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Two and a Half Cents

My Take on Current and Future Marketing Trends

Take Every Opportunity to Engage

In the age of social media, engagement sells. 

As a non-traditional student, I always hated getting those plain-jane email reminders to preregister for the upcoming semester classes. I always set myself a reminder and made sure I was logged in to preregister at 8:00 AM. I would then get several emails over the course of a few months reminding me to register and I’d second guess myself and have to check to make sure the system didn’t fail to register my classes. Because, lets be honest here, we all know technology isn’t infallible.

My daughter called me today regarding a project she is working on as a peer coach at our local college, WVU-Parkersburg. The marketing department had approached her on how to encourage students to register early for classes. She came up with the idea to use memes. After all, the target market at WVU-Parkersburg are Millennials, and Gen Z’er. But let’s be honest, no matter your age, who among us doesn’t appreciate a great meme? I wish they had used this idea when I was a student.

These are just a few of the memes she came up with:


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12165775_10153762406712975_1536712616_n12165870_10153762407017975_1756278689_n 12166401_10153762406732975_67803667_n12167059_10153762407062975_31152729_n 12167627_10153762407047975_364016977_n12167788_10153762406757975_665582861_n 12167855_10153762407032975_1390185527_n12168041_10153762406972975_410065973_n12168075_10153762406747975_1101153520_nAs a marketer, I find this idea an inexpensive way to get the school’s message out in a way that is engaging and appealing to the target market. I told her that she should suggest that the school take this idea of her’s to the next level and make it into a contest between students to further engage the students. After all, my daughter is having a ball with this idea. I believe the other student’s would love to create their own meme and the school will have just created engagement.

Furthermore, the school should realize that they just tapped an unlimited supply of resources in asking my daughter, both a Millennial and a student, how to engage her fellow students.
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As a mom, I see a future marketer in the making!

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How To Grow Your Business With Honesty and Mutual Respect

Today, I was having a conversation with a prior co-worker who has been questioning me on how to go about selling a product he has used to lose weight. His weight loss transformation has been remarkable, but he is apprehensive about sharing his story because he doesn’t think he can be enthusiastic about it. He’s “just never been that type of person,” he tells me.

That got me to thinking about what it takes to be a good marketer and sales person. My first job was as a telemarketer for Kirby vacuum cleaners. I was 17 years old at the time and lived in Hawaii. We worked from a phone book at that time, calling random people and marking out the phone numbers that were no longer valid. On my first day I was nervous and my voice shook and cracked as I began to read the script I was given. I never felt right about reading from the script and, after numerous people hung up on me on that first day, I went home feeling like a complete failure.

Honest-1 (1)That night, I tossed and turned and thought about how I could do better on day two. I decided I needed to do three things: make the script my own, believe in what I was selling, and just be honest. The first few calls I made that day were hangups. I sat back for a moment, regrouped, and began again. The next person I spoke to asked, “are you trying to sell me something” and I said, “Yes! Absolutely! We want you to see a demonstration of the Kirby vacuum and you are going to get two free things for your time. A free sofa, chair, or room carpet cleaning of your choice and your choice a a free gift.” The person on the other line said, “Well, I don’t normally say yes, but since you were honest with me, then I will see what you have to offer. But first, how long will the appointment take?” I told them, “the time can vary-but will most likely take at least an hour. Maybe longer” They set up a weekend appointment. At the end of the month, I had set several appointments and, of those appointments, we sold five vacuum cleaners. My boss told me that it was a record for that office. He asked me what my secret was and I told him, “I was honest with the customer.”

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My boss at Kirby had the other callers sit in and listen to how I spoke to the customers and made my calling approach the example of how to set appointments. I was excited that my boss had noticed my performance. Since that time, I refuse to take a job that would require me to sell something I do not believe in or one that requires me to mislead a customer in any way. After all, I am the voice of the company.

Who is speaking for your company? Have you developed an open and honest relationship with your employees? Do they feel comfortable speaking to you about their concerns? Do you feel comfortable speaking to them about your concerns?

As a side note, just this year, Kirby Vacuum cleaner company made me proud of having worked for them when they proved that they care about the little things. Watch the video here:

I believe the key to running a great business is hiring people who believe in building great relationships with others through honesty and mutual respect. After all, if you don’t care about the customer, how do you expect the customer to care about you?

