Raising Critical Thinkers in the Digital Age

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment


The link above is to a Mashable article that talks about raising your kids to be critical thinkers in the digital age. I was excited to read what they had to say on the topic. Then disappointed about half way through, culminating in full-on head shaking aggravation when I finished the article. The article uses the word “curate” in four specifically modern situations to instruct parents on how to raise young critical thinkers. These headlines could easily be: Choose your friends wisely, don’t trust everything you read, put your toys away, and don’t take candy from strangers. You know, the way people have been raising kids for years. I could rant about this for thousands of words, instead I’ll use it as a bridge to rant about ethical marketing in the digital age.

I’ll keep this short. Marketing itself is fiction. Fiction is a lie. Everybody understands this and  it becomes a cost of doing business. But when we remove the fiction portion of the equation we are left with marketing and lies. Pop ups that look like our desktop, banner ads that drag us through a rabbit hole of information snatchers, and everything else that uses deception to get a click through is a marketing lie. We will probably all find ourselves in a situation where data or stats will win over a subjective human opinion, even if it shouldn’t. Reaching for those high marks in click throughs or other data will try and cloud your judgement, don’t let it. Not only are deceiving ads annoying, but they are wrong on a moral  level. Make sure ethics has a place in your marketing toolkit.

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New marketing opportunities with Spotify’s new features

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Recently, Spotify announced the launch of its new Follow tab, which brings fans and artists closer than ever before. Users can choose their followings, share their music with the world, and find people with the same interests. Now, you can listen to the same music as Lady Gaga, when she is preparing for a concert in Europe while you are making yourself breakfast. Now, people have an opportunity to find and share their musical voices through different social networks and become part of the “discovery revolution.”


In addition, the new Discover tab features a new and entirely personal way of discovering music on Spotify. The big idea of this new tab is to let Spotify seek out more personal recommendations for different users in order to better meet their needs and interests. This new feature includes providing users with new single and album releases of artists they follow, sharing all the music and playlist of influencers they follow and making recommendations based on the music they listen to. These latest updates are available across desktop, mobile and new web players based on people’s listening habits.

These new features of Spotify provide a great opportunity for marketers to figure out their target market’s interests by thinking about the type of playlist they would respond to or the kind of song subject that fits the company’s products or campaigns. Then, the company can build relevant contents around that. This will also be a way to collect consumer data and insights. Even though well thought-out pieces of original content such as blog posts, video, photo and other media are valuable assets for online marketing, creating a piece of content around an interactive playlist can be more compelling.

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JOB HUNTERS: How to Become an Attractive Candidate Online

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment


If you think professional social networking platforms are exclusively reserved for executives and professionals in communication and marketing, think again!

Being present on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter has become an asset for every job hunter. The question is how to effectively use these platforms.

While surfing the web looking for job offers, I came across this article on how one can promote himself on social networks. This article is a transcript of an interview given by Vincent Aymeric to TF1.fr, a French author of the book “Finding a job through social networks.”

The article discusses the issue of building a positive image online, and the good to use of the different social networks.

Having a profile on social networks, is it really an asset when looking for a job?

Well yes! It’s a must. It helps you put your resume out there and spread the word about you. Even if you are not actively looking for a job, it allows you to be exposed to recruiters and contacted. This applies mainly to LinkedIn.

This confirms one thing, having an active and attractive online profile helps any job seeker to grab attention on him. Because social networks have many levels of utility. The first is not necessarily to get a job, but mainly to get to know what’s going on and to be informed. Even for low-skilled jobs, recruiters are using Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn to find information about candidates.

Despite the necessary amount of time and maybe money required to build, manage and brand our profiles online, it is primordial to make this investment, as it always helps to get caught by a potential recruiter. So think twice! Is it too much time to spend on creating and updating your profile if you know that at the end you might be getting into a job of your dreams? I personally would invest my time doing it if this will help me get a marketing position within Anadarko or Halliburton.

