they buy, which is a golden opportunity for us, for inbound-focused brands. Right? Like I think we have this ability to be able to connect constantly using the tools that we have to those individuals. But I think every marketer should take advantage of that fact that they're always connected.

Jeff Lambert:                21:08                That brick and mortar stat just blows me away that 98% of them enjoy going and having in-person experience in addition to what they're looking at online. That's foreign to me. I hate going to malls now. I feel like it's a waste of my time if I can just get it online. That's an interesting switch. And if the CEO of JC Penney's is out there listening to this, hang in there, buddy. Maybe a couple more years and JC Penney won't have to go bankrupt if you can get those Gen Z'ers back in your store.

Rod Rodriguez:             21:37                Yeah, absolutely.

Jeff Lambert:                21:39                That place is always a wasteland. Whenever I go in there, there's no one, you know, besides me. Again, those, may be Gen X or Baby Boomers who just, you know, "my great grandfather shopped at JC Penney, I'm going to shop at JC Penney too."

Rod Rodriguez:             21:53                Right, right. Yeah, I haven't been there in like at least a decade.

Jeff Lambert:                21:59                Well, there's hope. There's hope from Gen Z. So, okay. You brought up some good points, right? You have to be where the audience is. That's an inbound principle. So it's not just having a digital presence, it's having a physical presence as well. How do we be visible as marketers to this groupin terms of opportunities?

Rod Rodriguez:             22:26                Sure. I think some of the elements that we covered in a lot in a previous podcasts where like, you know, there's no difference between digital and marketing. Like it's marketing. So you have to be in those places digitally, physically, in-person spaces. Making sure that you track their online behavior and data trends using notifications and geo-fencing to help you gather intelligence on where they are. And really connect with them using the buyer's journey. Design your marketing to think through what a Gen Z'er would go through to engage with you and become a customer and a client.

Jeff Lambert:                23:14                And that goes back to the points you made about making sure that we understand that the inbound focus really is tailored to Generation Z. They're going to go online, they're going to research a product, they're going to make sure that it's the right decision before they buy it. So we have to be where they're going to be able to show them that our product is the best.

Rod Rodriguez:             23:36                Right.

Jeff Lambert:                23:38                Okay. Well, is there anything else to cover about Gen Z? I think we've pretty much reached everything. That's a pretty spectrum in terms of what Gen Z is and how we can reach them. Okay. I think we're good there. So there you have it folks. Gen Z should not be ignored. They're a third of the population and here's some ways that you can do it. So let's jump into story number two, right? I know you're excited for this one. So I think it's a genius idea, and taking advantage of a trend that I don't think it's going to be able to be stopped by anyone. So go ahead and you can do the intro for it. So I have to admit I chose this one because it popped up and it said "New England" and I'm from New England. So I was like, "Ooh, let me check this out." I always look every month for marketing campaigns that have been a success. Like if our listeners remember last month we talked about Spiderman and how they used some different marketing tactics to be able to reach their audience. So here's another example of smart marketing. This is from a seafood restaurant chain called Legal Sea Foods. They're very popular in Massachusetts, very popular in New England in general. They're expanding out. They have some in Washington DC, they have some Virginia, Pennsylvania, Jersey. They're slowly making their way down the East Coast. And I know you like going there whenever you go up to Massachusetts.

Rod Rodriguez:             25:07                Right, right. Oh, absolutely. I mean the clam chowder, it's...I try to make a stop every time there and I'm there once a year at least. So that's good stuff.