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A Few Tips On How to Beat the New Facebook Organic Reach Issue

Recently, while researching Facebook’s new issues with organic reach, I discovered that many organizations have experienced a drastic drop in their organic reach. “According to a Social@Ogilvy report that analyzed over 100 brand pages, Facebook organic reach was around 6% in February, 2014 — a decline of 49% from October. For brands with more than 500,000 likes, the fall-off was much steeper, with reach dropping to about 2%. Facebook has told marketers that they should consider paid distribution “to maximize delivery” of their messages in news feed. Translation: You must pay to play” (Dryer, n.d.).

In short, Facebook is looking to organizations to pay for content distribution if they wish to remain seen on the walls of their fan base. However, Facebook isn’t completely blind to the importance of great content. By their own admittance, Facebook’s ultimate responsibility is in keeping their billion plus members happy and, in order to keep them happy, Facebook relies on engaging content, created by the millions of brand pages, to be shared by their users.

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With that being said, I firmly believe that paying for reach is not the only way that organizations can continue to reach new and existing Facebook fans. Facebook still measures engaging content as a factor in whether or not your organizations content is shown on a Facebook users wall/news feed. Since organic reach relies, mainly, on word-of-mouth marketing, the more content likes, comments, and shares an organizations status, story, or picture receives, the more chances that an organizations content will appear on a Facebook users news feed.

It’s not enough that an organization create content. It’s not enough that some readers like reading your content. The key to attracting users to your page is to keep the readers so engaged that they not only want to spend the majority of their social networking time on Facebook, but that they want to spend their precious social media free time on your site and sharing what they see with others. This is how you begin to build organic reach.

#1. Boost Engagement

Engagement is the most important factor in building and maintaining a successful social media relationship with fans and, if an organization is not interacting with their fans, someone else will. So, how can your organization be more engaging? Don’t just share content, ask your fans questions, post fan polls, respond to comments and messages, and encourage fans to share your content and share content with you.

Facebook-Tip-ask-questions

Creating an ongoing dialog between the organization and your current fan base. “How you interact with your targeted audience is at the heart of social media engagement. The higher the frequency and quality of these interactions will not only develop a better relationship between brand and consumer, but will also get you higher visibility on search results as will be explained later. The key principle to remember here is that social media engagement is interaction, and interaction signifies a two-way communication – a fact traditional advertising is not capable of” (Gregorio, n.d.).

Facebook-Tip-fill-in-the-blank-posts#2. Online Chat Event

Although Facebook now frowns upon sending out mass messages to users, Facebook does provide users with chatroom services and event postings that can be directed at your fan base. Schedule an online chat event, wherein; your organization can invite your sites entire fan base to a chat forum on a specified date and time. This will allow your organization to reach a majority of their fans in real-time and in one central location. Fans can express what they would like to see on your Facebook page and it offers your organization the chance to build a stronger relationship with your fans.

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#3 Optimal Posting Times
Another surefire way to make sure your content is being read by your audience is to post at the most optimal times so that your content is seen by the most people. “A Facebook brand post will get half of its reach in the 30 minutes after it is published, according to updated data provided to MarketingCharts by Socialbakers. Socialbakers analyzed a select group of brand posts published on October 31st, finding that an average of one-third of post reach was obtained in just the first 10 minutes after publication” (Marketing Charts, 2012). Check your own Facebook Analytics to see when your current fan base is most active on your page and post content accordingly.

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#4 Reduce Frequency of Posts

A recent 32 page report by Buddy Media analyzed engagement on over 1,800 top brand Facebook pages and found that posting too many post during the week could actually lower your engagement factor. “Think posting often is the key to gaining Facebook engagement? As long as you don’t exceed more than 7 posts a week and 1-2 times a day. “Brands that post one or two times per day see 19% higher interaction rates than those who post 3x per day. The key is not to bombard fans with too many posts, as Facebook News Feed Optimization often penalizes for this.” Additionally, brands posting more than seven times a week on Facebook saw a 25% decrease in interaction rates” (Vertical Response , 2013). My advice? Reduce the amount of posts to no more than 3 times a day and utilize the 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. window for optimal viewership.

#5 Use More Photos or More Links?

One great suggestion comes from Social Media Examiner (2013). They advise organizations to post pictures on Facebook and ask fans to caption the pictures. They point out that a photo caption combines the appeal of photos with people’s love of interacting with the brands they identify with. “Think about the emotion you want to trigger and choose an image that makes participating irresistible. Upload your image and write a short description that invites fans to provide a caption” (Bunskoek, 2013).

