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Mobile Advertising: A friend or foe?

April 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Another day, another blog entry, as I search the inner most sanctity of my cerebral cortex to expound digital marketing knowledge on my readers… I am once again drawing a blank on what to speak about. So I do what most people do (mass generalization here) – I pick up my smart phone (proud owner of the iPhone) to pass time in the hopes of being struck once again by Mr. Creativity! As I was busily surfing the gossip blog sites, Sandra Rose and Media Take Out in particular… I kept on receiving an annoying pop up ad for the new movie – Jumping the Broom, which comes out on May 6th. I found it interesting that both sites were advertising the same movie (could be due to their readership, which may be the intended target audience).

With that being said, I decided to jump (no pun intended) go online to see if there were any advertisements on their sites about this movie and lo and behold, I was assaulted with more pop up ads! In the end, there was no escape but this experience is one that is not foreign to cell phone users. Every time we engage in web surfing, we are subjected to mobile interruption by advertisers or as it is commonly referred to as Mobile Marketing or Wireless Marketing.

Wikipedia ascertain that the Mobile Marketing Association defines this term as, “a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.” Advertisers are now using this channel as a means of communicating with consumers. But at what point do you draw the line and say enough is enough? As consumers, we are inundated daily with mass advertisements, which oftentimes are “ignored” or “not seen” unless it catches our attention in some unique way for us to initiate “information search” in the hopes of creating awareness or eliciting purchase.

According to CBS news, the U.N. telecommunications agency asserts that, “the number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide has reached 4.6 billion and is expected to increase to five billion this year.” Although this report came out in 2010, it is clearly evident why advertisers are leaning toward this method of advertising in their marketing arsenal of information overload.

The upside to this for advertisers is that they now have a global platform to reach consumers, which was not available before with traditional communication channels like TV, Print, and Radio. However, the downside for consumers is that every time we “surf the web via our phone” we will be subjected to these types of advertisements.

I found this really great article by Joe P who discusses the future of mobile advertising, where Greg Sterling, principal, Sterling Market Intelligence and Senior Analyst argue that, “consumers are already either hostile or ambivalent about mobile ads and that sort of experience would drive consumers away from those sites or services that are using it.” For more information on this article, please click on the embedded link: http://goingcellular.com/mobile-advertising/whats-in-store-for-mobile-advertising-4498/. Ultimately, advertisers need to be conscientious of how they affect the consumers “web experience” with mobile advertising and find a happy balance to ensure that their message is received and not ignored.

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How are businesses using FaceBook?

April 10, 2011 1 comment

Ok… so here I am staring at a blank word document, as I search for guidance from my “creative muse” to discuss one aspect of social media, which has transformed the days of our lives way businesses interact with their consumers…. ladies and gentleman, if you haven’t guessed it by now, I am talking about FaceBook. Before I get into the gist of my rant discussion, please allow me the opportunity to state publicly that, “I do NOT own a FaceBook account!” (Holler!) So I have proven the myth that ALL people are FaceBook users to be false (only being facetious here folks!). In fact, I just learned in class last week that that the average user of FaceBook only spends 7 hours on the site, per month (thanks, Rob!).

Now that we have gotten the preliminaries out of the way, I can talk freely from an empirical standpoint on how FaceBook has created a paradigm shift in the way businesses can communicate with their consumers. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post – the Internet and World Wide Web has created this integrated web of global interconnectivity all at the click of a mouse, by empowering “people” to create a customizable experience that best meet their needs.

As such, it created this chasm of various websites all targeted at meeting definable gaps within the marketplace. Leading the charge in the evolution of social networking is FaceBook and it has become a popular “lifestyle-connector.”  Businesses are using this media channel as a means to not only advertise their goods/services but to also play an active role in the “conversations” that are taking place with their valuable assets – you guessed it… the consumer! It gives the consumer a “real time” sounding board to talk about their likes/dislikes on how they feel about a particular good/services, while giving them control (yes, Ms. Jackson) on who they ultimately would like to become a “fan” of hence the coined term, customizable experience.

As a result of FaceBook businesses are able to gain valuable insights from consumers about how they feel about the brand, products, services, and employees among other relevant data. With this data businesses are able to look at any potential holes in their product and service offering(s) and make the appropriate changes thus improving the consumer/business relationship.

