Quoted – Gen Y moms prefer digital, rather than face-to-face, communication more than their older cohorts.

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Gen Y moms prefer digital, rather than face-to-face, communication more than their older cohorts.

Mothers are more connected online than the average woman, with younger moms especially committed to digital communication, says a report examining moms and online behavior. More than 90 percent of U.S. women with children under age 18 in the household are online, compared with roughly three-quarters (76.3 percent) of all adult women. Mothers of Generation Y, however, are even more involved in online communication than their older counterparts, with nearly one in five (17 percent) stating that they use email or Facebook to communicate with immediate family—with “immediate family” defined as family members living in the same household.


While Baby Boomer moms said that they communicated with family members in person most of the time (an average of 62 percent face-to-face communication), Generation X mothers stated they do so 58 percent of the time, says the report. Gen Y moms said that their face-to-face communication with immediate family averages just less than half the time at 48 percent. Boomer moms are also less likely to use Facebook as often as their younger cohorts do, while one in five (19 percent) of Gen Y moms reported that they spend at least two hours a day on the social networking site.



Marketing consultant Dr. Scott Testa, also a professor of business administration at Philadelphia-based Cabrini College, says that he has also observed this fast-moving trend.

“Generation [Y] and [the mom] demographic is rapidly moving to electronic media,” he notes. “In order to reach these moms [companies] need to go digital.”

Singer warns marketers to not be too complacent when it comes to reaching out via social media.

“Too many marketers are sitting back and waiting to see how social media pans out, as though it’s a temporary phenomenon,” she explains. “But it’s as permanent and as influential as TV was in its infancy, and it will grow even more important. The more quickly that marketing executives learn to harness social media, the more likely they’ll come out ahead because of it.”

Testa agrees. “It is not a fad,” he adds. “Those companies that really get it could really target [this group] effectively.”



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Quoted – Bottoms-up tomato gardening lucrative, but productive? – Philadelphia Inquirer

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Bottoms-up tomato gardening lucrative, but productive?

It sounds a bit like a pet rock for gardeners, but consumers seem to love the upside-down Topsy Turvy tomato planter, which has been sprouting all over the marketplace.

Bill Felknor, a folksy inventor from Knoxville, Tenn., has sold millions of his curious creations since they first appeared on QVC in 2003 – more than seven million last year alone, making it one of the most popular gardening products ever introduced.

It’s a natural – times three, according to Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College in Radnor, who grows tomatoes the old-fashioned way.

Like any consumer group, he said, a certain percentage of gardeners are on the hunt for the hot new thing. With the increased interest in home vegetable gardens, even folks with little or no green space want to get growing. And the idea of being able to do this without getting dirty or having to weed . . .

“That’s kind of the holy grail for gardeners, isn’t it?” asked Testa, who has done consulting for firms that make novelty items, produce infomercials, and sell on QVC.


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Quoted – Yelp.com: Extortion or free speech? Lawsuits mount

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Yelp.com: Extortion or free speech? Lawsuits mount

You would expect nothing more, or less, from the Web.As merchants line up to join the lawsuit against Yelp for allegedly downgrading their ratings when they did not advertise, the debate over the import and impact of online reviews has never been more heated. From other online sites touting their more pristine approaches, to merchants insisting that negative reviews can only help — honest! — perspectives are as diverse as opinions expressed in the online reviews themselves.

You would expect nothing more, or less, from the Web.

So who can a consumer trust? Surveys consistently show that word of mouth trumps all other sources of information and increasingly a seemingly average Joe review on the Web qualifies as word of mouth. Scott Testa, a technology consultant and business professor at Cabrini College near Philadelphia, said that while the Yelp suit may open the floodgates to criticism of criticism, the best bet for consumers is to read widely and with skepticism.


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Quoted – 10 Ways to Save Money in 2010 – SmartMoney

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Quoted – 10 Ways to Save Money in 2010 – SmartMoney

Making a commitment to save money in 2010 is the rare New Year’s resolution that is easy to keep.

After a turbulent economic year, it’s a popular one, too. A December survey from financial service firm Edward Jones found saving more money next year is the top resolution for that a third of consumers.

“When times get tough, consumers have to get aggressive,” says Scott Testa, an assistant professor of business administration at Calibri College in Radnor, Pa. “On a high-priced item, you’re crazy if you don’t haggle.” It doesn’t take a hard-line negotiation in most cases, either – you just have to ask if there’s any chance for a better price, he says. For example, 68% of landlords said they would lower rents or give a month or more free to retain tenants, according to a recent Rent.com survey. (For good haggling opportunities to take advantage of, click here and here.)

Collective buying groups like Groupon.com serve as haggling on training wheels, offering prenegotiated discounts if a certain number of shoppers buy in.


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Quoted – 6 Old-School Savings Tricks Are Back – SmartMoney Mag

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Quoted – 6 Old-School Savings Tricks Are Back – SmartMoney Mag

It’s no secret that consumers have grown more frugal: Excessive spending is out and saving is in.

Like fashion, spending trends often cycle in and out, but what’s interesting about this go-round at frugality is how it’s playing out. Old savings strategies are seeing a resurgence, and some of the most popular tactics – couponing, layaway and haggling – date back to prior recessions.

Will those practices someday go the way of padded shoulders and track suits? It may take years or even decades, but the larger population will eventually end up back in the “greed is good” mentality, says Scott Testa, an assistant professor of business administration at Calibri College in Radnor, Pa

In recent years, bargaining for a lower price has been relegated to yard sales and flea markets, but that’s beginning to change. “Now, consumers are much more creative and frankly, much more aggressive about asking for a better price,” Testa says. To retain customers amid slowing sales, even mainstream retailers are open to negotiation on prices — especially if you can point to better deals at a competitor.

Thanks to the credit crunch, retailers and consumers are looking at these old options, which had faded with disco. “They went away as people bought things on credit and found other ways to pay,” Testa says. Last year, Sears (SHLD: 64.18, +0.34, +0.53%) and Kmart heavily promoted their longstanding layaway programs. This year, they introduced a new Christmas Club that matches 3% of consumers’ savings.


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