Everything You Need to Know About Living in Austin, Texas

Learn everything you wanted to know about what makes Austin, Texas weird from the people that call it home. Download our Austin, TX research report to review all of the details.

Introduction

The capital city of Texas, Austin is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the seat of Travis County.  Located nearly in the center of the state, Austin is about three hours south of Dallas; three hours west of Houston; and about 90 minutes north of San Antonio.

Experiencing a population growth of 34.1% between 2007 and 2017, the Austin region is one of the fastest-growing in the country  Austin has been the fastest-growing major metro in the country for nine straight years, from 2010 to 2019. The metro population jumped to an estimated 2.2 million people as of July 1, 2019, according to the United States Census Bureau. That is an increase of 2.8% from the prior year, bigger than any other metro with at least 1 million residents. That’s 169 people added every day, on average.

With a vibrant, well-educated, and youthful population of 2.2 million in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the median age in Austin is 34.7 years. Of Austin’s population aged over 25, 44.8% have a Bachelor’s Degree. Leading the US in tech salary growth, it’s the number four city tech workers would consider moving to.

Austin’s laid-back, take-it-or-leave-it kind of attitude matches well with its fun and “weird” culture, celebrated on bumper stickers and T-shirts with the slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.”

“Everyone is welcome and has a place somewhere here. And it just makes it such a unique place because you just never know who you’re gonna meet or what experience you’re going to have just ‘cause there’s so many different things.”

Jamie E, 38

Austin Neighborhoods

  • Downtown Austin is popular with younger residents with middle to upper household incomes. These Austinites love the convenience of being just blocks from shopping on Congress Avenue, live music venues on 6th Street, and even some great parks, hiking, and biking along the Colorado River. 
  • Across the Colorado River from Downtown Austin sits South Austin, where young, artsy types congregate. Barton Heights offers great family areas, while Travis Heights and Bouldin Creek attract mainly hip, liberal Austinites.
  • North and Northwest Austin include Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Leander, which attract a lot of families. The Leander is an award-winning school district, and Apple and Dell have large operations in the area. North Austin also has some great luxury apartments. These fast-growing Austin neighborhoods are popular with families.
  • West Austin has some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city, such as Westlake Hills and Steiner Ranch. The commute into town is a bit longer than in other areas of Austin, but residents are closer to Lake Travis and the great outdoors. Neighborhoods Oak Hill and Circle C Ranch are further south.
  • Although East Austin used to be considered the poorest part of the city, the area is now mostly a hipster neighborhood with many sleek, modern developments. 
  • Southeast Austin is home to a lot of University of Texas students, likely because of the large numbers of apartments and other rental properties in the area.

“I am in a tiny house in East Austin. With three dogs – I have two Huskies and a mix. You’d be surprised the people who to live in the tiny houses where I’m at.”

Shelly S, 42

Doing Business in Austin

The Austin region offers businesses deep talent, education, quality healthcare, telecommunications, and a modern, international airport.  The major employers include: Amazon, AMD, Apple, Charles Schwab, Dell, General Motors, IBM, Intel, National Instruments, Samsung, Tesla, VISA, and Whole Foods.

Key Industries include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Clean Technology
  • Creative & Digital Media Technology
  • Data Management
  • Financial Services and Insurance
  • Life Sciences
  • Space Technology

The growth isn’t slowing down any time soon. The new Tesla Gigafactory, set to be located in eastern Travis County, will be one of the world’s largest and most advanced automotive plants and will bring an estimated $1 billion in capital investment to the region.

In addition to being home to tech giants, Austin has a thriving startup scene. Austin area startups attracted $2.2 billion across 263 venture deals in 2019. Startups account for a larger share of businesses in Austin than in nearly all major US metros and Austin ranks 6th for new businesses per 1,000 population.

“A couple of my friends work at Google and Facebook and they’re always saying so many people are moving in. I would say those apartment complexes are definitely to cater to people like that. Cause it’s like the new hub.”