Jeff Lambert:                25:16                Whenever I'm in Boston too. It's the same thing. There's swordfish is amazing. They have great clam chowder. So let me give a little bit of background for our listeners who maybe are not familiar with this company because I grew up obviously watching these commercials. Now, Legal Sea Foods has always been a company...they do funny commercials, they do funny ad campaigns, but it's always safe. You know, there's never anything like controversial about what they do. Like to give you an example, they do commercials where fish are singing about not wanting to be eaten. That was a commercial that I remembered that they ran. There was a good one, and I'll post a YouTube link to it, where they had this really serious narrator and they'd zoom in on a beach and say "Save the fish. The fish are disappearing. We need to work together." But then they would end it by saying "Save them so we can eat them later." So it starts off with this like environmental, like appeal to it. It's like, well we want to save money so we can enjoy eating them. So they have that kind of like "it's funny, but it's not controversial" because they're a family restaurant. They don't want to kind of tip the wagon, but they just unveiled this new marketing campaign and it's called "Welcome to Legal." And Rod, I'm just going to let you talk about...well let me before I do that...It's called "Welcome to Legal" because it is based on that they are targeting the recently passed law in Massachusetts that allows for recreational marijuana. So they're, they're playing on the popularity of this new law and there's dispensaries opening up everywhere. So their campaign is called "Welcome to Legal" and they're shooting for the ganja market basically. It's kind of to catch the tidal wave, and they're being really creative about this. So, Rod, can you tell us some of the ways that Legal Sea Foods is targeting the marijuana craze in Massachusetts right now?

Rod Rodriguez:             27:05                Absolutely. You know, I love the fact that they're leveraging what is happening in society and these changes to sell more and more seafood. Right? So one of the things that they're doing is their commercials are airing at 4:20 PM each day, which for those involved in the smoking of marijuana, 4:20 is a time that they have designated to be a time to smoke marijuana. So I think they're leveraging that understanding and then posting those commercials at that time.

Jeff Lambert:                27:44                That's weed Christmas. Is that 4:20?

Rod Rodriguez:             27:49                Yeah, weed christmas. April 20th. The commercials actually show a fish with trippy kaleidoscope backgrounds and slow motion fish footage. The menus in the restaurant are divided into "smoked," "baked," and "fried" sections. And then people can text Legal Sea Foods at 4:20 PM each day to be entered to win a free "packed bowl" of quote un-quote chowder.

Jeff Lambert:                28:22                Ah, that is great.

Rod Rodriguez:             28:24                Yeah. And then they have a mobile van that's gonna park outside marijuana dispensaries as well.

Jeff Lambert:                28:32                So they're going off on this targeting, I guess you could say, a play-on-word of everything having to do with marijuana?

Rod Rodriguez:             28:39                Absolutely. Yeah.

Jeff Lambert:                28:43                That's great. Is there anything else to share about their focus, I guess you could say, on this a craze, like you said?

Rod Rodriguez:             28:51                No, just a funny comment from a PR representative describing the effort as an attempt by legal seafoods to get "a contact high" from recreational marijuana. So I thought that was pretty funny.

Jeff Lambert:                29:07                This is great. I've got to say, so obviously this is genius in the sense that, like you said, they're there looking at societal trends and they're saying, "let's jump into the conversation to be able to promote our product." Do you have anything to add, to like a takeaway, you know, how could we apply these strategies as marketers?

Rod Rodriguez:             29:26                Sure. I think it's a two-fold, right? This is a perfect example of where the audience is, you know, there's lots of interests around recreational marijuana which is becoming legal in Massachusetts. And they're taking great advantage of that. And two, it's good to take risks. Sometimes, if the data supports it. Legal Sea Foods has traditionally been seen as a family restaurant. They're risking their image by cozying up to a recreational drug, but they think it's humor and a humorous angle and it'll appeal to Millennials and Gen Z , Gen Z'ers who will pull their parents up to eat right at the restaurant.