Fans of these businesses on FaceBook represent a brand community and Fournier and Lee’s “Getting Brand Communities Right” brought up an interesting point stating that “A brand community is not a marketing strategy but a business strategy that should be used to support business wide goals.” Misiek Piskorski wrote an interesting article illustrating how eBay’s Group Gifts have used FaceBook in a tactical manner, which speaks to Fournier and Lee’s point of using the brand community, as a high level strategy that is part  of the business initiative.

Piskorski asserts that, “businesses need to create a social strategy in order to attain higher success/sales with FaceBook.” Piskorski discusses in detail how eBay’s Group Gifts have been successful at employing this strategy through the use of cultivating relationships with FaceBook users. For more information on this article, please click on the embedded link: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/03/how_to_use_facebook_to_drive_h.html.

It is estimated that FaceBook has over 600 million active users and more businesses are using this platform because of its global reach in order to effectively manage the meanings of the brand and remain connected with consumers. At its current pace, FaceBook is leading the charge among other social networking sites, like MySpace and Twitter. Whether or not FaceBook will continue to be a dominant player in the market is a question that is best left unanswered. But for now businesses are certainly reaping the benefits in a cost efficient manner.

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Blogging: A force to be reckoned with…or not!

February 7, 2011 2 comments

The dawn of a new decade has arrived – blogging is here to stay or is it? The introduction of the Internet and World Wide Web has changed the landscape of how we communicate with each other. It has opened opportunities for virtual global communities to congregate in an open uninhibited cyber space, where rules are unwritten and individuals are free from censorship. This landscape has paved the way for the birth of social media – particularly, blogging.

David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” defines blogging as, “a personal web site written by someone who is passionate about a topic.”  In layman terms – think of blogging as a diary that isn’t really “personal.” It is an outlet for people to voice their feelings into the global vortex known as the World Wide Web. Blogging has increasingly been utilized as a useful tool within the social media arsenal. In fact, companies are now using blogging as a means of communicating with consumers about their products/services in an informal manner aimed at building and maintaining the client relationship. However, blogging also serves a “newsworthy” purpose by updating the masses on “real time” events as they occur in the entertainment, political, social, or health sector. Simply put, if it catches the attention of the blogger, the information is then shared for public dissemination. But blogging is not a new invention – where we say AH HA – that’s it… my life is so much better NOW! NOOOO… blogging is taking a non-traditional approach to our traditional means of communication.

Take for instance the Super Bowl which is a staple in American culture just like Coca Cola. This much hyped event is a critical time for marketers and advertisers to get their messaging out to the masses in information overload one big swoop. Like millions of Americans, I am also caught up in the rapture of Super Bowl XLV (45) sitting here at home typing away on my laptop mania, waiting patiently for the Black Eyed Peas to perform during the half time show. I will admit some of the commercials were obnoxiously funny, serving the purpose of eliciting a smile on my face, and fodder for casual conversations with friends and colleagues.

However, as is customary with Super Bowl, we are graced by the vocal prowess of big name singers who always blesses us with their narcissistic rendition version (right back @ you Sandra Rose – LOL) of the star spangled banner. Needless to say, I was excited about Christina Aguilera unsavory and lackluster performance, which seemed to miss all the apparent bells and whistles, among other things (think: words of the national anthem). Now with traditional communication, I would’ve called a friend or two and unashamedly bashed her performance. But with new media (i.e., Twitter) throngs of people have tweeted their thoughts/insights about her performance, which would not have been possible twenty years ago. In fact, Doug Farrar (a sports writer) wrote a blog entry citing the flaws of her performance and posted it on Yahoo sports for the world to see – talk about rapid response. If you want to read the blog – click on the following link: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Video-Christina-Aguilera-goofs-up-the-National-?urn=nfl-317568.

This is one of many examples in the power of blogging – traditional “print” publications like newspapers and magazines is not capable of producing this instantaneous reaction compared to social media. As a writer and wannabe blogger I am aware of my biases and subjectivity to topics that I am passionate about. But the fact remains that blogging is a powerful tool that can inform, influence, and educate the masses in a manner that surpasses traditional media. As marketers, we need to understand and leverage this tool within our communications, as we strive toward global interconnectivity.

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