Branding ourselves online has become a major concern. No more embarrassing photos and videos, or disgusting and rude posts. Everyone is now doing his best to control what he or she is posting online. Even more, building a positive image online has become more complex as we are not the only ones on the internet! Others, whether they’re our friends or just acquaintances can talk about us, sometimes in good but also in bad. So why not make sure that what comes out of Google is, in large part, the result of our work and accomplishments.

Does it take time to build a good profile online?

Aymeric Vincent says that it depends on what you want to do. I personally think we should devote the necessary time so that we end up achieving our goals. Because creating a complete and updated profile on LinkedIn or Viadeo (French professional network) means exposing ourselves, our resumes, our career paths and our accomplishments to everyone.

On the other hand, a credible and respected presence on other social media such as Facebook and Twitter is the only way to engage with others and share information.

Speaking of sharing information and creating sharable content has become as important as your resume. For example, you can share qualitative and quantitative information, videos, and articles about specific topics. This task obviously takes time and devotion, but you will certainly be rewarded, because you never know who is on the other side, and what can he do for you.

So what is an attractive profile?

It is first, a complete and continuously updated profile. It’s not about copying and pasting your resume. It is about creating content, credible and sharable content, so that everyone, including your recruiters will be interested. Tell your story in a way everyone should feel interested and engaged. Talk about who you are in real life, what you did all these years, what are your proudest accomplishments, what are your interests and hobbies.

Moreover, to be considered attractive and credible on social networks, it is not always about you, it is also about the others. So take the necessary time to show that others interest you by commenting their blogs and posts, and by participating in forums and group discussions without forgetting that you have to be pertinent and relevant.

Finally, I hope this few lines will help remind you how to behave online, and I am sure that everyone knows that already, just consider this as a friendly reminder.

To conclude, I would leave you this question hoping that you will express your opinion: With our profiles on social media and professional networks, do we still need a cover letter and a resume? 

Source : http://lci.tf1.fr/economie/social/2011-04/comment-devenir-un-candidat-attractif-sur-linkedin-ou-facebook-6407181.html

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Google is making mobile advertising better for you

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment


Have you ever been super engaged with a game when all of a sudden, you find your browser opening and you’re being redirected to the app store? This is known as the “fat finger problem.”

Well, earlier today, Google presented users with a solution called “confirmed clicks.” Google found that  “most accidental clicks on in-app image ads happen at the outer edge of the ad unit, likely when you’re trying to click or scroll to nearby content.” The introduction of confirmed clicks means that all in-app banner ads on your smartphone now have to be confirmed before redirecting you, to make sure you did not accidentally click on it. Google’s product manager for display ads, Allen Huang, explained that when users click on the outer border of the ad, they would now be prompted to verify that they actually wanted to learn more and visit the site.

This is good for Google, Google analytics and advertising partners since the click through rates for these apps are usually exaggerated. Huang believes that this addition will benefit “users, advertisers, publishers and the mobile ecosystem overall.” I know I for one will be able to play Words with Friends in peace now (since I mostly download free games with tons of ads).

Google is making another very wise move in the business and advertising world today. A little after midnight on Wednesday, Google released its Google Maps app in the iOS app store and is already climbing to the top of the free apps category. Google will capitalize on the app to generate revenue by including local ad listings in the app. As we all know, good advertising is reaching the right person, with the right message, at the right time and place. Ads are rendered irrelevant when the merchant is physically inaccessible to the prospective consumer. These local ads will be able to reach consumers when they are within proximity to a local business and can give in to impulsive purchasing behavior. Google will have access to the local businesses users are searching for and target the ads better. A better ad experience will increase ad’s message reception.

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What to look for in the multicultural marketing?

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I cannot stop nodding when I read this article(link below). As a Chinese, I do feel the rapid growth of Chinese-speaking population in the U.S.A. Even a Japanese journalist astonished by the large amount of Chinese people in Boston compared to several years ago. Therefore, it is essential to have a more sophisticated approach to this multicultural marketing.

I was very surprised the first time I heard a Chinese song in a Japanese Commercial (link 1). Music is always a good stimulate to consumers. I did found myself pay more attention to this particular brand than others. I heard more Chinese songs in Japanese commercials after that. However, those commercials do not impress me anymore. Some brands even left me a negative feeling because the song they chose does not match the brand at all.