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According to Social Bakers, engagement correlates with reach and 85% of the most engaging posts on Facebook, in 2013, were photos. “Most brands on Facebook choose to publish photos (they constitute 53% of all posted unpaid content), links (21%) and updates (15%), which has proven to be an effective practice to generate the most interactions (Likes, Comments and Shares) and reflects the most engaging content. When gathering the most engaging (unpaid) posts during Q3, we found that 85% of them were photos, 7% links, 5% status updates and 3% were videos” (Socialbakers, 2013).

If your organizations use of Facebook is to bring attention to your website, using links seems to be the best way to go about driving clicks to your website. However, if your organizations goal is to grow their Facebook followers through organic search/reach, then posting photo’s seems like the ideal way to realize this goal.

#6 Utilize Fan Mentions

Another important engagement tool on social media is mentioning ones fans. Think about how great it makes you feel when someone shares your content. Each and every one of us likes to be recognized for contributing something positive. Thank your fans for following your page, create a fan-of-the-week post, and/or highlight a great comment a fan may have made on a recent post. The fans who are mentioned will most likely share the mention on their own page which will then be seen by their own friends and family and ultimately lead to greater reach.

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#7 Utilize Hashtags

Another suggestion for expanding an organizations organic reach is utilizing hashtags whenever possible. Facebook has recently started highlighting trending stories on the wall of Facebook users. These stories highlight topics and the hashtags connected to these trends and, if your content contains one of these trending hashtags, most likely the story will be highlighted in the trending menu. “As hashtags gain momentum on Facebook (they’ve been in use on other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+), they’ll help you expand your reach to people who are looking at posts in your topic. Hashtags have been a great way to help people interested in niche topics find each other and find the conversation. By including a hashtag in your post, you can possibly get in front of people who may not have seen your post otherwise.  But you’ll have to monitor this in your Facebook Insights.  Make sure you watch your Reach and Engagement Numbers to see if your hashtags are making a difference in your posts” (Vahl, 2013).

Summary

It’s no secret that Facebook is leaning more towards paid search over organic search/reach. But the thing to remember is that Facebook does place importance on organic reach when the content is engaging. Engaging fans is the most important factor in boosting the popularity of any organizations organic reach. Cultivating organic reach means that you must create a more engaged fan which, in turn, will lead to shared content and additional fan growth. If your content is being read and shared by the Facebook community, Facebook algorithms will pick up on this and boost your organizations posts through organic reach without the need for paid advertising.

Gloria Husk, M.S., Integrated Marketing Communications

 

 

References

Bunskoek, K. (2013, September 18). 8 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Engagement. Retrieved from Social Media Examiner: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-fan-engagement-tips/

Dryer, P. (n.d.). Facebook’s Organic Reach Decline: How to Respond. Retrieved July 16, 2014, from Building Buzz in a Connected World: http://www.pamorama.net/2014/05/03/facebook-organic-reach-decline-4-steps-to-take/

Fletcher, A. (2014, January 10). Geek Free Marketing. Retrieved from How to Increase Your Facebook Engagement by 275% [Infographic]: http://geekfree.net/increase-facebook-engagement-275/

Goldenberg, A. (2013, March 23). Socially Gold. Retrieved from Facebook Tips [Images]: http://sociallygold.com/facebook-tips/

Gregorio, J. (n.d.). Comprehensive Look at Social Media Engagement and Why It’s Important? Retrieved July 16, 2014, from Digital Marketing Philippines.

Kahla The Sailor. (2014, May 01). Retrieved from [Image]: http://www.kahlathesailor.com/social-media/2014/5/1/rip-facebook-organic-reach

Marketing Charts. (2012, November 2). Retrieved from Facebook Posts Get Half Their Reach Within 30 Minutes of Being Published: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/facebook-posts-get-half-their-reach-within-30-minutes-of-being-published-24453/

Mega Fan Apps. (2014, March 10). Retrieved from [Image]: http://blog.megafanapps.com/2014/03/10/facebook-organic-reach-reaches-0/

Quick Meme. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2014, from Facebook Group Chate [Image]: http://www.quickmeme.com/img/48/48e349e05aa24e009dbea61b299474af60ee20bd28af8fe8cbf69f739f4278d2.jpg

Socialbakers. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/979-watch-it-live-roe-proven-engagement-correlates-with-reach

Vahl, A. (2013, July 29). 4 Ways Marketers Can Use Facebook Hashtags. Retrieved from Social Media Examiner.

