I hate spam but trolls aren’t too bad

Whether its the luncheon meat or the junk mail received, i hate spam. Im sure a lot of people who uses email will receive spam of some sort and for some its not a big deal, but for others it can be extremely irritating. I have two emails; one that i started off using in primary school, and one that has a more appropriate name and is used for applying for jobs. For the primary school email, i generally use it when i sign up for memberships or registering to gain access for things. Hence when it comes to stores promoting new product launches or doing all sorts of advertising, thats the email which receives a ton of those. Heres a look at my junk mail folder

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 1.26.56 pmThe thing which spam is, majority of the time it has rarely ever useful for people. According to Vangie Beal, only 1% of the spam content through email is relevant and its deemed as “unwanted” mail. It generally occurs when you’re signing up for something and click on the “receive email for subscription” button. When you’ve given your address to someone whether it’d be news forums, online forums, sign ups etc, 95% of the time you’ll receive spam! Considering spam is so disliked why do companies still send it?

  1. Its cheap: spammers set up hundreds of servers to send out millions of spam emails every minute
  2. Its convenient: can get large number of responses with minimal effort
  3. Its considered easy money: Lets say you send out 1 million emails and only 1% responded, thats approximately 10,000 people willing to buy the products that you’re advertising. Compare it to trying to advertise though a catalogue, where it costs money to print the catalogue and to distribute it. Sending spam through email is not only quick and easy, but also cost effective. Companies don’t care if you like it or not considering there is always going to be someone who is interested and will make the purchase.

Moving past the issue of spam emails, lets take a look at internet trolls. Internet trolls can be hilarious because they’re deliberately starting arguments or upsetting people. Here is an example which makes you question whether its a troll or plain stupidity

Advanced+stupid_dd9243_5262642

(source: http://www.funnyjunk.com/Advanced+stupid/funny-pictures/5263086/) 

The Woolworths troll was by far my favourite.

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Continued post: ” because I had spaghetti on my spaghetti already. Snap back to spaghetti. Oh there’s goes more spaghetti!!
So today I went back to purchase some spaghetti, instead of finding spaghetti in the packet, I found this.
It was spaghetti!!!! What should I do with it? Should I return the spaghetti?

Love Jamie xox”

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(source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/matwhitehead/hope-it-dont-pasta-him?utm_term=.ufvBZgZD9#.evVKMmMBA)

This comes to show that trolls don’t always negatively affect the companies image, in fact if companies are able to respond to trolls in a manner that can turn put the joke back on the troll, it can actually enhance the companies reputation. In this instance Woolworths was crowned the rap king.

For those who didn’t get the reference heres the link to the song: Eminen-Lose yourself

 

What are your thoughts on internet trolls? Care to share some of your favourite trolls?

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IMC

Before i began writing this post, out of curiosity i decide to search on google “what does IMC stand for”just to see what came up. And good old urban dictionary provided me with the “top definition”

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Not going to lie, it did make me chuckle a little. Im sure many of you reading this blog have done a marketing unit previously and is familiar with the term IMC. For those who have done a marketing unit and didn’t know what IMC meant…you need to pay attention in class!

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is the process of integrating different communication tools such as advertising, direct selling and social media to consistently reinforce a message and maximizing communication impact. Many companies develop IMC campaigns because it’s an effective way to reach customers at different contact points. For decades, traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers were steadfast ways for businesses to reach consumers. While there are still many of us that use traditional media, there’s no denying the fact that the internet is also a big part of our lives. Hence, businesses also utilise new media to make their content digitally accessible for their target audience. This includes using social media to “pull” consumers in by allowing interaction between the customer and business. New media can also be inexpensive and allow businesses to gain a deeper understand their customers.

However, for an integrated marketing campaign to be successful, it needs to satisfy the 4Cs.

  • Coherence: Logically connected
  • Consistency: Not Self contradictory
  • Continuity: Consistent and connected through time
  • Complementary: Synergistic

Snickers ad: You are not you when you are hungry
Snickers campaign is best known for its television commercials which features celebrities in everyday situations and are behaving badly because they are hungry. The first ad was launched in 2010 and new versions has been developed to reinforce the company slogan of “Snickers satisfies”. Asides from using television ads, Snickers also promotes through social media, print ads, billboards in order to reach a broader audience

Television 

Facebook

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Billboards                                                                      Print ad

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.17.45 pm.pngScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.20.33 pm.png(Source:https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54ef7ebbe4b03f072874cb08/t/552606c6e4b0256f7f4cc886/1428555462995/SNICKERS_R_Macausland_K_LaCour.pdf)

Does Snickers satisfy the 4Cs?
>Coherence:  While the execution changes across the different medias used, the central message was understood.
>Consistency:  All medias were putting forth the message that you just aren’t the same person when you’re hungry. There was no contradiction with the “hangry” concept.
>Continuity: The launch first began with the commercial featuring Betty White and six years later its still continuing.
>Complementary: From the Tv ad, to the social media posts and all the different channels used, Snickers ensures that the messages are coherent, consistent and complement one another. This effectiveness ensures that the campaign is long-lasting and that’s why it’s still being advertised and people are connecting with it.