Jeff Lambert:                30:02                So that's a great point. And that's exactly what we talked about with Gen Z where they have influence on their parents and where they go to eat and what they buy. So like if the kids think it's funny, and maybe they don't want to admit to their parents why it's funny, but they're going to have influence on where they go out to eat. And I think too, with our generation, we're more comfortable being open about using recreational drugs, at least certain recreational drugs. So I think this would play well with my millennial friends too, obviously. Cause it's just great that they're like kind of openly, I don't know if supporting is the right word, but, climbing in bed with marijuana in the sense of you know, it's okay, it's cool. Come and eat some seafood even if you enjoy this on a semi-regular basis. Smart. Okay. So that's Legal Sea Foods everybody, doing this campaign. If you live in the northeast, like I said in DC or Virginia or Jersey or Massachusetts, go check them out because that should be a fun experience. Maybe we can go when we head up to Boston in September?

Rod Rodriguez:             31:13                Yes. No, we will. Absolutely. We'll be there. That sounds good.

Jeff Lambert:                31:17                And we'll get the packed bowl!

Rod Rodriguez:             31:19                Well to Legal Sea Foods, not the dispensaries.

Jeff Lambert:                31:22                Right, right. We're family people here. We're responsible marketers. We don't partake.

Jeff Lambert:                31:30                So let's jump into story number three, Rod. The title of this article is "Digital Marketing Trends That Can Bring You Closer to Your Customers." I chose this one because it outlined something called the "Mary Meeker Annual Internet Trends Report" which I had actually never heard of. But it's apparently very popular in marketing circles and some of our listeners may pay attention to this when it comes out every year. My question for you, Rod, is this is a famous report, something I'm going to pay more attention to going forward. Who is Mary Meeker?

Rod Rodriguez:             32:03                Yeah. she's, she's big in the venture capitalist world. She's a leading voice on Internet and emerging technologies. She's had several successes. She was named actually one of the 100 most powerful women in the world list in 2014 and she releases this annual report of trends on Internet happenings. It's very popular both with the venture capitalist world as well as with marketers. This data helps us make decisions on on our marketing.

Jeff Lambert:                32:40                And calling back to our last episode, the last one you and I did together, like you said, we talked about how marketing is digital. It's not separate. Digital Marketing and marketing, traditional marketing, they are one in the same. So you need to have a digital presence. So you've got to pay attention to these trends. So why don't we talk about some of these trends, right? Like what did this report state give us some examples of what they found?

Rod Rodriguez:             33:06                Alright, there's a lot. So let's go one by one. 51% of the world, or 3.8 billion people, were Internet users last year. And that brings us to like seven out of 10 of the world's most valuable companies are tech companies. So Amazon, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet. The top four out of 10 are tech-related. And obviously that's leading to the push in the amount of people that have access to internet across the world.

Jeff Lambert:                33:40                I think it was Google...didn't they do balloons? Weather balloons, I think it was in Africa or South America, that would bring wireless Internet to rural areas?

Rod Rodriguez:             33:49                Yes. Yeah, that was Alphabet. Or Google. That company is the parent company for Google, but yes.

Jeff Lambert:                33:57                Right, right. Okay. So we have more and more people using the Internet. What else do you have?

Rod Rodriguez:             34:04                E-commerce is now 15% of retail sales. Up 12% since 2018. So regular retail grew only grew 2%.

Jeff Lambert:                34:16                Maybe that'll change as Gen Z'ers get older, but yeah,a 15% percent bump in e-commerce. So it's important to have stuff available to purchase online.

Rod Rodriguez:             34:25                Absolutely. Absolutely.

Jeff Lambert:                34:26                Okay. What else?

Rod Rodriguez:             34:27                I think it adds to, I mean, just thinking about the future with E-commerce, I think an experience that's gonna like drive both together somehow is coming. You know, I think Amazon, with their Amazon stores, is really at the forefront of that experience right? Where it may start online, but they can go to a physical location to pick it up without having to interact with a human necessarily. Maybe a machine or a shelf will give it to you.

Jeff Lambert:                34:56                That's a great point. Where like the markets in Seattle that they opened up. I remember they they bought Whole Foods and then they opened up, I think it was one prototype store but I'm sure more are coming, where you can just go in and you pick it up and put it in your bag and they have sensors to be able to recognize if you took it out and it's scanning your bag as you go through. So you can order your stuff online through Prime Now or Amazon or you can go to the store and have that experience too. And I think, didn't Amazon start opening bookstores recently too?