Vertical Response . (2013, January 11). Retrieved from Want Better Facebook Engagement? Stop What You’re Doing: http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/want-better-facebook-engagement-stop-what-youre-doing/

Wishpond. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2014, from How to run a Facebook Contest or Facebook Sweepstakes [Image]: http://corp.wishpond.com/how-to-run-a-facebook-contest/

 

 

Window World-Customer Service Done Right

 *I am, in no way, a paid endorser of this product and have not been compensated by the company or their affiliates. This post is strictly my own personal opinion and observations in regards to this product and/or service.

  
As consumers, we often hear stories about poor customer service representatives. Having worked several years in the customer service business, I tend to appreciate great customer service when I see and/or experience it. I feel that a company that provides exceptional customer service should get recognized for it. 

This blog post is a reflection of a recent, positive customer service experience I had with the window manufacturing company, Window World. 

In January, my husband and I had had enough with our 1971 outdated aluminum windows and decided to look into purchasing some vinyl windows. We needed to replace 8 windows and had set a budget aside in the amount of $2,400.00. If we couldn’t find a company willing to replace and install the windows for $2,400.00 or less, my husband was going to take on the task himself.

I called several window companies in my area and found that Window World offered the best price for what we were looking for. I called and set up an appointment on February 13th, with the local Window World sales man, Gene Fulmer.

Gene showed up with a large folder full of helpful information. He first listened to what we were looking for, he asked some open ended questions in order to gain a better understanding, measured our windows, shared some stories, and proceeded to show us exactly what he could offer us that would fit within our budget. Gene was able to give us exactly what we wanted and get us right on budget. We signed on the dotted line and Gene gave us an estimated install between the last week of March to the first part of April.  

Window World sent us a letter a few weeks later to let us know that our windows were being made and that we should expect a call for install within the next few weeks. They were right on the money. On or around March 17th, we received a call that our windows were in. We set our appointment for March 21st, just a few days ago.

The installer, Nate, arrived at around 10 Friday morning and was done by 5:00 p.m. that evening. He took us around the house to show us how our new windows worked. One window sash had an issue with a bent bracket and Nate let us know that he had already called the Window World manufacturing plant to notify them of the issue and will be bringing a new replacement sash in the next week or so. Our windows came with a 100% lifetime warranty which means that if their is any issues with the window, including screen or glass damage, Window World will replace them, free of charge. And, should we sell our home, the warranty is 100% transferable.

Perhaps, this is the reason they were awarded the J.D. Power and Associates “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Windows and Doors in a Tie.” Window World made the window ordering and installation process as simple and painless as possible. I am very happy with the entire process and would happily recommend Window World to both family and friends.

Gloria

Reference
Window World (n.d.) Window World Logo (image). Retrieved March 23, 2014 from: https://www.windowworld.com/

Smartphone Tracking: Are You In Or Are You Out?

Smartphone Tracking: Are You In Or Are You Out?

 

Lifehacker’s Alan Henry provides a breakdown of the smartphone information collected by many major stores in the U.S. and abroad, “Most stores use your phone’s MAC address to identify you, and records when you enter and leave a store, where you go inside the store, and how long you pause to inspect specific products, aisles, and counters. Combined with video surveillance, those stores also collect your gender and demographics (ethnicity/general age/anything that can be determined visually), differentiate children from adults, note specific products you looked at and how long you looked at them, and so on” (Henry, 2013).

I believe advertisers should be allowed to target a smartphone’s location as long as the smartphone user has been notified of the potential of tracking and they have been given the option to opt-in or opt-out, if they so desire. The user should also be provided the specifics of how their information will be used, prior to opt-in/out options. The last thing a business would want is a bunch of angry customers boycotting their store over tracking their information without their consent, so it would be wise that the companies, who do track smartphone’s, give the consumer a choice to opt in/out.

Smartphone tracking

If companies can get the opt-in, the information could be invaluable. “As consumer behaviors evolve in tandem with emerging mobile capabilities, businesses that don’t monitor and track these behaviors risk being left behind” (Crum, 2010). Companies can utilize smartphone tracking information to create a more complete profile of their target demographic, build a better paid search ad, improve loyalty programs, set up in-store layouts and product end caps to attract more customers, analyze the potential for success when choosing a new store location, choose the best selling products to keep in stock, generate the most effective coupon offerings, and evaluate the potential consumer interest in new product offerings.