Result
Within 3 months of the first television ad, there was a reverse in declining volume sales (volume sales increased by 8%), single sales increased by 13.4% and had over an 18,000%  increase in google searches for the brand.

Question: Snickers is just one example of a successful integrated marketing campaign, is there any others that you know of or thought was better?

 

 

The reality of IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept of connecting everything that has an on and off switch to the internet. For instance your coffee machine, vaccume cleaner, TV or even your washing machine can have the ability to communicate to one another in the near future. Imagine waking up in the morning to your alarm, where your phone instantly connects with your coffee machine and starts brewing your morning coffee, where your TV opens moments after you take your coffee, where you can literally control every device with a touch of a button…Sounds great doesn’t it?

According to Jacob Morgan “in the future, everything that can be connected will be connected”. With the advancement in technology, being able to connect everyday devices to the internet seems like an easy thing to do. Already there are many innovative Internet of Things that has been developed. For instance:

Google Glass

google-glass

(source: http://www.business2community.com/business-innovation/5-great-internet-things-iot-examples-applications-01406647#wDtK0DCv2dvW2IuO.97)

Ever wish that you could wear your computer on your head? Well now its made possible. The google glass allows you to take photos, interact, access information and many more. This device opens up many new possibilities such as enabling students in the medical field to watch procedures from a surgeons eye field. However while the device holds many great potentials, it’s cost makes it impossible to purchase for many people.

Samsung Smart Things Hub

 

Unlike the Google glass which is a single piece of device, there are entire systems which allows you to automate your house. For instance the Smart Things system allows you to monitor, control and secure your home from your smart phones. People can control their lights, locks, speakers and camera wherever they go and notifications will be sent if the system senses any issues.

While IoT sounds extremely convenient, is it actually what we want? Sure it allows us to be more in control of our lives and do tasks more efficiently. However it might not be everyones cup of tea. Whys that?

  • Security is one of the biggest issues because hacking into one device raises the issue of gaining access to the whole network. Studies even showed that 70% of IoT contained vulnerabilities.
  • This in turn leads to a privacy issue as more hackable devices could potentially result in people being able to spy on your whole house.
  • Another issue is also the large amounts of data these devices produce. While big data can do a lot for a company such as generating insight, predict future outcomes and identify relationships, it can’t do everything. Thus companies need to leverage data driven strategies to innovate, compete against others and create value.

Just a thought: There in an article about Fitbit going IoT, does anyone own a fitbit or know of anyone who does and is willing to share their thoughts on it? Do we really need monitor our physical activity and have it stored on cloud?

Mobile marketing on the move

Mobile phones have been around for a long time. Reminiscing back to my first phone in high school; struggling to fit every message to the 160 letter limit, getting people to call me instead of me calling them to preserve my credit, playing snake and turning off my internet to ensure that my 200mb doesn’t go over. Nowadays, phone plans come with unlimited text messages and/or calls, at least 1GB of internet and much to my dismay, snake is no longer a built in game on phones (the new generation doesn’t even know of its existence). This advancement in technology has also made great changes to mobile phones, transforming it from a brick (aka nokia) to sleek, trendy designs that people are demanding and willing to buy. Smartphones have become one of the main web access device and as a result we rely heavily on our phones for social media access, checking emails, or just to look busier than we actually are (guilty!). With this increased reliance, customers tend to carry their phones literally everywhere with them! This becomes an excellent opportunities for marketers to use mobile marketing to get closer to their customers. Mobile marketing refers to all the activities that are advertisers do in order to connect with a customer through the use of mobile devices and networks. According to Andreas Kaplan mobile marketing can serve many purposes for businesses such as conducting market research, communication, sales promotion and discounts and lastly relationship development and loyalty programs.

One example which had won the 2015 mobile marketing campaign of the year was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The campaign went a few ways

There were celebrities

And there were ones who made a mistake …

This campaign was launched to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and consisted of people nominating one another to dump buckets of ice water over their heads and make charitable donations to the cause. What made the task relatively simple was the ability to use mobile phones. This allowed participants to record their videos, make edits and upload the video with minimal effort. These videos were then made available for the public to see through various platforms such as Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram. The ALS association was then able to

  • Conduct market research on how many people were taking part of the campaign or doing google searches on the disease
  • Communicate the reason behind this campaign and then rely on word of mouth communication/user generated content to increase awareness.
  • Monitor the amount of donations made through the videos generated.

What also made this campaign effective was the companies ability to make it interesting and catchy, reaching celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Oprah and many more. What was the end result?

  • Over $250 million were raised
  • Internet searches on this disease went up from 500 to 68000.

The campaign became a viral phenomenon and extremely successful. This effect would not have been the same if people didn’t have access to mobile phones. However at the end of the day, the ALS ice bucket challenge was fuelled by the power of a good cause, combined with celebrity endorsement and thus is a good example of an effective mobile marketing campaign.

One thing to note: People were arguing that no one cared about the disease and were more caught up on being part of the internet phenomenon. Do you believe thats the case?