Rod Rodriguez:             35:28                Yes, yes.

Jeff Lambert:                35:31                Interesting. And they basically killed the brick and mortar bookstore with the Kindle, so now they're opening it back up again. That's an interesting switch up. Okay. So yeah, retail is still a part of the strategy, but obviously e-commerce is becoming well, I shouldn't say it's always been important, but it's certainly starting to become the norm, I guess you could say to begin with. Okay. Well why don't we talk about...let me see...we have one coming up about ad spending. What is the report on that?

Rod Rodriguez:             36:03                Yeah, I think it's following the trend that it's increasing. It's up 22% in 2018. So Google and Facebook are still leaders, but Amazon and Twitter are growing as well. On the adspend line, which is I think it coincides with the fact that the next point from the trends report is that Americans are spending more time with digital media than ever - 6.3 hours a day, which is up from 7% from 2018. And most of that growth is coming from mobile and other connected devices. And the time spent on computers is declining.

Jeff Lambert:                36:44                Yeah, that sounds about right. Six months, six and a half hours a day. I think probably on the the conservative side for me, if I think about all the work that I do, and like you said, most people do work digitally, so absolutely. But you said time on computers is declining?

Rod Rodriguez:             37:00                Yes, yes.

Jeff Lambert:                37:04                So I guess we could take from that, we have to make sure that our campaigns are obviously mobile friendly first?

Rod Rodriguez:             37:13                Absolutely. That's a, that's the biggest point, you know just build your sites or your experience for the mobile experience first. Cause that is the fastest growing by far way to access the Internet.

Rod Rodriguez:             37:31                Interesting. OK. Yeah, let's keep going.

Rod Rodriguez:             37:36                The next one is images are increasing. The means by which people communicate thanks to faster Wifi and better phone cameras. So more than 50% of Twitter impressions now involve posts with images, video or other media. Twitter used to be text only as you remember. And then another interesting trend. The number of interactive gamers worldwide grew 6% to 2.4 billion people last year. So games like Fortnite, have become the new social media for certain people. They interact in there, they make friends there, they meet outside of Fortnite as well for events. And the number of people who watch those games rather than participate is also swelling is increasing. So there's people that actually just watch a stream of people playing Fortnite.

Jeff Lambert:                38:30                You just reminded me of a story, I think that was last week. And there's a famous Fortnite player called Ninja, I think his name is who was on Twitch and he signed an exclusivity deal with Microsoft because they're coming out with their own game streaming platform called Mixer, I think it was called. And he switched from Twitch to Mixer and he took like a huge chunk of their base with him to this new platform. So. Wow. Okay. So interactive gaming's...I don't, you know, I'm not too much into the multiplayer games, but 2.4 billion people. My goodness.

Rod Rodriguez:             39:06                Yeah, I mean it's huge. Huge, huge. I mean, I used to play Halo back a long time ago, but it wasn't like this. I've interacted a few times with Fortnite and it's amazing. It's a whole world in there, you know?

Jeff Lambert:                39:21                That's crazy. I know that's what all the kids are at. My wife's a teacher and all of her students, she's a middle school teacher. They're all into Fortnite. Like, that's the thing and I don't get it, but I guess that's because I'm older. What else do you have for trends, Rod?

Rod Rodriguez:             39:34                We have a few more. Internet privacy is becoming a big concern for users and companies, right? Consumers want this feature on more of their platforms and companies are investing more in security. 87% of global web traffic was encrypted, which is up from 53% three years ago. And then along with security, you know, problematic content on the web is continuing to increase. You know, fake news, radical content, abusive language and bullying. 42% of U.S. Teens have experienced offensive name calling, online terrorists are being radicalized on sites like YouTube. Social media has encouraged an increase in political polarization as well. So yeah, I think it's a valid concern with this, with this growth here. And I think they're trying to lessen it. In many ways I've seen many, many websites change their policies on how they interact with such content and have most have taken a stand against it. But it still seems to be growing online.