Sen. Charles Schumer has been a very vocal advocate when it comes to stricter laws regarding consumer protection and privacy. “A new type of in-store marketing using the signal from your smartphone will now come with a warning, Sen. Charles Schumer announced Tuesday. The senator told The Associated Press on Tuesday that eight of the 10 leading location analytics companies have agreed to a new code of conduct. It includes signs posted in stores to alert shoppers that tracking is being done and instructions on how to opt out” (CBS New York, 2013).

Consumer smartphone users do receive some benefits by providing their tracking information: they receive more relevant search results based on their locations, they receive better coupon and loyalty offers, and the receive help in locating sales and bargains. Some companies can even send instant SMS or MMS messages containing instantly redeemable in-store coupon/code offers.

Can you provide any other examples of the benefits the consumer receives when their smartphone information is tracked?

Gloria

References

CBS New York. (2013, October 22). Retrieved from Schumer: Deal To Protect ‘Consumer Privacy’ Lets Shoppers Opt Out Of Wireless Tracking: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/10/22/schumer-deal-to-protect-consumer-privacy-lets-shoppers-opt-out-of-wireless-tracking/

Crum, C. (2010). Mobile Marketing. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Deepak. (2011, October 29). Grabi. [Image]. Retrieved from How to Stop your Smartphone from Constantly Tracking your Location: http://www.grabi.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/smartphonelocationtracking.jpg

Henry, A. (2013, July 19). Life Hacker. Retrieved from How Retail Stores Track You Using Your Smartphone (and How to Stop It): http://lifehacker.com/how-retail-stores-track-you-using-your-smartphone-and-827512308

The Desk of Brian. (2011, April 01). [Image]. Retrieved from Smartphone tracking: http://deskofbrian.com/2011/04/privacy-risks-of-smartphone-photos-a-must-watch-video-for-parents/smartphone-tracking/

Blogging: The Power of Influence

 Blogging: The Power of Influence

Blogging is one of the best sources of word-of-mouth information for consumers and are often ran by the most influential people in a specified field. Blogging offers one of the most inexpensive online social media marketing tools that reaches over 80% of online consumers and can easily fit into any business marketing budget, no matter how big or small.

 Influence Business to Business

According to Social Media Business to Business, company blogs generate 61% business leads over those companies who do not have a blog. The reason is, consumers will often visit a blog of someone they trust in order to gain a more in-depth look at the products and/or services a business offers. Blogs offer a variety of information about products and services that a company offers, with most bloggers sharing both positive and negative insights. “Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%) for a total of 81%” (Pick).

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With so many businesses using social media to compete for consumers, having a powerful online presence is essential. Blogging is a great tool for building search engine optimization. With the recent rollout of the new Google Hummingbird semantic based search engine program, updating content and adding relevant tags are important in pushing businesses to the top of search engines but so is the frequency of updates.

This is where blogging can play a key role in increasing a company’s SEO. A Blog draws more organic search than does referral traffic. “As technology has evolved, Google (and other search engines) are using advanced formulas that determine how frequently you post and update your website in addition to the origination and quality of the content you post. Where you rank in search engines matter. One of the most effective ways to increase your search engine rankings is to add unique, high quality content on a regular basis—to blog” (Beachum, 2013).

Influence on Consumers

Word-of-mouth influence matters when it comes to making a purchase decision. “According to research by Nielsen, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing. The same study found that less than half of all customers consider traditional paid advertising to be credible—that’s a decrease of more than 20 percent since 2009!” (Ambassador, 2013).

So, what does influence have to do with blogging? Well, according to Patricia Redsicker, writer for Social Media Examiner, blogs are now the third most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). Additionally, “consumers said that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions” (Redsicker, 2013). When it comes to making purchasing decisions, consumers prefer blog recommendations over the two largest social media sites: Facebook and Twitter.

Women seem to be the most influenced by blogs and, since women account for 90% of the purchasing decisions in the household, blogs should be considered a major part of a company’s marketing strategy. “Among BlogHer network respondents that are active users of each of the following media sources, 98% trust the information they receive from blogs, ahead of Facebook (86%), Twitter (85%), and Pinterest (85%). Among general population respondents, blogs and Pinterest (both at 85%) are the most trusted, with Twitter (73%) and Facebook (67%) trailing” (Marketing Charts, 2012).