 

 

 

A/B Testing, C/D Testing…or whatever you want to call it

Take out any two letters of the alphabet and add “testing” after it and that pretty much explains the concept of A/B Testing. The aim of this test is to experiment with two different versions (A and B or whatever letter you choose) and determine which one is the most effective. Peoples engagement with each experience (whether it’d be from a webpage or an app) is measured and collected. Following this, marketers will then decide on the design and content with the most favourable response. Below I’ve highlighted some examples of companies who have used this form of testing.

Twitter

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(Source: http://blog.tapdaq.com/app-marketing/ab-testing-vital-user-onboardin)

Twitter uses A/B testing by creating different words/phrases to see which one converts more visitors. By identifying the more effective phrase to acquire new customers, this can in turn lower the overall spending on a marketing campaign

Majestic wine

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(source: https://vwo.com/blog/website-redesign-increased-conversions/)

Majestic Wine is in a very competitive retail wine market in the UK.The picture on the left indicates one version of their website while the picture on the right shows another version of their website which had been altered based on research and feedback. Certain aspects were removed from the first picture such as reducing the level of distraction, emphasis on their wedding services and including a short video. By using a visual website optimiser, they were able to make continuous adjustments and determine which factors were the most effective. Such actions resulted in a 201% increase in customer enquires and 39.6% in form submission.

The Guardian

(source: http://marcomcity.fr/ab-testing-est-une-technique-e-marketing/)

Unlike the previous two examples where one focused on what words to use while the other one looked at removing clutter, The Guardian undertook several A/B testing to determine which layout led to the most positive change. The end result can be shown in picture 1, and generated an 8% increase in job applications. Measures were also taken to change the font used in the website and the end result (picture 2) led to a 224% click through rate. This suggests that even small changes has the power to make a difference.

In conclusion, a website  generally exists for visitors to undertake some course of action such as liking a page, reading the content, signing up, purchasing the product etc.. Therefore its extremely important for marketers to undertake A/B testing to ensure that strategies can be implemented and well informed decisions are made.

After knowing a little more about A/B testing, I was wondering which version below you would consider more effective?

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.44.59 pm(source: http://unbounce.com/a-b-testing/shocking-results/)

 

What makes Facebook so great?

With social media increasingly pulling mindshare away from traditional advertising methods, one of the most popular social media networks nowadays is Facebook. Since its first launch in 2004, Facebook has become more than a fad among the young, its influence spreading to people of all ages.

In an article posted by Hordis and colleagues, Facebook users can be classified into four segments.

  • Entertainment chasers: using Facebook to cure boredom such as reading posts and watching videos
  • Attention seekers: Showing off to friends and attempting to gain admiration and jealousy.
  • Devotees: A Facebook addict and uses Facebook to post about virtually everything that happens in their life.
  • Connection seekers: Understanding of whats going on with their friends, family and around them.

Now lets take a deeper look into the Facebook business model. We know that each customer segment possess different value propositions and as a result the company needs to recognise and formulate differentiated marketing strategies. In order to serve these different segments, Facebook offers a variety of free products such as photos, timeline, messages etc that’ll allow users to creatively express themselves while simultaneously have access to a broad array of information.

Another great factor about Facebook is their ability to advertise in a more dynamic sense. The website offers many spaces to place content without ruining users online experience. Advertising is the primary revenue model for Facebook and is generally derived from sponsored ads. Companies recognise the level of reach and engagement ability that Facebook possesses and therefore uses it as a mean to attract and connect with potential customers.  Furthermore, companies can integrate their apps and games with Facebook which allows users to share their performance and activities.

Despite the large number of Facebook users, there are still those who have never gone on Facebook and don’t plan to. While this is completely acceptable, I’d like to ask those who do use it, what do YOU think makes Facebook so great?

 

Is social media a double edged sword?

Social media is undeniably an important part of our every day lives. Its a form of communication, a way to gather information and for many businesses its an excellent opportunity to connect with a wide audience through the implementation of their marketing campaigns. However despite all the advantages that social media can have, firms still need to closely monitor their social media platforms as they have little control over the content being said. Consumers are aware that they have a voice and therefore can freely share their experiences or knowledge that they have of the brand. While positive comments work favourably for the firm, one negative comment can lead to a snowball effect and as a result change peoples perception of your brand. For instance:

7 Eleven 
After their workers complained that the company had been underpaying their staff by giving them half the minimum wage, this negatively affected 7 Elevens Facebook presence. Despite promoting their new products, comments were still being made about their underpayment.

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Things weren’t improving when they published The Swing ‘N’ Fling video  which was then inundated with negative responses.

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However to give 7 eleven some credit they do tick off some of the boxes when it comes to how to be social

  1. Be active: 7 Eleven posts regularly to promote their specials and engages with their Facebook followers
  2. Be interesting: Promoting their 7 eleven app which gives users the opportunity to check the petrol prices
  3. Be unprofessional: Using humour and memes in their comments to enhance likability
  4. Be honest: Despite the news of underpayment, the CEO made a video to personally address the issue.
  5. Be humble:

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…..That point i think they’re still working on.