Madison P, 28

The Cost of Living in Austin

Texas consistently ranks as one of the nation’s most favorable business climates based on its low tax burden and competitive regulatory environment. Texas features no personal or corporate income tax, and overall the state has one of the lowest state and local tax burdens in the US.

According to Austin’s Chamber of Commerce, the cost of living is 2% lower than the national average.

Austin Apartment Costs

Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Austin than most similar cities. The median two-bedroom rent of $1,450 is above the national average of $1,193. The city’s median one-bedroom rent is $1,175. While rents in Austin fell moderately over the past year (-0.6%), many cities nationwide saw slight increases (+0.2%). 

According to RENTCafé, these 5 Austin neighborhoods offer a good selection of rental apartments, unique dining, shopping, atmosphere, walkability, and a sense of community:

  • Downtown Austin (average rent $2,200/mo)
  • Central Austin ($2,100/mo)
  • Clarksville, between downtown and the MoPac Expressway ($2,100/mo)
  • Zilker, South Austin ($1,400/mo)
  • Travis Heights, South Austin ($1,400/mo)

What Austin Renters Want

No two renters are the same but many Austin renters are consistently seeking features and amenities. Here are the top things tenants report looking for in a property: 

  • Convenient Location – People want to live, work, and play in a geographically convenient circle. If your multifamily property is located near the University of Texas, show how it’s a convenient walk to campus to appeal to professors, graduate students, and staff. Similarly, if you have property near the new Apple campus, play up this proximity and go after Apple employees.
  • Pet-Friendly – The American Veterinary Association estimates that 50 percent of renters have pets and that 3 out of 10 renters without pets would have pets if their landlords allowed it. Allowing pets in your multifamily property opens up your prospective pool of renters and provides you with a competitive edge.
  • Key Appliances – Renters are on the lookout for properties that have garbage disposals, washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and microwaves. In higher-end rentals targeted at tech industry workers, potential residents may expect smart thermostats and TVs.
  • Connectivity – Wireless connectivity is extremely important to renters. Ninety-one percent of renters say reliable cell reception is important, and 44 percent say they won’t rent without reliable cell service.
  • Outdoor Living – One of the bigger benefits of living in Austin is the ability to enjoy warm water all year round. Tenants respond positively to multifamily properties that offer outdoor living space such as balconies, patios, or decks.

Arts, Recreation, and Entertainment

The city’s official slogan promotes Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to the city’s many musicians and live music venues. It’s also home to events like Austin City Limits and SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive.

Instead of the flat terrain common to most of the state, visitors are greeted with stunning vistas, rolling hills, and wildflowers. Austin’s natural setting, in one of America’s most unique landscapes, offers plenty of opportunities to get outdoors for fitness, recreation, and relaxation.

Austin has a reputation as one of the nation’s fittest cities, since there’s plenty to do outside to stay fit and enjoy an active lifestyle in the area’s mostly temperate climate. 

Ask any Austinite about their favorite sport and you’ll hear about everything from football to roller derby to cycling to kayaking. Austin is also home to many sports teams including:

  • Austin Spurs: NBA D-League Basketball Team
  • Round Rock Express: AAA Baseball Team
  • Texas Stars: AHL Ice Hockey Team
  • Texas Longhorns: Big 12 Conference College Sports
  • Austin FC (2021): Major League Soccer
  • Austin Bold: United Soccer League
  • Circuit of the Americas: Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, INDYCAR Challenge, MotoGP
  • Austin Herd: Major League Rugby

“The music scene is one of the things that was appealing to my husband and me when we moved here. Austin is the live music capital of the world. Every single weekend there is live music from local folks and from up and coming artists from around the country. And it is every type of genre that you can think of – from rap to alternative to bluegrass country. It is really culturally diverse.”

Theresa M, 39

Read the full research report: Austin, TX research. We interviewed Austin, Texas residents to find out why they live there what makes their city special. Stay tuned for more city research.

Why Marketing Intelligence is Essential For New Business

In order to succeed, you must understand that you don’t operate your company in a vacuum that only contains you and your customers.