Summing it Up

Blogs are a must have for any business. Blogs have a greater influence on purchasing decisions than do the top social media sites. Blogging reaches at least 80% of Internet users, can increase B2B leads by 61%, offers an easy and affordable way to increase SEO, and 98% of those accountable for making purchasing decisions within a typical household, women, trust what they read on blogs. With blogging having so much to offer, a business would be insane not to focus more effort on blogging than other social media sources.

Gloria

References

Ambassador. (2013, July). Retrieved from 6 Amazing Stats That Prove Word-of-Mouth Marketing Is Here to Stay: http://blog.getambassador.com/6-amazing-stats-that-prove-word-of-mouth-marketing-is-here-to-stay/

Beachum, N. (2013, April 06). Social Media Today. Retrieved from Blogging is More Important Today than Ever Before: http://socialmediatoday.com/nicolebeachum/1338806/blogging-more-important-today-ever

Cohen, J. (2012, March 29). Social Media B2B. Retrieved from Generate More Leads with B2B Social Media: http://socialmediab2b.com/2012/03/b2b-social-media-leads-infographic/?utm_source=Webbiquity

Google Images. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2013, from Purchase Inflencers: http://bit.ly/1781Gfd

Marketing Charts. (2012, March 01). Retrieved from Frequency of Blogging Makes a Difference for Customer Acquisition: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/frequency-of-blogging-makes-a-difference-for-customer-acquisition-21276/

Pick, T. (n.d.). Jeff Bullas. Retrieved November 06, 2013, from 72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/07/24/72-fascinating-social-media-marketing-facts-and-statistics-for-2012/

Redsicker, P. (2013, March 06). Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence: New Research: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blogs-outrank-social-networks-for-consumer-influence-new-research/

When Politicking Isn’t Good For Business!

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Consumers do not seem to mind when a corporation supports environment and human rights issues but they draw the line when it comes to CEO’s openly supporting political views that conflict with their own.

In an article entitled, Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking on Forbes.com, contributor Rick Ungar pointed out two major corporations, Applebees and Papa Johns, whose CEO chose to take a political stand in opposition of Obamacare. These companies have paid a costly price.

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.

Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation (Ungar, 2012).

When a corporation chooses to openly support an environmental or human rights issue, most consumers view the stance objectively and understand that at least the company is trying to give back to their community in some way.

Political issues, on the other hand, are not objective. Companies need to understand that they cater to a variety of politically diverse consumers who would prefer to get their pizza delivered to their door, in under 30 minutes and without a side of politics. It would be different if the pizza company marketed themselves as a right-wing or left-wing pizza company. Their consumer base would go into the business-consumer relationship knowing the corporate political views.

However, most companies realize that business and politics do not mix and prefer to keep their political position to themselves. By openly choosing a political side, you are taking the chance of eliminating at least half of your consumer base. Of course, you also have to consider the damage it does to the investor relations, as well.

Is one CEO’s openly political stance worth the cost?

Reference

Ungar, Rick. (2012, December 04). Forbes. Retrieved from Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/12/04/papa-johns-applebees-and-others-pay-huge-price-for-anti-obamacare-politicking/

Global Strategy Group. (n.d.) [Infograph]. Retrieved from Business & Politics: Do They Mix?: http://globalstrategygroup.com/resources/businessandpoliticsdotheymix/

Bone Conduction-The future of marketing?

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Both Daily Finance and Mashable ran recent articles regarding advertising agency, BBDO’s, bone conduction technology that allows vibrations from train windows to transmit advertisements directly into your brain.

“Confused? Well, allow us to explain: Ever notice how your voice sounds a little odd when you’re listening to it on a recording? That’s because when you talk normally, you’re not just hearing the sound of your voice coming in through your ears — you can also hear sound vibrating through your skull, which distorts the sound of your voice. By contrast, when you’re listening to a recording of your voice, you get none of that skull vibration distortion, so you hear what you really sound like to the rest of the world. Well, someone at BBDO apparently decided that if you can hear noises through your skull, then you should hear ads through your skull” (Brownell, 2013).

Check out The Talking Window YouTube video:

As a marketing professional, I am excited about the potential of the technology, and its use, on numerous levels. The technology could eventually be used in personal vehicles and other modes of transportation as a means of entertainment for long road trips. This bone conduction technology could be used in conjunction with vibrating headsets and placed about retail locations to provide information on products and services. The technology could also be implemented by music bands through speaker sound waves and used at concerts to help make the music clearer. The list goes on and on.

