Life Among the ‘Garbage Faeries’

In our hyper consumption driven economy, we don’t often give much of a thought to what we toss in the trash. Municipalities take care of dealing with all the headaches from our trash so we don’t have to. That’s part of our utility bill or city service fee. I can’t help thinking about who actually deals with it after I do. Our local trash service picks up our curbside cans – green waste, recycled and land fill.

When visiting New York, I couldn’t help noticing how much trash is produced and how amazing it was that more of it wasn’t visible. Somebody’s doing a Sisyphean job. In fact, a small army of dedicated Garbage Faeries do the job. Robin Nagle wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal adopted from her book: Picking Up: On the Street and Behind the Trucks With the Sanitation Workers of New York City.

Robin Nagle: What I discovered in New York City trash

Are Loyal Customers Worth More?

Are loyal customers worth more? . Based on our subscriber base, it’s unquestionable. We have clients with us for over 35 years, over 20 years and if they stay with us for twelve months, they stay with us on average for over seven years. According to Nielsen data, they most definitely are worth more. Check this out:

Standing out in a world of choice isn’t easy. Earning consumer devotion to a brand or store takes more than just offering a good product. Price, packaging, customer service and reputation are just some of the factors involved in a consumer’s decision-making process. But getting to the heart of what makes a consumer stick or switch can be the difference between flourishing and fading. While Nielsen research shows that bigger rewards generally inspire higher loyalty levels, loyalty programs are no guarantee of loyal behaviors.

“There is a strong link between the way consumers describe their loyalty habits and the way they subsequently buy—so even comparatively small shifts in what consumers say can manifest in big changes in what they do,” said Julie Currie, senior vice president Global Loyalty, Nielsen. “While there is some consistency around the world in loyalty sentiment within categories, across retailers and service providers, there are also notable differences—especially for consumable products and in the online retailing space, where the likelihood to switch is greater.”

So how do you turn a fickle fan into a faithful follower? You start by understanding the needs and motivations that drive their purchase decisions. And then you deploy the strategies and tactics that deliver the most value. The Nielsen Global Survey of Loyalty Sentiment outlines the reasons why consumers switch brands, service providers or retailers and identifies the loyalty program attributes that potentially have the most staying power.

The survey polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries to evaluate consumer views on loyalty levels across 16 categories that range from fast-moving consumer goods staples to technology products to retail establishments and found that, on average, more respondents professed to be not loyal than completely loyal. Most respondents fell somewhere in the middle, claiming they were unlikely to switch brands or providers without a significant incentive.

The survey findings suggest a direct link between the frequency of purchase and the level of loyalty to that category. For everyday use products, ongoing decision-making often changes the relationship. For example, one-quarter (24%) of respondents around the world claimed complete loyalty to their mobile phone brand/service provider and financial institution—the highest loyalty percentage reported globally for any of the 16 categories measured. Conversely, the lowest levels of loyalty on a global scale (respondents said they were not loyal and likely to switch) were found within the food and beverage categories reviewed: alcoholic beverages (43%), snack brands (39%), carbonated beverages (38%) and cereal brands (37%).


Importantly, the relationship between the provider and the brands they sell can be quite different. In the grocery sector, respondents expressed more loyalty to the retailer (globally, 74% said they were loyal to a grocery retailer) than they did to brands (average 61% loyalty across the categories surveyed). By contrast, 76 percent of all respondents professed loyalty to a mobile phone provider, which was aligned with 75 percent who also said they were loyal to mobile phone brands. For online retailers, global switching sentiment was higher (39% claimed non-loyalty) than for other retailers and service providers measured.

For food and beverage products, regional non-loyalty levels were highest in Europe, where 46 percent of respondents said they were not faithful to snack brands, such as candy, cookies, chips and sweets (only 10% claimed complete loyalty), which was markedly lower than other regions. Forty-two percent were also likely to switch cereal brands, and 43 percent claimed disloyalty to carbonated-beverage brands.

“High levels of promotions offered in snacks and beverage categories, particularly in Europe, condition consumers to shop around for deals,” said Currie. “Retailers can reverse the impact of falling basket values and lower trip frequencies by better connecting with the unique needs of their shoppers.”


Other findings include:

  • Incentives that stimulate switching behavior.
  • Loyalty program prevalence and patronage go hand in hand.
  • Loyalty program benefits that matter most.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Loyalty Sentiment report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Loyalty Sentiment was conducted between Feb. 18 and March 8, 2013 and polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10 million online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.


Improve Content Strategy With An Editorial Calendar

Here’s a great idea that I promise to implement before the next year starts.