Competitive marketing intelligence refers to gathering data about business competitors and your overall market. Not only does this kind of information help you understand direct competitors, it also gives you insights about their customers, marketing tactics, suppliers, and partners. Find out how to collect competitive intelligence and why it’s particularly important for new businesses.

Why new businesses need competitive marketing intelligence

According to a 2020 survey from Crayon, a company that offers business intelligence solutions, 94 percent of all businesses invest in competitive intelligence. As important as large and established companies find this information, it’s even more vital to startups.

After you’ve operated your business for some time, you’ll have more information about your own customers and other aspects of your market. When you’re just starting, you’ll lack the internal data and experience to guide decisions. 

For instance:

  • After you’ve made a few hundred sales, you will start to understand the demographics and behavior of your typical consumers.  You can use that intelligence to satisfy current customers better. You may also employ it to plan and target marketing campaigns to attract new customers, based upon the profiles of your current ones.
  • You’ll have had a chance to investigate and test suppliers, distributors, and business processes. This information will help you work more efficiently. Without outside intelligence, you might need to suffer a long learning curve.

All ages and sizes of businesses can benefit from competitive research; however, you can see that it’s particularly vital for new companies. Lucky for you, plenty of market intelligence companies offer accessible services to small businesses these days. Digital technology can provide a tiny startup with the same sorts of business intelligence solutions that large companies rely upon.

Should your new business gather your own competitive market research?

If you can’t possibly budget for an internal department to supply intelligence, you can find a market research company with affordable services that have been tailored for your business stage. Actually, employing a third-party marketing research agency can offer both new and established benefits some benefits:

  • Different perspectives: All sorts of businesses can benefit from a second set of eyes. Focused business founders drive themselves so hard to spark their business that it’s hard to remain objective sometimes. Also, new businesses can particularly benefit from a marketing research company with experience helping similar small companies.
  • Technology expertise: In this digital age, marketing intelligence researchers rely upon an array of sophisticated tools. These can range from advertising platforms to social media monitoring to tools that allow companies to spy on their competitor’s search marketing campaigns. Research consultants should already know how to maximize the potential of these tools to provide you with the insights that you need.
  • Efficient use of time: Unless you’re starting a marketing intelligence agency, you will want to focus upon other primary business goals. While your researchers do their jobs, you can do yours. You’re bound to enjoy faster results by relying upon experienced marketers than if you tried to handle your main responsibilities and intelligence research.

You should also understand that the nature of competitive intelligence may vary wildly for different kinds of companies. For instance an ecommerce site that sells common physical goods may most have an interest in a competitor’s marketing. However, a healthcare industry business may need to expand its intelligence to current regulations and political trends.

Also, you might perform some kinds of competitive market research by using online tools. However, such accessible and low-hanging fruit might not provide you with enough information to truly understand your business climate or competitors. Just a small sample of other sources might include journals, newspapers, conferences, government publications, and business directories. You may not always need to spend a lot of money to benefit from these sources, but you will need to spend time and of course, know where to look.

Kinds of competitive intelligence for new businesses

Market researchers generally group competitive marketing intelligence into two basic types:

  • Strategic marketing intelligence: Strategic intelligence seeks to learn about competitors and the broader business environment. It’s supported by a long-term plan that will help and sometimes even determine primary business goals. For example, Unilever did well by promoting many of its products as sustainable brand, and it is those brands that drive the most growth and sales for the parent company. They set this goal after gathering intelligence about the motivations of consumers for the types of soap and tea they market and the successful efforts of some competitors.
  • Tactical marketing intelligence: Tactical marketing intelligence refers to the short-term actions that will support the business strategy and achieve goals. Let’s say your company also wanted to promote yourself as a sustainable company. This could be personally important to you and according to your intelligence, important to your target audience.

When to gather competitive marketing intelligence?

Ideally, you should begin gathering strategic research before you even solidify your business plan and goals. You may have a great business idea, but insights you gain from your intelligence will help you refine it. Once you’ve defined goals, you can begin to gain tactical intelligence in order to map out the best ways to achieve them.