However, with all new technological discoveries, there are still many questions to be explored such as privacy issues, public acceptance, and the long term effects of the technology on brain function. “We can see why the concept might intrigue advertisers, but consumers seem skeptical. A YouTube video showcasing the technology already has more than a quarter-million views, but the reviews were overwhelmingly negative: 70 percent of voters gave the video a thumbs-down, and commenters are calling the system an invasion of privacy” (Brownell, 2013).

How does a marketer get past public skepticism? With Google Glass, of course!

ImageAccording to Wired, Google Glass has filed documents with the FCC that they plan to use bone conduction technology, in place of traditional speakers, to transmit sounds to the wearer (Warr, 2013).

Additionally, the technology is being sold by Cynaps as a Bluetooth wireless hat headset transmitter that you wear whenever you desire hands free communication. Check out the Cynaps here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cynaps-get-yours-now-at-www-maxvirtual-com

References:

BBDO. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bbdo.com/#!&pageid=0&subsection=2&itemid=765

Brownell, M. (2013, July 9). Daily Finance. Retrieved from Vibrating Train Windows Can Now Transmit Ads Straight Into Your Skull: http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/vibrating-train-windows-transmit-ads-into-skull/

Indiegogo. (n.d.). [Photograph]. Retrieved from Cynaps: Get yours now at http://www.maxvirtual.com!:http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cynaps-get-yours-now-at-www-maxvirtual-com

Noris100. (2013, June 20). YouTube. Retrieved from The Talking Window: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azwL5eoE5aI&feature=youtu.be

Ramachandran, V. (2013, July 5). Mashable. Retrieved from Vibrating Train Windows Transmit Ads Directly Into Your Head:http://mashable.com/2013/07/04/vibrating-train-window-ads/?

Warr, P. (2013, February 03). Mashable. Retrieved from Google Glass to use bone vibration instead of traditional headphones: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/04/google-glass-bone-vibration

Uniclo Free Wake Up App.

uniqlo-logo1

Another cutting edge marketing tool from Uniqlo!

Who would have thought that one could tune into their favorite clothing store to get a free wake-up call that provides the current time, date, current weather outside and all played to a dreamy song that changes with the weather?

The Uniqlo social Wake Up App for Android and iPhone does just this.

Uniqlo Wake Up

According to the Google Play store, “UNIQLO WAKE UP is an innovative new social alarm app that aims to make waking up every day an enjoyable experience. The alarm music, which is automatically created based on the weather, time, and day of the week, was co-written by 51st annual Grammy nominee Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada) and Yoko Kanno, who is active in songwriting across a wide range of genres including video games and anime (COWBOY BEBOP, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Macross). The app allows users to share a record of their awakening – specifically, the time, weather, and temperature at the moment they stopped the alarm – via social media (Facebook, Twitter, RenRen, Weibo). In addition, the “wake up records” shared by users around the world are displayed in a part of the app entitled WORLD WAKE UP” (Google Play).

According to Google Play, the Android App Features Include:
• Users can set an alarm.
• Users either select their location from a pull-down menu or allow the app to find their location using GPS. The app then displays the current weather and temperature.
• The alarm music changes according to the weather and reads out the time, day of the week, and the weather.
• The alarm music vocals are available in English and Mandarin Chinese.
• Users can share the time, weather, and temperature of when they wake up on Facebook, Twitter, RenRen, and Weibo.
• The information users share is displayed in the WORLD WAKE UP part of the app.
• The app background changes according to the day of the week. (Google Play).

Check out the free App here:

Google Play- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uniqlo.wakeup

Apple iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uniqlo-wake-up/id515839388?ls=1

While you’re at it, check out the other free apps by Uniqlo.

As a clothing retailer, Uniqlo seems to be on the cutting edge of social media marketing. This is just another shining example of the ingenuity and forward thinking the Uniqlo company has embraced as part of their over-all marketing strategy.

*I am, in no way, a paid endorser. The posts presented on my blog are strictly my own personal opinion and observations in regards to marketing media and its uses.

References:

Google Play. (n.d.) Retrieved on July 5, 2013 from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uniqlo.wakeup

iTunes. (n.d.). Retrieved on July 5, 2013 from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uniqlo-wake-up/id515839388?ls=1

Uniqlo. (n.d.) Retrieved on July 5, 2013 from: http://www.uniqlo.com/wakeup/en/pc/

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