I can tell that marketers are trying to attract the multicultural market. Sadly, their approach always ends up putting a Chinese man/woman in the commercial or just let them speak Chinese (Link 2).

Let consumers think “That’s me!” is a goal in most of the commercials. This goal should not be changed when targeting different cultures. A good commercial should involve cultural experience instead of just inserting the language they are familiar with.  Think about questions like how do they live? What do they value? Only in this way can marketers touch the bottom of their heart. 


Link 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBHitw72ZkI

Link 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1twxVVEpDw


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The Power of Digital Publishing

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

A tweet said that three inches flooding on the floor of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) picked up enough attention on the day of Sandy, which reported by CNN and The Weather Channel finally. However, ironically, the tweet turned out to be a rumor at last.

I watched the CNN clip on You Tube (link below). The news anchor spoke as clearly and undoubtedly as usual, “according to the national service to broadcast media, there were three feet of water on the trading floor on wall street…… Erin (news reporter) has spent a lot of time on that floor.” Screen changed to Erin, and she began to explain how awful the situation would be. Unexpectedly, NYSE told CNB moments later that this report was not true.

Besides blaming CNN that they didn’t confirm the credibility of this information, we have to admit that social media has become a new and convenient source to gain information to us, especially when breaking news happen. I still remember that just a simple tweet saved a Japanese women’s life; I have also seen many famous people apologized for their non-sensible tweet in public. This is the power of on-line publishing. Though sometimes it is sloppy and more susceptible than traditional media (this does not apply to Chinese media), it is more speedy and flexible. No matter someone posts false news intentionally or not, he/she will be corrected by the public in a very short time.

Digital publishing, especially social media has turned out to be an incredible power in China considering Chinese political situation. Different from the U.S.A., many Chinese people are more willing to believe the social media than traditional media, because it represents the “real” voice coming from the public. I have seen many government officials got punished because their behaviors exposed and “shared” online.

Digital publishing continues demonstrating its power in this society. 

CNN clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNVIdq1hFo0Image

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Why Korean cultural can rock the world now?

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I Love watching ads, especially those tech ads with numerous creativity and fun.

A week ago, when I came across “The 10 Most Watched Tech Ads of 2012” rated by Ad Week (link below), I could not believe it is not apple and Google, but Korean brand Samsung and LG dominates the list. Six out ten are coming from them! How scary that is!

I still remember the first time I watched Samsung’s Smart TV ad (link below), I felt the same surprise Apple’s ads used to give me. I will not forget when knowing the exist of Samsung Galaxy Note, I almost shouted out “Yes, that is the exactly cell phone I want!” I will not forget the case I learnt in class saying that Hyundai selected as No.1 Asian brand in customer service satisfaction in 2010.

From Korean drama, BB cream, K pop stars to Samsung, Gangnam Style, there is no doubt that Korea is a super pop culture all over the world. Korea is the 2nd Asian country becomes worldwide popular after Japan.

Why can Korea achieve such a huge success?

Firstly, they consider English as a very important skill since long ago. According to the research, Korea has the highest average level in English among China, Japan and Korea. In order to work at a giant company like Samsung, employees must get a score of over 900 in TOEIC (an English test). However, 750 points is enough in Japan. To have a better communication with fans from other countries, many Korean stars learn English, Japanese, even Chinese before debut.

Secondly, Korean people are willing to create things from a global spot. From Samsung Smart TV to Samsung Galaxy, LG Nexus, Korean companies successfully made products that cater to people all over the world. In contrast to Korea, Japanese brand always take Japanese people as their main target. This gives Japanese companies a huge difficulty cracking the international market, and preventing foreign companies from going into Japanese market in the same time.

Last but not least, Korean people have a wide experience in living and studying abroad. It is not hard to find them in many fields. Better education definitely gives them a better stage to develop.

Though I am not a big Korean culture fan, still thank you for creating so many interesting things to this world, Korea.





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