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Teamwork is an Essential Part in Marketing Communication

Marketing can be defined as all the different activities that are involved in making products available to satisfy the needs of the customers, while at the same time generating profits for the manufacturers and distributors. It is a complex process and it involves the following:

  • Designing a product that meets customer specifications which many need the use of marketing research to determine what the customers needs.
  • Promoting the products so that people may get to know the product through marketing communications and Advertising.
  • Setting the price and making the product available to the population through vending outlets.

Marketing communications can be described as the communication that is used in the promotion phase of the product. It is the communication between the marketing division or the marketing efforts of a company and the market and it is usually geared towards the promotion of the product. Marketing communication can usually be handled in-house, or can be sub contracted to a marketing agency.

The people in the marketing communication sector that are involved with advertising, branding, direct marketing to customers, graphic design of product and product containers, packaging, sales and sales promotion.

They are generally involved with creating and delivering messages to the public in an attempt to move them to develop an affinity with the company and to buy the products of the company. They are usually known as marketing communicators, and it is more usual than not a team effort, than the work of a single individual.

This can either mean having a team of people to work in these different processes or taking on one marketing agency that does this, or coordinating the efforts of different specialized agencies like graphic design agencies, advertising agencies and market research agencies.

Marketing communication can be said to be divided into 5 stages from the time the message is conceived and delivered to the time the messages is received and then possible action taken by the receiver to change him from the receiver of a marketing message to a consumer.

The stages in the process are:

  • Sender – which represents the marketing team that delivers an idea to the marketing communication team
  • Encoding – represents the part of the process where the communicator takes the message and transforms it into eye catching or step changing visual adverts or tunes or a mixture of all as in audio visual ads
  • Transmission – which represents the stage where the messages are transmitted through radio, tv the internet and any other device chosen by the company
  • Decoding – represents the stage when the consumer receives the image and decodes it; usually it has to do with thinking in the pattern that the marketer wants them to think
  • Receiver – the message is now with the received by the target audience and the receiver can then make a decision to respond and buy, take the subscription or develop a way of thinking as desired.

Therefore, from the processes above it can be seen that teamwork is essential in marketing communication as the process will be almost impossible for a single individual to create and deliver successfully alone.

In general, the people who develop the ideas and strategies in marketing research are usually analysts, and those that take the results of these ideas and recommendations to create a new product are usually different from those that will also use these same ideas to create advertising for the product.

“Without a clear idea of what the company goals are, or the kind quality of the product and who they are trying to reach, marketing communicators will not be able to create and transmit a convincing message to the consumers. Therefore teamwork is very much essential to the success of any marketing campaign.”

A marketing campaign team will usually involve people from account planning, account management, creative talent production, media departments and specialist in TV ads, radio ads, billboard advertisers as well as internet and social media advertisers.

All these people need to be managed and they need to work with each other.  Without a collective team spirit, and coordination it will be a chaotic situation and so the marketing communication team has to work with coordinating these heads and assigning tasks to each individual so that the team works flawlessly and delivers the end products as required.

Good coordination of the team will usually lead to convincing messages being sent to the consumer which will ultimately end in making sales and to convert the receiver of the messages to a client.

Looking for a comprehensive partnership with an agency who understands the importance of teamwork in marketing communication? Contact us today to build your synergistic strategy.

Marketing That Connects with Younger Audiences in Three Letters

Get connected with your target market through the power of reaction GIFs and a motion graphics design company to carry your voice in a new dimension.

Here’s one rule about online communication: Over time, it will always trend toward the simplest and least work-intensive mode possible. That’s why reaction GIFs have supplanted witty one-liners as the Internet’s retort of choice. For brands seeking to update their marketing efforts with a fresher look (perhaps by hiring a motion graphics design company) it also represents a big opportunity.

Why GIFs and motion graphics connect with today’s audiences

Just in case you’ve been on a multi-year social media detox, let’s take a moment to explain how GIFs work. If you’ve ever been on Twitter or another social media platform and witnessed someone reply to a questionable comment with a looping video clip of someone else doing an astonished double-take, you’ve seen a reaction GIF in action.