Improve Content Strategy with an Editorial Calendar: 14 Free Downloads


by 13 10/18/2013




If you need a tool that helps with strategy, organization and project management, then an editorial calendar is probably right for you.


When working as editor of a monthly trade magazine, our annual editorial calendar helped us define the overarching themes we would be covering each month. And our paper-based monthly calendar (hey, it was a long time ago) broke that down into actual content that we planned to publish.


We wrote in pencil so we could easily shuffle content around. Today’s content marketers face the same content management challenges; that’s why using an editorial calendar to make sure your content strategy actually happens is a no-brainer.


Improve Content Strategy with an Editorial Calendar


What an Editorial Calendar Can Do For You


For marketers, an editorial calendar comes in handy for:


  • Scheduling your own blog posts.
  • Scheduling blog post contributions by guest authors.
  • Scheduling the creation and deployment of other content such as ebooks, presentations, infographics and more.
  • Tracking events that can generate content, such as conferences and holidays.
  • Gathering ideas that lead to content.
  • Managing and scheduling social media posts.


Done right, an editorial calendar gives you peace of mind because you never have to panic about what you will be writing about or sharing socially—you will always know in advance.


How an Editorial Calendar Works


Every editorial calendar is slightly different, but from a content marketer’s viewpoint, a good one will include:


  • Details of who is writing content.
  • What type of content you are publishing.
  • Where you plan to publish it.
  • What you hope to achieve and how you will measure it (KPIs).


You can even build in tracking by inputting data from your chosen analytics tools to see how successful your content has been.


Ideally, your calendar will also be able to track inspiration—ideas you know you want to build content around but haven’t yet decided how to execute. As Gloria Rand says, an editorial calendar can be a great counter to writer’s block.


The best way to get started with editorial calendars is to look at others for inspiration, seeing what works and discarding what doesn’t. We’ve rounded up some free editorial calendars to get you started.


Always know your editorial schedule


WordPress Editorial Calendars


Since a lot of marketers work primarily with WordPress, it seems a good place to get started. Here are three WordPress editorial calendar plugins to help you.


  1. EditFlow combines a calendar with the ability to make editorial comments and keep track of your content budget. Some writers have even used it to organize their external content development as well.
  2. Editorial Calendar gives you an overview of scheduled posts, which you can move via drag and drop and makes it easy to track post status. You can also create and manage drafts easily. MakeUseOf has a great guide to using this plugin.
  3. CoSchedule is one of the tools I’m most excited about in the WordPress editorial calendar space. That’s because it’s supposed to take the functionality of other editorial calendar plugins and makes it even better. Check this video to see what’s coming.


By the time this post is published it should be in open beta. In the meantime, closed beta testers are using it to schedule social media posts—something it does very well.


Online Editorial Calendars


Some people have shared their editorial calendars via Google Docs. Here are two examples.


  1. CrackerJack Marketing’s Stephanie Schwab has a Google Docs template aimed mainly at bloggers, which covers content, platforms and audience. You’ll have to opt in to get access.
  2. The MuseyRoom site shares the template used by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, providing some context in this post.


Content planning


9 Free Downloadable Editorial Calendars


In addition to those based on Google Docs, which you can download to Excel if you want to use them offline, there are several editorial calendars already in Excel and ready to download. Here are some of them:


  1. Web Search Social has a free (opt-in) Excel spreadsheet that details types of content, key delivery methods and main channels. It allows you to craft social media statuses up front and then copy them into your delivery mechanism, such as Hootsuite or Buffer.
  2. The free calendar from Bob Angus incorporates product launches, events, marketing campaigns, promotions and key milestones. It includes several content types and has an idea tracker too.
  3. Janet Aronica offers a year-long calendar on the Shareaholic blog (opt-in) which incorporates post due dates and published dates, topic, keywords, call to action and events. It also has fields for tracking social shares.
  4. The CMI spreadsheet has sheets for blog posts, ideas, and existing content. The first for blog posts include topic, keywords, call to action, category and tags, as well as the post author.
  5. My Marketing Café has a simple template with some pre-filled data to guide you.
  6. Pam Moore has an editorial calendar template (opt-in) which covers monthly and weekly themes, post titles, authors and editors, key target audiences, the targeted purchase cycle, supporting media, syndication and conversion to white papers.
  7. Vertical Measures has an in-depth template which covers business goals and selling cycles in addition to some of the information covered by others. A full explanation is in this post on Marketing Land.
  8. Brandeo’s editorial calendar is marketing focused with emphasis on goals for each period.
  9. MarketingSavant’s template is a social media content planner that includes a mindmapping section.


Use these 14 editorial calendar templates as a starting point for creating your own. Be sure to come back and share when you do!


Image credits: Oschene/Ontario Wanderer/Simon Doggett