Jeff Lambert:                40:54                It'll be interesting to see how governments get involved more and more with this too, because I know especially in the United States, there's a growing demand for Congress to do something about this because they're kind of letting the companies themselves figure out how to police this content. But then you've got free speech issues. So that's going to be one to keep an eye on. Definitely.

Rod Rodriguez:             41:15                Yup. Absolutely. Alright, and two more, I promise. Two more Internet trends and we'll wrap it up. So of the top 25 most valuable tech companies, 60% were founded by first or second generation immigrants. So new, stricter immigration laws could negatively impact the tech industry and prevent future innovators from doing it in the U.S. As being an immigrant, I support obviously immigration and a lot of the founders as you can see by this trend is valuable to the tech industry. So let's see what's on the horizon for that based on those new immigration laws. And the last one, healthcare is steadily becoming more digitized. So there's a growing demand for telemedicine and on-demand consultations. This is exciting. I think for us. I have several prospects that I'm talking to that are in the telemedicine area and and actually on-demand consultation even through iPads and iPhones. So I think this is something that is, I think, powerful for agencies to take a look at to be able to maybe focus on helping those technologies grow.

Jeff Lambert:                42:43                Yeah. You know, on a very small side note, I was talking to a friend yesterday, she has two kids and she was talking about how she, her son had to stay home sick with her and she had the doctor's appointment for him on her iPad. It was like an online video appointment where the doctor was able to do whatever he could. I guess you could think to diagnose the child just through having like a tele-appointment. To me it's great because I think for convenience sake, that's amazing. So it'll be interesting to see how that continues to grow. Okay. So we have a lot of trends, right? If we could break that down, I guess, into actionable items for marketers, especially from an inbound perspective, what are the takeaways? What can we use this information for to make smarter decisions?

Rod Rodriguez:             43:35                Sure. So I can summarize it to four takeaways. I think the first one being digital presence is essential. Mobile is just as important. The second takeaway would be visual ads and content is the new quality for marketing efforts. Social Media and blog posts should contain strong visual elements such as infographics, videos, photos, etc. It's not just to write good copy anymore, basically. It's about the whole experience visually. Eventually tactile. I mean, no one's invented "smell-vision" yet, but it would be super cool. I'm sure it's like five years away. So the, the next takeaway would be gaming and interactive experiences are growing in popularity and should be a part of your content strategy. I don't really use it that much, but I also use Tik Tok. I mean, you have to stay with the trends that are coming. And there's definitely an audience that is in those areas of gaming that can be reached and there's a way to reach them. So just be aware of those trends coming up. And lastly, privacy is important. You have to find a way to have your clients take it seriously. So you can sell it as a feature as well.

Jeff Lambert:                45:02                Yeah, yeah. I can see the wisdom in that. Absolutely. So some important takeaways, you know, and we all have to look at this every year, I think to see how the digital landscape is changing, but those are all good pieces of advice for marketers to remember.

Jeff Lambert:                45:20                So Rod, I do want to thank you again for coming on and talking about all of these topics. It's been fun kind of diving in deep with these with you and we can get together again next month and do the same. Does that sound good?

Rod Rodriguez:             45:33                All right, let's do it.

Jeff Lambert:                45:35                All right. And you know, to our audience, thank you for tuning in. It's been great having you listen to the episode with us. Remember you can expect a new episode from Inbound Academy every week and it's always going to be filled with advice that's going to help you grow your business. Remember, if you're looking for an experienced, friendly, and results-driven team to help your business, check out Rizen. You can find them on That's Rizen with a "Z." And you can also follow them on social media. They're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin, and you can find them by searching for the name RizenInbound. So Rod, thanks again for coming by.

Rod Rodriguez:             46:14                Thanks for having me, Jeff.


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