GIFs (short for Graphics Interchange Format) have become a dominant mode of expression in social media settings, text applications, and other mediums. The reason is simple: With virtually no effort, you can express a complex (and often quite amusing) message.

In a development that should surprise exactly no one, younger people are especially fond of GIFs. In a Time magazine survey, a full two-thirds of millennials claimed that GIFs represent their feelings and thoughts better than written communication.

While that is undoubtedly a major blow for idealistic English teachers across the globe, it’s also an opportunity for savvy marketers.

Let’s face it: Marketers have been told ad nauseam that appealing to millennials and Generation Z is imperative. And that’s true — there’s no arguing with demographics. Yet despite this urgent task, brands haven’t always covered themselves in glory when it comes to targeting millennials. Even an otherwise sharp outfit like Google stumbled while negotiating this tricky terrain.

The search giant created a report advising other businesses on appealing to millennials. This report, hilariously titled “It’s Lit,” featured a design that made it look like an especially flashy Macy’s catalog. Inside things were even direr — Google’s Millennial Research Team maintained that Gen Z members think that Chick-fil-A is the world’s “coolest brand” — ranking higher than famously ultra-cool brands like Vice and Supreme. Much media derision, of course, ensued.

So how can a business with fewer resources than Google negotiate this millennial minefield?

Through partnering with a motion graphic design company. And GIFs, of course.

Integrating GIFs into your marketing

GIFs have value because they allow brands to transmit their messages in what is essentially the lingua franca of the youth Internet. Brands that can deploy GIFs in a clever manner will seem more relatable.

GIFs have the benefit of being simple to use and hard to misuse. Younger audiences may scorn a business using “It’s lit” non-ironically, but they won’t think twice about a clever GIF deployed via social media marketing.

Young people aren’t the only market to target, of course, GIFs can be used to entice customers within marketing messages. Blue Apron uses GIFs in its email marketing campaigns to show consumers the delicious meals they could be making. GIFs can be used in digital ads or integrated into blog posts as instructional elements. They have far more utility than simply being deployed as a witty rejoinder in a social media conversation.

Working with a motion graphics design company can help brands optimize their GIF strategy. The right company can help a brand derive maximum value from a small — but powerful — visual message.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we like a great reaction GIF — but we love helping brands develop exceptional marketing campaigns featuring motion graphics. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

What is OpenAP and how it can help you reach your target market

For several years, we’ve been reticent to encourage clients to invest big bucks in television ads because the audience simply isn’t narrow enough to make the return on investment — which is often quite low after you factor in production overhead and distribution costs — worthwhile. While television was once a premium medium for advertisers thanks to high levels of viewer engagement, we have seen a sharp decline in effectiveness because viewers can easily tune out commercials when content isn’t relevant to them by turning their attention to their mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. For the digital marketer, this was an opportunity to prove why relevant and timely content is so important … and cash in along the way. For media distributors, it was nearly a death sentence.
The good news is that many major television companies have been aware of this issue and actively seeking ways to revitalize one of the most hallowed marketing channels in history. This spring, Viacom, Fox Networks Group, and Time Warner Cable finally came up with a viable solution. Instead of banking on the few big-ticket commercial opportunities to keep their coffers afloat (think: multi-million dollar placements during the Super Bowl), they have banned together to help small- and medium-sized businesses affordably reach their target audience.

Together, they launched, “OpenAP” – a new data platform that aggregates information from a variety of providers so advertisers can securely and collaboratively place ads within desirable demographics. Think: first-time home buyers, urban couples, pet owners, and more. Executive Vice President of Data Strategy for Viacom, Bryson Gordon explained the vision to Media Village in a recent interview: “It’s about the secure sharing of those consistent audience segments across publishers.  The advertiser or the agency will be able decide who can see the segment and how it gets shared with the publisher before activating it across their inventory.  It also gives the individual networks the independence to use their own proprietary datasets in conjunction with industry accepted measurement services, such as Nielsen and comScore.”

His vision is important for two main reasons.

