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My Take on Current and Future Marketing Trends

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Advertising

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/

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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).

SEO
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

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