First and foremost, it makes television advertising relevant again. For example, CNN historically runs advertisements focused on Baby Boomers because this generation comprises the majority of their viewership. Young professionals watching the news while getting ready for work yawn through advertisements for retirement planning, bladder control medication, and 55+ residential communities. The network’s blanket approach to advertising makes it easy for one of the most valuable, growing sources of disposable income in the market to simply tune out. OpenAP makes it possible to tailor these ads so Baby Boomers still enjoy relevant content, without alienating new or emerging demographics. Targeted content for targeted segments finally makes television advertising relevant for the individual, not the majority.

Second, because networks can merge their own data with shared data and link to other measurement tools, television ads will be measurable in a new and important way. Because advertisers previously had to rely on the “spray and pray” model when exposing content on television, it was hard to quantify how effective an advertisement really was because only a fraction of viewers might actually represent qualified leads. By limiting exposure and tracking performance, planning and measurement will naturally improve.

This is one of the first exciting breakthroughs the television ad space has seen in years, and it perfectly complements our belief that the future of customer-centric marketing hinges on a robust and choiceful cross-channel marketing approach. We’re excited to see TV getting back in the game and are here to help you craft your first segmented, trackable television ad. Get in touch with our media and strategy teams to learn more!

What you should know about Snapchat advertising and teens

I won’t lie: I wasn’t an early adopter of Snapchat when the disappearing-photo app first arrived on the scene. Call me a smidge shallow, but my rationale was always that if I’m going to take the time to capture a picture of my oh-so-perfectly arranged lunch in lighting so undeniably”#nofilter needed” good, then I’d like to at least think that I’ll score a few “likes” out of the deal.  But with Snapchat, I find myself a bit perplexed. I mean, what’s with all this “disappearing” photo business? Where’s the recognition for my impressive food photography skills, and how on earth will my glorious meal live on in infamy?
Slowly, (and after receiving plenty of Snapchats from friends), I came around to adopt the idea. I figured, what the heck- it’s catching on, so there must be something behind the phenomenon. Stories I’ve heard repeatedly speak to it’s benefits, and I’m not the only one getting in on the Snapchat game. In fact, the app has topped 100 million monthly users. And as large of an audience as that is, you may be surprised to discover that national brands are willing to shell out $750,000 a day (!!) on disappearing ads featured in the “Recent Updates” section. Seriously. Over half a million big ones for ads that only last for 24 hours? That’s mind blowing.

…Or is it?

[quote] The reasoning behind Snapchat’s high price tag for advertising is that it’s not merely reaching a sizable audience — it just so happens to be the largest audience –  made up of the most challenging demographic for advertisers to reach effectively: teens and tweens. [/quote] As young adults move away from Facebook, and toward picture and video-heavy social media formats like Vine and Instagram, Snapchat makes a excellent case for the logic behind a heightened minimum cost per ad. In addition, it’s immediate, and since users are required to click directly on these ads to view them, there are some pretty strong opportunities for engagement. On the other hand, there are no analytics for advertising on Snapchat like we find on  Facebook, which understandably leaves plenty of brands a bit leery at the prospect of paying such a high cost without numerical data to effectively back it up. Brands such as McDonald’s are currently reaping the rewards of Snapchat advertising (even without the analytics support), and other companies – such as HBO, Nars, Macy’s, and even the New Orleans Saints – are following suit by using the app. While not all companies have the budget required to shell out a pretty penny per ad, there is always an opportunity to reach the teen audience organically as a low-to-no-cost alternative. This method may not have nearly as much reach, but it does include limited analytics (you have the opportunity to view who has seen your post – although often only during the specified 24 hour time period in which your ad appeared).

Personally, I’m not surprised that brands are forking over that kind of dough (pun absolutely intended when thinking back to my photogenic lunch) to advertise on Snapchat. If all the kids are doing it, it’s only a matter of time until companies are following suit. The question now is, “Is it there long-term value?”

Looking for some digital know-how, or have questions regarding how to best enhance your brand’s presence via social media advertising? The team of experts at our Florida digital marketing agency stands ready to provide ongoing support and strategic direction – advice we promise will last longer than your most recent Snapchat. Contact us today to start the conversation!